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Beckwith family papers

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Papers

Beckwith family papers

Seymour family papers



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Beckwith family papers, 1767-1972 | Litchfield Historical Society

By Leith Johnson

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Collection Overview

Title: Beckwith family papers, 1767-1972Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Beckwith, Sutherland (1892-1986)

Other Creators: Beckwith, Josiah (1803-1871), Beckwith, Josiah (II) (1838-1911), Coopernail, George (1876-1964)

Extent: 17.6 Linear Feet

Arrangement:

Materials created prior to 1840, a limited selection of post-1840 materials, and those that relate to Josiah Beckwith (1803-1871) have been processed and are arranged in 3 series:

 

1. Papers (1767-1892)

2. Beckwith family papers (1825-1871)

3. Seymour family papers (1814-1886)

 

The remainder of the collection, about 15 cubic feet, has not been processed.

Date Acquired: 01/01/1988

Subjects: Alsop family, Beckwith family, Drugstores - Connecticut - Litchfield, Granniss family, Litchfield (Conn.), Medicine, Merchants - Connecticut - Litchfield, Physicians - Connecticut - Litchfield, Reeve, Tapping, 1744-1823, Seymour family

Forms of Material: Account books, Billheads, Business records, Correspondence, Deeds, Diaries, Estate inventories, Financial records, Legal documents, Military records, Photographs, Scrapbooks

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Beckwith family papers (1988-01-0) consist of correspondence, financial records, legal documents, military records, diaries, photographs, and other records. A small group of papers predates those of the Beckwith family. At present, only materials created prior to 1840, a limited selection of post-1840 materials, and those that relate to Josiah Beckwith (1803-1871) have been processed. They are arranged in three series.

Series 1, Papers (1767-1892), contains a collection of primarily legal and financial records which appear to have no direct connection to the Beckwith family.

Series 2, Beckwith family papers (1825-1871), primarily contains papers relating to Dr. Beckwith. Of note is his correspondence with his brother George in which he discusses business dealings and events of the day, his account books documenting the certificates of exemption he granted during the Civil War in 1862, records relating to business affairs, and his medical and drugstore ledgers. Also included in Series 2 are early records related to the Alsop (Allsopp) family.

Series 3, Seymour family papers (1814-1886), contains a small group of materials that relate to Jane Seymour Beckwith, her mother, Mabel Strong Seymour; her father, Moses Seymour Jr.; and her sister Delia Seymour.

A collection of bills, circa 1870-1920, directed to the Beckwith family arranged alphabetically by sender documents the types of goods and services offered by Litchfield county businesses and institutions and the consumption habits of the Beckwiths.

The unprocessed portion of the collection consists of about 15 linear feet. Generally, it includes correspondence, account and ledger books, diaries and notebooks, photographs, architectural drawings and records related to the Beckwith Block, and other materials. The papers primarily document the second Dr. Beckwith, including his ledgers and account books, Ann Alsop Beckwith, Charlotte Coopernail Beckwith, Sutherland Beckwith, J. Gale Beckwith, and Margaret Beckwith (1885-1972, born in Litchfield, and who enjoyed a long career as a teacher). Other papers, to a lesser extent, relate to other Beckwith family members. There is also material that relates to members of the Seymour family, including George Seymour and Henry Seymour.

The collection also contains extensive genealogical information and family papers compiled by Dr. George Coopernail. A prominent physician in Bedford, N.Y., Coopernail was Sutherland Beckwith's father-in-law. After retiring, he moved to Litchfield and died there in 1964. He took an active interest in both his and the Beckwith lines. Among his papers are a series of albums containing family photographs.

Collection Historical Note

Dr. Josiah Gale Beckwith (1803-1871) was born in Standford, N. Y. After graduating from Union College, he studied medicine at the Albany Medical College and settled in Litchfield in 1829. He married Jane Maria Seymour (1811-1868) in 1831 and they had five children: Jane (1833-1837), Elizabeth (1835-1896), Josiah (1838-1911), Sarah (1840-1928), and George (1841-1890). Jane Seymour (1811-1868) was a daughter of Moses Seymour Jr. (1774-1826) of Litchfield. Dr. and Mrs. Beckwith resided in the house Mrs. Beckwith's father built in 1817 on South St. The house was occupied by succeeding generations of Beckwiths. Dr. Beckwith was a successful practitioner, officer of the state medical society, nominated for governor, and elected to the state legislature several times. He operated a drug store, invested in a variety of business interests, and served as an officer of several prominent local institutions, including terms as president of the Phoenix Bank and Litchfield Mutual Fire Insurance Co.

A son of Dr. Beckwith, Dr. Josiah Gale Beckwith (1838-1911) was born in Litchfield. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy for two years until resigning in 1855. He attended Union College, leaving in 1860, and also attended the Yale University Medical School in 1861 and 1862. In 1862, he volunteered with a local military company, but appears not to have served as a soldier during the Civil War. He was at the Knight United States Army General Hospital in New Haven for a time starting in 1862. He practiced medicine at Charlton, N.Y. from 1866 through 1869 and then returned to Litchfield. After his father's death in 1871, he took over the family drug store and continued with his medical practice. He married Anne Bonfield Alsop (Allsopp) (1851-1936) of Quebec, Canada, in 1873. They had three children: Josiah (1874-1957), Margaret (1885-1972), and Sutherland (1890-1986).

