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Bissell family collection

Overview

Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Box 1

Box 2

Box 3

Box 4

Eunice Bissell scrapbook



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Bissell family collection, 1760-1926 | Litchfield Historical Society

By Stephen Powell and Leith Johnson and Benjamin Bradley

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Collection Overview

Title: Bissell family collection, 1760-1926Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Bissell, William (1810-1902)

Other Creators: Bissell, John (1807-1898), Bissell, Samantha J., Bissell, Warren (1836-1913)

Extent: 4.0 Boxes

Date Acquired: 01/01/1949. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Baldwin family, Bissell, Zebulon, 1724-1771, Bissell family, House painting, Litchfield (Conn.), Mineral industries, Smith, Julia Bissell, United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865, United States - Social life and customs

Forms of Material: Account books, Business records, Correspondence, Deeds, Drawings, Military records

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The papers of the Bissell and Bissell-Baldwin families, including family members, friends, and business associates. The collection consists of correspondence, business records, account books, and other records.

Isaac Bissell (1682-1744) moved to Litchfield in 1723, where he owned a 60th share, approximately 700 acres. He was the father of ten children, including Benjamin (1717-1747) and Zebulon (1724-1777).

The Bissells were farmers, although there is little material in the Society's manuscript collections that records their agricultural activities. Assorted Bissell family members are parties to documents found in various collections. As a family of property, most of the available documents describe land transactions.

The Bissell Family Collection, received from several sources, brings together documents of many Bissell family members. In bulk, the business papers of William Bissell (1810-1902) and his son Warren (1836-1913) comprise the greater portion. They resided in Milton. William owned the David Welch house from 1860 to 1902. This significant house of 18th century construction is listed in "Historic American Building Survey" (1941) and is the subject of Edward A. Raymond's pamphlet, "History of the David Welch House, 1756-1956."

The activities of William Bissell as a captain in the Civil War, as an industrious house painter, and as a farmer are documented. He served in Company A, 19th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers from Sep. 11, 1861 to July 21, 1863. Subsequent to active duty he recruited in the Litchfield area. The papers include recruitment records with names and bounty accounts and supply and inventory documents for his term of active duty. His activities as a house and furniture painter are detailed in 33 small account books (1825-1890) in which his labor and supply costs for each specific job site are recorded. Another account book provides additional information.

A facet of Warren Bissell's economic interests are revealed in a collection of business letters and documents (1906-1926) pertaining to speculative investments in western mines and land companies. Other business documents include bills and receipts for paint supplies, wall paper, and transportation. Other papers include property deeds.

A small collection of deeds and letters relate to the members of the family of Zebulon Bissell (1724-1771). One subject is a family misunderstanding concerning the lease of a farm in Chanango County, N.Y. to a nephew Harry Smith.

The Bissell-Baldwin Collection of 11 items relates to the family of Julia Bissell Smith who was a great great grandmother of donor George Baldwin. A letter by Julia Smith from Tuscumbria, Ala., June 6, 1836, describes to her mother the thoroughly unfamiliar southern way of life.

The Baldwin descendants Margaret, Dorothy, and George, all donors to the Society, are related to the Bissell and Joseph Adams families. Ella Kezia Adams, who married Charles Baldwin, was the daughter of Charles Adams and the granddaughter of Joseph Adams. See also the Adams Family Collection.

Biographical Note

William Bissell (1810-1902) of Litchfield was a captain in the Civil War, a house painter, and a farmer. He served in Company A, 19th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers from Sep. 11, 1861 to July 21, 1863. Subsequent to active duty he recruited in the Litchfield area.

Subject/Index Terms

Baldwin family
Bissell, Zebulon, 1724-1771
Bissell family
House painting
Litchfield (Conn.)
Mineral industries
Smith, Julia Bissell
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
United States - Social life and customs

Administrative Information

Repository: Litchfield Historical Society

Accruals: Henry Swanson gave a trunk containing papers of William Bissell in 1949 (1949-36-0) which comprises the bulk of the collection. Additional smaller gifts came from Mrs. Jerome Bissell in 1942 (1942-03-0), Mrs. Chudleigh Hicks in 1954 (1954-04-0) and 1966 (1966-06-0), Mrs. Philip Plumb in 1955 (1955-34-0), Mrs. Stanley Coe in 1959 (1959-01-0), Mr. and Mrs. James Doyle (1965-24-0), and found in collection (2010-109-0).  An accrual to the collection, 2006-19-0 from Bob Fischer.

