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Guide to the Saltar family correspondence, 1759-1880 and undated

Abstract

Over 200 pieces of correspondence dating from 1759–1880, written by women of the Saltar and Gordon families of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland between themselves and other family relations. Over a third of the letters date before 1825. The principal correspondents are Elizabeth 'Betsy" Gordon Saltar, her daughters Lucy Saltar and Frances "Fanny" Saltar, and Elizabeth's cousins Mary Gordon and Polly Gordon. Dozens of other letters come from family friends and relatives, male and female, from prominent families in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, New York, and some from the Midwest and New England states. Topics include courtship; marriage; religion; pastimes; visits and travel; and the welfare of family members and friends. There are many references to illnesses, with many details on treatments and outcomes. There are also long passages and references to grief and mourning on the death of loved ones, and some discussions of finances. There are a few references to slavery and to enslaved people and servants. Letters sent during the Civil War discuss events centered around Pennsylvania, particularly in 1863; one discusses African American troops and their role in the war, and the circumstances surrounding the recruitment of the 3rd United States Colored Troops' commander, Benjamin C. Tilghman. A few earlier letters speak of the War of 1812, especially in and around Baltimore and Philadelphia. Acquired by the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Saltar family correspondence
Extent
0.5 Linear feet, 2 boxes
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

The papers consist almost entirely of 266 pieces of correspondence dating from 1759–1880, written by women of the Saltar and Gordon families of Pennsylvania and Maryland between themselves and other family relations. Over one-third of the letters date before 1825. The principal correspondents are Elizabeth 'Betsy" Gordon Saltar, the family matriarch, Lucy Saltar, Frances "Fanny" Saltar, Mary Gordon, and Polly Gordon. There are also single letters from other female members of the Saltar family and a handful of letters from men, some of whom were Saltar family members. The letters are organized by correspondent name, ending with a group of letters addressed to unidentified individuals.

The manuscript pages total approximately 765, primarily bifolios, almost all written in ink. There are also four additional manuscripts: an invitation; a sheet of paper with receipts; and a memorandum and bond concerning a land sale. A number of later letters are accompanied by addressed envelopes, some with stamps.

The correspondence is almost entirely comprised of women writing to other women: mothers to daughters; daughters to mothers; and cousins to cousins; and friends to each other. Over half of the collection comprises letters to and from a family matriarch, Elizabeth Gordon Saltar, living at her residence at Magnolia Grove (near Frankford, Pa.), and a large group of letters sent by various correspondents to her daughter Fanny Saltar, who was one of the family's historians. Also present is a large group of correspondence between cousins Elizabeth Gordon Saltar and Mary Gordon, as well as letters addressed to Elizabeth Gordon Saltar’s other daughter Lucy Saltar, and letters addressed to Elizabeth Gordon Saltar’s cousins, Mary Gordon and Polly Gordon.

Other families who correspond and/or are mentioned often in the letters: Bowne, Brooks, Bunyan, Coleman, Drexel, Hartshorne, Howell, Lardner, McMurtrie, Morgan, Morris, Stillman, Tilghman, Ulstick, Van Dykes, and Wharton. Many of these are prominent families from Pennsylvania or Maryland. One letter from a Bowne in series 7 contains a partial family tree of the Bownes and Saltar families. Most of these letters are found in the Fanny Saltar series.

Among the places from which letters were sent are areas in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York State, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Paris (France), and Rome (Italy). Cities represented are Boston, Baltimore, Charleston, New York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and others. Many letters were sent to or from Magnolia Grove, the Saltar plantation home near Philadelphia.

Topics tend to focus on societal mores and customs of the times as experienced by married and single women of land-owning classes: courtship; marriage; religion; pastimes; visits and travel; and the welfare of family members and friends. There are many references to illnesses such as measles, bowel complaints, eye conditions, diphtheria, tumors, and mental illness, with many details on treatments and outcomes. There are also long passages and references to grief and mourning on the death of loved ones, and fairly frequent mentions of finances.

The letters written during the Civil War discuss events centered around Pennsylvania, particularly in 1863, as well as a comment on friends going off to war, and one letter discusses African American troops and the circumstances surrounding the recruitment of the 3rd United States Colored Troops' commander, Benjamin C. Tilghman, whom the Saltars knew from Philadelphia. Earlier letters speak of the War of 1812, especially of events around Baltimore.

Acquired by the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48-hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Letters to Polly Gordon, 1759 May 5 - 1818 June 20, and undated

12 items

Correspondence group contains twelve letters to Polly Gordon, cousin of Saltar Family matriarch, Elizabeth Gordon Saltar. The first three letters of the series, all from Mary Penry, contain important notes on Christianity and women's roles and behaviors. The rest consists mostly of letters from Mrs. H. Stillman, Polly’s aunt, and includes comments on illnesses, health and medicine, George Saltar's death, and Polly’s engagement or marriage.

