Guide to the Parsons Family Papers 1829-1945

Collection number: MC 239
Size: (2 boxes) (0.66 cu.ft.)

About the Parsons Family of Rye, NH

The Parsons family of Rye, New Hampshire was headed by John Wilkes Parsons (Dec. 12, 1778-Sept. 18, 1849). He was the son of Dr. Joseph Parsons (14 Dec 1746 - 8 Feb 1832), a captain in the Continental Army and head of the Rye, NH militia in the American Revolution. John had been a "privateer" during the War of 1812, was a doctor and a member of the New Hampshire State Legislature, serving in the Senate. He married Abigail Garland (14 Aug 1782-22 Sep 1857) and together they had nine children.

John's eldest son, Thomas Parsons (Col. Thomas Jefferson Parsons, 1804-1890), lived in the Rye/Portsmouth area and served as a Colonel in the New Hampshire militia in the 1830s and in the NH state legislature.

Charles Parsons (1808-1844) was, like his father, a doctor and he studied in Washington, D.C. He traveled to Haiti in 1833 and sailed around the Caribbean until settling in Carroll County, Mississippi, where he practiced medicine. In the 1840s, Charles fell ill and returned to the family home in New Hampshire, where he died soon after.

William Harrison Parsons (1813-1867) was a commercial sea captain who worked for Ichabod Goodwin. (Goodwin later became governor of New Hampshire at the start of the Civil War). He went on expeditions that took him around the Cape of Good Hope to New Zealand and Australia and was primarily involved in shipping southern cotton to Europe. A large percentage of his letters originate in either Mobile, Alabama or Liverpool, England. William also invested heavily in railroad companies and helped convince his father to put money into railroads. He died in Hamburg, Germany.

John Parsons (Major John Parsons, 1816-1888) was an early pioneer in 1840s Florida and traveled around the southern United States. He was a Universalist preacher and a major during the Seminole War. He wrote home mainly to his younger sister Abby Parsons (see last paragraph) and in his letters shares his views on happiness. His July 15, 1843 letter contains a very detailed hand drawn map of the Florida Peninsula. Other historical sources tell that he was a co-founder in the 1840s of the gulf coast town of Bayport, FL with Thomas Henry Parsons (1820-1857) (son of Col. Thomas Jefferson Parsons). Thomas Henry died in Florida in 1857 before the Civil War, but John stayed throughout the conflict in defense of Bayport against the Union blockade of the Florida coast, as "Captain" John Parsons who formed the home guard unit, "Parsons Independent Company". He worked closely with Senator Yulee in the creation and expansion of the early railroads in Florida.

Warren Parsons (1818-1902) was also a doctor and studied in Washington, D.C. While living in Washington, he worked at the U. S. Treasury Department and was well connected with Daniel Webster. He also had the opportunity to interview President John Tyler. Warren's second wife was Julia Gove, who is the pivotal figure in the second and third sections of the collection.

Julia Ann (Gove) Parsons (13 Apr 1829-8 Mar 1911) was a Rye school teacher from Raymond, NH whose brother, George S. Gove (11 Jan 1841-aft. 1860), served in the 5th NH Volunteer regiment in the Civil War.

Abby Semira Parsons (1820-1911), the second youngest child, stayed at home in Rye. She seems to have been very close with her brother John (see John's letter on Feb. 8, 1836, in which he talks about his "beloved sister"). Abby did not have children.

About the Parsons Family Papers (1819-1934)

The Parsons Family papers are divided into four series: Series 1 covers the period 1829-1856, Series 2 comprises the Civil War years from May 1861-April 1865, and Series 3 contains letters from 1865 to the beginning of the 20th Century. The last series (4) contains miscellaneous non-correspondence materials covering the entire timespan of the collection.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], [Folder Number], [Box Number], Parsons Family Papers, 1829-1945, MC 239, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Purchase/Donation, date unknown.

"Parsons Family Papers, 1815-1905" (Harvard University: Schlesinger Library, Boston, MA.)

"Parsons Family: Papers, 1611-ca. 1899" (Brown University: Brown University Library, Providence, RI.)

Collection Arrangement

Arrangement is chronological.

