Latrobe-Swann Family Manuscript Collection, 1862-1899, MS 3103

Finding Aid to the Latrobe-Swann Family Manuscript Collection, 1862-1899, MS 3103  

H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Historical Society

 

Collection summary 

Title

Latrobe-Swann Family Manuscript

Creator

Latrobe and Swann Families

Call number

MS 3103

Inclusive dates

1862-1899

Bulk dates

1870-1899

Extent

1 box, 21 folders

Abstract

Contains the personal correspondence of members of the Latrobe and Swann families. The majority of these letters were written to Ellen Penrose Swann Latrobe from her sons, Sherlock and Thomas Swann III.

Administrative summary 

Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library

Maryland Historical Society

201 W. Monument St.

Baltimore, MD 21201

www.mdhs.org

specialcollections@mdhs.org

Access restrictions

Open to the public without restrictions.

Use restrictions

Permission to quote must be received in writing from the Special Collections Librarian.

Provenance

Gift of Sherlock Swann Gillette, November 13, 2012

Accession number

2012-004-LIB

Processing note

Processed by Lara Westwood, July 2015 

Historical Note

The Latrobe and Swann families were both well known in Baltimore and throughout Maryland. This collection focuses the sons of Ellen Penrose and Thomas Swann, Jr., Sherlock and Thomas. Thomas Swann, Jr. was the son of Elizabeth Gilmor Sherlock (1813-1876) and Thomas Swann (1809-1883), who was a director of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and governor of Maryland. Thomas, Jr. married Ellen Penrose in 1863 and had Thomas on October 3, 1864 and Sherlock on December 27, 1866. Thomas, Jr. died in 1866, a few months before the birth of Sherlock.

Ellen (1847-1916) remarried in 1880 to Ferdinand Claiborne Latrobe, the widower of her first husband’s sister, Louisa Sherlock Swann (1838-1865). Latrobe (1833-1911), the son of Virginia Charlotte Claiborne and John Hazelhurst Boneval Latrobe, served in the Maryland House of Delegates and was first elected to mayor of Baltimore in 1875, a post he held on and off for twenty years. They had three children together: Ellen Virginia, Fernande Charlotte, and Ferdinand Claiborne, Jr.

In his adult life, Thomas Swann III lived in Selma, Virginia. He married Carita Douglas Mason in 1888, and they had one son, Thomas in 1889. Carita died a month after Thomas’ birth. Thomas attended St. John’s School in Fordham, New York and purchased his Loudon County estate shortly after he finished school. He died suddenly in 1896.

Sherlock Swann was a prominent figure in Baltimore politics and society. He was educated at St. John’s School, Georgetown University, and the Maryland Institute. He achieved the rank of colonel when he was appointed to Governor Frank Brown’s military staff in 1892, which launched his career in Maryland government. His uncle and stepfather Mayor Ferdinand C. Latrobe appointed him to the position of Commissioner of Opening the Streets in 1894 and served on the City Council from 1896-1898. He took a break from civil service until 1904 when after Baltimore’s Great Fire, he headed Burnt District Commission. He served on the Board of Police Commissioners from 1908 to 1910 and made great improvements to the Traffic Department. President Woodrow Wilson appointed him to Postmaster for Baltimore in 1913. He was appointed to Commissioner of Traffic in 1924. He married Edith Robinson De Ford (1878-1969) in 1898, and they had three children, Sherlock, Deford, and Edith Page. He died in 1935.

Scope and Content

The collection contains the personal correspondence of members of the Latrobe and Swann families. The majority of these letters were written to Ellen Penrose Swann Latrobe from her sons, Sherlock and Thomas Swann III. Thomas’ correspondence primarily conveys the progress of his studies at St. John’s School in Fordham, New York. He also received letters from his grandparents, Elizabeth Sherlock and Thomas Swann, while at school. The later letters between Thomas, his mother, and business partner, Robert Neville, are about land purchases. The letters written by Sherlock and occasionally his wife, Edith, discuss their trip in Europe, as well as business affairs at home in Baltimore. They travelled throughout the continent, visiting France, Germany, and Switzerland, during the late spring and summer of 1899. 

The documents are arranged by the family member to which they pertain and by date. A series of letters and telegrams pertaining to the purchase of a farm by Thomas Swann III have been kept together.

Related Collections:

Thomas Swann Papers, MS 1763

Thomas Swann Collection, MS 1826

Thomas Swann Collection, MS 1826.1

Sherlock Swann Papers, MS 3064

Container List

Contents

Dates

Box

Folder

Payment to Thomas Swann

1862

1

1

Swann, Thomas to Thomas Swann III

1870-1875

1

2

Swann, Thomas to Ellen Swann

1875, October

1

3

Swann, Elizabeth Sherlock to Thomas Swann III

1871-1873

1

4

Swann, Thomas, III to Ellen Swann

1871-1876

1

5

Swann, Thomas, III to Thomas Swann

1876, October-December

1

6

Swann, Thomas, III to Ellen Swann

1876, November

1

7

Swann, Thomas, III to Ellen Swann

1876, December

1

8

Swann, Thomas, III to Ellen Swann

1877, January

1

9

Thomas Swann III school paper

1877, March

1

10

Letters from Ellen Latrobe

1885-1886

1

11

Letters relating to land purchases by Thomas Swann III

1885-1887

1

12

Letter to Sherlock Swann

1896, March

1

13

Swann, Edith to Mrs. Ferdinand C. Latrobe

1899, May-August

1

14

Swann, Sherlock to Mrs. Ferdinand C. Latrobe

1899, May

1

15

Swann, Sherlock and Edith to Honorable Ferdinand C. Latrobe

1899, June-September

1

16

Swann, Sherlock to Mrs. Ferdinand C. Latrobe

1899, June

1

17

Swann, Sherlock to Mrs. Ferdinand C. Latrobe

1899, June-July

1

18

Swann, Sherlock to Mrs. Ferdinand C. Latrobe

1899, July-August

1

19

Swann, Sherlock to Ferdinand C. Latrobe, Jr. (?)

1899, July

1

20

Swann, Sherlock to Mrs. Ferdinand C. Latrobe

1899, August-September

1

21

 

 

 

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