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William Woodward letters

 Collection — Folder: S1453
Identifier: S1453

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of twenty four letters written by William Woodward from September 1847 to September 1848 and sent to family members in Middletown, Connecticut and New York. The first two letters were written from Buffalo, New York and Cleveland, Ohio and describe his travels by railroad, steamer, and stage to Michigan City, Indiana. The bulk of the letters were sent from Michigan City and mention his health, the weather, business activities, economic conditions, and social life and customs of the Northern Indiana community. Two of his letters from 1848 were sent from South Bend, Indiana. His employers, Chauncey and Lyman Blair, are mentioned in a number of his letters. William P. Ransford and the "railroad excitement" regarding the possibility that the city would be a railroad terminus are mentioned in several letters as well.


  • 1847-1848


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical note

William L. Woodward was born in 1825 in Middletown, Middlesex County, Connecticut to William and Elizabeth Woodward. In September 1847, he traveled by railroad, steamer and stage to Michigan City, Indiana. He worked as a clerk for brothers Chauncey B. and Lyman Blair in Michigan City. In the spring of 1849, he traveled to California for the gold rush with his cousin George Woodward Hotchkiss. He died there in September 1849 and is buried at Sutter's Fort.

Sources: "William Lenard Woodward." California, Mortuary and Cemetery Records, 1801-1932. Accessed November 20, 2019. "William L. Woodward." Connecticut, Hale Collections of Cemetery Inscriptions and Newspaper Notices, 1629-1934. Accessed November 20, 2019. "William L. Woodward." Memorial ID 111063341. Accessed November 20, 2019.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a purchase from Charles Hamilton Autographs.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2019/11/21 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2019/11/21 by Laura Eliason.
William Woodward letters
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.