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Abraham P. Andrew letters

 Collection — Folder: S2454
Identifier: S2454

Scope and Contents

This collection contains photostats of fifteen letters written by Abraham P. Andrew and sent to his wife, Viola, from 1832 to 1839. His correspondence includes comments regarding the Black Hawk War, the early development of northern Indiana, conditions of travel both inside and outside Indiana, economic conditions, his experiences in New York, and his frustration over failing to raise the needed capital for a railroad venture. The first two letters were written from South Bend, Indiana and sent to Viola in Cincinnati, where she had gone for safety reasons following the outbreak of the Black Hawk War (1832). The remaining letters were written from Indianapolis (1836) and from Buffalo, Albany, and New York City, New York (1838-1839). The photostats were made from the original letters owned by Andrew Gray, a descendant of Abraham Andrew, at the time they were copied in 1976.


  • 1832-1839

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

Abraham Piatt Andrew was born May 24, 1801 in a log cabin near Fort Hamilton, Ohio, the son of James and Catherine (Piatt) Andrew. He married Viola Jane Hamilton Armstrong (1805-1883) on October 1, 1829 and they had five children. Following a purchase at auction of nearly 2,000 acres of land in northern Indiana in October 1831, Andrew and his brother James, together with Walter Wilson, John Walker, and Hiram Todd, petitioned the state legislature to "strike off" a new county. Named LaPorte, Abraham and Viola Andrew settled in the new county in 1832. During the late 1830s, Andrew traveled to eastern cities to raise capital for a LaPorte-centered Buffalo and Mississippi Railroad, but he returned home empty handed. Following some other speculative adventures, he contented himself with real estate and bank activities and accumulated some wealth by the time of his death on February 27, 1887.

Sources: "Abraham Piatt Andrew." U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970. Accessed November 21, 2022.

[Captain A. P. Andrew who died last Sunday morning...] LaPorte Argus (IN), March 3, 1887.

Gray, Andrew, ed. "Letters of Abraham Andrew, 1832-1839." Indiana Magazine of History 73, no. 4 (December 1977): 305-318.


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 donation from Andrew Gray via Lorna Lutes Sylvester, acting editor of the Indiana Magazine of History, on 1976/04/22.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2022/11/21 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid created 2022/11/21 by Laura Eliason.
Abraham P. Andrew letters
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

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