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Parsons Family

Papers, 1829-1934

MC 239

2 boxes (0.66 cu.ft.)


About the Parsons Family

The Parsons family of Rye, New Hampshire was headed by John Wilkes Parsons (Dec.12, 1778-Sept.18, 1849). He was the son of Dr. Joseph Parsons, a captain in the Continental Army and head of the Rye, NH militia in the American Revolution. John had been a “privateer” during the War of 1812, was a doctor and a member of the New Hampshire State Legislature, serving in the Senate. He married Abigail Garland and together they had nine children.

John’s eldest son, Thomas Parsons (Col. Thomas Jefferson Parsons, 1804-1890), lived in the Rye/Portsmouth area and served as a Colonel in the New Hampshire militia in the 1830s and in the NH state legislature.

Charles Parsons (1808-1844) was, like his father, a doctor and he studied in Washington, D.C. He traveled to Haiti in 1833 and sailed around the Caribbean until settling in Carroll County, Mississippi, where he practiced medicine. In the 1840s, Charles fell ill and returned to the family home in New Hampshire, where he died soon after.

William Harrison Parsons (1813-1867) was a commercial sea captain who worked for Ichabod Goodwin. (Goodwin later became governor of New Hampshire at the start of the Civil War). He went on expeditions that took him around the Cape of Good Hope to New Zealand and Australia and was primarily involved in shipping southern cotton to Europe. A large percentage of his letters originate in either Mobile, Alabama or Liverpool, England. William also invested heavily in railroad companies and helped convince his father to put money into railroads. He died in Homburg, Germany.

John Parsons (Major John Parsons, 1816-1888) was an early pioneer in 1840s Florida and traveled around the southern United States. He was a Universalist preacher and a major during the Seminole War. He wrote home mainly to his younger sister Abby and in his letters shares his views on happiness. His July 15, 1843 letter contains a very detailed hand drawn map of the Florida Peninsula. Other historical sources tell that he was a co-founder in the 1840s of the gulf coast town of Bayport, FL with Thomas Henry Parsons (son of Col. Thomas Jefferson Parsons). Thomas Henry died in Florida in 1857 before the Civil War, but John stayed throughout the conflict in defense of Bayport against the Union blockade of the Florida coast, as “Captain” John Parsons who formed the home guard unit, “Parsons Independent Company”. He worked closely with Senator Yulee in the creation and expansion of the early railroads in Florida.

Warren Parsons (1818-1902) was also a doctor and studied in Washington, D.C. While living in Washington, he worked at the U. S. Treasury Department and was well connected with Daniel Webster. He also had the opportunity to interview President John Tyler. Warren’s second wife was Julia Gove, who is the pivotal figure in the second and third sections of the collection.

Julia Gove was a Rye school teacher from Raymond, NH whose brother, George S. Gove, served in the 5th NH Volunteer regiment in the Civil War.

Abby Semira Parsons (1820-1911), the second youngest child, stayed at home in Rye. She seems to have been very close with her brother John (see John’s letter on Feb. 8, 1836, in which he talks about his “beloved sister”). Abby did not marry.


About the Parsons Family papers

The Parsons Family papers span the years 1829 to the start of the 20th century and are divided into three sections or subseries: Subseries A covers the period 1829-1856, Subseries B comprises the Civil War years from May 1861-April 1865, and Subseries C contains letters from 1865 to the beginning of the 20th Century.

The majority of the letters in Subseries B, documenting the family’s involvement in the Civil War, are between George Gove and his sister Julia Parsons, who was married to Warren Parsons. George Gove served in the 5th New Hampshire Volunteers Regiment, which was part of the Army of the Potomac. The 5th New Hampshire was led by the dynamic and well-loved Colonel Edward Cross and suffered more casualties than any other regiment in the Union Army. George rose from private to Lieutenant and was wounded several times, but luckily survived the war. George saw action at the Battles of Fair Oaks, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Petersburg, and writes very vivid and detailed letters describing each event.