Access Restrictions: The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Acquisition Source: Henry Swanson

Acquisition Method: Gift

Separated Materials: Series 1: Items 1,2,3 - John Bissell Military Commissions - are currently stored in aisle 18B Box 2. (Oversize)

Related Materials: Adams family collection, Litchfield Historical Society

Preferred Citation: Bissell family collection (1954-04-0), Litchfield Historical Society, Helga J. Ingraham Memorial Library, P.O. Box 385, 7 South Street, Litchfield, Connecticut, 06759

Finding Aid Revision History: Original processing and finding aid creation done by Stephen Powell. 2009 revision by Leith Johnson. 2011 revision by Benjamin Bradley.

Other Note: 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 Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Box 4],
[Item 1: Eunice Bissell scrapbook],
[All]

Box 3Add to your cart.
Series 1: Bissell papers, 1760-1839Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Bissell, Bejamin to Smith, Harry, 1833, 1835Add to your cart.
Item 1: 1833 Mar 20Add to your cart.
Writes concerning deed.
Item 2: 1835 Jan 7Add to your cart.
Prospects for selling wool, furs, etc. No further knowledge of Smith's father's estate. News of family and friends.
Folder 2: Bissell, Erastus to Smith, Augustus, 1836 Aug 23Add to your cart.
Family news, does not wish to enter the tanning business without his cousin, severe winter in Litchfield, some relatives have gone to Alabama.
Folder 3: Bissell, Nathaniel to Smith, Rebecca Bissell, 1839 Nov 15Add to your cart.
Suggests to Rebecca that she and her son Harry make an amicable arrangement concerning the farm.
Folder 4: Cookbook, Bissell, Harriet, 1832Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Deed, Grant, Josiah to Bissell, Benjamin and Bissell, Leah, 1745 Nov 28Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Deed, Ellery, John to Bissell, Zebulon, 1760 Apr 21Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Deed, Colver, Asher to Bissell, Zebulon, 1760 Sep 6Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Deed, Bissell, Joseph to Webster, Justus, 1769 Nov 14Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Deed, Pettibone, Samuel to Bissell, Zebulon; Smith, John; and Parmalee, Amos, 1775 Apr 4Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Deed, Bissell, Zebulon to Bissell, Benjamin, 1780 Jan 17Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Deed, Bissell, Zebulon; Landon, John; Landon, Abigail Bissell; Blakeslee, Arunah; and Blakeslee, Rhoda Bissell to Bissell, Benjamin, 1781 Sep 26Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Deed, Beebe, Bezaleel to Bissell, Benjamin, 1788 Apr 12Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Deed, Thomas, Joseph to Bissell, Benjamin, 1812 Oct 19Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Deed, Bissell, John and Bissell, Caty Marsh to Seymour Ozias, 1817 May 28Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Deed, Bissell, Benjamin to Smith, Harry, 1840 Jan 13Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Hoadley[?], Silas to Bissell, William, 1833 Aug 30Add to your cart.
Payment of a debt.
Folder 17: Land survey, Bissell, George, 1793 Nov 20Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Last will and testament, Bissell, Benjamin, 1824 Jul 3Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Quit claim deed, Bissell, Abigail Smith to Bissell, Benjamin, 1778 Apr 9Add to your cart.
Folder 20: Writing book, Bissell, William, 1833Add to your cart.
Folder 21: Copybook, Bissell, Arthur, c. 1878Add to your cart.
"The Independent Reformer," compiled ina  notebook which was apparently intended for an "Invoice Book," an informal publication by a group of young people in Morris, Connecticut c. 1878.
Folder 22: Letter; Bissell, Libbie to Bissell, John, 1848, 12 Sept.Add to your cart.
Pertaining to the death of George Bissell.
Folder 23: 3 Bissell Letters, 1844-1846Add to your cart.
Three letters pertaining to John Bissell and George B. Bissell.
Item 1: Letter; Bissell, George B. to Bissell John, 1844Add to your cart.
Item 2: Letter; Bissell, John to Bissell, George B., 1845Add to your cart.
Item 3: Letter; Bissell, Libbie to Bissell, John, 1846Add to your cart.
Folder 24: Wilton, Resolve Incorporating the Society of, n.d.Add to your cart.
