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Boardman family papers

Call Number: MS 89
Scope and Contents

The papers contain correspondence, business papers, account books, deeds, diaries, estate records, journals, letterpress copybooks, notebooks, and miscellanea of the Boardman family of Connecticut and Ohio. The personal lives and professional careers of several generations of the Boardman family are documented. Among the primary figures in the papers are: Elijah Boardman (1760-1823), William Whiting Boardman (1794-1871), and William Jarvis Boardman (1832-1914). Additional individuals represented in the collection include: Daniel Boardman (1757-1853), David Sherman Boardman (1768-1864), Elijah Boardman (1777-1845), Frederic A. Boardman (1820-1890), George Sherman Boardman (1799-1825), Henry Mason Boardman (1797-1846), William Henry Boardman (1862-), Joseph Earl Sheffield (1793-1882), and George St. John Sheffield (1842-1924). The papers document family activities and relationships, extensive land holdings in Ohio, business interests in land and manufacturing operations, the legal careers of William Whiting and William Jarvis Boardman, and the career of U.S. Senator Elijah Boardman.

The Boardman Family Papers are arranged in sixty-six (66) boxes and one folio volume totalling twenty-seven (27) linear feet. The papers are arranged in four series: Arranged in four series: I. Correspondence, 1811-1916; II. Business Correspondence, 1818-1917; III. Miscellaneous Papers, 1798-1865; IV. Personal Papers and Deeds, 1770-1936.

SERIES I, CORRESPONDENCE, 1811-1916, contains letters to various members of the extended Boardman family. General files are arranged alphabetically by author, and include items from many individuals outside the family domain. Eli Baldwin correspondence (box 1, folder 2) consists of letters to Elijah Boardman regarding his land holdings in the Ohio Territory (1811-1829). Letters from Bela B. Clark, Isaac Newton, Rufus Reynolds, and Samuel Swan also comment on the Boardman, Ohio lands of Elijah Boardman.

Other correspondents in this series include: Augustus Henry Mosle, an attorney who handled many routine financial and legal operations for William Jarvis Boardman, members of the Porter, Sheffield, Tyler, and Wright families, and three members of the Schroeder family. Brief notes from Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, to William Jarvis Boardman, are also arranged in this section.

Select files (boxes 3-7) contain correspondence to and from members of the extended Boardman family. The correspondence is arranged by author in two alphabetical sub-sections. Boxes 3-4 (folders 69-113) contain the first sub-section, and boxes 4-7 (folders 114-176) contain the second sub-section. The correspondence for each author of these letters is arranged alphabetically by the name of the correspondent.

Several female members of the Boardman family are represented in this section. Cornelia Elizabeth Boardman, Lucy Hall Boardman, Mabel Thorp Boardman, Mary Anna Whiting Boardman, and others corresponded regularly with parents, siblings, and a variety of relatives. Much of this correspondence is personal in nature, relating to the health and daily activates of family life. These letters include information on individuals in the New Haven and Mew Milford, Connecticut, area and those family members who travelled to the Ohio area to live and manage landholdings.

The correspondence of Elijah Boardman (1760-1823), (folders 120-126) consists of letters to two sons, Henry Mason and William Whiting. The material focuses on the sons management of family business interests, particularly while Elijah served as United States Senator, 1821-1823. Letters from the Henry Mason Boardman to his father are arranged in folder 147-148. Additional material of Elijah Boardman is arranged in SERIES III, box 45, folders 543-545.

The correspondence of William Whiting Boardman (1764-1871), the eldest son of Elijah and Mary Anna Boardman, includes letters to a sister-in-law, Florence Sheffield Boardman, the daughter of Joseph E. Sheffield, founder of the Sheffield Scientific School at Yale University. William Whiting Boardman was a frequent correspondent of several family members including a Cornelia Elizabeth Boardman, Henry Whiting Boardman, Lucy Hall Boardman, Mary Anna Whiting Boardman, William Jarvis Boardman, Daniel Boardman, David Sherman Boardman, Elijah Boardman, Frederic Alexander Boardman, and Henry Mason Boardman. Letters from Daniel Boardman (1822-1830) and Judge David Sherman Boardman (1822-1855) relate to family finances and land dealings in Connecticut and elsewhere. Frederic Alexander Boardman wrote several letters to William Whiting Boardman from 1837-1856. Early correspondence chronicles Frederic's educational expenses, and requests for support from his uncle, in Waterbury and Hartford. Letters from Boardman, Ohio, detail the estate problems brought about by the death of Frederic's father, Henry Mason Boardman.