1759 May 5: Mary Penry to Polly Gordon

Presentation of the Gospel and Penry’s own testimony. Penry describes herself as lowly and insignificant in comparison with her mighty Savior (Christ), and accordingly she can focus only on his grandeur. She hints that Polly may not have yet experienced the “true Happiness” of Christ, and that Polly is thus more concerned with the “World” than she need be.

Box 1
1762 March 1: Mary Penry (Bethlehem, PA) to Polly Gordon (Philadelphia)

Inquiry about Polly's health after a bout with a “dangerous” illness. Penry implies that Polly is now a Christian (assuming she wasn’t at the writing of the first letter). The letter includes a psalm-like poem and more discussion of Christianity.

Box 1
1765 August 25: Mary Penry (Litiz, PA) to Polly Gordon (Philadelphia)
Box 1
1766 March 11: Mrs. H. Stillman (Boston) to Polly Gordon

Passing mention that a sick daughter has been confined to her bedroom for three months.

Box 1
1807 July 26: George Morgan Gibbs (Charleston, S.C.) to Polly Gordon ("near Princeton")

George Morgan Gibbes, a cousin, writes for his mother, Mrs. Gibbes, who continues to love her daughter with "unalterable affection." Discusses briefly the children of the family, their governess/teacher, lessons in piano and dance, and studies at the "college" in Charleston.

Box 1
1818 June 20: W.M. Beatty [?] to Polly Gordon

A business letter in which he is returning papers that were in his possession having to do with the sale of land, possibly related to the bond in the letters to Mary Gordon which bears Beatty's name.

Box 1
Undated: H. Stillman to Polly Gordon
Box 1
Undated: H. Stillman to Polly Gordon

Seems to be discussing Polly’s engagement or marriage.

Box 1
Undated: H. Stillman to Polly Gordon
Box 1
Undated: H. Stillman to Polly Gordon
Box 1
Undated: H. Stillman to Polly Gordon
Box 1
Undated: Frances Saltar (Magnolia Grove) to Polly Gordon

Entire letter gives details of George Saltar’s medical care and death: Doctor Glen (Philadelphia?) advised that George be bled and "kept still," but he was allowed to come home. Once home, other doctors provided blistering and cupping treatments. He was sick for twenty-one days, and then died.

Box 1

Letters to Elizabeth Gordon Saltar, 1770 June – 1810 February 8

5 items

Five letters to Elizabeth (“Betsy”) Gordon Saltar, the matriarch of the Saltar family, then living at Magnolia Grove plantation, which was about seven miles from Philadelphia, PA and in the vicinity of Frankford. The majority of contents are routine updates about family and friends. The first letter, however, is addressed to Betsy Gordon, who was as yet unmarried, and thus contains notes on reasons for marriage and the aspirations of a single woman. The third, received from Frances Edwards, contains descriptions of grief on the recent death in the Lardner family and memories of her own loss of a husband, and the similar loss experienced by Elizabeth Saltar.

1770 June: Peggy Emlen (Philadelphia) to Elizabeth Gordon Saltar

Evidence of Emlen's idealism: the beauty of the world is a reflection of God; wishes to spend time in the country to reflect on nature; a man and a women should marry for love of each other’s virtues; pray that passions are overcome by reason.

Box 1
1800 May 10: Lucy Saltar (Baltimore) to Elizabeth Gordon Saltar
Box 1
1803 April 27: Frances [?] Edwards to Elizabeth Gordon Saltar

A discussion of Edwards’ grief and mourning over the death of her husband last Spring: “he was my all,” “I . . . lay in my bed and think of him.” She seems to writing on the occasion of a more recent death in the Saltar family and mentions Hannah Lardner as well as the Saltars.

Box 1
1806 August 9: Mary Gordon (Mapletown, NJ) to Elizabeth Gordon Saltar
Box 1
1810 February 8: Mary Gordon to Elizabeth Gordon Saltar
Box 1

Letters from Elizabeth Gordon Saltar, 1806 February – 1818 September 5, and undated

66 items

These letters written by Elizabeth Gordon Saltar consist almost entirely of correspondence sent to her cousin Mary Gordon. The letters chiefly contain updates about friends and family. Four mentions are made of the War of 1812, specifically relating to the attack on Baltimore. Many more are made of health issues, including mentions of small pox, bleeding by leeches, and other remedies of the time. Also prevalent are comments on Christianity, marriage and courtship, and other aspects of 17th century women's society such as pastimes and duties at home. Unless otherwise noted, letters from Elizabeth Gordon Saltar are sent from Magnolia Grove, the family's plantation near Philadelphia. Letters to Mary Gordon, unless otherwise noted, are sent to Mapletown, a small community near Princeton, New Jersey.

1806 February: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Lucy Saltar (New York)
Box 1
1806 March 5: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Lucy Saltar (New York)
Box 1
1806 June 4: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon

Saltar’s son Lawrence died at 22 of yellow fever; the next son, John, spent a year in Calcutta.