A document created by Gerome Bissell. The document is dated May 1795, but it appears the document is copied from an original therefore the date belongs to the original document not this copy. The document pertains to the establishing of Wilton, Connecticut and includes a map.
Folder 25: Letters; Bissell, Herman and Bissell, Harry; and Farm Lease, 1846-1848Add to your cart.
Three letters between Harry Bissell and Herman Bissell pertaining to an issue respecting the rent of a farm.
Item 1: Letter; Bissell, Herman to Bissell, Harry, 1846, 2 Feb.Add to your cart.
A letter from Herman Bissell to his nephew Harry Bissell. The letter is Harry and his immediate family’s disagreement about renting of a farm.
Item 2: Farm Lease, 1846, 26 Aug.Add to your cart.
Land Lease to Harry Smith for a portion of land willed to Herman Smith. The lease is signed by Herman Bissell, Origen Storrs Seymour, and Gideon H. Hollister.
Item 3: Letter; Bissell, Herman to Bissell, Harry, 1848Add to your cart.
A letter from Herman Bissell to Harry Bissel about the farm.
Folder 26: Drafts of Letters to Newspaper Editors, 1860-1864Add to your cart.
A collection of drafts of letters to newspaper editors by John Bissell bound by a string.
Folder 27: Cole, Rebecca Bissell; Last Will and Testament, 1850, 4 Jul.Add to your cart.
Item 1: Military commission, New York, Bissell, Capt. John, 1835Add to your cart.
Currently stored in 18B box 2.
Item 2: Military commission, New York, Bissell, Capt. John, 1836Add to your cart.
Currently stored in 18B box 2.
Item 3: Military commission, New York, Bissell, John, Judge advocate, 1837Add to your cart.
Currently stored in 18B box 2.
Series 2: Bissell-Baldwin papers, 1785-1839Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Bissell, Amos to Smith, Julia Bissell, 1827 Mar 9Add to your cart.
News about Dr. Beecher leaving and the new preacher, Mr. Stone, and of friends and acquaintances.
Folder 2: Bissell, Amos to Smith, Julia Bissell, 1827 Mar 9Add to your cart.
Announces his intention to marry L.
Folder 3: Bissell, Lydia Hall to Smith, Julia Bissell, 1828 Feb 18Add to your cart.
Announces arrival of a son and news of family and friends.
Folder 4: Deed, Bissell, Benjamin to Cranston, James, 1810 Aug 30Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Osborn, Alemda to Smith, Julia Bissell, 1820 Oct 28Add to your cart.
Primarily religious in nature, also describes her difficulties as a teacher.
Folder 6: Smith, Julia Bissell to Bissell, Esther Benton, 1826 Jun 7Add to your cart.
Describes her trip to Solebury, Pa., the Quakers, and her new home with her husband and daughter.
Folder 7: Smith, Julia Bissell to Bissell, Eunice, 1829 May 10Add to your cart.
Describes her husband's religious conversion and her hopes for the same for her brother and his wife.
Folder 8: Smith, Julia Bissell to Esther Benton Bissell, 1836 Jun 6Add to your cart.
Writing from Tuscumbria, Ala., she writes about slavery, the southern life, and her husband's store.
Folder 9: Smith, Julia Bissell and Smith, Lyman to Bissell, Esther Benton, 1839 Nov 4Add to your cart.
Writing from Mount Carmel, Ill., she writes about family news, her joining a church, activities of the children, discussion of Mr. Smith's plans and possible relocation.
Folder 10: Turril, Joel to Benton, Eunice, 1785 Sep 20Add to your cart.
A love letter.
Folder 11: Letter; Bissell, Eunice, 1818, 16 Jul.Add to your cart.
Series 3: MiscellanyAdd to your cart.
Folder 1: Letter; Vaill, Joseph H. to Mason, George William, [1862,] 30 Nov.Add to your cart.
A letter pertaining about day-to-day events in the 8th Connecticut Volunteers.
Folder 2: Appointment in N.Y. Militia, 1817Add to your cart.
A certificate of William Smith's appointment to the New York Militia.
Folder 3: Miscellaneous DocumentsAdd to your cart.
Miscellaneous documents relating to the Bissell family. Items range from notes and letters to pictures and newspaper clippings. An inventory of what is in the folder is included.
Series 4: Bissell Family Papers, 1848-1889Add to your cart.
Includes deeds, promisary notes, and receipts.
Item 1Add to your cart.

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],
[Box 4],
[Item 1: Eunice Bissell scrapbook],
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