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Chapman Family Correspondence and Other Documents
MSS 0048  
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CORRESPONDENCE

Scope and Content of Series

Series 1) CORRESPONDENCE
This series is primarily comprised of letters exchanged by John Gadsby Chapman and his son, Conrad. The letters, dating from the years 1861 to 1865, provide details on the Civil War and Conrad's experiences in the Confederate army. These include a set of undated drafts which form an extended diary in letter form. In his letters, Conrad writes of forced marches, sleeping on wet straw, and the daily routine of camp life. Sometimes he describes the beauty of the landscape, or the picturesque groupings of officers and men around the camp fires. These written descriptions are augmented by Chapman's Civil War drawings, some of which (in the form of engravings) are included in the collection.
The collection also includes a number of letters dating from the 1890s written by Conrad to his brother John; a letter from the U.S. Congress regarding John Gadsby Chapman's commission for the Capitol rotunda; and letters documenting everyday 19th century life, including the sale of slaves and a description of the Washington homestead in Fredericksburg, VA.
Oversize FB-363, Folder 1

General correspondence to John Gadsby Chapman 1820 - 1833

General correspondence to John Gadsby Chapman: 1820 - 1833

General note

Assorted letters from peers and associates. Items of interest include: an 1833 letter describing the ruins of General George Washington's childhood home in Fredericksburg, VA, including a sketch of the dwelling (presumably Ferry Farm); an 1833 letter discussing the sale of a slave family (the slave Syphax, accused of an unidentified transgression, and his wife and son) from the Washington family at Claymont to the Chapmans; and a letter from the joint committee of Congress tasked to appoint artists to decorate the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Oversize FB-363, Folder 2

General correspondence to John Gadsby Chapman 1844-1857

General correspondence to John Gadsby Chapman: 1844-1857

Oversize FB-363, Folder 10

Letter from Thomas Sully to John Gadsby Chapman 1830 February 14

Letter from Thomas Sully to John Gadsby Chapman: 1830 February 14

General

Sully comments on Chapman's work, suggesting ways in which the younger artist can pursue his career, and provides details on activities in the contemporary American art community.
Oversize FB-363, Folder 3

Correspondence between Conrad Wise Chapman and his family 1860-1862

Correspondence between Conrad Wise Chapman and his family: 1860-1862

General

12 leaves.
Oversize FB-363, Folder 4

Correspondence between Conrad Wise Chapman and his family 1862

Correspondence between Conrad Wise Chapman and his family: 1862

General

7 leaves.
Oversize FB-363, Folder 5

Correspondence between Conrad Wise Chapman and his family 1863

Correspondence between Conrad Wise Chapman and his family: 1863

General

16 leaves.
Oversize FB-363, Folder 6

Correspondence between Conrad Wise Chapman and his family 1865

Correspondence between Conrad Wise Chapman and his family: 1865

General

14 leaves.
Oversize FB-363, Folder 7

Conrad Wise Chapman's undated drafts of letters circa 1865

Conrad Wise Chapman's undated drafts of letters: circa 1865

General

10 leaves.
Oversize FB-363, Folder 8

Letters from Conrad Wise Chapman to John Linton Chapman 1896-1898

Correspondence from Conrad Wise Chapman to John Linton Chapman: 1896-1898

General

8 leaves.
Oversize FB-363, Folder 9

Inventory of the Estate of Thomas Chapman and other papers between 1791 and 1879

Inventory of the estate of Thomas Chapman and other documents: between 1791 and 1879

General

Includes a document in Italian, a partial transcription from John Smith's The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles The fovrth Booke , and an inventory of the estate of Thomas Chapman.
 

ENGRAVINGS

Scope and Content of Series

Series 2) ENGRAVINGS
Works by both John Gadsby and Conrad Wise Chapman, presumably copied by engravers from original paintings or illustrations.
Oversize MC-038-06

Assorted engravings

General

12 after paintings by John Gadsby Chapman, 3 after paintings by Conrad Chapman; page from the Daily South Carolinian, 1863 June 16.