Other points of interest in this section are letters from cousin Llewellyn (“Lew”) Gove to Julia Parsons. Llewellyn and his father, Moses Gove, moved from Boston to Kansas in the 1850s, during the turmoil in Kansas & Missouri before the Civil War, to join with Isaac Goodnow and the anti-slavery New England Emigrant Aid Colony in Manhattan, Kansas. Capt. Grenville Llewellyn Gove served in the 11th Kansas Volunteer Cavalry stationed at Fort Riley, KS and he writes about the brutal fighting in the western theater as well as general lawlessness in eastern Kansas. Helater died in the war and both Gove County and Gove City in western Kansas were named after him. Also, there are several key letters back East about the reaction to President Lincoln’s assassination.

The principal correspondent in Subseries C is Julia Parsons. The series consists of letters between Julia and her sons, the majority being between her and her son Frederick Dupeytien Parsons. Fred lived in Boston and worked at a store for several years. Julia writes him several times trying to convince him to come back to Rye, and eventually he does return to help with the family farm. In the late 1880s Fred takes a trip to Florida to visit his brother Warren.


Series Listing

  1. Correspondence
    1. 1829-1856
    2. 1861-1865
    3. 1866-1938
  2. Miscellaneous


Box Listing


I. Correspondence


A. 1829-1856

BOX 1
f.1 June 10, 1829-Dec 3, 1831 (12 letters, multiple correspondents):
Certificate of Merit, June 10, 1829
Phillips Exeter Academy to John Wilkes Parsons, Aug. 17, 1829
Ichabod Goodwin To Capt. Robert West, Oct. 23, 1830
Charles Parsons to Thomas Parsons, July 22, 1831
Thomas Parsons to Charles Parsons, Aug. 4, 1831
Thomas Parsons to Charles Parsons, Aug. 24, 1831
John Wilkes Parsons to Charles Parsons, Aug 25, 1831
Charles Parsons to Abby Parsons, Sept. 20, 1831
Thomas Parsons to Charles Parsons, Oct. 5, 1831
Thomas Parsons to Charles Parsons, Oct. 29, 1831
f.2 Jan-April 1832 (6 letters, multiple correspondents):

The letters discuss Charles Parsons’ time studying medicine in Washington, D.C., William Parsons work aboard ship and his life as a sailor, and a letter from Ichabod Goodwin giving William orders.

Thomas Parsons to William Parsons, Jan. 15, 1832
Charles Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Feb. 10, 1832
William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Feb. 13, 1832
Emily Parsons to Charles Parsons, Feb. 19, 1832
Charles Parsons to Thomas Parsons, April 1, 1832
Thomas Parsons & John Wilkes Parsons to Charles Parsons, April 29, 1832.

f.3 July-Nov 1832 (5 letters, multiple correspondents):
Letters discuss Charles Parsons studying medicine in Washington City, and William Parsons preparing for sea.

Thomas Parsons to Charles Parsons, July 1, 1832
Emily Parsons & Thomas Parsons to Charles Parsons, July 8, 1832
William Parsons to Charles Parsons, Oct. 1, 1832
Charles Parsons to William Parsons, Oct. 28, 1832
Thomas Parsons to Charles Parsons, Nov. 11, 1832 (discusses the Presidential Election of 1832, with references to Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren, and Henry Clay)

f.4 Jan-March 1833 (6 letters, multiple correspondents):
Charles has little to no money and writes home begging Thomas to send much needed funds. Letters from Thomas Sewall are references that certify that Charles Parsons has become a Medical Doctor. Once he is certified as an MD, Charles leaves Washington City.

