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Wolcott family collection


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description




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Wolcott family collection, 1740-1844 | Litchfield Historical Society

By Linda Hocking

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Collection Overview

Title: Wolcott family collection, 1740-1844Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Predominant Dates:1790-1837

Primary Creator: Wolcott, Frederick (1767-1837)

Other Creators: Freeman, Hannah Huntington Wolcott (1803-1838), Huntington, Jabez Williams (1788-1847), Rankin, Laura Maria Wolcott (1811-1887), Wolcott, Betsey Huntington (1774-1812), Wolcott, Oliver (1760-1833)

Extent: 1.6 Linear Feet

Arrangement: The collection is arranged alphabetically by creator.  It is divided into two series, correspondence and miscellany.

Date Acquired: 01/01/1906. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: China - Commerce, Connecticut--Politics and government, Litchfield (Conn.) - History, Litchfield Female Academy (Conn.), Litchfield Law School, Trident, United States--Politics and government--1775-1783., Wolcott, Oliver, 1726-1797, Woolen and worsted manufacture

Forms of Material: Account books, Correspondence, Diaries

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

Correspondence chiefly between Frederick Wolcott (1767-1837), his wife Elizabeth (Betsey) Huntington  Wolcott (1774-1812), his brother Oliver Wolcott (1760-1833) who served as Secretary of the Treasury and Governor of Connecticut, and Jabez W. Huntington (1788-1847) who served as a U.S. Senator from Connecticut.  Topics include domestic news, local, state, regional and national politics, business affairs, church activities, trade with China and the merchant vessel Trident, raising merino sheep, and manufacture of woolen cloth.


Other correspondents include John Cotton Smith, Benjamin Tallmadge, and Uriah Tracy.  Several correspondents were graduates of the Litchfield Law School.


The collection also includes several account books as well as the schoolgirl diaries of Frederick and Elizabeth Wolcott's daughter, Laura Maria Wolcott Rankin and the Friendship Album given to Hannah Huntington Wolcott Freeman on the occassion of her marriage in 1834.

Biographical Note

Frederick Wolcott was born November 2, 1767, the youngest of five children born to Oliver Wolcott and Laura Collins Wolcott.  He was graduated from Yale in 1786 and attended Tapping Reeve's Litchfield Law School the following year. 

Wolcott began his career as Clerk of the Common Pleas. In 1798 he was appointed Clerk of the Superior Court in Litchfield County. He was later appointed a Judge of Probate, a position he held until he retired from public life.

He served as a presidential elector in 1808. In 1810, he elected to the State Senate and remained there through 1823. Wolcott's public positions also included service as a presidential elector in 1808, State Senate from 1810-1823, the Connecticut General Assembly, was president of the Litchfield County Foreign Mission and Education Societies, was president of the Board of Trustees of the Litchfield Female Academy, was a fellow of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was a fellow of Yale College.

Wolcott married first Elizabeth (Betsey) Huntington on October 12, 1800.  They had six children prior to her death in 1812.  Frederick married Sally Worthington Cooke in 1815, with whom he had four children.

Frederick died on May 28, 1837. He is buried in the East Cemetery in Litchfield.

Subject/Index Terms

China - Commerce
Connecticut--Politics and government
Litchfield (Conn.) - History
Litchfield Female Academy (Conn.)
Litchfield Law School
United States--Politics and government--1775-1783.
Wolcott, Oliver, 1726-1797
Woolen and worsted manufacture

Administrative Information

Repository: Litchfield Historical Society


A large addition of papers was purchased by Mrs. Elizabeth Wolcott Hamilton and Miss Julia Wolcott from Mr. and Mrs. Neilson Abeel  in 1954.    He was a great-great grandson of Frederick Wolcott.  A number of small and single-item additions of materials have been added since then.

The Friendship Album was donated by Virginia Kaiser in 2012.  She is a descendant of Hannah Huntington Wolcott Freeman's son, Huntington Wolcott Freeman (1835-1906).  Hannah Wolcott letter to her brother J. Huntington Wolcott (2010-94-0) was a Museum purchase.

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.

Physical Access Note: Some materials are fragile and staff may require the use of facsimiles.

Acquisition Source: Wolcott, Alice (1843-1927)

Acquisition Method: The bulk of the collection was donated in 1906 by Alice Wolcott, a granddaughter of Frederick Wolcott.