Collection Contents

Series 1: Correspondence, 1829-1856

(34 folders)

This series covers the activities of brothers Charles Parsons, Thomas Parsons, John Parsons, sisters Abby Parsons and Emily Parsons, and their parents. Topics include Charles' time in medical school, early work as a doctor in Carroll Co., Mississippi, and travels to Haiti and beyond. At the same time, his brother John Parsons is working as a preacher (later fighting in the Seminole War and then dying in Sept. 1844) and William is working shipping cotton in the South and traveling as far as Europe. While in the US, William writes extensively about his investments in railroad stock. Abby travels to Florida. All the letters are sprinkled with discussion of politics and current events.

Box 1
Folder 112 Letters, June 10, 1829-Dec 3, 1831
Folder 2Letters, Jan-April 1832

The letters discuss Charles Parsons' time studying medicine in Washington, D.C., William Parsons work aboard ship and his life as a sailor, and a letter from Ichabod Goodwin giving William orders.

Folder 3Letters, July-Nov 1832

Letters discuss Charles Parsons studying medicine in Washington City, and William Parsons preparing for sea.

Folder 4Letters, Jan-March 1833

Charles has little to no money and writes home begging Thomas to send much needed funds. Letters from Thomas Sewall are references that certify that Charles Parsons has become a Medical Doctor. Once he is certified as an MD, Charles leaves Washington City.

  • Charles Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Jan. 29, 1833
  • John Wilkes Parsons to Charles Parsons, Feb. 14, 1833
  • Thomas Parsons & Family to Charles Parsons, Feb. 6, 1833
  • Thomas Sewall to Charles Parsons, March 6, 1833
  • Thomas Sewall to Charles Parsons, March 6, 1833
  • Charles Parsons to Thomas Parsons, March 15, 1833
Folder 5Letters, Oct-Nov 1833

Letters discuss Charles Parsons voyage to Haiti. References to Port-au-Prince (describes it as "the Great Black City") and Yellow Fever.

Folder 6Letters, Feb-July 1834

Charles Parson travels to New Orleans, and then to Carroll County, Mississippi where he resides for several years. Charles is working at a doctor in Carroll County.

  • Charles Parsons to John Parsons, Feb. 3, 1834
  • Charles Parsons to Thomas Parsons, April 22, 1834
  • John Wilkes Parsons to Charles Parsons,June 4, 1834
  • Charles Parsons to Thomas Sewall (copy), June 15, 1834
  • John Wilkes Parsons to Charles ParsonsJul. 25, 1834
Folder 7Letters, Aug-Dec 1834

Letters between brothers Charles Parsons and Thomas Parsons. Charles is still living in Carroll County Mississippi, and is working as a doctor in the area. He has little money because he claims, there is little sickness and few families to attend to in the area. Charles also discusses how to buy and sell public land from the government and make money. This land most likely belonged to Native American nations and Charles references "Indian Reserve" in one of his letters.

  • Charles Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Aug. 3, 1834
  • Charles Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Sept. 16, 1834
  • Thomas Parsons to Charles Parsons, Sept. 23, 1834
  • Thomas Parsons to Charles Parsons, Nov. 30, 1834
  • Thomas Sewall to Charles Parsons, Dec. 9, 1834
  • Charles Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Dec. ??, 1834
Folder 8Letters, March-July 1835

John Parsons writes his brother Charles about working as a preacher and his faith in Christianity and God. John also shares his views on happiness in his April 12, 1835 letter to Charles.

Folder 9Letters, July-Dec 1835

Letters discuss William Parsons' travels. William sailed around the Cape of Good Hope, and to New Zealand. Describes what life in New Zealand is like, and writes "The natives of New Zealand are a noble race of looking men." (William Parsons, November 29, 1835).

Folder 10Letters, Feb-Aug 1836

John Parsons writes an affectionate letter to his sister Abby Parsons. Thomas Parsons writes a detailed letter to Charles about state elections when he is in Concord, NH. Letter provides insight into New Hampshire state politics (Mar. 28, 1836). William arrives back in America and writes about his 15 month journey.

Folder 11Letters, Sept-Dec 1836

John writes his Father asking him to lend money so he can start a prosperous business. William writes Charles and tells about his travels in New Zealand, and Australia. In December 1836, William Parson writes both Thomas and Charles from Mobile, Alabama. William is shipping Southern cotton to Liverpool, England.