Box 1
1806 September: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon

Cure for ague: “30 grains of salt of wormwood, 20 ditto of Virginia snake root, ½ an ounce of red bark; mix them with three glasses of Madeira wine; take a glass every four hours, the day the fit is off, shake it well every time you take it”

Box 1
1806 October 19: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon

Discussion of intimacy with “beaus.”

Box 1
1806 October 26: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Frances Saltar (Phildelphia)

Fanny went into the city to paint.

Box 1
1807 January 4: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1807 May 10: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1807 August 2: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1807 December 3: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1808 May 22: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon

Mr. Saltar’s sickness and its remedies.

Box 1
1808 September 4: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon

Mr. Saltar still having trouble “passing his water”; mentioning tenant farmers (African-Americans)—still says “our” when referring to them (“we had the misfortune to lose our little black boy”).

Box 1
1808 September 25: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon

Mr. Saltar is being treated with “medicine, bleeding [took 35 oz. in one day and used leeches], and dieting”

Box 1
1809 January 8: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon

Discussing the embargo in Philadelphia and its pervasive effects

1809 August 16: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1809 September 19: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon

Includes a recipe for blue dye that is a “Cure for Wen” (a cyst, especially on the face).

Box 1
1809 November 8: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1809 November 9: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon

Looking for a maid: “white or black.” Also, further mentions of African-American relations to whites.

Box 1
1809 November 25: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1809 December 7: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon

Saltar's daughter Lucy has made no “conquests,” i.e. securing a “beau.”

Box 1
1810 January 4: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1810 February 13: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon

Little girl dies from “violent sick stomach.”

Box 1
1810 March 22: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1810 December 10: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon

Looking for a black horseman and maid.

Box 1
1811 January 22: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1811 March 2: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1811 April 22: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1811 May 28: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon

Woman dies in child birth.

Box 1
1811 June 17: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon

Saltar has an “indolent tumor,” so she is dieting and taking medicine.

Box 1
1812: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1812 November 7: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1812 December 26: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1813 March 24: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Frances Saltar

Passing mention to the British during the War of 1812.

Box 1
1813 April 5: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1813 June 12: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1813 July 20: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1813 September 2: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1813 November 27: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1814 January 10: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon

Passing mentions of the War of 1812

Box 1
1814 April 5: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1814 April 16: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1814 July 7: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1814 September: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon

War of 1812 British invasion of Baltimore repulsed by Americans; mothers worry over sons being called to fight.

Box 1
1814 November 19: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1814 December 24: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1815 February 28: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon

Celebrating victory in the War of 1812, but lamenting the merchant community and its great suffering.

Box 1
1815 August 14: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1815 August 28: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1815 December 22: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1816 February 7: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1816 April 9: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1816 May 1: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1816 June 13: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1816 July 4: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1816 November 2: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1817 January 17: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1817 April 10: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon

Great deal of small pox near Magnolia Grove. All ages are contracting the disease, but only some choose to be vaccinated or innoculated. Instead, they diet and prepare themselves "in the natural way."

Box 1
1817 May 3: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon

Further description of small pox near Magnolia Grove, including more mentions of vaccination, innoculation, and death. Also, Saltar mentions an infected boy that was "deaf and dumb" from birth, and that it would be a "blessing" for God to take him.

Box 1
1817 June 1: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1817 October 21: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1817 December 31: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1818 June 8: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1818 September 5: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
Undated: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mary Gordon
Box 1
Undated: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Mrs. VanDyke
Box 1
Undated: Elizabeth Gordon Saltar to Polly Gordon

Letters to Lucy Saltar, 1806 November 4 – 1822 June 18 and undated

4 items

Series contains four letters to Lucy Saltar, daughter of Elizabeth Gordon Saltar. The first letters contain some comments about courting behaviors. Most other content consists of routine updates about family and friends.

1806 November 4: Jane Hartshorne to Lucy Saltar (New York to Magnolia Grove, PA)

Discussion of Lucy’s “admired” - the young man courting her.

Box 1
1811 March 4: Jane Hartshorne to Lucy Saltar (New York to Magnolia Grove, PA)

Coping with the death of loved ones.

Box 1
1822 June 18: Mrs. F. [?] Ustick to Lucy Saltar (Shrewsbury, MA to Holmesburg, PA)

"My dear cousin." Long commentary on her failure to provide a "suitable situation" for a destitute niece and other children in her niece's family due to her limited means, and thanking her cousins for taking up her cause.

Box 1
Undated: Fanny Saltar to Lucy Saltar (Magnolia Grove to Wilmington, DE)

Young women discussing courtship.

Box 1
Undated: Mrs. J. Bunyan (Morganza Mills, PA) to Mary Gordon

Bears the news of the death of John Morgan, son-in-law of Mrs. Bunyan, after a two-year invalid illness, and a narrative of a forced land sale by George Gibbes of Charleston that "broke his heart."