Preferred Citation: Wolcott Family Collection, 1906-04-0, Litchfield Historical Society, Helga J. Ingraham Memorial Library, P.O. Box 385, 7 South Street, Litchfield, Connecticut, 06759.

Processing Information: The collection was previously processed without the use of authority files for names.  It had been intermingled with another collection (John A. Vanderpoel Collection), which has since been removed.  The description for many of the items in the collection was created collaboratively by historian Doron S. Ben-Atar and archivist Linda Hocking as part of a previous project.

Other Note:

Additional information about the Wolcott family is available on the Litchfield Historical Society's Web site.

This collection was processed with support from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR).

Other URL: http://www.litchfieldhistoricalsociety.org/library/families/wolcott.php

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, 1740-1844],
[Series 2: Miscellany],
[Series 3: Accruals],
[Series 4: [not used]],

Series 2: MiscellanyAdd to your cart.
Business papers, diplomas, official documents and schoolwork created by various members of the Wolcott family.
Folder 1: Adams, John, 28 JanAdd to your cart.View associated digital content.
One invitation to dinner from John and Abigail Adams to Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Wolcott.
Folder 2: Albany Argus, 1825 Aug 23Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Handwritten copy of obituary of Roger Skinner, 1773-1825.
Folder 3: Baldwin, Phineas, 1794 Jul 9Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Contract between Phineas Baldwin and Oliver Wolcott assigning Baldwin as master of a servant of Wolcott's, a "negro female child" who is to become free at the age of twenty five.  The contract requires Baldwin to provide for her food, clothing, and education (including reading.)
Folder 4: Cannon, John S., 1811 May 23Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Request sent by Cannon and associates Josiah Lacey, Lambert Lockwood, Salmon Hubbel, William DeForest, William Peet, Abijah Hawley, Samuel Hawley and David Minot to members of council Judson Canfield and Frederick Wolcott.  Offer the opinion that their choice to receive the appointment of Judge of Probate for the Stratford district is Joseph Backus and give details of his qualifications.
Folder 5: Certificate of Merit, undatedAdd to your cart.
One certificate of merit given to "Miss Wolcott" from her instructor.
Folder 6: Chapin, Martha Wolcott, 1749 Nov 22Add to your cart.
A "release to moveables" acknowledging the receipt of her portion of the estate of her father and giving her brothers William and Ephraim Wolcott title and interest in the remaining estate.
Folder 7: Connecticut. Committee of the Pay Table, 1779 Dec 21Add to your cart.
Order number 2321 providing for payment of 100 pounds to the selectmen of Hartford.
Folder 8: Connecticut. County Court (Hartford County), 1764, 1769Add to your cart.
One summons and one partial summons signed by Erastus Wolcott, justice of the peace.
Folder 9: Connecticut.  County Court.  (Litchfield County), 1753-1757Add to your cart.
Court documents.
Item 1: Writ, 1753 Apr 7Add to your cart.
Writ demanding the sheriff to attach the goods and estate of Joseph Hopkins of Windsor to answer a complaint of Thomas Stoughton of Torrington signed by Roger Wolcott.
Item 2: Writ, 1754Add to your cart.
Partial document regarding the case of Lemuel Little, and accused counterfeiter, who was charged by Oliver Wolcott, sheriff.
Item 3: Writ, 1755Add to your cart.
Partial document regarding the case of Lemuel Little, and accused counterfeiter, who was charged by Oliver Wolcott, sheriff.
Item 4: Attachment, 1757 Dec 8Add to your cart.
The goods of Gabriel Dutcher are ordered attached until he shall appear at court to answer Oliver Wolcott. The case involves the seizure of "four negros as the estate of the said John Dutcher."
Folder 10: Connecticut.  County Court.  (Litchfield County), 1826 Apr 1Add to your cart.
True copy of record of admission to the Connecticut bar to Andrew P. Wilson of Lancaster, PA signed Frederick Wolcott, clerk.
Folder 11: Connecticut Court of Common Pleas, 1795 Apr 2Add to your cart.
Sentence against John Morey of Cornwall for punishment of theft.  Morey was ordered to be whipped ten stripes on the naked body and to pay a fine to the state.  He was to be confined to the jail in Litchfield until the sentence was carried out.  Signed by Frederick Wolcott, clerk and includes a notice by sheriff Lynde Lord about the execution of the sentence.
Folder 12: Connecticut. Governor (1786-1796 : Huntington), 1793 May 29Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Appointment of Frederick Wolcott as Notary Public for the county of Litchfield.
Folder 13: Connecticut. Governor (1796-1797 : Wolcott), 25 Oct 1797Add to your cart.
Proclamation declaring a day of Thanksgiving and prayer. (Oversized storage- requires advanced notice to view)
Folder 14: Connecticut.  Governor (1817-1827: Wolcott), 1820 Feb 22Add to your cart.