Charles Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Jan. 29, 1833
John Wilkes Parsons to Charles Parsons, Feb. 14, 1833
Thomas Parsons & Family to Charles Parsons, Feb. 6, 1833
Thomas Sewall to Charles Parsons, March 6, 1833
Thomas Sewall to Charles Parsons, March 6, 1833
Charles Parsons to Thomas Parsons, March 15, 1833

f.5 Oct-Nov 1833 (4 letters, multiple correspondents):
Letters discuss Charles Parsons voyage to Haiti. References to Port-au-Prince (describes it as “the Great Black City”) and Yellow Fever.

John Wilkes Parsons to Charles Parsons, Oct. 16, 1833
John Parsons (Brother) to Charles Parsons, Oct. 17, 1833
Charles Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Oct. 22, 1833
Charles Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Nov. 29, 1833

f.6 Feb-July 1834 (5 letters, multiple correspondents):
Charles Parson travels to New Orleans, and then to Carroll County, Mississippi where he resides for several years. Charles is working at a doctor in Carroll County

Charles Parsons to John Parsons, Feb. 3, 1834
Charles Parsons to Thomas Parsons, April 22, 1834
John Wilkes Parsons to Charles Parsons, June 4, 1834
Charles Parsons to Thomas Sewall (copy), June 15, 1834
John Wilkes Parsons to Charles Parsons Jul. 25, 1834

f.7 Aug-Dec 1834 (6 letters, multiple correspondents):
Letters between brothers Charles Parsons and Thomas Parsons. Charles is still living in Carroll County Mississippi, and is working as a doctor in the area. He has little money because he claims, there is little sickness and few families to attend to in the area. Charles also discusses how to buy and sell public land from the government and make money. This land most likely belonged to Native tribes and Charles references “Indian Reserve” in one of his letters.

Charles Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Aug. 3, 1834
Charles Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Sept. 16, 1834
Thomas Parsons to Charles Parsons, Sept. 23, 1834
Thomas Parsons to Charles Parsons, Nov. 30, 1834
Thomas Sewall to Charles Parsons, Dec. 9, 1834
Charles Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Dec. ??, 1834

f.8 March-July 1835 (6 letters, multiple correspondents):
John Parsons writes his brother Charles about working as a preacher and his faith in Christianity and God. John also shares his views on happiness in his April 12, 1835 letter to Charles

Thomas Parsons to Charles Parsons, March 29, 1835
John Parsons (Brother) to Charles Parsons, April 8, 1835
John Parsons (Brother) to Charles Parsons, April 12, 1835
Thomas Parsons to Charles Parsons, June 7, 1835
Charles Parsons to Thomas Parsons, June 1835
Charles Parsons to Theodore J. Krouse (copy), July 1, 1835

f.9 July-Dec 1835 (5 letters, multiple correspondents):
Letters discuss William Parsons’ travels. William sailed around the Cape of Good Hope, and to New Zealand. Describes what life in New Zealand is like, and writes “The natives of New Zealand are a noble race of looking men.” (William Parsons, November 29, 1835).

John Wilkes Parsons to Charles Parsons, July 13, 1835
William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, July 26, 1835
John Dise to Charles Parsons, July 29, 1835
William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Nov. 29, 1835
Charles Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Dec. 27, 1835

f.10 Feb-Aug 1836 (5 letters, multiple correspondents):
John Parsons writes an affectionate letter to his sister Abby Parsons. Thomas Parsons writes a detailed letter to Charles about state elections when he is in Concord, NH. Letter provides insight into New Hampshire state politics (Mar. 28, 1836). William arrives back in America and writes about his 15 month journey.

John Parsons (Brother) to Abby Parsons (sister), Feb. 5, 1836
Thomas Parsons to Charles Parsons, March 28, 1836
Charles Parson to John Parsons (brother), May 11, 1836
John Parsons (Brother) to Thomas Parsons, June 3, 1836
William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Aug. 9, 1836

f.11 Sept-Dec 1836(6 letters, multiple correspondents):
John writes his Father asking him to lend money so he can start a prosperous business. William writes Charles and tells about his travels in New Zealand, and Australia. In December 1836, William Parson writes both Thomas and Charles from Mobile, Alabama. William is shipping Southern cotton to Liverpool, England.