Box 1

Letters to Mary Gordon, 1808 March 14 – 1819 August 21

13 items

Group of 10 letters addressed to Mary Gordon, cousin of Elizabeth Gordon Saltar. Contains substantial material concerning finance and economics, including a bond from 1818 that involved a land sale to John Morgan, more of which is found in letters to Fanny Saltar. Also of note is a description of the after-effects of Elizabeth Saltar’s eye surgery. Unless otherwise noted, all letters to Mary Gordon are sent to Mapletown near Princeton, NJ. (Note: All letters to Mary Gordon from Elizabeth Gordon Saltar are in Series 3.)

1808 March 14: Eliza Newman (Cambridge, MA) to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1810 May 20: Maria Morgan (Morganza, near Cannonsburg, PA) to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1810 September 4: Maria Morgan (Morganza, near Cannonsburg, PA) to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1811 July 28: John Saltar (Magnolia Grove, PA) to Mary Gordon

Describes the eye surgery of and its after-effects on Elizabeth Gordon Saltar (his mother).

Box 1
1814 December 8: George Morgan (Morganza, near Cannonsburg, PA) to Mary Gordon

Land sale, laws, and the possibility of fraud.

Box 1
1819 August 21: Fanny Saltar (Tacony, Philadelphia, PA) to Mary Gordon
Box 1
Probably June, no year: John Morgan (Canonsburg, PA) to Mary Gordon

Writes chiefly about family, describing health and what various children are studying and doing. Mentions financial payments to Mary and a bond.

Box 1
September, no year: Fanny Saltar (Magnolia Grove) to Mary Gordon
Box 1
December 1, no year: Ann Gibbes (Charleston, SC) to Mary Gordon
Box 1
1806-1810, receipts on one sheet for payments towards debt by J. Craige to John Morgan

Receipts accounting for payments sent by Mary Gordon to John Morgan's account, money from John Craig or Craige for the sale of a farm, outlined in the bond document from 1818. Witnessed by George Morgan, Julia Bunyan. Contains name of Beatty along with Mary Gordon. See Beatty's letter to about papers connected with this sale.

Box 1
1818 January 2 (Bond)

Mary Gordon to John Morgan for $2019.42

Box 1
1821 June 15 (Memorandum)

“Memorandum for Mrs. Mary Wilbur respecting Miss Gordon’s business at Pittsburgh” - concerns a land sale in 1814 that involved John Morgan.

Box 1

Letters to Frances “Fanny” Saltar, 1810 February – 1880 March 28, and undated

153 items

Consists of 153 letters to Frances Saltar, daughter of Saltar family matriarch Elizabeth Gordon Saltar. This series contains mostly routine updates about family and friends, including births, deaths, marriages, visits, health, and courtship, and offers a detailed view of high society and women’s pastimes during the late nineteenth century. Frequent descriptions are given of society parties. Repeated mentions are made of photography (chiefly requests for photographs), literature, gardening, and painting. Letters from 1878 often include travel notes, notably from Rome and Paris. Four letters from the 1860s discuss the Civil War in Pennsylvania, inlcuding the whereabouts of various acquaintances in the Union Army, battles near Chambersburg, Harrisburg, and Carlysle, and African American troops. Furthermore, this series contains evidence of personal finance largely through notes to Frances Saltar from Joseph Drew, who appears to be her banker. Medicine and health issues are again prevalent, covering a variety of afflictions, including measles, cholera, and mental illness.

1810 February: Henry McMurtrie to Frances Saltar (Harmony Hall to Magnolia Grove, PA)
Box 1
1821 February 1: Susanna Hartshorne to Frances Saltar (New York to Philadelphia, PA)
Box 1
1821 April 22: Elizabeth Smith to Frances Saltar (Philadelphia, PA to Mulberry Hill near Trenton, NJ)

Mentions courting and coping with death

Box 1
1821 June 14: Sally Harth to Frances Saltar (Portland, ME to Mulberry Hill, NJ)
Box 1
1822 March 19: Elizabeth Williams to Frances Saltar (Shrewsbury, MA to Holmesburg, PA)
Box 1
1822 April 9: Mary Cline to Frances Saltar (Shrewsbury, MA to Holmesburg, PA)
Box 1
1822 April 16: Susanna Hartshorne to Frances Saltar (Brooklyn, NY to Holmesburg, PA)

Mentions “The Spy” by James Fennimore Cooper

Box 1
1822 July 27: Emma Howell to Frances Saltar (Cherry Field to Tacony, Philadelphia, PA)

12 grains of calomel for chills (medicine); Cherry Fields catches fire (mentions the African-American help often when describing)

Box 1
1822 August 3: Mary Gordon to Frances Saltar (Holmesburg, PA)
Box 1
1823 July 16: Mary Cline to Frances Saltar (Middletown to Reading, PA)

Sore growth in a man’s throat (health/medicine)

Box 1
1823 October 30: S.M. Thompson to Frances Saltar (Cherry Field to Philadelphia, PA)

Opens with “I s’pose, as the negroes say”

Box 1
[before 1826] June 5: Susan Howell (Montalbina, near Leonard Town, MD) to Frances Saltar (care of Emlen Howell, merchant, Philadelphia)

Substantial content on meeting many officers during her visit in Maryland, courting, and condition of enslaved women and children in Maryland: "I believe I must give him up and take to a rich little planter who has been quite attentive, but I am fearful I have offended him, by speaking rather too warmly perhaps against slavery"; "it is astonishing how ladies who profess so much delicacy... can ever behold [the sights of indecently clothed slaves] without blushing." The letter begins with a description of the large mansion, Montalbina, where "Sue" is staying for a few weeks as a guest of the owner, William C. Somerville Jr., prominent plantation owner.

