Held at: Historical Society of Pennsylvania [Contact Us]1300 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19107
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The Schroeder family papers consists of hundreds of letters and dozens of genealogical charts and genealogical narratives. The primary collector of this wealth of information appears to have been Louisa Lawrence Schroeder (July 23 1886 - November 14, 1963). The majority of the letters are written by, or are from, Louisa’s mother Louisa Richards Lawrence (born 1861, died 1925) and father, Gilliat Ghequire Schroeder (born 1856, died 1914).
Researchers studying United States commerce in the two decades after the Civil War will find letters from Gilliat Schroeder, when he was traveling for business, of interest. His work was primarily as a cotton broker.
The personal letters in the collection tend to be mundane. However, the closeness that Gilliat and Louisa shared comes through in their writing about domestic and family issues. Taken as a whole, researchers will glean information about domestic arrangements in the mid nineteenth century, as well as some information on commerce. Readers may examine the letters, genealogical charts and other documents for a view of city life in New York and to a lesser degree Philadelphia, and for details about how friends and families kept in touch.
For those interested in genealogy, the collection’s extensive genealogical charts and narratives shows the extent to which Louisa Richards Lawrence Schroeder was a collector of the history of the many branches of her family, including distant relations.
Information on Jamaica, including accounts of slave uprisings, is also included. Extended family lived and owned land in Jamaica (Ricketts Family) from the late 18th century. There are letters to and from Jamaica written among family members.
The diaries of Selina Richard Schroeder written when she was a teenager gives the reader a wonderful insight into the late 19th century adolescent world. While much of the correspondence in the collection is formal and even stilted at times, the diary of the young girl is open and intimate. Selina was the daughter of Louisa and Gilliat Schroeder. In the diaries, she shows concerns not unlike of teens of today (albeit in hand written form as opposed to digital). In 1889 she writes, “I am going to be still more careful about who sees this book than I was with the last, and unless it is absolutely necessary, no one shall ever open it but myself and my chum Edith L. Speyers.” She also occasionally wrote in code.
Gift of Gilliat G. Schroeder, 1984.
Accession number 1984.078.
- Children's diaries, American
- Slaves--Jamaica--Social conditions--18th century
- Spouses--Correspondence--19th century
- Spouses--Correspondence-–20th century
- Historical Society of Pennsylvania
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Randi Kamine.
- Finding Aid Date
- ; 2016.
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
Letters congratulating Louisa and Gilliat on their engagement and marriage. They were married in 1874 in New York. Includes a list of visitors dated February 11 and 12, 1875.
Letters from Louisa during their engagement. Addressed to Gilliat at 121 Pearl Street, New York. Louisa was in Brookland, PA. from July 28 to August 18, 1874; in Philadelphia in October 1874.
At the time Louisa is in Mobile Alabama. Gilliat is in New York. She wrote almost daily.
Written while Gilliat was in New York (except for traveling for business in Birmingham, Mobile, and Jackson in January 1887).
Written while Louisa was in Bellows Falls, Vermont; at 130 E. 17th Street, New York; 139 E. 15th Street, New York; 44 East 28th Street, New York.
Includes indications of familial discord (rare), comments on Geronimo, mention of an “Old Maid.” Also a mention of a murder-suicide.
In a binder. Transcribed letters. Also, letters relating to the Lawrence Family.
Three letters written during the Civil War years: From Camp Montgomery, Alabama, May 9, 1865. Written to “My dear sister” signed, “Your affectionate brother, Hudson.” Another letter written April 28, 1866 and another May 10, 1866.
This folder contains approximately eighteen genealogical charts of various branches of the extensive Schroeder family.
Contains written genealogical narratives written by the Schroeders and others. Includes letters written to Louisa and Gilliat in answer to their ancestry inquires.
This folder includes loose bits of paper, unidentifiable information, and undated materials. Contains some fragile items.
Filled with articles cut from newspapers. Articles on family news but also of general interest. Sports (crew, etc.) Articles on the Colonial dames, obituaries, society gossip.
From the Fort Ticonderoga Museum. Along with the photo is a transcription of a letter from Major Ebenezer Stevens to a Mr. Wm Steven acknowledging the receipt of a pamphlet (?) entitled, “A System for the Discipline of the Artillery of the United States of America , or the Young Artillerist’s Pocket Companion.” In the letter, E. Stevens encourages its publication.