Contents and Arrangement

Welling, Lewis Springer, 1855

1 folder

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information


The collection primarily consists of correspondence and documents sent to Robert Anderson (1781-1859) by various members of his extended family. His nieces and nephews were frequent correspondents, writing detailed updates on their daily lives, family, and friends. They also consulted "Uncle Bob" for advice on important decisions and regularly solicited money for personal and professional needs and wants.

Nearly a third of the collection is correspondence from one nephew in particular, William Tyler Anderson (1799-1876), who lived in Princeton, New Jersey, and served as cashier for the Delaware & Raritan Canal (D&R); many of his letters are written on D&R letterhead and include information on the company and its management. A number of other nephews were doctors who wrote about their medical training and respective practices. Of note are three letters from nephew Washington F. Anderson, who wrote a detailed account of his journey to the California goldmines followed by an 1857 letter explaining his conversion to Mormonism and describing the religious community under Brigham Young.

Anderson's personal papers include diaries dating from 1836 to 1858 in which he meticulously noted his location and activities, and copies of printed broadsides he distributed to voters while running for political office. Other documents in the collection relate to Anderson's role as investor and executor of various estates.

The majority of the letters were sent from three locations where outposts of the family lived: Yorktown, Virginia; Princeton, New Jersey; and Alabama. As many of the family members wrote about daily life, the letters provide information on nineteenth-century life in these locations, often touching on issues of food and illness. The letters also provide a view of the treatment of household slaves and suggest the Andersons considered them to be part of the family; many members sent regards and asked after the slaves' health and well-being in their letters to Robert.

Collection History

Archival Appraisal Information:

No appraisal information is available.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions for Reproduction and Use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Welling, Lewis Springer; Robert Anderson Family Papers, C1230, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Box 2