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Caleb S. Layton papers

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Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. 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

Caleb S. Layton (1798-1882), was a Delaware attorney, judge, and legislator.

Layton was born in Sussex County, Delaware, on April 12, 1798. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Milton, where his father founded a mercantile business. Following schooling, Layton joined his father's business. In 1819, he married Penelope Rodney and began to hold public office. In 1820, he was appointed Clerk of the Peace for Sussex County, a position he held until he resigned in 1822 to pursue a legal education. While studying law with Thomas Cooper Esq. of Georgetown, Delaware, Layton served as Clerk of the Assembly from 1824 to 1825. In 1826, he was admitted to the bar and was also elected a member of the Assembly. Layton continued to be re-elected to the Assembly until 1830, when he successfully ran for a Senate seat. He served as Secretary of State for the state of Delaware, under Governor David Hazzard from 1830 until 1833. In 1836, he was reappointed to this position by Governor Charles Polk. Also in that year, he was appointed associate justice of Superior Court. He served in this capacity until his resignation in 1844. Among his many accomplishments during his legislative career were the introductions of a bill establishing a free school system and the first bill to abolish slavery in the state. Layton died on October 3, 1882, leaving nine children, who continued his example of public service to the state of Delaware.

Conrad, Henry C.History of the State of Delaware. Wilmington, Del: The author, 1908.

The Caleb S. Layton papers consist of eight letters, one account book, one bond, and one receipt belonging to nineteenth-century Delaware attorney, legislator, and judge Caleb S. Layton (1798-1882), reflecting his legal career and personal life and finances. Much of the material relates to a land dispute involving Solomon and A.W. Prettyman.

The bulk of the correspondence found in Series I. Letters and documents pertains to the case of Sarah Collins and, later, Priscilla Rust v. Reverend Solomon Prettyman. The case centered around a dispute over rental fees for a piece of land rented by Sarah Collins to Solomon Prettyman, with Collins subsequently transferring her interest in this land to Priscilla Rust. Five of the eight letters found in the collection were written by Prettyman, with four addressed to Layton and the fifth to Prettyman's brother, A. W., of Lewes, Delaware. Also included is one reply from Layton to Prettyman, and a letter to Prettyman from A. W.

Also in Series I. are a few miscellaneous items including a handwritten copy of the bond between Solomon Prettyman and Sarah Collins; one envelope addressed to Layton and postmarked "Albertsville;" and one receipt for the printing of a temperance address.

Series II. includes one account book for Layton's account with the Farmers Bank of Georgetown, Delaware, spanning the dates 1871 to 1881.

  1. Box 6, F147: Shelved in SPEC MSS 098 manuscript boxes

Purchase, November 2009.

Processed by Theresa Hessey, April 2004. Encoded by Lora J. Davis, September 2010. Further encoding by George Apodaca and Tiffany Saulter, March 2015.

Publisher
University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2010 September 23
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, http://library.udel.edu/spec/askspec/

Collection Inventory

Physical Description

11 items

Copy of bond from S. Prettyman to Sarah Collins/$60 per annum, circa 1845.
Box 6 Folder F147
Scope and Contents

Autograph copy of the bond between Solomon Prettyman and Sarah Collins originally dated March 30, 1830, and witnessed by Henry Little and John Gibbons. Also includes a later amendment to the bond dated December 6, 1834, and witnessed by Davis Hazzard, and a handwritten copy of the property transfer from Sarah Collins to Priscilla Rust, dated March 22, 1842, and witnessed by David Hazzard and Peter N. Rust.

Physical Description

2 p.

Autograph letter signed, S. Prettyman, Wilmington, Delaware, to C.S. Layton, Georgetown, Delaware, 1845 October 11.
Box 6 Folder F147
Scope and Contents

Letter from Reverend Solomon Prettyman to Caleb S. Layton, his attorney in the matter of Solomon Prettyman v. Priscilla Rust, a case regarding a dispute over rental fees for a piece of land rented by Sarah Collins to Solomon Prettyman. Sarah Collins subsequently transferred her interest in the said piece of land to Priscilla Rust. Folded letter, stamped, postmark Wilmington [Oct. 13], hand noted "Paid charged box 112."

Physical Description

3 p.

Autograph letter signed, S. Prettyman, Wilmington, Delaware, to C.S. Layton, Georgetown, Delaware, 1846 February 21.
Box 6 Folder F147
Scope and Contents

Folded letter, noted "Paid charge box 112."

Physical Description

1 p.

Autograph letter signed, S. Prettyman, Wilmington, Delaware, to C.S. Layton, Georgetown, Delaware, 1847 October 5.
Box 6 Folder F147
Scope and Contents

Folded letter, postmark Wilmington [Oct. 7].

Physical Description

2 p.

Autograph letter signed, C.S. Layton, Georgetown, Delaware, to Rev. S. Prettyman, [Wilmington, Delaware], 1849 August 24.
Box 6 Folder F147
Scope and Contents

Folded letter.

Physical Description

1 p.

Receipt for printing of temperance address by Sam Kemmy? to C.S. Layton, 1849 November 22.
Box 6 Folder F147
Autograph letter signed, S. Prettyman, Wilmington, Delaware, to A.W. Prettyman, Lewes Town, Delaware, 1849 November 22.
Box 6 Folder F147
Scope and Contents

Letter from Solomon Prettyman to his brother A.W. Prettyman stating that he would not be able to travel to Sussex County for his trial and would like A.W. Prettyman to attend in his place. Folded letter, postmark Wilmington [Nov. 23].

Physical Description

3 p.

Autograph letter signed, S. Prettyman, Wilmington, Delaware, to unknown recipient, 1849 November 28.
Box 6 Folder F147
Scope and Contents

Folded letter.

Physical Description

2 p.

Autograph letter signed, Covvy? Chambers, Wilmington, Delaware, to C.S. Layton, Georgetown, Delaware, 1856 June 23.
Box 6 Folder F147
Scope and Contents

Letter to Layton from Covvy? Chambers regarding legal assistance. Folded letter, torn, with envelope.

Physical Description

2 p.

Miscellaneous envelope addressed to Caleb S. Layton, Georgetown, Delaware, 1850s.
Box 6 Folder F147
Scope and Contents

Postmarked Albertville, [Aug. 30], 185?

Autograph letter signed, A.W. Prettyman, to C.S. Layton, [Georgetown, Delaware], undated.
Box 6 Folder F147
Scope and Contents

Letter from A.W. Prettyman to Caleb Layton regarding a legal issue. Folded partial letter.

Physical Description

1 item

Farmers Bank, Georgetown, account book, 1871-1881.
Box 6 Folder F147
Scope and Contents

Includes one account book labeled: "Farmers Bank, Georgetown, in a/c with C. S. Layton, Esq. 1871."

Physical Description

56 p.

Print, Suggest