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Anderson Family Papers: Finding Aid
mssAD 1-454  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Notes
  • Related materials in the Huntington Library
  • Related Collections in Other Repositories
  • Scope and Content Note
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Anderson Family Papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1776-1948
    Bulk dates: 1838-1938
    Collection Number: mssAD 1-454
    Creator: Anderson (Family)
    Extent: approximately 775 pieces in 9 boxes + loose volumes
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains the personal and business papers of William Marshall Anderson (1807-1881) and various members of the Anderson family, a prominent Catholic family of Ohio and Kentucky.
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Anderson Family Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Acquisition Information

    The collection was acquired from various sources from 1954 to 1968:
    • The 1834 journal of William Marshall Anderson's overland journey was purchased from Parke-Bernet Galleries via J. S. Holliday in April 1954.
    • The bulk of the collection: business papers, correspondence, diaries, land and legal papers, family papers, newspaper clippings and photographs were purchased from Effie Anderson Olds, granddaughter of William M. Anderson, via J. S. Holliday in October 1957.
    • The correspondence of Robert Spurrier Ellison was the gift of J. S. Holliday, April 1960.
    • AD 397-416, gift of Charles Anderson Gauld III, 1961.
    • 7 cartes-de-visite (Box 8), gift of Charles Anderson Gauld, 1966.
    • In 1968, the Publications Department of the Huntington Library transferred miscellaneous papers relating to William Marshall Anderson to the Department of Manuscripts.

    Biographical Notes

    The Anderson family, descendants of American Revolutionary War officer Colonel Richard Clough Anderson, was one of the most prominent families of Ohio and Kentucky.

    Biographical Note on Richard Clough Anderson (1750-1826)

    During the Revolutionary War, Richard Clough Anderson (1750-1826) took part in the battles of Assunpink Bridge, Brandywine, Germantown, and Savannah, and as aide-de-camp to General Lafayette, Anderson attended to the surrender of Cornwallis. On December 17, 1783, the Society of Cincinnati appointed Richard Clough Anderson surveyor general in Virginia Military District, (the land between Scioto and Little Miami rivers), which had been granted to Virginia by Congress in 1784 to be distributed as wartime to Virginia soldiers. Richard C. Anderson's first wife, Elizabeth Clark, was the sister of Generals George Rogers and William Clark. In 1797, Richard Clough Anderson married Sarah Marshall (1779-1854), first cousin of Chief Justice John Marshall and a relative of the Clarks. They had seven sons and five daughters some of whom played an important role in state and national political and cultural life.

    Biographical Note on Richard Clough Anderson, Jr. (1788-1826)

    Richard Clough Anderson, Jr. (1788-1826), a son of Elizabeth and Richard Clough Anderson, graduated from William and Mary, became a representative in the Kentucky legislature from 1815 to 1817, a member of Congress from 1817 to 1821, speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1822, and from 1823 to 1826 minister to Colombia, where he negotiated the first treaty between the United States and a South American country. He died of yellow fever to Cartagena en route to the Congress of Panama of 1826.

    Biographical Note on Larz Anderson (1803-1878)

    Larz Anderson (1803-1878), a son of Sarah and Richard Clough Anderson, graduated from Harvard Law School and moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, when he married into the family of Nicholas Longworth, noted horticulturist of Cincinnati, and became one of the wealthiest men in the state, Director of the Citizens' National Bank, known for involvement in various charities. Larz Anderson died in June 1878.

    Biographical Note on Robert Anderson (1805-1871)

    Robert Anderson (1805-1871), a son of Sarah and Richard Clough Anderson, graduated from West Point in 1825, and was appointed second lieutenant in the 3rd artillery. He served in the Black Hawk war of 1832 as colonel of the Illinois volunteers. From 1835 to 1837, he was instructor of artillery at West Point, and in 1837 and 1838 served in the Florida war, and was brevetted captain. Subsequently, he was attached to the staff of Winfield Scott as assistant adjutant-general, and was promoted to captain in 1841. He served in the Mexican War, and was severely wounded at Molino del Rey. In 1857 he was appointed major of the 1st artillery, and on November 20, 1860, he assumed command of the troops in Charlestown harbor, with headquarters at Fort Moultrie. Owning to threatened assaults, he withdrew his command, on the night of December 26th to Fort Sumter, and on April 13 surrendered the fort. In recognition of his services, he was appointed brigadier-general in the U.S. Army and was assigned to the command of the department of Kentucky, and subsequently to that of the Cumberland. He was relieved from the duty due to his failing health, and in October 1863 retired from active service. He died in Nice, France in 1871. He was one of the principal founders of the Soldiers' Home in Washington.