Henry Mason Boardman moved with his family to Boardman, Ohio, in 1819, to manage the family lands. In a group of letters Henry wrote to his brother William from 1824-1846, the estensive land holdings and financial operations of the Boardman family are detailed. Frequent sales, leases, and exchanges of property are noted with an exact fiscal accounting of payments and accounts receivable.

William Jarvis Boardman (1832-1915), a Cleveland, Ohio, native who married Florence Sheffield, a daughter of Joseph E. Sheffield is another family member whose correspondence documents the Ohio branch of the Boardman family. SERIES IV contains several letterpress copybooks and other volumes detailing the personal and professional lives of Boardman's immediate family (boxes 48-61, folders 600-645).

Another William Jarvis Boardman (1885-1938), is a primary twentieth century figure in the papers. Much of his correspondence is personal, to aging members of his family. Correspondence to and from members of the Sheffield branch of the Boardman family is also found in SERIES IV, folders 662-679. Letters of Joseph Earl Sheffield (1793-1882) are included here.

SERIES II, BUSINESS CORRESPONDENCE, 1818-1892, contains the bulk of letters relating to the real estate and financial operations of the Boardman family. The sale and lease of land in Ohio is the primary focus of this material. The bulk of the correspondence is with Ohio attorneys, agents, employees, and individuals working on behalf of or with the Boardman family. Correspondence relating to real estate in Tennessee: is also arranged here (folders 190-196) and material from several trading, merchant, banking, and business concerns is also included.

SERIES III, MISCELLANEOUS PAPERS, 1798-1918, consists of notes, financial records and accounts, deeds, copies of wills, leases, and other legal agreements, and other papers relating to several generations of the Boardman family. Much of this material relates directly to SERIES II, BUSINESS CORRESPONDENCE, 1818-1917. Files for 1798 (folders 414-415) include information on the western reserve lands of Connecticut. Dated material for the period 1799-1840 is not extant, but files from 1841-1918 contain a great deal of material on family activity. The bulk of twentieth century material documents the work of William Jarvis Boardman (1885-1938), as the controller of family finances, including the settlement of estates.

SERIES IV, PERSONAL PAPERS AND DEEDS, contains a variety of bound volumes and deeds for members of the Boardman family. This series includes diaries, estate records, letterpress copybooks, account books, notebooks, correspondence, deeds, and other types of material.

Elijah Boardman (1760-1823) estate records and a land book of Ohio real estate holdings, 1799-1858, are among the earliest materials in the series. Elijah George Boardman (1829-1853) and Elijah George Boardman (1868-1900), two Ohio born members of the family, are represented through diaries and, for the latter, letterpress copybooks dating from 1895-1900.

William Jarvis Boardman (1832-1915) files include personal account books, 1860-1914, and material relating to family real estate interests in Ohio and Tennessee. Among the types of material documenting Boardman's professional duties are: claim books, land books, ledgers, and letterpress copybooks (1859-1914). Files relating to the settlement of the estate of Joseph Earl Sheffield (folders 643-645) are also arranged here.

Mabel Thorp Boardman, a prominent figure in the American Red Cross, wrote a manuscript about that organization (folder 596). Files for members of the Sheffield family include correspondence to and from Charles Joseph Sheffield, George Sheffield, George St. John Sheffield, Joseph Earl Sheffield (1793-1882) and others.

Additional papers of the Boardman family are in the possession of Carl Boardman Cobb of Arrora, Ohio. A folder inventory to this material is available, please consult the reference staff.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mrs. Murray Crane and Mrs. Frederick A. Keep, 1947.


Arranged in four series: I. Correspondence, 1811-1916. II. Business Correspondence, 1818-1917. III. Miscellaneous Papers, 1798-1865. IV. Personal Papers and Deeds, 1770-1936.

27 Linear Feet
Related Names
Boardman family
Language of Materials