Approximately 100 letters spanning 1844-1924 (bulk 1840s-1850s) with the majority of correspondence written between Charles Slade English (1825-1900) and Ellen Deborah Miller (1830-1913) during their 1840s courtship and after their October 1849 marriage in Saugerties, New York. Additional correspondents are friends and family members including Ellen English's father, Benjamin Franklin Miller (1801-ca 1849), and her brother Sylvanus W. Miller (1837-1867). -- Sylvanus "Vane" Miller enlisted as a 2nd lieutenant with the New York 20th Infantry in April 1861, and was mustered out in August 1861. He enlisted again in November 1861 this time as a private with the NY 1st Mounted Rifles. HDS indicates he deserted on 6/20/1863 at Suffolk, Virginia. A group of 8 war-date letters in the archive includes 4 letters written in 1862 by Miller to his sister, with the letter of 29 October 1862 describing an engagement, possibly the Joint Expedition Against Franklin. -- Diary for 1850 "Presented on the 29th of Dec 1849 By Mr. English to his Wife," with daily entries describing Ellen English's life as a new bride in Washington, DC, including references to Henry Clay, the death of Calhoun, and entertainments at "Barnum's."
[With:] CDV album, ca 1860s, holding more than 80 CDVs and 10 tintypes, some identified and most seemingly friends and family members of the Miller and English families. Condition generally good with surface soil and some spotting throughout. Housed in gilt embossed leather album, 6 1/4 x 8 x 3 in. (heavy wear to leather especially at spine, including large section of spine nearly separated at bottom and top).
[With:] Sixth plate daguerreotype of man dressed in formal attire hand identified on verso "My father" and with hand-etched note on back of plate "B.F. Miller / Taken in New York / 1846." [New York], . (Heavy tarnish around subject, spotting to plate, resealed). Housed in full leather case (surface wear, no preserver). -- Sixth plate daguerreotype of well-dressed, unidentified male. Philadelphia, [1858-1864]. (Heavy tarnish to edges with spotting and clouding to plate, resealed.) Mat stamped bottom left "Germon, 702 Chest. St. Phila." Washington Lafayette Germon (ca 1823-1877), photographer, with studio location dating image to 1858-1864. Housed in half pressed paper case (wear, spotting to mat.) -- And 8 additional cased images, 2 daguerreotypes, 3 ambrotypes, and 3 tintypes, featuring images of unidentified women and children, ranging in size from sixteenth plate to sixth plate. Conditions vary.
[With:] Group of 2 loose CDVs featuring unidentified Civil War soldiers, one a bust portrait with backmark of Henry Ulke & Bro., Washington, DC. (Light soil.) Second, albumen of two soldiers posed in front of a tent, on trimmed cardstock mount. Washington: Brady, [ca 1860s]. (Mount and image trimmed.) -- Loose CDV of a man wearing a sombrero, ca late 1850s, possibly William Exall (1839-1862), who served as a private in the 21st Virginia Infantry and was killed on 1/3/1862 in Morgan Co. Virginia. Backmark "Fotografia de Rodapp y Zuper, Mazatlan." (Clipped corners, soil, adhesive residue to verso.) -- Group of 7 loose CDVs featuring images of women and children, one identified as "Ellen," and another as "Ellie English Hayden." Credited photographers include Schreiber & Son of Philadelphia, J. Gurney & Son of New York, and Henry Ulke of Washington, DC. -- A cabinet card of a young infant identified on verso as "Frank Miller English, Jr. / one year / February 8 / 98."
[Also with:] December 1865 "Account Book / Chas. S. English" documenting "Amount of Articles Given to E.D.M." such as books, perfume, a sleigh ride, and a ring, all with associated costs; two envelopes containing locks of hair; miscellaneous receipts.
In the 1840s and 1850s, Charles S. English operated a hardware business in the Washington DC area. A prosperous businessman, he later assumed roles as Collector of the Port of Georgetown and Police Commissioner as well as served terms in the Common Council. Correspondence indicates that in the 1840s he engaged in business with B.F. Miller to some extent and it is likely through this connection that he became acquainted with Miller's daughter, his future wife. Though B.F. Miller's line of business is uncertain, it appears he may have been involved in timber acquisition at one time. Possibly due to a business deal gone awry, Miller departed the DC-area in the late 1840s and relocated his family to near Coshocton, Ohio. Correspondence between English and Ellen Miller is in large part written between DC and Ohio.
Provenance: Consignor relates archive was acquired in Tulsa from the estate of Exall English (1902-1979), grandson of Charles and Ellen English.