Josiah Gale Beckwith (1874-1957) was alternatively referred to in various combinations of Josiah Gale Beckwith Jr., J. Gale Beckwith, and Gael Beckwith. He was born in Litchfield and attended Union College and Albany Law School. He was briefly a lawyer in Waterbury in the early 1900s. In the 1910s he worked in New Jersey and Georgia and later moved to Minneapolis and St. Petersburg, Fla., where he died in an automobile accident.

Sutherland Alsop Beckwith (1890-1982) was born in Litchfield. He graduated from the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University in 1915. He fought in the 1916 Mexican border conflict, WWI, and WWII. His military career spanned 35 years and he retired as a colonel. During the 1920s, he was involved in a lumber business operating under the name of Hubbard & Beckwith. Beckwith was a state adjutant general, a sheriff of Litchfield County, and a local director of the Works Progress Administration. For 10 years he served as Litchfield postmaster. He married Helen Cahill in 1925. After she died in 1929, he married Charlotte Louise Coopernail (1904-1986), daughter of Dr. George Coopernail (1876-1964), on July 30, 1932. They had three children: Ann (1934- ), Margaret (1936- ) and George (1938- ).

Biographical Note

Sutherland Alsop Beckwith was born in Litchfield on Dec. 16, 1890, the son of Josiah Beckwith (1838-1911) and Ann Alsop. He graduated from the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale University in 1915. A veteran of WWI and WWII, he fought in the 1916 Mexican border conflict. His military career spanned 35 years and he retired as a colonel. During the 1920s, he was involved in a lumber business operating under the name of Hubbard & Beckwith. Beckwith was a state adjutant general, a sheriff of Litchfield County, and a local director of the Works Progress Administration. For 10 years he served as Litchfield postmaster. He married first Helen Cahill on July 23, 1925. She died Feb. 2, 1929. He married second Charlotte Louise Coopernail, daughter of George Coopernail, on July 30, 1932. They had three children. Beckwith died on Nov. 19, 1986.

Subject/Index Terms

Alsop family
Beckwith family
Drugstores - Connecticut - Litchfield
Granniss family
Litchfield (Conn.)
Medicine
Merchants - Connecticut - Litchfield
Physicians - Connecticut - Litchfield
Reeve, Tapping, 1744-1823
Seymour family

Administrative Information

Repository: Litchfield Historical Society

Access Restrictions: The collection is open for research.  One folder of materials pertaining to Margaret Elizabeth Beckwith Parsons (1936- ) is restricted.

Use Restrictions: Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of copyright holders. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright holders. Responsibility for any use rests with the user.

Acquisition Source: George Beckwith, Michael Rybach, Arthur Shaw

Acquisition Method: Gift

Separated Materials: The Boardman & Seymour Records (2009-75-0) were originally part of the gift that also included the Beckwith family papers (1988-01-0). Staff determined that the Boardman & Seymour Records are a distinct group of records.

Related Materials:

Seymour family papers, 1777-1923

Litchfield Historical Society photograph collection

Preferred Citation: Beckwith family papers (1988-01-1), Litchfield Historical Society, Helga J. Ingraham Memorial Library, P.O. Box 385, 7 South Street, Litchfield, Connecticut, 06759.

Finding Aid Revision History: Initial finding aid completed 12/21/2009. Folder listings revised 8/24/2010.

Other Note:

Item level description of some records is available in the Society’s card catalog

This collection was processed with support from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Papers, 1767-1892],
[Series 2: Beckwith family papers, 1825-1871],
[Series 3: Seymour family papers, 1814-1886],
[All]

