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Collection Scope and Content Notes


The focal point of this collection is the professional career of Henry Marie Brackenridge. There are also letters and documents written by and pertaining to the Brackenridge family. While the collection contains some published documents, approximately sixty-five percent of the papers consist of handwritten correspondence with Brackenridge. Also represented are some of Caroline Marie Brackenridge's personal papers and correspondence.

Henry Marie Brackenridge's professional correspondence encompasses letters from various notable contemporaries, including John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson, Henry Clay, and William Henry Harrison. The letters relate to Brackenridge's various professional activities, which took him to South America, Florida, and Washington, D.C. Other discussions cover controversial topics of the day, including America's role in the colonial wars of South America, corruption in the Jackson administration, and the legal status of slavery in newly admitted American states.

The Brackenridge family correspondence incorporates a number of letters between Henry Marie and Caroline, detailing the difficulties of their long separations. Letters from other family members are also represented, including Henry Marie's son, Benjamin Morgan, his brother, Alexander Brackenridge, and sister, Cornelia Brackenridge. All of these letters relate to some aspect of the Brackenridge family. Typically the letters address the health and well being of friends and family members. Education, attire, and careers are topics also covered within the correspondence. Family members writing to Henry Marie, especially Cornelia, often chided him for his lack of timely response to their letters, as well as for his long absences from home.

Henry Marie Brackenridge's speeches and essays contain drafts of various writings with handwritten corrections. Also included are newspaper clippings of articles by Brackenridge, along with editorial notes written in the margins. Items of note include copies of several speeches Brackenridge delivered at various Independence Day celebrations and a review of Uncle Tom's Cabin.

Miscellaneous items consist of obituaries, legal papers and handwritten copies of literary works by other authors. Researchers may be interested to note that three of Brackenridge's memorandum books are included in this series. The books contain notes that were clearly used in his published works detailing his work in Florida and criticisms of Andrew Jackson.

The locations of the sender and recipient have been noted when possible. Item level scope and content notes are provided for each folder in Series I, II, and III. Jane Honeycutt's dissertation on the letters of Henry Marie and Hugh Henry Brackenridge provided useful information in the creation of the notes as did the initial cataloging by the Darlington Memorial Library staff. The original catalog cards have been included in the folders when available. For matters of convenience, Brackenridge's name has been abbreviated to H. M. Brackenridge at the series level.


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