Thomas Parsons to Charles Parsons, Sept. 18, 1836
John Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Sept. 18, 1836
G. D. Parsons (Recruiter) to William Parsons, Oct. 8, 1836
William Parsons to Charles Parsons, Nov. 4, 1836
William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Dec. 15, 1836
William Parsons to Charles Parsons, Dec. 20, 1836

f.12 Feb-Dec. 1837 (4 letters, multiple correspondents):
Feb. 5, 1837 is a letter in which Emily, Abby, Thomas and Father write Charles. Father and Thomas offer Charles advice, and Father wants Charles to leave the South. Charles writes home to Thomas and his sisters and discusses courting and meeting women. Charles also writes about several weddings and parties that he attended (Dec. 17, 1837).

Emily Brown (sister) to Charles Parsons, Feb. 5, 1837
Thomas Parsons to Charles Parsons, March 20, 1837
Charles Parsons to Thomas Parsons, April 2, 1837
Charles Parsons to Abby Parsons, Dec. 17, 1837

f.13 Jan-Oct 1838 (5 letters, multiple correspondents):
William writes about shipping goods from Portsmouth, New Hampshire to Mobile, Alabama. He complains that business is dull, but is still in the cotton trade, and is planning on returning to Liverpool again. William also mentions the price of goods. After 9 months, John finally writes home to his Father. He is now living in Florida. John has had a difficult 9 months, but says he is now a better member of society.

William Parsons to Charles Parsons, Jan. 7, 1838
William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Jan. 21, 1838
Abby Parsons to Charles Parsons, May 18, 1838
John Parsons (son) to John Wilkes Parsons, June 1, 1838
Ichabod Goodwin to William Parsons, Oct. 30, 1838

f.14 April-Sept 1839 (4 letters, multiple correspondents):
In these letters Ichabod Goodwin, William’s superior, writes him giving instructions. A Daniel Webster also writes William Parsons about supplies needed for the ship. It should be noted that this is not the statesman Daniel Webster writing William Parsons.

William Parsons to Charles Parsons, April 25, 1839
Ichabod Goodwin to William Parsons, July 28, 1839
Ichabod Goodwin to William Parsons, Sept. 11, 1839
Daniel Webster to William Parsons, Sept. 28, 1839

f.15 Oct 1839-Nov 1840 (6 letters, multiple correspondents):
In this section of letters, William writes an unnamed brother from New York City, and tells him he is sick of New York. John writes home to his brother Thomas from Florida. John includes a hand drawn map of the Florida Keys. Ichabod Goodwin writes William about shipping salt. Warren, who is living in Washington City, offers insight on William Henry Harrisons’ election.

William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Oct. 14, 1839
William Parsons to unnamed brother, Nov. 2, 1839
John Parsons (Brother) to Thomas Parsons, Nov. 10, 1839
Ichabod Goodwin to William Parsons, Jan. 8, 1840
Ichabod Goodwin to William Parsons, June 13, 1840
Warren Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Nov. 5, 1840

f.16 March-May 1841 (4 letters, multiple correspondents):
Warren is living in Washington City and is working in the Treasury Department. In Warren’s letter to William he mentions a meeting with Daniel Webster, and how the President is sick (Harrison). John was fighting in the Seminole War, and is upset because he is mustered out of service without pay.

Warren Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, March 10, 1841
Warren Parsons to William Parsons, April 3, 1841
John Parsons (brother) to Thomas Parsons, April 16, 1841
Abby Parsons to Charles Parsons, May 16, 1841

f.17 Aug-Oct 1841. (3 letters, multiple correspondents):
Warren is living in Washington, D.C. He has finished his job at the Treasury Department, and Daniel Webster is trying to help him find a job. Warren discusses politics, and mentions that he had an interview with President Tyler. Abby writes Charles about family and town news.