    Biographical Note on William Marshall Anderson (1807-1880)

    William Marshall Anderson (1807-1880), a son of Sarah and Richard Clough Anderson, studied at Chillicothe Academy and Transylvania Academy in Lexington, Kentucky. In October 1826, following death of his father, he returned home and was appointed executor of the estate. For the next three years he was involved in the management of the farm. Having sold the farm, W. Marshall Anderson studied law in the office of his brother Larz in Louisville. In May 1832, he received his law license. Having been stricken with yellow fever, he decided to take a trip West in order to improve his health, and joined the fur-trading party being taken to the Rocky Mountains by the Kentucky-born William L. Sublette. His health restored, Anderson returned home in the fall of 1834. In 1839, he replaced his brother-in-law Allen Latham as the permanent Surveyor General of the Virginia Military Land District in Ohio. In May 1839, Governor McArthur died leaving a will that resulted in one of the most notorious lawsuits in U.S. history. As McArthur's last attorney, Anderson became involved in the intricate litigation. In 1839, Anderson bought a small place near Chillicothe called Glen Mary. In 1853 Anderson moved from Chillicothe to Circleville, Ohio and settled at Seven Oaks Farm in Pickaway County. In 1865-1866 he traveled to Mexico, in order to establish a Confederate colony. William Marshall Anderson died of double pneumonia in Circleville in 1881.
    W. Marshall Anderson converted to Catholicism in 1839, after years of intense study. He and his brothers were involved in the affairs of the Cincinnati Archdiocese. In the early 1850's Anderson became involved in a vitriolic controversy over the visit of the anti-Catholic Hungarian revolutionary Louis Kossuth. In 1870s, W. Marshall Anderson, a zealous Catholic, found himself in confrontation with his sons and sister Louisa, who resented his heavy-handed attempts to interfere with their religious beliefs.
    In 1840s W. Marshall Anderson became interested in archeology and arts, and in June 1844, Anderson was appointed secretary of the American Art Union for the promotion of the Fine Arts in the United States. In 1871, he visited the Lake George area to study mound builders. He succeeded in uncovering a valuable collection of pottery.
    W. Marshall Anderson was married twice. His first wife, Eliza McArthur Anderson (1815-1855), daughter of Duncan McArthur died in 1855. In 1857, W. Marshall Anderson married Ellen Columba Ryan, a daughter of a wealthy Irish Catholic family of Urbana, Ohio.

    Biographical Note on Charles Anderson (1814-1895)

    Charles Anderson (1814-1895), a son of Sarah and Richard Clough Anderson, graduated at Miami University Oxford, Ohio (1833), practiced law in Louisville, Kentucky, and in 1835 moved to Dayton, Oh. In 1844 he was elected to the Ohio senate, where his efforts in behalf of the repeal of the "Black Laws" made him unpopular with his constituency. He then made a tour in Europe and returning opened his law office in Cincinnati with Rufus King. In 1859 he settled in Texas, and at the outbreak of the rebellion was driven out the state for his unionism, and narrowly escaped with his life. He returned to Ohio and was made colonel of the 93th Ohio Volunteer infantry, and was severely wounded at the battle of Stone River. In he was governor of Ohio. He moved from Ohio to Kentucky in 1887 and purchased property in Kuttawa, Kentucky.

    Biographical Note on Thomas McArthur Anderson (1836-1917)

    Thomas McArthur Anderson (1836-1917), a son of Eliza and William Marshall Anderson, abandoned the bar in 1861 to enlist as a Private in the 65th Ohio Volunteers. Through the influence of his uncle, Robert Anderson, he was commissioned Second Lieutenant of the 5th US Cavalry. He was soon promoted to Captain, and served through the Civil War with the 12th US infantry, being twice wounded and twice brevetted — to Major for conduct in Wilderness and Lieutenant and to Lieutenant Colonel for Spotsylvania Court House. After the war he remained in the Army, rising to Colonel, commanding the 14th Infantry. In 1898, with the temporary rank of Brigadier General, he commanded the first troops to reach the Philippines after George Dewey's victory in Manila Bay.

