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George Bailey letters to Eli Adams, April 1880

 File — Box: SC1850-1899.007, Folder: 4297.003

Scope and Contents

From the Collection: The Bailey Family Papers include letters created and received by multiple generations of family members. The bulk of the letters contains Reconstruction-era content, but there are also other later letters of interest written from Texas and Japan. Samuel Bailey wrote ten letters to his son George from 1865-1869. Although Samuel wrote most of the letters while in Macon, Georgia, he was in South Charlestown, New Hampshire, when he wrote the earliest one on June 10, 1865. The letters were addressed to George in various locations: Chicago; Portageville, New York; and South Charlestown, New Hampshire. The letters convey the typical economic gloom found in Reconstruction-era letters written by Southerners. Samuel’s letters to George discuss farming, with Samuel encouraging George to pursue this avenue to earn a living. In his June 10, 1865, letter he mentions Union army destruction at a friend's or family member’s land near Chattanooga.

In addition to these ten letters written from Samuel Bailey to George Bailey, there are letters written by other Bailey and Phelps family members, including a few from George to his wife Mary. In 1880 George lived in Nopal, Texas, where he managed a ranch. In a lengthy letter to Eli Adams, George describes the two Mexican ranch hands in unpleasant and disparaging words and tones. He also offers a vivid and extensive snapshot of the ranch with its rattlesnakes, centipedes, tarantulas, and scorpions and recounts a trip to San Antonio. The collection includes a few letters written by H. M. Phelps and his wife to the Baileys, particularly to their grandson, Fred, around 1900; the date is illegible. Mr. and Mrs. Phelps were Mary Bailey’s parents and lived in Battle Creek, Michigan. Another Phelps family member, Frances, who was perhaps Mary’s sibling or cousin, wrote two letters in the collection. Frances was a missionary in Japan. The collection also contains a few odds and ends such as a letter written about Samuel Bailey (1859), an envelope, and New England temperatures in 1905.


  • April 1880

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Due to the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access to certain materials may require additional advance notice.


From the Collection: 0.2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English