Guide to the Doe Family Letters

MSN/EA 5035


Collection Summary

Title: Doe family letters
Dates: 1842-1850 (bulk 1849-1850)
Collection No.: MSN/EA 5035
Creator: Doe, Charles C. (Charles Cogswell), 1830-1896
Creator: Doe, Joseph Bodwell, 1818-1890
Extent: 13 items; 1 container; 1 linear inch
Language: Collection material in English
Repository: University of Notre Dame. Hesburgh Libraries, Department of Special Collections. 102 Hesburgh Library, Notre Dame, IN 46556
Abstract: A group of 13 manuscript letters, mostly written by Charles C. Doe to his parents. The letters, for the most part, describe a trip from New Hampshire to Janesville, Wisconsin.

Selected Search Terms

Rock County (Wis.)--History--19th century
Wisconsin--Social life and customs--19th century
Travelers--West (U.S.)--History--19th century

Administrative Information

Restrictions: There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Preferred Citation: Doe Family Letters, Department of Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame.

Acquisition and Processing Note: The Doe Family Letters were acquired by the Hesburgh Libraries in 2012, from Carmen D. Valentino: American Historical Manuscripts (Catalogue 70, Item 59). Arranged and described 2012, by Mairead O'Malley. Finding aid 2013, by Kenneth Kinslow.

Biographical Note

The writer of the majority of the letters in this small collection is Charles Cogswell Doe (1830-1896), the son of Joseph Doe, Jr. and Mary Bodwell Ricker. On the paternal side Charles's ancestors lived in New Hampshire from at least 1663. He received a good education and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1849. Most of the letters were written in 1849 when Charles took a trip to Janesville, Wisconsin to visit his older brother, Bodwell Doe. Janesville was founded in 1835 in southern Wisconsin along the Rock River where early settlers established farms, primarily to grow wheat. After this trip west at the age of nineteen, Charles entered the law office of Daniel M. Christie in Dover, New Hampshire, and spent some time in Harvard Law School. He was admitted to the New Hampshire bar in 1852, and at the age of 29 became an associate justice in the state of New Hampshire and later the chief justice in that state.

Scope and Content Note

The collection includes 13 items, primarily travel letters from Charles C. Doe to his parents (nine letters). There are two letters from Charles C. Doe to his older brother Ebenezer Ricker Doe in Boston and one to his sister Susan Doe also in Boston. The final letter is from the brother Bodwell Doe to his parents after Charles has left Janesville, Wisconsin.

Arrangement Note

The collection consists of one series; materials are arranged chronologically, one item per folder.

Related Material

The majority of Charles C. Doe's letters and papers reside in the New Hampshire Historical Society. The most extensive discussion of Doe's life and work is John Phillip Reid's book: Chief Justice: the Judicial World of Charles Doe (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967).

Container List