Five College Archives and Manuscript
                        Collections
Home >> Mortimer Rare Book Room >> Butler Family Correspondence, 1817-1848
Smith College seal
Butler Family Correspondence, 1817-1848
1 box (21 items)
Collection number: MS 242

Abstract:
Letters from Thomas Butler and Sarah Denison Butler to their daughter Caroline H. Butler and correspondence between Caroline and her husband Edward Butler between 1817 and 1848. Also included are a few documents related to Edward Butler's commercial activities in China and Singapore.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The collection is open to research according to the regulations of the Mortimer Rare Book Room.

Restrictions on use:

The Butler Family Correspondence is the physical property of the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors of the works or their legal representatives.

Mortimer Rare Book Room
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Edward Butler was in the mercantile business and involved with trade from China and Singapore in the 19th century. He married Caroline H. Butler (no relative) in 1822 and the couple settled in Northampton, Massachusetts, the hometown of Mr. Butler, even though he was mostly elsewhere carrying out his business interests. They kept in touch through correspondence. Between 1822 and1834 the couple had five children. In 1836 as a result of poor health (likely consumption), Caroline Butler joined her husband, Edward, on a journey to China. Upon her return to Northampton she subsequently gave birth to four more children.

Edward died in July 1849, and Caroline turned to writing in an attempt to support her family. Her short fiction was published in Graham's Magazine, and she published a number of novels (The Little Messenger Birds, or The Chime of the Silver Bells in 1850 and The Ice King, and the Sweet South Wind in 1851). In 1851 she married Hugh Laing and relocated to Brooklyn, New York. She died in 1892.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Butler Family Correspondence contains letters from Thomas Butler and Sarah Denison Butler to their daughter Caroline H. Butler and letters between Caroline and her husband Edward Butler between 1817 and 1848. Also included are a few documents related to Edward Butler's commercial activities in the Far East especially China and Singapore. These papers deal with matters before Edward's death in 1849.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open to research according to the regulations of the Mortimer Rare Book Room.

Restrictions on use:

The Butler Family Correspondence is the physical property of the Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors of the works or their legal representatives.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Butler Family Correspondence, Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College.

History of the Collection

Processing Information

Processed by Melvin Carlson, Jr., 2007


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English

Contents List
Letter from [Sarah Denison Butler], Plainfield, [Ct.?], to Caroline H. Butler, c/o Mr. Charles D. Rhode, merchant, Boston,
18-- Jan 21.
3 p.
Box 1: folder 1
Letter from Caroline Butler to [Edward Butler?], [18--?]
Mar 23-25.
(Incomplete: pages 5-8 only.)
Box 1: folder 2
Letter from Thomas Butler, New York City, to Caroline H. Butler, c/o Mr. Charles D. Rhody, merchant, Boston,
1817 Nov 24.
3 p.
Box 1: folder 3
Letter from [Sarah Denison Butler], New York, to Caroline H. Butler, Boston, c/o Mr. Lane, (1 p. written by Thomas Butler.)
1818 Mar 29.
3 p. (damaged)
Box 1: folder 4
Letter from [Thomas Butler] to Caroline H. Butler c/o Mr. Charles D. Rhody, Boston,
1821 Jan 4
3 p.
Box 1: folder 5
Letter from Caroline Butler, Northampton, [Mass.], to Edward Butler, c/o Messrs. Carnes, New York,
1839 Sep 4
3 p.
Box 1: folder 11
Letter from Caroline Butler, Northampton, [Mass.], to Edward [Butler],
1837 Sep 3.
2 p. (Postscript signed, Sally B.)
Box 1: folder 6
Letter from Caroline Butler, Northampton, [Mass.], to Edward Butler, c/o Messrs. Carnes, New York,
1837 Nov 5.
2 p.
Box 1: folder 7
Letter from Caroline Butler, Northampton, [Mass.], to Edward Butler, c/o Messrs. Carnes, New York,
1838 Jul 22.
2 p.
Box 1: folder 8
Letter from Caroline Butler, Northampton, [Mass.], to Edward Butler, c/o Messrs. Carnes, New York,
1839 Mar 29.
4 p.
Box 1: folder 9
Letter from Caroline Butler, Northampton, [Mass.], to Edward Butler, c/o Messrs. Carnes, New York,
1839 Apr 14.
3 p.
Box 1: folder 10
Letter from Caroline Butler, Northampton, [Mass.], to Edward Butler, c/o Messrs. Carnes, New York,
1839 Dec 21.
3 p.
Box 1: folder 12
Letter from Caroline Butler, Northampton, [Mass.], to Edward Butler, Stockport, New York,
1840 May 3.
3 p.
Box 1: folder 13
Letter from Caroline Butler, Northampton, [Mass.], to Edward Butler, c/o E. B. Jr., American Exchange Bk., New York,
1847 Feb 12.
4 p.
Box 1: folder 14
Letter from Caroline Butler, Northampton, [Mass.], to Edward [Butler],
1848 Jan 30.

Box 1: folder 15
Canton price current, [China],
1832 Apr 2.
4 p. (most of p. 3-4 lacking).
Box 1: folder 16
[Canton register, [China],(?)].
1832 Mar 23
(Fragment, 1 p.)
Box 1: folder 17
Commerical register, Singapore,
1834 May 22,
1 p. (damaged)
Box 1: folder 18
Commerical register, Singapore,
1834 Nov 27.
1 p. (damaged)
Box 1: folder 19
Invoice of merchandise shipped by Edward Butler on board the barque Mary Ballard … bound to New York, Canton, [China],
1835 Oct 31.
3 p.
Box 1: folder 20
Invoice of merchandise shipped by Edward Butler on board the barque Mary Ballard … bound to New York, Canton, [China],
1835 Oct. 31.
2 p.
Box 1: folder 21

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Butler, Edward, 1797-1849
  • Butler, Sarah Denison
  • Butler, Thomas, 1769-1822
  • China -- Commerce -- United States -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
  • Laing, Caroline H. Butler (Caroline Hyde Butler), 1804-1892
  • Northampton (Mass.) -- Social life and customs
  • Silk industry

Contributors
  • Butler, Edward, 1797-1849
  • Butler, Sarah Denison
  • Butler, Thomas, 1769-1822
  • Laing, Caroline H. Butler (Caroline Hyde Butler), 1804-1892


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
Home | Help | About | Search