Folder 12Letters, Feb-Dec. 1837

Feb. 5, 1837 is a letter in which Emily, Abby, Thomas and Father write Charles. Father and Thomas offer Charles advice, and Father wants Charles to leave the South. Charles writes home to Thomas and his sisters and discusses courting and meeting women. Charles also writes about several weddings and parties that he attended (Dec. 17, 1837).

Folder 13Letters, Jan-Oct 1838

William writes about shipping goods from Portsmouth, New Hampshire to Mobile, Alabama. He complains that business is dull, but is still in the cotton trade, and is planning on returning to Liverpool again. William also mentions the price of goods. After 9 months, John finally writes home to his Father. He is now living in Florida. John has had a difficult 9 months, but says he is now a better member of society.

Folder 14Letters, April-Sept 1839

In these letters Ichabod Goodwin, William's superior, writes him giving instructions. A Daniel Webster also writes William Parsons about supplies needed for the ship. It should be noted that this is not the statesman Daniel Webster writing William Parsons.

Folder 15Letters, Oct 1839-Nov 1840

In this section of letters, William writes an unnamed brother from New York City, and tells him he is sick of New York. John writes home to his brother Thomas from Florida. John includes a hand drawn map of the Florida Keys. Ichabod Goodwin writes William about shipping salt. Warren, who is living in Washington City, offers insight on William Henry Harrisons' election.

Folder 16Letters, March-May 1841

Warren is living in Washington City and is working in the Treasury Department. In Warren's letter to William he mentions a meeting with Daniel Webster, and how the President is sick (Harrison). John was fighting in the Seminole War, and is upset because he is mustered out of service without pay.

  • Warren Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, March 10, 1841
  • Warren Parsons to William Parsons, April 3, 1841
  • John Parsons (brother) to Thomas Parsons, April 16, 1841
  • Abby Parsons to Charles Parsons, May 16, 1841
Folder 17Letters, Aug-Oct 1841

Warren is living in Washington, D.C. He has finished his job at the Treasury Department, and Daniel Webster is trying to help him find a job. Warren discusses politics, and mentions that he had an interview with President Tyler. Abby writes Charles about family and town news.

Folder 18Letters, Jan-Dec 1842

Warren writes his brother Charles about politics and Congress in Washington. He is on winter break from medical school and plans to graduate in the Spring. Charles' letter to Thomas is politically charged, and Charles calls for the abolition of slavery. He also discusses bonds, paper money, the importance of the Battle of New Orleans, and Mormons. In December, William writes to Thomas saying he will be shipping cotton to Liverpool.

Folder 19Letters, Jan-April 1843

William writes Thomas before leaving Mobile, Alabama for Liverpool, England, and then again when he is leaving Liverpool, England to head back to the Gulf Coast. William is shipping cotton. John explains to Abby what Florida is like, and how it differs greatly from New England. John also shares his views on happiness.

Folder 20Letters, May-Dec. 1843

In May, William is in New Orleans, and sails to Antwerp, Belgium. By December, William is back in Boston, and making plans to head back to Mobile, Alabama. Writes about time in Belgium, and other ports he visited in Europe. John draws Abby a very detailed map of Florida.

  • William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, May 14, 1843
  • William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, June 11, 1843
  • John Parsons (brother) to Abby Parsons, July 15, 1843
  • William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Aug. 13, 1843
  • William Parsons to Charles Parsons, Dec. 6, 1843
  • William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Dec. 8, 1843
Folder 21Letters, Jan-March 1844

Letters from William discuss the price of goods, the economy, and in his Mar. 3rd letter highlights differences between the North and the South. Friends of Charles, Koppert and Farrington, write him in the hospital.

  • William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Jan. 8, 1844
  • William Parsons to Charles Parsons, Jan. 28, 1844
  • William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, March 3, 1844
  • William Parsons to Charles Parsons, March 15, 1844
  • Charles Koppert to Charles Parsons, March 26, 1844
  • Farrington to Charles Parsons, March 27, 1844
Folder 22Letters, April-May 1844

William is still shipping Southern cotton, and sends his father money to deposit in Bank of America. His letters discuss a great deal about monetary funds. The letter dated May 15 by William to his father says that he ran into his brother John in New Orleans. Together the two go and visit Charles who is very sick in the hospital. On May 27, William writes home to Thomas and gives details about Charles's sickness.

