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Dall-Tardy Letters

Identifier: MSS-4157

Scope and Contents

The collection contains thirty letters from members of the Dall and Tardy families of Baltimore, Maryland, and Mobile, Alabama, and written between 1840 and 1908. The bulk of the letters are from James and Henrietta Dall of Baltimore, Maryland, to their niece and foster daughter Clara Austin Tardy in Mobile, Alabama. There are also letters to and from Clara's husband Balthazar Tardy, son Alexis H., and daughter Henrietta Cecelia, as well as letters between other members of this close-knit family.


  • 1840-1908


Biographical / Historical

Clara Austin, the youngest of the eight children of Horace and Elizabeth Richards Austin, was born on August 22, 1818, in Herculaneum, Missouri. Her parents both died before she was seven years old and she was "taken in" by her father's sister and brother-in-law Henrietta Austin and James Dall, who became her foster parents, and to whom Clara always referred to as "Mother" and "Father."

Clara married Balthazar Tardy on February 1, 1836, in Mobile, Alabama. The couple had five children, of whom only three survived childhood. Alexis Horace was born in 1843 (he was killed in a duel at age 31), Henrietta Cecilia was born in 1846, and Caroline Mary was born in 1852. Two other daughters died in infancy, one in 1842 (only three days old) and the other, Clara Virginia, in 1858 at three months of age. Clara died in Mobile on March 29, 1858, one week after the birth of Clara Virginia.


0.2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Letters from members of the Dall and Tardy families of Baltimore, Maryland, and Mobile, Alabama, written between 1840 and 1908.


gift of Dr. Harry Porter, Clara P. Cavett, Ann P. Davis, and Eleanor Streit, 2015


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Processed by

Martha Bace, 2015



Guide to the Dall-Tardy Letters
October 2015
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266