Box 2
1832 January 24: Elizabeth Saltar (cousin) to Frances Saltar (Trenton, NJ to Reading, PA)

A quoted description of Niagara Falls

Box 1
1833 June 25: Lynford Lardner to Frances Saltar (Cincinnati, OH to Knox County, OH)
Box 1
1836 August 22: Anne Saltar to Frances Saltar (Holmesburg, PA)

Description of her “beaux” (courting); description of a fishing party

Box 1
1840 October 11: Anne Saltar to Frances Saltar (Lisbon Farm, NJ to Magnolia Grove, PA)
Box 1
1842 January 16: Helena Pennington to Frances Saltar (Philadelphia, PA to Magnolia Grove, PA)
Box 1
1842 March 6: Anne Saltar to Frances Saltar (Lisbon Farm, NJ to Philadelphia, PA)

Building a new church in Pemberton and the community effort it requires

Box 1
1843 July 24: Anne Saltar to Frances Saltar (Pemberton, NJ to Michigan)

The ideal character of a nineteenth-century woman

Box 1
1849 May 11: Elizabeth R. Coleman (Pemberton, NJ) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1850 March 9: Elizabeth “Lizzie” Gordon to Frances Saltar

A genealogy of her grandmother’s family

Box 1
1854 August 20: Elizabeth R. Coleman (Pemberton, NJ) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1855 July 11: Elizabeth R. Coleman (Pemberton, NJ) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1860 February 13: [?] (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1861 March 14: M.M. Saltar (Toledo, OH) to Frances Saltar

Women and Christian duty; Saltar family genealogy

Box 1
1862 May 11: Harry Lardner to Frances Saltar (Philadelphia, PA)
Box 1
1862 July 4: Maria Brooks (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1863 January 3: Sallie Pearson Coleman (Pemberton, NJ) to Frances Saltar

A description of the Christmas festivities in Pemberton of the week prior

Box 1
1863 March 9: Henry Wharton (Philadelphia, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1863 May 14: Maria Brooks (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1863 June 8: Lucy Wharton (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1863 June 18: Frances Wharton (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar

Lengthy account of the family's experiences a few days earlier during an advance of Confederate troops attacking Chambersburg and threatening Harrisburg, Pa.

Box 1
1863 June 21: Maria Brooks (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar

Descriptions of the attack on Reading, Pennsylvania.

Box 1
1863 July 12: Lucy Wharton (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar

Mention of the Civil War, including a brief reference to an acquaintance who has joined Landis' Battery and the "fight at Carlysle" Pennsylvania [July 1]. Lucy lists several men and their military positions, chiefly officers. "Every man that we know either has gone, or is going to this 'civil war'."

Box 1
1863 July 30: Lucy Wharton (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar

Description of Maria’s party, which Union General Franz Sigel attended.

Box 1
1863 August 8: Maria Tilghman (West Haverford, PA) to Frances Saltar

Explains the circumstances in which her relative Benjamin Tilghman has taken command of the 3rd Regiment of African American troops, after having commanded the 26th of Pennsylvania. (“He [Benjamin Tilghman] . . . is convinced that [African American troops] are to play an important part in the suppression of the rebellion”). Also mentions the siege at Fort Wagner near Charleston, S.C. and the attack on Gettysburg.

Box 1
1863 August 5: Frances Wharton (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar

Frances returns to art; attempting to “fascinate” two men at a party; General Sigel courting Lizzie Gordon.

Box 1
1864 February 4: Sallie P. Coleman (Philadelphia, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1864 March 1: Frances Wharton (Philadelphia, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1864 April 5: Sallie Pearson Coleman (Pemberton, NJ) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1864 April 1: Elizabeth S. Morris (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1865 August 20: L. Saltar (Buffalo, NY) to Frances Saltar

Mentions “Cholera Morbus”

Box 1
1865 October 6: Henry Wharton to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1867 November 10: Col. Henry to Frances Saltar (Fort Schuyler, NY to Pemberton NJ)
Box 1
1868 July 22: Dr. and Mrs. Brooks (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1868 August 25: E.S. Morris (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1869 March 28: Maria Brooks (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1869 May 31: [?] to Frances Saltar (Glendale to Reading, PA)
Box 1
1869 August 6: Fanny (niece) to Frances Saltar (Ft. Monmouth, NJ to Pemberton, NJ)
Box 1
1869 August 28: Virginia Lardner to Frances Saltar

Gardening (esp. planting flowers) as a woman's hobby.

