A Guide to the Burrows Family Letters, 1861-1891 Burrows Family Letters Ms2008-007

A Guide to the Burrows Family Letters, 1861-1891

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms2008-007


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Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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© 2008 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.

Processed by: John M. Jackson, Special Collections Staff

Repository
Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Ms2008-007
Title
Burrows Family Letters 1861-1891
Physical Characteristics
1 container; 0.2 cu. ft.
Creator
Burrows family
Language
English
Abstract
Letters of the Palmer L. and Sophronia M. Shaw Burrows family of Delaware County, New York, including Civil War correspondence of Palmer L. Burrows (144th New York Infantry) and his sons S. Worcester Burrows (27th New York Infantry and 1st New York Veteran Cavalry) and Linus P. Burrows (1st New York Veteran Cavalry) and others.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Burrows Family Letters must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Burrows Family Letters, Ms2008-007 - Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Acquisition Information

The Burrows Family Letters were donated to Special Collections in 2007.

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement and description of the Burrows Family Letters commenced and was completed in March 2008.


Biographical Information

Palmer L. Burrows, son of Peris and Deborah Wightman Burrows, was born in Delaware County, New York on January 8, 1814. In 1845, he journeyed through New York, across the Great Lakes, then to Chicago, and finally to Davenport, Iowa, where he purchased land, before returning to Delaware County. Burrows participated with other local farmers in the "Anti-rent War" of upstate New York in the 1840s. In addition to farming and timbering, Burrows worked for 50 years as a pilot on the Delaware River.

Burrows married Sophronia M. Shaw on January 2, 1838. Born in Delaware County, New York on April 27, 1815, Sophronia was the daughter of Ansel and Lavina Phillips Shaw, natives of Plainfield, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut, respectively. Palmer and Sophronia Burrows would have six children: Charlotte L., who married John Sumner of Thompson, Pennsylvania; Samuel Worcester, who married Jennie Rhodes of Akron, Ohio; Linus P., who married Isabella McGlynn of New York; Anna, who married Earl Smith of Deposit, New York; James F. who married Lulu Hanford of Walton, New York; and Orrin, who married Alice Smith of Paterson, New Jersey.

During the Civil War, Burrows was instrumental in organizing Company A of the 144th New York Infantry. Elected the company's captain, Burrows served with the company for several months before illness forced him to resign. Returning to his home, he resumed his farm and lumber work. He died on November 16, 1894; Sophronia Burrows died in 1908.

S. Worcester Burrows, son of Palmer and Sophronia Shaw Burrows, enlisted in the 27th New York Infantry, serving as a private. In October 1863, he transferred to the 1st New York Veteran Cavalry, serving as second lieutenant. He was captured in 1864 and held a prisoner of war until his release in February 1865. After the war, he married Jennie Rhodes of Akron, Ohio. The couple had four children (Frederick, Lewis, Mary and Carl) and resided in Ohio.

Linus P. Burrows, younger brother of Worcester, was born in September 1845. He joined the 1st New York Veteran Cavalry in January 1864, serving as a private. After the war, he married Isabella McGlynn, and the couple had at least four children (Anna, Isabella, William, and Palmer). Though he engaged in farming after the Civil War, Burrows was listed in the 1900 census as metallurgist residing in Washington, D.C.

Source:

Biographical review: this volume contains biographical sketches of the leading citizens of Delaware County, New York (Boston: Biographical Review Publishing Co., 1895)

Scope and Content

This collection contains correspondence of the Palmer L. and Sophronia M. Shaw Burrows family of Delaware County, New York. Largely written during the Civil War years, the correspondence contains letters from several Civil War veterans, including Palmer L. Burrows (144th New York Infantry), and his sons S. Worcester Burrows (27th New York Infantry and 1st New York Veteran Cavalry) and Linus P. Burrows (1st New York Veteran Cavalry); two brothers of Sophronia Burrows, Joseph P. Shaw (probably 4th New York Cavalry) and Frederick W. Shaw (11th Illinois Infantry); as well as George W. Webb and Charles Newman (both of the 144th New York Infantry).

The collection also contains a number of letters written by other extended family members and friends, including Sophronia M. Burrows; James F. Burrows; Delia Shaw Edgerton of Chicago, Illinois; N. A. Pierson of Brooklyn, California; Henry Putnam of Bridgeton, New Jersey; Anna Burrows Smith; and Charlotte Burrows Sumnner.

Apart from routine family news, the letters contain references to many of issues of the day: the letters written by soldiers relate to battles, recruiting, camp life, and troop movements; while those written by other family members relate to the war's progression, prisoners of war, African Americans, and victory receptions for Union military leaders. Other letters relate to agriculture and conditions in the West.

[NOTE: Surnames being absent on many of the letters, the identities and military units of several of the writers have been derived from careful research and examination of the letters themselves.]

Arrangement

The collection is arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent, with a folder of unidentified correspondence and miscellaneous material at the end. [NOTE: Many of the letters do not bear surnames and the identities of the writers was surmised through research and a careful review of the letters themselves. In cases where writers' identities were determined during processing of the collection, their names appear in brackets [ ] below.


Index Terms

    Subjects:

  • Civil War
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865

Contents List

Correspondence
  • Box-folder 1-1
    A-Burrows, J
    • Burrows, Deborah 1863
    • Burrows, James F. 1891, n.d.
    • [Burrows, Jennie Rhodes] n.d.
  • Box-folder 1-2
    Burrows, K-L
    • Burrows, Linus P. 1864-1879
  • Box-folder 1-3
    Burrows, M-R
    • Burrows, Palmer L. 1862-1864
  • Box-folder 1-4
    Burrows, S-Bz
    • Burrows, S. Worcester 1861-1881, n.d.
    • Burrows, Sophronia M. 1861-1865
  • Box-folder 1-5
    C-L
    • Cotrell, S. A. n.d.
    • [Edgerton, Delia Shaw] 1863-1884
    • Hanford, Frank 1882
    • [Hanford, Matilda] n.d.
  • Box-folder 1-6
    M-R
    • [Newman, Charles] 1862
    • Pierson, N. A. 1861
    • Putnam, Henry 1881
  • Box-folder 1-7
    Sa-Sm
    • [Shaw, Emma] 1864-1866, n.d.
    • [Shaw, Frederick W.] 1861
    • [Shaw, Genio M.] 1864-1869
    • Shaw, Joseph P. 1864
    • [Smith, Anna Burrows] 1861
  • Box-folder 1-8
    Sn-Sz
    • [Sumner, Charlotte Burrows] 1861-1866
    • Sumner, Laura 1882
    • [Sumner, Mary] 1888
  • Box-folder 1-9
    W-Z
    • [Webb, George W.] n.d.
    • Wheeler, M. R. 1889
    • Wheeler, N. P. 1863
    • Wheeler, U. E. 1865
Box-folder 1-10
Miscellaneous
  • Unidentified correspondents 1861-1864
  • Delaware Literary Institute catalog 1866
  • Circular advertisement for Mrs. Allen's Photograph Albums and Prizes n.d.