Folder 23Letters, June-Nov 1844

William writes home to Thomas about Charles's health. This folder contains the notification of Charles's death. In October, Charles Koppert, a friend of Charles Parsons, writes to the family offering grievances, and William writes to his father about his brother's death. In November, William writes Thomas about money, the price of goods, and investing in railroads.

  • William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, June 13, 1844
  • Charles Parsons Death Notice, Sept. 9, 1844
  • William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Sept. 17, 1844
  • Charles Koppert to John Wilkes Parsons, Oct. 15, 1844
  • William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons,Oct. 26, 1844
  • William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Nov. 23, 1844
  • William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons,Nov. 28, 1844
Folder 24Letters, Jan-April 1845

William writes his father about investing in railroad companies. Charles Koppert writes the family about what is happening in Mississippi after Charles's death. William writes Thomas telling him about his passage back from Liverpool, and says he lost a man overboard.

  • William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Jan. 1, 1845
  • Charles Koppert to John Wilkes Parsons, Jan. 20, 1845
  • Missing from collection but transcribed, April 16, 1845
  • Missing from collection but transcribed, April 26, 1845
  • William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, April 30, 1845
Folder 25Letters, June-Nov 1845

Thomas Parsons' oldest son, Thomas Henry, has moved to Florida, and he writes his aunt, Abby, about life in Florida. A bill of sale for an anchor is addressed to John Wilkes Parsons, and the money is directed to go to him. In November, William is loading a ship with cotton to sail from Mobile to Liverpool.

  • Not in the collection but transcribed, June 13, 1845
  • Thomas Henry Parsons to Abby Parsons, June 14, 1845
  • Whitlock to John Wilkes Parsons, July 12, 1845
  • William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Nov. 20, 1845
  • Missing from collection but transcribed, Nov. 20, 1845
  • Missing from collection but transcribed, Oct. 30, 1845
Folder 26Jan-Nov 1846

William writes to his father telling him how his ship sank off the coast of England. William goes into detail about the shipwreck (Jan. 28, 1846). In his second letter William writes to his father about investing in railroad stock, and other monetary concerns.

Folder 27Jan-March 1847

Both John Wilkes Parsons and William Parsons are investing in railroad stocks. William sails from Portsmouth, NH to Mobile, AL. John writes a very detailed history of Florida to his sister. The history includes mentions of Spanish colonization, English attempts of control, conflicts with the Seminoles, the city St. Augustine, the United States involvement in Florida, and General Andrew Jackson controversially hanging British citizens in Florida.

  • William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Jan. 16, 1847
  • Rev. Parsons to Abby Parsons, Feb. 28, 1847
  • Broker to John Wilkes Parsons, Jan. 18, 1847
  • Broker to John Wilkes Parsons, Jan. 25, 1847
  • William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Feb. 6, 1847
  • Missing from Collection but transcribed, Feb. 22, 1847
  • John Parsons (brother) to Abby Parsons, March 25, 1847
Folder 28May-July 1847

Charles Koppert writes Thomas and informs him about the status of Charles's possessions. Both John Wilkes Parsons and William are investing in railroad stock.

  • William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, May 11, 1847
  • Charles Koppert to Thomas Parsons, June 2, 1847
  • Western Railroad Corp. to John Wilkes Parsons, June 17, 1847
  • Oliver Rand to John Wilkes Parsons, June 28, 1847
  • William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons,July 10, 1847
  • Broker to John Wilkes Parsons, July 13, 1847
Folder 29Letters, August-November 1847

In August and September 1847, William is in Liverpool, England. Although he is in Europe he still writes about buying railroad stock. He reaches New York in October and by the end of November, he is planning on sailing to Savannah. William calls the shipping business dull, and fears he will not make much money.

  • William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Aug. 19, 1847
  • William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Sept. 19, 1847
  • William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Oct. 25, 1847
  • William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons,Nov. 13, 1847
  • William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons,Nov. 30, 1847
Box 2
Folder 1Letters, Jan-April 1848

Letters deal primarily with the finances of John Wilkes Parsons. John Wilkes Parsons is investing in railroad stock.