Series 1: Papers, 1767-1892Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Accounts, "good, doubtful, bad", 1836 Nov 1Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Barnum, Phineas T. checks, 1855Add to your cart.
Drawn on the Terry & Barnum Co.
Folder 3: Boardman & Hunt receipt, 1799 Oct 11Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Complaint against McDonald, Joseph, 1793 Jun 27Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Correspondence, Sever, William to Williams, Lemeul, 1810 Jul 2Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Correspondence, [?] to Morris, Mrs. [?], 1804 May 28Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Correspondence, [letter draft?], undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Deed, Tyler, Ebenezer to Haskin, Daniel, 1767 Dec 17Add to your cart.
Copy.
Folder 9: Deposition of Thayer, Enoch William, circa 1800Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Distribution of the estate of Keith, Elizabeth, 1814 Sep 14Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Distribution of the estate of Scott, Ebenezer, Jr., 1781 Apr 5Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Extension to complete the settlement of the estate of Galpin, Sylvester, 1842 Dec 21Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Financial records, 1770, 1789Add to your cart.
Bills, receipts, orders, accounts, and similar records.
Folder 14: Financial records, 1792-1807Add to your cart.
Bills, receipts, orders, accounts, and similar records.
Folder 15: Financial records, 1809-1817Add to your cart.
Bills, receipts, orders, accounts, and similar records.
Folder 16: Financial records, 1818-1824Add to your cart.
Bills, receipts, orders, accounts, and similar records.
Folder 17: Financial records, undatedAdd to your cart.
Bills, receipts, orders, accounts, and similar records.
Folder 18: Granniss family, attachment, Granniss, Thomas, 1839 Mar 1Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Granniss family, attachment, Parmalee, William, 1844 Dec 23Add to your cart.
Folder 20: Granniss family, certificate to use John M. Weeks' patent, Granniss, Thomas, 1839 Feb 5Add to your cart.
Folder 21: Granniss family, deeds, 1791-1793Add to your cart.
Folder 22: Granniss family, deeds, 1798-1799Add to your cart.
Folder 23: Granniss family, deeds, 1805-1806Add to your cart.
Folder 24: Granniss family, deeds, 1807-1808Add to your cart.
Folder 25: Granniss family, deeds, 1810 MayAdd to your cart.
Folder 26: Granniss family, deeds, 1810 Sep-OctAdd to your cart.
Folder 27: Granniss family, deeds, 1811Add to your cart.
Folder 28: Granniss family, deeds, 1812, 1814Add to your cart.
Folder 29: Granniss family, deeds, 1815Add to your cart.
Folder 30: Granniss family, deeds, 1826, 1851Add to your cart.
Folder 31: Granniss family, promise to build a forge, Granniss, Thomas, 1815 Feb 7Add to your cart.
Folder 32: Granniss family, receipts, 1815-1892Add to your cart.
Folder 33: Judgment, Churchill, John against Plumb, David, 1806 Jul 11Add to your cart.
Folder 34: Judgment, Frost, Elisha against Raymond, William, 1794 Dec 17Add to your cart.
Folder 35: Judgment, Young, Benjamin against Chase, Benjamin, 1803 Dec 2Add to your cart.
Folder 36: Kappa Alpha Omega Association, 1830s?Add to your cart.
Folder 37: Legal documents, fragments, 1810, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 38: List of plaintiff's exhibits, Whitfield, John v. Auger, Jean, 1844 Nov 9Add to your cart.
Folder 39: Litchfield Temperance Society constitution, undatedAdd to your cart.
Folder 40: Money orders, U.S. Post Office, 1817Add to your cart.
Folder 41: Ogden, Amelia C. accounts, 1816-1847Add to your cart.
Folder 42: Order to receive Woodward, Benjamin in the Litchfield County Jail, 1798 May 11Add to your cart.
Folder 43: Reeve, Elizabeth, 1820-1831Add to your cart.
Bills, receipts, orders, accounts, and similar records.
Folder 44: Reeve, Tapping, 1789-1792Add to your cart.
Bills, receipts, orders, accounts, and similar records.
Folder 45: Reeve, Tapping, 1793-1799Add to your cart.
Bills, receipts, orders, accounts, and similar records.
Folder 46: Reeve, Tapping, 1802-1807Add to your cart.
Bills, receipts, orders, accounts, and similar records.
Folder 47: Reeve, Tapping, 1808-1812Add to your cart.
Bills, receipts, orders, accounts, and similar records.
Folder 48: Reeve, Tapping, 1814-1815Add to your cart.
Bills, receipts, orders, accounts, and similar records.
Folder 49: Reeve, Tapping, 1816Add to your cart.
Bills, receipts, orders, accounts, and similar records.
Folder 50: Reeve, Tapping, 1817-1818Add to your cart.
Bills, receipts, orders, accounts, and similar records.
Folder 51: Reeve, Tapping, 1819-1821Add to your cart.
Bills, receipts, orders, accounts, and similar records.
Folder 52: Reeve, Tapping, undatedAdd to your cart.
Bills, receipts, orders, accounts, and similar records.
Folder 53: Summons, Thompson, Jeremiah, 1785 Mar 8Add to your cart.
Folder 54: Summons, Thomson, Zacharia, 1792 Apr 27Add to your cart.
Folder 55: Testimony of Caswell, Betsy regarding McGonnagel, Henry and his wife, Leuziah, 1793 Aug 19Add to your cart.
Folder 56: Testimony of Gilbert, Joseph, 1772 Jan 1Add to your cart.
Folder 57: Testimony of Norton, Asa, 1792 Aug 30Add to your cart.
Folder 58: Writ, Church, J. v. Hine, Dan., 1790 Mar 11Add to your cart.
Folder 59: Writ, Pierce, Seth and Pierce, Amy v. Thompson, John and Thompson, Martha, 1795 Nov 26Add to your cart.
Folder 60: Unidentified writings, 1828, undatedAdd to your cart.
Item 1: Blank book, circa 1820sAdd to your cart.
Contains one pressed leaf. Currently stored in flat document box.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Papers, 1767-1892],
[Series 2: Beckwith family papers, 1825-1871],
[Series 3: Seymour family papers, 1814-1886],
[All]


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