Box 1
1869 November 2: Joseph M. Drew (Philadelphia, PA) to Frances Saltar

Bonds and money transfer

Box 1
1869 November 5: E.S. and Wharton Morris (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar

Bump on lower left eyelid (medicine); finances of the sick

Box 1
1869 November 6: Mary Lardner to Frances Saltar (Pemberton, NJ)
Box 1
1869 November 8: A.B. Lardner to Frances Saltar (Pemberton, NJ)
Box 1
1869 November 16: Frances Lardner to Frances Saltar (Lynfield to Pemberton, NJ)
Box 1
1869 December 30: Wharton Morris (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1870 January 1: E.S. Morris (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1870 March 28: Maria Brooks (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1870 April 21: Maria Brooks (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1870 June 28: Maria Brooks (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1870 July 28: Joseph M. Drew (Philadelphia, PA) to Frances Saltar

Banking, bonds, and personal finance

Box 1
1870 August 31: E.S. Morris (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar

Speaks of incurable lung cancer and medicinal treatments.

Box 1
1870 October 23: Maria Brooks (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1871 February 26: Maria Brooks (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1871 April 15: Joseph M. Drew (Philadelphia, PA) to Frances Saltar

An annuity

Box 1
1871 April 19: Sophie A.M. Saltonstall (Toledo, OH) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1871 May 1: Joseph M. Drew (New York) to Frances Saltar

An annuity

Box 1
1871 May 16: Sophie A.M. Saltonstall (Toledo, OH) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1871 May 25: Mary E. Sizer to Frances Saltar (New York to Pemberton, NJ)

In an mention of party politics, a man is discharged from his position at the Custom House because he did not "favor their man in politics."

Box 1
1871 October 3: L. Saltar (Buffalo, NY) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1871 November 18: Anna S. MacVicker (Chicago, IL) to Frances Saltar

Lengthy description of the aftermath of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Box 1
1871 November 19: Mary E. Sizer (Buffalo, NY) to Frances Saltar

Discusses a woman’s responsibility to cook and entertain: “It seems to have become custom any nowadays for ladies to be subjected to the dictates of their servants.”

Box 1
1871 December 3: [?] (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1871 December 10: Maria Brooks to Frances Saltar (Reading, PA to New York)
Box 1
1872 February 21: H.H. Bowne to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1872 May 2: A.L. Henry (Briar Cliff Rectory, NY) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1872 September 17: Laura (Kingston, [?]) to Frances Saltar

Eye problems (medicine)

Box 1
1872 October 10: L. Saltar (Buffalo, NY) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1873 December 7: Laura (Kingston, [?]) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1874 March 6: Elizabeth R. Coleman to Frances Saltar (Pemberton, NJ to Reading, PA)
Box 1
1874 May 8: A.W. Smith to Frances Saltar (Philadelphia to Reading, PA)
Box 1
1874 May 17: [?] to Frances Saltar (Pemberton, NJ to Reading, PA)
Box 1
1874 August 4: Louise W. Hartshorne (Portland, ME) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1874 September 17: [?] O’Rourke (Shrewsbury, MA) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1875 January 16: Louise W. Hartshorne to Frances Saltar

Infant sickness (medicine)

Box 1
1876 September 9: Lucy (niece) to Frances Saltar

Mentions a man on "death's door" with typhoid fever.

Box 1
1877 February 1: A. Lardner to Frances Saltar

Description of an inexplicable mental illness.

Box 1
1877 May 17: Maria Tilghman to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1877 May 24: Mary [?] to Frances Saltar (Buffalo, NY to Reading, PA)
Box 1
1877 June 13: A.L. Henry (Briar Cliff Rectory, NY) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1877 September 18: A.L. Henry to Frances Saltar (Briar Cliff Rectory, NY to Pemberton, NJ)
Box 1
1877 October 14: A.L. Henry to Frances Saltar (Briar Cliff Rectory, NY to Pemberton, NJ)

Discusses women's hobbies of copying books and taking or collecting photographs.

Box 1
1877 November 7: J.S.W. (Philadelphia, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1877 December 26: A.L. Henry to Frances Saltar (Briar Cliff Rectory, NY to Pemberton, NJ)
Box 1
1877 December 31: Maria Tilghman to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1878 January 27: Mary R. Croes (Yonkers, NY)to Frances Saltar

Reading "The Historic Mansions of Philadelphia" by Thompson Westcott.

Box 1
1878 April 2: Lucy [?] to Frances Saltar (Rome, Italy to Pemberton, NJ)

The author writes from Rome and mentions taking pictures, especially of the Vatican.

