Many of these letters were purchased from the internet in the course of conducting historical research. Some were useful to me and others were not. But I have found all of them interesting for one reason or another and I have enjoyed researching the people and places mentioned by the 19th century letter writers. If you can add any supplementary information to what I have gleaned from the internet, I’d love to hear from you.

The transcripts of these letters are offered here for the benefit of educators, historians and/or family history researchers. I derive no monetary benefit from my efforts to transcribe and post them. I use my extensive knowledge of historical events and my access to on-line research tools to forensically establish the identity of the correspondents and the relationships between them that might had otherwise remained a mystery.

Old letters are golden links in the mystic chain that binds us to the past; precious mementos serving to remind us of the scenes and associations of other days. Especially is this true when the writer sleeps in the quiet stillness of the church-yard, while the little grassy hillock marks the place of his sweet repose.

— B. F. Brewington, 1862 Ladies Repository, page 349

6 thoughts on “About

  1. I have researched Thomas Rainey for years. He is my husband’s gg uncle. I wonder where you found the letter
    from Thomas to his sister Mrs. Covington. He was an interesting gentleman.


  2. Thank you for your reply. Sorry it took me so long to do so. Thomas died in 1910 in NYC . He had no children. I have often wondered how his estate was distributed. He must have had quite a collection of “stuff” collected from
    his many travels. Thanks for the work you do. Shirley Tuttle


  3. May I use the following quote from the Andrew Bell Vennard letter in a book I am writing about the impact of photography during the Civil War:

    “U. S. Receiving Ship Ohio
    Boston [Massachusetts]
    December 17, 1862

    Dear Brother,

    …..Albert Nickerson is dead in love with Aggie. He made her a present of the handsomest album I ever saw. The covers are solid pearl bound in velvet with silver trimmings and filled it with fancy pictures. The whole cost $40 and there is not another one in Boston.”


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