    Biographical Note on Mary Anderson Olds (1846-)

    Mary Anderson (born 1846), a daughter of Eliza and William Marshall Anderson, married Judge Joseph Olds (born 1832) of Columbus, Ohio, in 1866.

    Biographical Note on Robert Marshall Anderson (1862-1939)

    Robert Marshall Anderson (1862-1939), son of Ellen and William Marshall Anderson, graduated from Notre Dame University in 1883. An expert civil engineer, he taught at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. and served as vice-president of a New York engineering company. In 1831, he retired and moved to Circleville, Ohio. He inherited his father's archeological and manuscript collections. The archaeological collection was curated by Mrs. A. R. Van Cleaf, and then loaned to the Department of Archeology of Ohio State University. In 1938 he, in cooperation with Robert Spurrier Ellison, an Oklahoma oil producer and collector of Western Americana, attempted to publish the Rocky Mountain journals. With Ellison's death, however, this project was brought to an end.

    Related materials in the Huntington Library

    Related Collections in Other Repositories

    • Anderson-Latham Papers, The Filson Club, Louisville, Ky.
    • Anderson, Richard C. (Richard Clough), 1750-1826. Papers, 1813-1822. Ohio Historical Society, (Columbus).
    • Anderson, Richard C. (Richard Clough), 1850-1826. Papers, 1785-1881. University of Illinois Library.

    Scope and Content Note

    This collection primarily contains letters and some manuscripts concerning William Marshall Anderson and the Anderson family, mainly for the period of 1838-1938. It covers family affairs, legal practices and business affairs of William Marshall Anderson, including his involvement in the McArthur lawsuit; the Catholic Church and its financial involvement in Ohio; the northwest United States in 1830s, archeological mounds; Mexico in 1865, civil engineering, bounty land grants to Virginia revolutionary soldiers; Richard Clough Anderson and George Rogers Clark, also William Marshall Anderson's diaries, including his trips to the Rocky Mountains (1834), Mexico (1865), and Mississippi (1871); family and business correspondence of Robert Marshall Anderson, including letters re: construction of Robert M. Anderson's home in Circleville, Ohio, designed by Charles S. Keefe.
    Anderson family members represented in the collection include Larz Anderson, Charles Anderson, Robert Anderson, Thomas McArthur Anderson, Richard Clough Anderson, Robert Marshall Anderson, Ellen Columba Ryan Anderson, and Mary Anderson Olds.

    Significant figures represented in the collection include:

    • Anderson, Charles, 1814-1895. As author: 10 pieces; as addressee: 4 pieces
    • Anderson, Ellen Columba Ryan. As author: 16 pieces (1858-1898); as addressee: 30 (1858-1891)
    • Anderson, Larz, 1803-1878. As author: 13 pieces (1856-1877); as addressee: none
    • Anderson, Richard Clough, 1829-1878. As author: 6 pieces (1864-1878); as addressee: none
    • Anderson, Robert, 1805-1871. As author: 8 pieces (1825-1871); as addressee: 2 pieces (1842-1843)
    • Anderson, Robert Marshall, 1862-1939. As author: 22 pieces (1872-1939); as addressee: 87 pieces (1879-1939)
    • Anderson, Thomas McArthur, 1836-1917. As author 5 pieces (1864-1901); as addressee 7 pieces (1876-1901)
    • Anderson, William Marshall, 1807-1881. As author: 53 pieces (1838-1880); as addressee: 115 pieces (1837-1880)
    • Clarke, Powhatan Henry, 1862-1893. As author: 6 pieces (1875-1893); as addressee: none
    • Draper, Lyman Copeland, 1815-1891. As author: 7 pieces (1843-1867); as addressee: none
    • Early, Jubal Anderson, 1816-1894. As author: 1 piece (1865); as addressee: none
    • Ellison, Robert Spurrier. As author: 11 pieces (1935-1939); as addressee: 22 pieces (1935-1941)
    • Juncker, Henry Damian, 1810-1868. As author: 1 piece (1855); as addressee: none
    • Longworth, Nicholas, 1782-1863. As author: 1 piece (1851); as addressee: none
    • McArthur, Duncan, 1772-1839. As author: 2 pieces; as addressee: 1817 and 1837
    • Magruder, John Bankhead, 1807-1871. As author: 1 piece (1866); as addressee: none
    • Olds, Joseph. As author: 12 pieces (1885-1901); as addressee: 8 pieces (1866-1903)
    • Olds, Mary Anderson, b. 1846. As author: 12 pieces (1877-1896); as addressee: 1 piece (1885)
    • Purcell, John Baptist, 1800-1883. As author: 4 pieces (1855-1868); as addressee: 1 piece (1868)
    • Piatt, Donn 1819-1892. As author: 5 pieces (1884-1891); as addressee: none
    • Sherman, Ellen Boyle Ewing, 1824-1888. As author: 1 piece (1872); as addressee: none
    • Thurman, Allen Granbery, 1813-1895. As author: 1 piece (1875); as addressee: 1 piece (1851)
    The Rocky Mountain diary of William Marshall Anderson was published on various occasions in 1838-1967. His Mexican diary has been published in: An American in Maximilian's Mexico, 1865-1866: the diaries of William Marshall Anderson / edited by Ramon Eduardo Ruiz. (San Marino, Calif. : Huntington Library, 1959).