Warren Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Aug. 14, 1841
Thomas Parsons to Charles Parsons, Aug. 15, 1841
Abby Parsons to Charles Parsons, Oct. 6, 1841

f.18 Jan-Dec 1842 (5 letters, multiple correspondents):
Warren writes his brother Charles about politics and Congress in Washington. He is on winter break from medical school and plans to graduate in the Spring. Charles’ letter to Thomas is politically charged, and Charles calls for the abolition of slavery. He also discusses bonds, paper money, the importance of the Battle of New Orleans, and Mormons. In December, William writes to Thomas saying he will be shipping cotton to Liverpool.

Warren Parsons to Charles Parsons, Jan. 1, 1842
William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, May 16, 1842
William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Nov. 6, 1842
Charles Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Nov. 18, 1842
William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Dec. 23, 1842
f.19 Jan-April 1843 (4 letters, multiple correspondents):
William writes Thomas before leaving Mobile, Alabama for Liverpool, England, and then again when he is leaving Liverpool, England to head back to the Gulf Coast. William is shipping cotton. John explains to Abby what Florida is like, and how it differs greatly from New England. John also shares his views on happiness.

William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Jan. 16, 1843
John Parsons (Brother) to Abby Parsons, Jan. 25, 1843
William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, March 15, 1843
Abby Parsons to Charles Parsons, April 2, 1843

f.20 May-Dec. 1843 (6 letters, multiple correspondents):
In May, William is in New Orleans, and sails to Antwerp, Belgium. By December, William is back in Boston, and making plans to head back to Mobile, Alabama. Writes about time in Belgium, and other ports he visited in Europe. John draws Abby a very detailed map of Florida.

William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, May 14, 1843
William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, June 11, 1843
John Parsons (brother) to Abby Parsons, July 15, 1843
William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Aug. 13, 1843
William Parsons to Charles Parsons, Dec. 6, 1843
William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Dec. 8, 1843

f.21 Jan-March 1844 (6 letters, multiple correspondents):
Letters from William discuss the price of goods, the economy, and in his Mar. 3rd letter highlights differences between the North and the South. Friends of Charles, Koppert and Farrington, write him in the hospital.

William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Jan. 8, 1844

William Parsons to Charles Parsons, Jan. 28, 1844

William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, March 3, 1844
William Parsons to Charles Parsons, March 15, 1844
Charles Koppert to Charles Parsons, March 26, 1844
Farrington to Charles Parsons, March 27, 1844

f.22 April-May 1844 (6 letters, multiple correspondents):
William is still shipping Southern cotton, and sends his father money to deposit in Bank of America. His letters discuss a great deal about monetary funds. The letter dated May 15 by William to his father says that he ran into his brother John in New Orleans. Together the two go and visit Charles who is very sick in the hospital. On May 27, William writes home to Thomas and gives details about Charles’s sickness.

William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, April 9, 1844
William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, April 12, 1844
William Parsons to Charles Parsons, April 12, 1844
William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, April 13, 1844
William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, May 15, 1844
William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, May 27, 1844

f.23 June-Nov 1844 (7 letters, multiple correspondents):
William writes home to Thomas about Charles’s health. This folder contains the notification of Charles’s death. In October, Charles Koppert, a friend of Charles Parsons, writes to the family offering grievances, and William writes to his father about his brother’s death. In November, William writes Thomas about money, the price of goods, and investing in railroads.

William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, June 13, 1844
Charles Parsons Death Notice, Sept. 9, 1844
William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Sept. 17, 1844
Charles Koppert to John Wilkes Parsons, Oct. 15, 1844
William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Oct. 26, 1844
William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, Nov. 23, 1844
William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Nov. 28, 1844

f.24 Jan-April 1845 (3 letters in collection, multiple correspondents):
William writes his father about investing in railroad companies. Charles Koppert writes the family about what is happening in Mississippi after Charles’s death. William writes Thomas telling him about his passage back from Liverpool, and says he lost a man overboard.