Proclamation declaring Good Friday a day of Christian fast.

(Oversized storage- requires advanced notice to view)

Folder 15: Connecticut. Office of the State Comptroller, 1788 Nov 26Add to your cart.
Order to pay Jedediah Huntington ten pounds of the taxes appropriated for payment of the Civil List.
Folder 16: Connecticut Probate Court (Litchfield), 1793 Nov 21Add to your cart.
Account of debt owed by the estate of George Miller
Folder 17: Connecticut Volunteers, 2nd Regiment (1812-1815), 1813 Aug 12Add to your cart.
Appointment of Simeon Harrison as fourth sergeant in the fifth company by Frederick Wolcott, Colonel.
Folder 18: Cooke, Betsey Collins, 1806 Apr 19Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Certificate of Merit awarded to Mary Ann Goodrich Wolcott Whitehead noting her attention to reading and spelling; further states her behavior was not commendable on examination day.
Folder 19: Cook, Zebedee, 1834 Apr 29Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Notice to Frederick Wolcott that he has been elected an honorary member of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.
Folder 20: Edwards, Jonathan W., 1825 MayAdd to your cart.View associated digital content.
Recipe sent to Frederick Wolcott for a remedy for rheumatic heart pain.
Folder 21: Frederick Wolcott and Company, 1802-1828Add to your cart.

Account book of a slitting and rolling mill in Litchfield.  On exhibit at Tapping Reeve house.

Index currently housed in 3B Box 99.

Folder 22: Gould, James, undatedAdd to your cart.View associated digital content.
Handwritten copy of an obituary notice of Daniel Sheldon, Jr. given by Judge James Gould.
Folder 23: Jackson, Elizabeth Huntington Wolcott, undatedAdd to your cart.
Photograph of Elizabeth Huntington Wolcott Jackson.
Folder 24: Judson, Lucy, 1830 Aug 23Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Deed for 90 acres of land sold to Frederick Wolcott in Litchfield.
Folder 25: New York Evening Post, 1812 Aug 15Add to your cart.

Contains a notice regarding Oliver Wolcott Jr. and the Bank of America.

Oversized storage

Folder 26: Litchfield County Agricultural Society, 1818-1820Add to your cart.
Two certificates for Frederick Wolcott published and sold by Ralph Rawdon, engraver, of Albany NY.  Both signed by Morris Woodruff and Elijah Boardman.
Item 1: Litchfield County Agricultural Society, 1818 Feb 11Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Certificate of membership for Frederick Wolcott.
Item 2: Litchfield County Agricultural Society, 1820 Oct 25Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Certificate awarding Frederick Wolcott the Society's premium for a two year old heifer he raised and owned.
Folder 27: Lucius Smith & Co., 1814 JulAdd to your cart.View associated digital content.
Three promissory notes to Frederick Wolcott.
Folder 28: Oliver Wolcott and Company, 1803 Feb 2Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Printed notice that a commercial establishment named Oliver Wolcott and Company commenced business in New York, NY on March 15 1803 with partners being Oliver Wolcott, James Watson, Moses Rogers, Archibald Gracie, and William W. Woolsey.  Contains signatures of partners.
Folder 29: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 1796 Sep 15Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Certification that R. Lenox imported wine from Cadiz in the Brig Poll Cary according to law signed John Lasher.
Folder 30: Rankin, Laura Maria Wolcott, 1821Add to your cart.

Journal kept as "an account of what I do and where I got, what friends I visit and who visit me" with details of her education, family life and personal reflection.

Extremely Fragile: access restricted

Folder 31: Rankin, Laura Maria Wolcott, 1825Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Journal kept during her first term at the Litchfield Female Academy providing details of the curriculum and gossip about other students and teachers; musings on female friendships; reports of births, deaths and marriages; discussion of various leisure activities and rituals including riding, teas, balls and serenades; summaries of and comments on sermons of Lyman Beecher and others; mention of her brother Charles Wolcott's Lancasterian education; examples of ethnic stereotypes; and detailed reports of classroom activities.
Folder 32: Rankin, Laura Maria Wolcott, 1826-1827Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Journal kept during her first term at the Litchfield Female Academy providing details of the curriculum and gossip about other students and teachers.