Box 1
1878 May 8: Charlotte McMurtrie (Bristol, CT) to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1878 May 10: A. Lardner to Frances Saltar
Box 1
1878 June 9: Maria Brooks to Frances Saltar (Reading, PA to Pemberton, NJ)
Box 1
1878 June 16: Helen Brooks to Frances Saltar (Reading, PA to Pemberton, NJ)

Expectation to visit the Paris Expedition

Box 1
1878 June 27: Lucy [?] to Frances Saltar (Paris, France to Pemberton, NJ)

Description of nineteenth-century Paris

Box 1
1878 July 8: A. Lardner to Frances Saltar
Box 2
1878 July 23: Helen Brooks to Frances Saltar (Reading, PA to Pemberton, NJ)

Eye problems (medicine)

Box 2
1878 August 22: Maria Brooks to Frances Saltar (Reading, PA to Pemberton, NJ)
Box 2
1878 September 23: Helen Brooks to Frances Saltar (Reading, PA to Pemberton, NJ)
Box 2
1878 October 7: Maria Brooks to Frances Saltar (Reading, PA to Pemberton, NJ)
Box 2
1878 October 13: Maria Brooks to Frances Saltar (Reading, PA to Pemberton, NJ)
Box 2
1878 November 5: Helen Brooks to Frances Saltar (Reading, PA to Pemberton, NJ)
Box 2
1878 December 31: Mary Croes (Yonkers, NY) to Frances Saltar
Box 2
1879 January 7: Mary Daniel (Richmond, VA) to Frances Saltar
Box 2
1879 January 18: Helen Brooks to Frances Saltar (Reading, PA to Pemberton, NJ)
Box 2
1879 February 2: Helen Brooks to Frances Saltar (Reading, PA to Pemberton, NJ)
Box 2
1879 March 2: Maria Brooks to Frances Saltar (Reading, PA to Pemberton, NJ)
Box 2
1879 March 4: Maria Brooks to Frances Saltar (Reading, PA to Pemberton, NJ)
Box 2
1879 March 8: Mary Croes (Yonkers, NY) to Frances Saltar
Box 2
1879 March 21: Ella H. to Frances Saltar
Box 2
1879 March 22: E.M. Hartshorne to Frances Saltar
Box 2
1879 April 17: Mary Croes (Yonkers, NY) to Frances Saltar
Box 2
1879 May 4: Maria Brooks to Frances Saltar (Reading, PA to Pemberton, NJ)
Box 2
1879 June 19: Anna Lardner to Frances Saltar (Reading, PA)
Box 2
1879 August 29: Anna Lardner to Frances Saltar
Box 2
1879 October 2: Lucy Drexel (New York, NY) to Frances Saltar
Box 2
1879 November 10: A.L. Henry (Briar Cliff Rectory, NY) to Frances Saltar
Box 2
1879 November 13: Maria Tilghman to Frances Saltar (Pemberton, NJ)
Box 2
1879 December 17: Anna Lardner to Frances Saltar (Pemberton, NJ)
Box 2
1879 December 25: A.L. Henry to Frances Saltar
Box 2
1880 January 12: Saidee Henry (Briar Cliff Rectory, NY) to Frances Saltar
Box 2
1880 January 25: Lucy Drexel to Frances Saltar
Box 2
1880 February 15: Helen Brooks (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 2
1880 March 2: J.E. Stillwall, M.D. (New York, NY) to Frances Saltar
Box 2
1880 March 9: Anna Lardner to Frances Saltar (Pemberton, NJ)
Box 2
1880 March 16: Miss Bickle to Frances Saltar
Box 2
1880 March 22: Helen Brooks (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 2
1880 March 22: Maria Brooks (Reading, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 2
1880 March 28: Maria Tilghman to Frances Saltar
Box 2
1873 Feb. 19: Maria Tilghman to Frances Saltar [black border]
Box 2
[1873?] March 16: Maria Tilghman to Frances Saltar [black border]

Long letter with many details of the illness and death (of a child?) and Dr. Carson's diagnosis of possible meningitis, after consultation with other doctors. Other discussion of family members and coping with death, the death of Lawrence Lardner, and mention of Emily who was traveling in Italy and had to be told the bad news.

Box 2
[1873?] March 17: Maria Tilghman to Frances Saltar [black border]
Box 2
[1873?] Oct. 14: Maria Tilghman (Bryn Mawr, PA) to Frances Saltar [black border]
Box 2
Oct. 5, no year: Mrs. Redmond (Burlington) to Frances Saltar
Box 2
Undated: Lillie [?] (New York, NY) to Frances Saltar
Box 2
Undated: Lucy Wharton to Frances Saltar
Box 2
Undated: Fanny (niece) to Frances Saltar (Reading, PA to Pemberton, NJ)
Box 2
Undated: E.S. Morris to Frances Saltar
Box 2
Undated: Lucy [?] to Frances Saltar
Box 2
Undated: Charlotte McMurtrie (Bristol, CT) to Frances Saltar
Box 2
Undated: A.L. Henry to Frances Saltar
Box 2
Undated: [?] to Frances Saltar
Box 2
Undated: Lucy (niece) to Frances Saltar
Box 2
Undated: [?] to Frances Saltar
Box 2
Undated: L. Saltar (cousin) to Frances Saltar
Box 2
Undated: E.R. Coleman [?] to Frances Saltar
Box 2
Undated: [?] (Philadelphia, PA) to Frances Saltar
Box 2
Undated: Tillie [?] (Locustwood, Middletown, NJ) to Frances Saltar

The Hendrickson family had Locustwood built in the 1830s; their relations by marriage, the Hartshornes, wrote to Fanny Saltar beginning in the 1820s.