  • Publisher to John Wilkes Parsons, Jan. 1, 1848
  • Broker to John Wilkes Parsons, Jan. 5, 1848
  • Western Railroad to John Wilkes Parsons, Jan. 17, 1848
  • Missing from collection but transcribed, April 8, 1848
Folder 2Letters, May-July 1848

In his letter to his aunt, Thomas Jr, writes about a party he attended. Thomas Jr. is living in Florida. Several brokers write John Wilkes Parsons about his investments in railroad stock.

  • Titled: juliacertificates (not in collection), May 5, 1848
  • Thomas Parsons (Jr.) to Abby Parsons, May 18, 1848
  • Worcester Railroad to John Wilkes Parsons, June 8, 1848
  • Worcester Railroad to John Wilkes Parsons, July 12, 1848
  • Boston & Maine Railroad to John Wilkes Parsons,July 26, 1848
Folder 3Letters, Aug-Dec 1848

John Wilkes Parsons receives multiple letters from railroad companies concerning his investments. William writes to his father and discusses investments in railroads and finances.

  • Boston & Maine Railroad to John Wilkes Parsons,Aug. 22, 1848
  • William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons,Oct. 4, 1848
  • Western Railroad Offices to John Wilkes Parsons, Nov. 2, 1848
  • Western Railroad Offices to John Wilkes Parsons, Nov. 15, 1848
  • Not in collection but transcribed, Dec. 5, 1848
  • Boston Worcester Rail R. Office to John Parsons, Dec. 6, 1848
Folder 4Letters, Jan 1849-Aug 1853

William writes to his father in 1849 and makes mention of the California Gold Rush, and gold fever. In February 1851, John is working as a successful shopkeeper in Florida. However, in 1853, John is wandering throughout the country. He visits Washington, and then takes a train west to Kentucky. In his second letter in 1853 he talks about women in Kentucky.

Folder 5Letters, April-June 1855-1860

In Thomas Jr. letter from 1856 he talks about Indian trouble in Florida and how President Pierce is not helping. Norris writes John Wilkes Parsons from Iowa. He comments on Iowa's rich farming land, and also on the slavery debate going on in Missouri. Abby is visiting Florida and she writes her sister about her experiences there.

Series 2: Correspondence, 1861-1865

(15 folders)

The majority of the letters in Series 2, documenting the family's involvement in the Civil War, are between George Gove and his sister Julia Parsons, who was married to Warren Parsons. George Gove served in the 5th New Hampshire Volunteers Regiment, which was part of the Army of the Potomac. The 5th New Hampshire was led by the dynamic and well-loved Colonel Edward Cross and suffered more casualties than any other regiment in the Union Army. George rose from private to Lieutenant and was wounded several times, but luckily survived the war. George saw action at the Battles of Fair Oaks, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Petersburg, and writes very vivid and detailed letters describing each event.

Other points of interest in this section are letters from cousin Llewellyn ("Lew") Gove to Julia Parsons. Llewellyn and his father, Moses Gove, moved from Boston to Kansas in the 1850s, during the turmoil in Kansas & Missouri before the Civil War, to join with Isaac Goodnow and the anti-slavery New England Emigrant Aid Colony in Manhattan, Kansas. Capt. Grenville Llewellyn Gove served in the 11th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry stationed at Fort Riley, KS and he writes about the brutal fighting in the western theater as well as general lawlessness in eastern Kansas. He later died in the war and both Gove County and Gove City in western Kansas were named after him. Also, there are several key letters back East about the reaction to President Lincoln's assassination.

Box 2
Folder 6Letters, May-Nov 1861
Folder 7Letters, December 1861
Folder 8Letters, Jan-Feb 1862
Folder 9Letters, March-June 1862
Folder 10Letters, July-Oct 1862
Folder 11Letters, Nov-Dec 1862
Folder 12Letters, Jan-March 1863
Folder 13Letters, April-July 1863
Folder 14Letters, Aug-Sept 1863
Folder 15Letters, Oct-Nov 1863
Folder 16Letters, Jan-April 1864
Folder 17Letters, 17 May-June 1864
Folder 18Letters, July 1864
Folder 19Letters, Aug-Nov 1864
Folder 20Letters, March 1865-March 1866
  • Julia Parsons to Warren Parsons (son), March 19, 1865
  • Anna Parsons to Abby Parsons, April 10, 1865. At the end of the letter Anna hears that the Civil War has just ended. Anna is living in New York City and describes the scene when the city finds out about Lee's surrender.
  • Julia Parsons to Warren Parsons (son), April 16, 1865. Julia Parsons writes her reactions of Lincoln's death to her son Warren. Julia liked Lincoln, and says that everyone is upset about his death.
  • Warren Parsons (son) to Julia Parsons, April 19, 1865. Also comments about the reactions to Lincoln's death.
  • Anna Parsons to Julia Parsons July no day, 1865
  • Unknown to Emily Brown, March 30, 1866