Extremely Fragile: access restricted (a transcription is available)

Folder 33: Rankin, Laura Maria Wolcott, undatedAdd to your cart.
Workbook of geography problems.
Folder 34: Rankin, Laura Maria Wolcott, 1875-1922Add to your cart.
Genealogical materials and research pertaining to Laura Maria Wolcott Rankin compiled by her descendants.  Includes notes that were attached to family heirlooms as they descended in the family, a portrait of the wedding dress worn by the bride at the marriage of Laura Maria Wolcott to Robert Gosman Rankin (now in the collection of the Museum of the City of New York) and a scrapbook of newspaper obituaries for Laura and Robert Rankin and their children.
Folder 35: Rockwell, John, 1740 Apr 29Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Deed for land sold to Roger Wolcott in the township of Colebrook by John Rockwell.
Folder 36: United States. Dept. of the Treasury. Office of the Secretary, 1798 Nov 17Add to your cart.
Cover of a letter sent to William Tuck, Collector in Gloucester Massachusetts.
Folder 37: Virginia (Brigantine), 1806 May 7Add to your cart.

Entry of merchandise imported by Oliver Wolcott in the ship Virginia captained by William Spear from Calcutta.  Merchandise consists primarily of fabric.

Oversized collections.

Folder 38: Williams Family Genealogy, undatedAdd to your cart.View associated digital content.
Listing of John Williams and Eunice Huntington Williams children containing birth and death dates.
Folder 39: Wolcott, F.H. (Frederick Henry), undatedAdd to your cart.
A copy of a narrative copied by George Gibbs from a first hand account of Roger Wolcott containing details of his life.  The original was lost in the streets of New York by William Stone, Esquire to whom it had been loaned.
Folder 40: Wolcott, Frederick, 1803-1804Add to your cart.
Photostats of six letters to Oliver Wolcott primarily regarding the construction of a house in Litchfield for Oliver for which Frederick is handling the business.  A sketch of the first floor of the house and barn is included in the first letter.  Other subjects include finding boys to work in a nail factory and political news.  Location of original letters is unknown.
Folder 41: Wolcott, Frederick, 1822 Dec 12Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Order to sell the estate of Truman Seymour of Torrington at public auction to pay creditors.  Appears to be a draft in the hand of Frederick Wolcott with a large "X" through the text on the front.  A note on the reverse indicates that the sale did not occur.
Folder 42: Wolcott, Frederick, 1823 MayAdd to your cart.
Copy made by Frederick Wolcott of the resolve incorporating the Litchfield Manufacturing Company "for the purpose of manufacturing cloths and other fabrics of wool and cotton and of wool and cotton together."
Folder 43: Wolcott, Frederick, 1826, 1835Add to your cart.
Two receipts for probate fees, one received of Ephaphroditus Seymour for the estate of Moses Seymour and one from Morris Woodruff for the estate of Abner Northrup.
Folder 44: Wolcott, Oliver, 1726-1797., 1776 Aug 30Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Military pass allowing Lieutenant Colonel Mosley to go to Harlem.
Folder 45: Wolcott, Oliver, 1726-1797., undatedAdd to your cart.
Engraving of Oliver Wolcott.
Folder 46: Wolcott, Oliver, 1760-1833., undatedAdd to your cart.
Bookplate and cutout signature of Oliver Wolcott.
Folder 47: Wolcott, Oliver, 1760-1833., 1806 Jan 27Add to your cart.
Receipt for taxes on Ohio land belonging to the estate of Alexander Hamilton.
Folder 48: Wolcott, Oliver, 1760-1833., 1809-1821Add to your cart.

Account book containing bills payable and receivable and a register of notes drawn and endorsed by Oliver Wolcott.  Also contains lists of his debts and cash on hand.

Oversized Storage.

Folder 49: Wolcott, S., undatedAdd to your cart.
Request that Mr. Whiting allow the bearer (unnamed) to have two dollars in goods and charge the same to S. Wolcott of Litchfield.
Folder 50: Wolcott, William, 1767 Jan 29Add to your cart.
Receipt for money received from Mary Wolcott on the estate of Ephraim Wolcott of Windsor.
Folder 51: Yale College (1718-1887), 1786 Sep 13Add to your cart.
Two diplomas from Yale College.  One is on exhibit.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Correspondence, 1740-1844],
[Series 2: Miscellany],
[Series 3: Accruals],
[Series 4: [not used]],

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