Box 2

Letters to Unknown Saltar Women, 1852 August 20 – 1878 July 16, and undated

15 items

Contains 15 letters addressed to unknown Saltar women. It is likely that letters from E.S. Morris and Maria Tilghman are addressed to Frances (Fanny) Saltar. Most content gives updates about family and friends.

1852 August 20: M. Wharton (Philadelphia) to “dear Sister”

On the death of Henry Lardner in Michigan, 1852, of possible bowel complaint brought on, it was rumored, by error in physician's treatment.

Box 2
1853 July 7: Maria Tilghman (Reading, PA) to “My dear Aunty”
Box 2
1857 January 20: Maria Tilghman to “dear Cousin” (Philadelphia, PA to Reading, PA)
Box 2
1857 February 8: Fanny Saltar (not Frances Saltar of Series 6) to “my dear Mother”
Box 2
1865 April 4: Maria Tilghman to “dear Cousin” (Philadelphia, PA to Reading, PA)
Box 2
1866 August 9: Maria Tilghman to “dear Cousin” (West Haverford, PA to Princeton, NJ)

Attached: newsprint clipping of Pa. Railroad schedule

Box 2
1869 July 9: E.S. Morris to “dear Aunt” (Reading, PA to Pemberton, NJ)
Box 2
1869 August 18: E.S. Morris (Reading, PA) to “dear Aunt”
Box 2
1872 March 16: H.H. Bowne to “dear Miss Saltar”

Contains a partial family tree for the Bowne and Saltar families.

Box 2
1872 April 12: Amelia W. Smith to Maria [?]
Box 2
1875 September 10: E.S. Morris (Reading, PA) to “dear Aunt”
Box 2
1877 October 30: Helen Burke (Reading, PA) to “dear Aunt”
Box 2
1878 July 16: Dr. J.E. Stillwall (New York) to “Miss Saltar”
Box 2
1879 October 21: Maria Tilghman to “dear Cousin” (Reading, PA to Philadelphia, PA)
Box 2
June, no year: invitation from Mrs. Wilmer to Mr. and Mrs. Saltar
Box 2

Other Materials, 1809-1872 and undated

6 items

Four items: a bond document; a sheet with receipts; a memorandum; and

1809 (Envelope)
Box 2
1809 (Envelope)
Box 2
1829 (Envelope)
Box 2
1872 May 25: Envelope to Frances Saltar (Buffalo, NY to Pemberton, NJ)
Box 2
September 19: Envelope to Frances Saltar (Pemberton, NJ)
Box 2
December 9: Envelope to Frances Saltar (Reading, PA)
Box 2

Historical Note

The Saltar (sometimes Salter) family of Pennsylvania and New Jersey traces its lineage back to Norfolk County, England. Their branch of the family in America begins with Richard Salter who settled in Monmouth County, New Jersey sometime between 1664 and 1687. The Saltars were economically and socially connected citizens and were closely involved, often through marriage, with many prominent families of the Philadelphia and New Jersey region: Drexels, Drinkers, Bownes, Bartons, Hartshornes, Logans, Morris, Tilghman, Usticks, Whartons, and others in Maryland, and Virginia. As Margaret Saltar married into the Lardner family in 1789 and had many children, there are correspondents from that family in the collection. The Gordon family was of Scottish descent, and its members were early settlers near what is now Princeton and Perth Amboy, New Jersey. The two families seem to have become firmly connected when Elizabeth Gordon married John Saltar in 1774. Their children were Maria (married Kearney Wharton), Lucy (died unmarried), John (married Margaret Howell), Lawrence (died at 22, unmarried), George (died at 22 unmarried), Frances (born c. 1790, died unmarried, 1880), and Gordon (died in childhood).

The Saltar family resided in the city of Philadelphia but also owned farms in the area, using enslaved people to work the land and serve in their houses. The plantation where they lived was known as "Magnolia Grove," near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, already part of the family lands during the Revolutionary War. Other members of the family also lived in Pemberton and Tacony, New Jersey. In her rich reminiscences of colonial life published in the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (1916), Frances Saltar speaks of an African slave, African American slaves, and mulatto as well as English servants who were affiliated with her family. She also indicates that there were family members living in the West Indies.

Subject Headings

Related Material

Related Materials

Henry Benbridge Papers, Winterthur Library (almost half the letters are to his step-sister Elizabeth Gordon Saltar)

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Saltar family correspondence, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Saltar family correspondence was received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in May 2013.

Processing Information

Processed by: Levi Crews, December 2013

Encoded by Paula Jeannet Mangiafico and Levi Crews, January 2013.

Accessions described in this finding aid: 2013-0088