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Judson Canfield papers


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Judson Canfield papers

Walter Ferriss papers

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Judson Canfield papers, 1760-1856 | Litchfield Historical Society

By Leith Johnson

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Collection Overview

Title: Judson Canfield papers, 1760-1856Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Canfield, Judson (1759-1840)

Extent: 0.21 Linear Feet


The papers are arranged in two series:

1. Judson Canfield papers

2. Walter Ferriss papers

Date Acquired: 10/29/1985

Subjects: Canfield family, Connecticut Land Company, Ferriss, Walter, 1768-1806, Lawyers - Connecticut, Sharon (Conn.), Western Reserve (Ohio), Woolen and worsted manufacture

Forms of Material: Correspondence, Deeds, Financial records, Legal documents, Poems, Receipts

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The papers of Judson Canfield (1759-1840), consisting primarily of legal documents, including agreements, deeds, executions, receipts, statements, and correspondence and include a small collection of correspondence and writings relating to Walter Ferriss, whose daughter married Canfield's son.

The papers are arranged in two series. Series 1, Judson Canfield papers, primarily consists of documents related to Canfield's law practice. Most involve matters in and around Sharon, Conn., but there are several documents pertaining to land sales in Ohio. There is an interesting letter from Canfield's niece to her mother in which she describes a party she attended, what she and others wore; and news of her relatives in New York and Nyack, including the Bostwick, Flewwelling, Mackay, Ruggles, and Tallmadge families. Series 2, Walter Ferriss papers, includes two documents relating to his affections for his future wife and letters concerning his religious activities, including a letter he wrote to Universalist minister James Babbitt to explain why Ferriss is unable to comply with Babbitt's pressing invitation to him to go to Essex, Vt.

Collection Historical Note

Judson Canfield was born in New Milford, Connecticut, January 23, 1759. He was a son of Col. Samuel Canfield (1725-1799), an officer in the Revolutionary army and a member of the Connecticut state legislature, and Elizabeth Judson. Judson Canfield was educated at Yale College, graduating in 1782. His uncle, John Canfield, the first lawyer in Sharon, Conn., died in 1786, and Judson then moved to Sharon and established a successful law practice. Many of his clients conducted business or resided in Dutchess County, New York.

In 1796, Canfield purchased land in the Western Reserve (later Ohio) from the Connecticut Land Co. His holdings would eventually total thousands of acres, including property in present-day Bainbridge, Canfield (which was named for him in 1800), Cleveland, Medina, Newton, and Newton Falls.

Canfield was elected to the Connecticut General Assembly from 1802 to 1809 and elected a State Senator from 1810 to 1815. From 1808 to 1815, he was also an associate judge of the county court for the county of Litchfield. In 1815, he moved to Ohio, devoting himself mainly to farming and disposing of his properties. He died February 5, 1840 in New York City.

In 1786, he married Mabel Ruggles (1761-1844). Their children were Henry Judson, Julia Elvira, Elizabeth Hannah, and Caroline Emma. Henry J. Canfield (1789-1856), graduated from Yale College in 1806, studied at the Litchfield Law School in 1808, and was admitted to the bar in 1810. He moved to Canfield, where he practiced law, farmed, raised sheep, and managed his father's land holdings. In 1825, he married Sally Ruth Ferris ( -1881), the daughter of Walter Ferriss (1768-1806) and Sarah (Sally) Morgan Ferriss (1772-1850). They had two children, Julia Elvira Canfield Ruggles (1826-1857) and Judson Walter Canfield. Walter Ferriss, from Oblong, Dutchess County, N.Y., moved to Charlotte, Vt., in 1792. At first, he concentrated on farming, but in the later 1790s he became a Universalist minister and organized several societies in the vicinity. He was appointed to the Committee of the General Convention in Strafford, Vermont, in 1802. In 1803, Ferris attended the Winchester Convention in New Hampshire as a representative from Hinesburg, Vermont.

All three of Judson and Mabel Ruggles Canfield's daughters attended the Litchfield Female Academy. Julia Elvira (1791-1868) married Samuel Flewwelling of New York City, a prominent banker who purchased land in Ohio from Judson Canfield, members of his family, and others. Elizabeth Hannah (1793-1878) married Frederick Augustus Tallmadge (1784-1869) of Litchfield, son of Col. Benjamin Tallmadge. Frederick was a prominent lawyer in New York City and held elective office. Caroline Emma (1798-1872) married William Mackay of New York City, a New York City commission merchant. William Mackay and Julia Canfield Flewwelling were executors of Judson Canfield's will.

Herman Canfield, brother of Judson Canfield, married Fetia Bostwick. In October, 1805, they settled in Canfield, Ohio.

Subject/Index Terms

Canfield family
Connecticut Land Company
Ferriss, Walter, 1768-1806
Lawyers - Connecticut
Sharon (Conn.)
Western Reserve (Ohio)
Woolen and worsted manufacture

Administrative Information

Repository: Litchfield Historical Society

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 copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Acquisition Source: Richard J. Hughes

Acquisition Method: Gift

Related Materials:

Judson Canfield notebook, court docket, 1798-1800, 1846

Samuel Flewwelling Papers (1799-1868)

John Wright Collection (1715-1853)

Preferred Citation: Judson Canfield papers (1985-70-0), Litchfield Historical Society, Helga J. Ingraham Memorial Library, P.O. Box 385, 7 South Street, Litchfield, Connecticut, 06759

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 Series:

[Series 1: Judson Canfield papers, 1760-1856],
[Series 2: Walter Ferriss papers, 1789-1803],

Series 2: Walter Ferriss papers, 1789-1803Add to your cart.
Arranged chronologically.
Folder 1: Ferriss, Walter to "Madam" [Ferriss, Sarah Morgan], 1789 AprAdd to your cart.
Ferriss proposes that since he "cannot be favored as your lover I may in future be so much respected by you as to be reckoned amongst the number of your friends."
Folder 2: Writings [Ferriss, Walter], circa 1790Add to your cart.
Item 1: Newton's Analysis of the RevelationAdd to your cart.
Item 2: [Sermon?]Add to your cart.
Folder 3: "Verses on viewing a lock of Ethelga's hair," Ferriss, Walter, 1792 SepAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Howland, William to Ferriss, Walter, 1797 Sep 21Add to your cart.
Howland writes from Oblong, Dutchess County, New York about his religious convictions, Quakers and the Universalist doctrine, and Walter's brother Edwin.
Folder 5: Ferriss, Walter to Babbitt, James, 1803 Mar 25Add to your cart.
Ferriss explains to Universalist minister Babbitt why he is unable to comply with Babbitt's pressing invitation to him to go to Essex, Vt. Ferriss provides three reasons, one that relates to church regulations and two that are personal.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Judson Canfield papers, 1760-1856],
[Series 2: Walter Ferriss papers, 1789-1803],

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