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Elisha Wolsey Peck papers

Identifier: MSS-1120

Scope and Contents

The Elisha Wolsey Peck papers include account books, personal and legal correspondence, election returns, invitations, meeting minutes, and receipts. These materials relate to Peck's family, finances, business, law practice, membership in the Rising Virtue Masonic Lodge, and service to Alabama during Reconstruction.

The material relating to the Reconstruction period is particularly significant, as Peck served as president of Alabama's Constitutional Convention of 1867 and was chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court 1867-1874. The papers include the text of the speech he gave to the Constitutional Convention in 1867 and 1868 election returns from various counties.

Rising Virtue Lodge material includes minutes of a meeting, resolutions, and an invitation.

The legal correspondence from 1843-1876 relate to clients Peck represented. They are arranged alphabetically by case name. There are also account books from the law firms of Ellis and Peck and Peck and Clark, ranging in date from 1830-1854.

One folder includes a notebook that belonged to David Lamb Peck. The notebook contains poetry, notes on the Bible, sketches, and computations. Another folder of miscellaneous items contains two unidentified books. One is a commonplace book containing poetry, notes on the Bible, and notes comparing prices of various goods. The second item consists of undated, unbound pages from an unidentified account book and contains itemized lists of goods.


  • 1837 - 1887


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Biographical / Historical

Elisha Wolsey Peck was born on August 7, 1799, in Blenheim, Schoharie County, New York. He began the study of law in 1819. Five years later he was admitted to practice in Superior Court at Albany, New York. The following year he was admitted to the bar in Syracuse, New York; he then moved to Elyton (Birmingham), Alabama, around 1825. He married Lucy Lamb Randall (1808-1889), the daughter of Samuel (1770-1840) and Lucy Wheeler Randall (1780-1857) in Talladega, Alabama, in 1828. They had nine children: Edward Wolsey; Roscoe; Henry St. John; William; Lucey Christian; David Lamb (1843 or 4-1888); Lydia Elizabeth; Mary Lee; and Samuel Mintern (1854-1938).

In 1838 he moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Governor Arthur P. Bagby appointed him chancellor of the middle chancery division of Alabama in 1839. He was a candidate for representative to the Constitutional Convention of 1865 but was defeated. In 1867 he moved three times: once to Sycamore, Illinois, then to Rockford, Illinois, and finally back to Tuscaloosa. Upon his return he was elected chairman of the Military Reconstruction Convention of 1867. Later that year he was chosen as the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, in which capacity he served until retiring in 1874. He died at his home in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on February 13, 1888.


0.4 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Correspondence and financial papers of this Tuscaloosa, Alabama, attorney, as well as material relating to the Alabama Constitutional Convention of 1867, of which Peck was chairman.


Separated from the Samuel Minturn Peck papers, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Related Materials

Samuel Mintern Peck papers, W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library, The University of Alabama

Processed by

Donnelly Lancaster and Richard Brown, 2003; updated by Martha Bace, 2013
Guide to the Elisha Wolsey Peck papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266