Series 3: Correspondence, 1866-1945

(11 folders)

The principal correspondent in Series 3 is Julia Parsons. The series consists of letters between Julia and her sons, the majority being between her and her son Frederick Dupeytien Parsons. Fred lived in Boston and worked at a store for several years. Julia writes him several times trying to convince him to come back to Rye, and eventually he does return to help with the family farm. In the late 1880s Fred takes a trip to Florida to visit his brother Warren.

Box 2
Folder 21Letters, Jan 1870-Sept 1872
  • Unknown to Julia Parsons, Jan. 31, 1870. The letter states on the top, State of Iowa Thirteenth General Assembly House of Representatives. The writer is unknown, but he is working in the Iowa state government. He is working right now on school reform and writes about how much money he is making.
  • Anna Parsons to Abby Parsons, April 28, 1872
  • Anna Parsons to Abby Parsons, Aug. 25, 1872. Mentions the Mount Washington Railroad, and discusses a vacation.
  • John Parsons to Emily Parsons Brown, Sept. 22 1872
Folder 22Letters, March 1882
  • Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, March 9, 1882
  • Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, March 10, 1882
  • Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, March 19, 1882
  • Julia Parsons to Fred Parsons, March 31, 1882
  • Fred Parsons, Julia and Warren's son, moves to Boston. Is able to find a job, and sells flour. In his letter from March 19, he writes condescendingly about the Irish.
Folder 23Letters, April 1882
  • Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, April 7, 1882
  • Julia Parsons to Fred Parsons, April 12, 1882
  • Julia Parsons to Fred Parsons, April 18, 1882
  • Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, April 30, 1882
  • Fred is living in Boston. His mother wants him to find a better job (Apr. 12, 1882).
  • Julia writes about a fire in Rye (Apr. 18, 1882). Fred gets a new job, but is still working in grocery (Apr. 30, 1882), and comments that the work is very hard.
Folder 24Letters, July-Nov 1882
  • Fred Parsons to "Mother", July 6 1882
  • Julia Parsons to Fred Parsons, July 14, 1882
  • Julia Parsons to Fred Parsons,Nov. 19, 1882
  • Fred is still living in Boston. Julia writes him and asks him to come home for Thanksgiving.
Folder 25Letters, March-Oct 1883
  • Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, March 12, 1883. Fred has spent one year in Boston. He writes his mother talking about his year and his finances.
  • John Fraser to Fred Parsons, April 12, 1883. Fraser writes Fred and tells about a new baby who is named after Fred.
  • Julia Parsons to Fred Parsons, April 13, 1883. Julia writes Fred on his birthday. Julia wants Fred to return to Rye at some point and leave Boston so he can take care of his parents.
  • Julia Parsons to Fred Parsons, Oct. 7, 1883. Julia writes about a very beautiful and expensive wedding and after party.
Folder 26Letters, Jan-March 1884
  • Warren Parsons (son) to Julia Parsons, Jan. 17, 1884. Warren accuses his brother Fred of being lazy and writes about his morning routine.
  • Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, Feb. 11, 1884. Fred is still living in Boston and he work in a store. Fred writes that he enjoys to go skating in his free time, and regularly attends church and Sunday School.
  • Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, March 3, 1884
  • Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, March 10, 1884
  • Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, March 17, 1884
  • Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, March 27, 1884
Folder 27Letters, June 1884

In Julia's letter to Fred she asks him to come back home because his father cannot manage the farm and his medical practice too. In the letter dated Jun. 15, Fred says that he has quit his job. Jun. 20, 1844, is the last letter from Fred in Boston. He travels back to Rye by train.