    Organized in the following manner:
    • Anderson Family Correspondence, miscellaneous documents, and ephemera (Boxes 1-5)
    • Robert Spurrier Ellison Correspondence (Box 6)
    • William Marshall Anderson diaries and related correspondence (Box 7-8)
    • Oversize, Genealogical Materials, and Miscellaneous
    • Loose volumes

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Anderson, Charles, 1814-1895 -- Correspondence.
    Anderson, Ellen Columba Ryan -- Correspondence.
    Anderson, Larz, 1803-1878 -- Correspondence.
    Anderson, Robert, 1805-1871 -- Correspondence.
    Anderson, Robert Marshall, 1862-1939 -- Correspondence.
    Anderson, Thomas McArthur, 1836-1917.
    Anderson, William Marshall, 1807-1881 -- Archives.
    Rogers, George, 1741-1835.
    Clarke, Powhatan Henry, 1862-1893 -- Correspondence.
    Draper, Lyman Copeland, 1815-1891 -- Correspondence.
    Early, Jubal Anderson, 1816-1894 -- Correspondence.
    Ellison, Robert Spurrier -- Correspondence.
    Girty, Simon, 1741-1818.
    Juncker, Henry Damian, 1810-1868 -- Correspondence.
    Kossuth, Lajos, 1802-1894.
    McArthur, Duncan, 1772-1839.
    Purcell, John Baptist, 1800-1883 -- Correspondence.
    Piatt, Donn, 1819-1891 -- Correspondence.
    Sublette, William Lewis.
    Anderson family -- Archives.
    Catholic Church. Archdiocese of Cincinnati (Ohio) -- History -- Sources.
    Stevens Institute (Hoboken, N.J.)
    Catholics -- Ohio -- Archives.
    Excavations (Archaeology) -- Mississippi -- 19th century.
    Fur traders.
    Indians of North America -- Antiquities.
    Mounds -- Ohio.
    Mounds -- Mississippi.
    Real property -- Ohio.
    Real property -- Kentucky.
    Engineering -- United States.
    Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)
    Ohio -- Politics and government.
    Fort Bridger (Wyo.) -- History.
    Fort Laramie (Wyo.) -- History.
    Mexico -- Description and travel.
    Mexico -- History -- European intervention, 1861-1867 -- Sources.
    Mississippi -- Antiquities.
    Ohio -- Antiquities.
    Ohio -- Social life and customs -- Sources.
    United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783.


    Diaries -- United States.
    Drawings -- United States.
    Ephemera -- United States.
    Family papers -- United States.
    Land grants -- United States.
    Letters (correspondence) -- United States.
    Memoirs -- United States.
    Newspaper clippings -- United States.


    Anderson, William Marshall, 1807-1881.
    Anderson, Charles, 1814-1895.
    Anderson, Ellen Columba Ryan.
    Anderson, Larz, 1803-1878.
    Anderson, Robert, 1805-1871.
    Anderson, Robert Marshall, 1862-1939.
    Anderson, Thomas McArthur, 1836-1917.
    Clarke, Powhatan H. (Powhatan Henry), 1862-1893.
    Draper, Lyman Copeland, 1815-1891.
    Early, Jubal Anderson, 1816-1894.
    Ellison, Robert Spurrier.
    Juncker, Henry Damian, 1810-1868.
    Keefe, Charles C.
    McArthur, Duncan, 1772-1839.
    Peet, Edward D.
    Purcell, John Baptist, 1800-1883.