The Mailliard Family Papers extend from 1785-1896, although most of the material falls within the period ca. 1817-1860.
The collection is in two parts, the first containing correspondence to George Sumner (1817-1863), a political economist born in Boston, educated in Europe and well acquainted with European affairs. Among those corresponding with him are statesmen, historians, and artists of France, England, and America. These include such names as Washington Irving, George Peabody, Henry W. Longfellow, William H. Prescott, William E. Gladstone, Alexis de Tocqueville and Robert C. Winthrop. This correspondence dates primarily from 1839-1857. The collection also contains a number of letters addressed to others from such persons as Oscar Wilde, Edward S. Gould, Ernest W. Longfellow, and Thomas A. Edison. Besides correspondence, this section contains some printed biographies of members of the Ward family of Rhode Island.
The remainder of the collection concerns Joseph Bonaparte (1768-1844), ex-king of Naples and Spain (known as the Count of Survilliers after 1815), and other members of the Bonaparte family. These papers were accumulated by Louis Hypolite Mailliard (b.1795), who acted as secretary to Bonaparte and later served as executor of his estate. Mailliard was assisted in his duties as executor by his son Adolph Mailliard (b.1819). The Mailliards were also appointed the executors of the wills of other members of the Bonaparte family subsequent to the death of Joseph Bonaparte.
A small part of the correspondence as well as a journal kept by Louis Mailliard relates to the personal affairs of Joseph Bonaparte. Most of the material, however, including correspondence, business and legal papers, and record books, covers the execution of Bonaparte's estate. A considerable amount of the material relates to the Bonaparte estate in Bordentown, New Jersey, where Joseph Bonaparte lived for some time while in exile in America.
The Mailliard Family Papers were donated to Yale University Library by J. Ward Mailliard, Jr. 1953.