  • Julia Parsons to Fred Parsons, June 5, 1844
  • Fannie Barber to Fred Parsons, June 13, 1844
  • Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, June 15, 1844
  • Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, June 20, 1844
Folder 28Letters, June-July 1886

In this section of letters Julia is writing her daughter Anna Parsons. In the letters, Julia discusses the wedding of her stepson Warren Parsons.

  • Julia Parsons to Anna Parsons,June 16, 1886
  • Julia Parsons to Anna Parsons, June 20, 1886
  • Julia Parsons to Anna Parsons, July 1, 1886
Folder 29Letters, Aug 1888-March 1889

In 1888, Warren moves to Florida. He writes home saying that he is not in risk of Yellow Fever. Fred goes to Florida to visit Warren. On Dec. 27, he is in New York leaving on a steamer for Florida. He writes from the boat on Dec. 29, and explains the voyage. On Jan. 11, he writes back to Rye from Florida.

  • Warren Parsons (son) to Julia Parsons, Aug. 6, 1888
  • Warren Parsons (son) to parents, Sept. 15, 1888
  • Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, Dec. 27, 1888
  • Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, Dec. 29, 1888
  • Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, Jan. 11, 1889
  • Julia Parsons to Fred Parsons, March 24, 1889
Folder 30Letters, April-May 1889

Fred writes home from Florida again on April 1. He is visiting his brother Warren, and writes about a fishing trip, life in Florida, and farming. On May 2, he is in St. Augustine, and has bought a ticket to visit Washington DC. Fred writes on May 9 from Washington DC, and says he met President Cleveland and shook his hand.

  • Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, April 1, 1889
  • Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, May 2, 1889
  • Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, May 9, 1889
  • Blank Letter, 1888
Folder 31Letters, Oct 1893-May 1898

Abby writes Anna from Chicago. She is attending the 1893 World's Fair. [See Box 2 Folder 33, for budget ledger at the World's Fair.] The letter from Jennings is an attorney addressing his client, in what seems to be a civil law suit.

  • Abby Parsons to Anna Parsons, Oct 15, 1893
  • W.S. Jennings to Fred Parsons, May 3, 1898
Folder 32Letters, June 1911-March 1945

Anna writes Abby from her vacation in Halifax. She writes about Coronation service that took place in various churches and mentions the Bishop of Nova Scotia. She also writes about the British Navy and a naval review. The letter dated Dec. 25, 1911, discusses Abby being sick, Christmas day celebrations, and makes mention of a Christmas tree. The letter from Feb. 25, 1925, is from John Fraser who is living in California. John Fraser makes mention of the Chicago World's Fair, discusses life in California, and comments on the number of cars in California and driving.

  • Anna Parsons to Abby Parsons, June 29, 1911
  • Fred Parsons to Anna Parsons, Dec. 25, 1911
  • Fred Parsons to Thomas Simes, Feb. 4, 1925
  • John Fraser to Fred Parsons, Feb. 25, 1925
  • George Parsons to Julius, May 13, 1934
  • Fred Parsons to NH Highway Commissioner, Aug. 1934
  • NH Highway Dept. to Fred Parsons, Aug. 17, 1934
  • Earl C. Walter to Fred Parsons, Marc. 17, 1945. Includes a 20000 marks note from the Reichsbank if the Weimar Republic

Series 4: Miscellaneous, 1819-1930

(5 folders)

Series 4 consists of paper ephemera arranged chronologically, including an 1819 account book, bills/receipts, genealogical notes, legal documents, and other items such as postcards and newspaper clippings.

Box 2
Folder 33Account Book, etc., 1819-1893
  • Account Book, 1819
  • World's Fair Budget Ledger, 1893
  • Reward of Merit cards given to Abby Parsons by her teacher
  • Calendar, 1893
Folder 34Clippings
  • Miscellaneous newspaper clippings
Folder 35Financials & Genealogy, 1838-1850
  • Bills/receipts for work performed by Drs. John Parsons and Warren Parsons, 1838-1850 and three other receipts.
  • Genealogical notes
Folder 36Legal & Misc., 1887-1930 and Undated
  • Miscellaneous Envelopes
  • Printed slip entitled "Cabin Plans"
  • Picture postcard, "Looking west on Washington Road towards town center, c.1887"
  • Legal Document,March 28, 1924
  • Legal note, Sept. 15, 1924
  • Legal Document,March 23, 1930
  • Voting Ballot, undated