The Acquisitions Table: Small Family Papers

Small Family Papers, 1820-1905.
The Small family resided in the town of Hiram, Maine. According to the 1850 census, the Small household was anything but. The head of the house, Daniel Small (1800-1877), is listed as a cooper. According to correspondence in the collection, he also served as an agent of the Hiram school district. He lived with his wife, Susan Small, his father Reuben Small, Deborah Small (perhaps a step-mother, aunt, or other family member), and five children: Patience, Daniel, Isaac, Susan and Dean. This collection of family papers includes correspondence, receipts, insurance papers, and a small account book. Many of the letters are addressed to Daniel from his cousin Rufus Small of New York. There are also a few letters exchanged between the Small children. Of particular interest are numerous receipts from Mother Noble’s Remedies for healing syrup and other treatments, as well as correspondence regarding adulterated medicine; Daniel Small’s membership certificate for the Farmers’ Mutual Fire Insurance Company; and a volume kept by Daniel with writings and musings on numerous topics such as misery, affection, swearing, boasting, and seduction – “The man who can seduce anyone, from the path of virtue, can have no rival, on earth – no equal – except in hell.”

Published by

Tracey Kry

Assistant Curator of Manuscripts and Assistant Reference Librarian, American Antiquarian Society

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