William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Jan. 1, 1845
Charles Koppert to John Wilkes Parsons, Jan. 20, 1845
Missing from Collection but Transcribed, April 16, 1845
Missing from Collection but Transcribed, April 26, 1845
William Parsons to Thomas Parsons, April 30, 1845

f.25 June-Nov 1845 (only 3 of the following letters in actually in the collection, multiple correspondents):
Thomas Parsons’ oldest son, Thomas Henry, has moved to Florida, and he writes his aunt, Abby, about life in Florida. A bill of sale for an anchor is addressed to John Wilkes Parsons, and the money is directed to go to him. In November, William is loading a ship with cotton to sail from Mobile to Liverpool.

Not in the collection but transcribed, June 13, 1845
Thomas Henry Parsons to Abby Parsons, June 14, 1845
Whitlock to John Wilkes Parsons, July 12, 1845
Missing from Collection but transcribed, Oct. 30, 1845
William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Nov. 20, 1845
Missing from Collection but transcribed, Nov. 20, 1845

f.26 Jan-Nov 1846 (3 letters, multiple correspondents):
William writes to his father telling him how his ship sank off the coast of England. William goes into detail about the shipwreck (Jan. 28, 1846). In his second letter William writes to his father about investing in railroad stock, and other monetary concerns.

William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Jan. 28, 1846
William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, June 10, 1846
Henshaw Ward and Co. to Warren Parsons, Nov. 2, 1846

f.27 Jan-March 1847 (5 letters, multiple correspondents):
Both John Wilkes Parsons and William Parsons are investing in railroad stocks. William sails from Portsmouth, NH to Mobile, AL. John writes a very detailed history of Florida to his sister. The history includes mentions of Spanish colonization, English attempts of control, conflicts with the Seminoles, the city St. Augustine, the United States involvement in Florida, and General Andrew Jackson controversially hanging British citizens in Florida.

William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Jan. 16, 1847
Broker to John Wilkes Parsons, Jan. 18, 1847
Broker to John Wilkes Parsons, Jan. 25, 1847
William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Feb. 6, 1847
Missing from Collection but transcribed, Feb. 22, 1847
John Parsons (brother) to Abby Parsons, March 25, 1847

f.28 May-July 1847 (5 letters, multiple correspondents):
Charles Koppert writes Thomas and informs him about the status of Charles’s possessions. Both John Wilkes Parsons and William are investing in railroad stock.

William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, May 11, 1847
Charles Koppert to Thomas Parsons, June 2, 1847
Western Railroad Corp. to John Wilkes Parsons, June 17, 1847
Oliver Rand to John Wilkes Parsons, June 28, 1847
William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, July 10, 1847
Broker to John Wilkes Parsons, July 13, 1847

f.29 August-November 1847 (5 letters):
In August and September 1847, William is in Liverpool, England. Although he is in Europe he still writes about buying railroad stock. He reaches New York in October and by the end of November, he is planning on sailing to Savannah. William calls the shipping business dull, and fears he will not make much money.

William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Aug. 19, 1847
William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Sept. 19, 1847
William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Oct. 25, 1847
William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Nov. 13, 1847
William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Nov. 30, 1847

BOX 2
f.1 Jan-April 1848 (3 letters, multiple correspondents):
Letters deal primarily with the finances of John Wilkes Parsons. John Wilkes Parsons is investing in railroad stock.

Publisher to John Wilkes Parsons, Jan. 1, 1848
Broker to John Wilkes Parsons, Jan. 5, 1848
Western Railroad to John Wilkes Parsons, Jan. 17, 1848
Missing from Collection but transcribed, April 8, 1848

f.2 May-July 1848 (4 Letters, multiple correspondents):
In his letter to his aunt, Thomas Jr, writes about a party he attended. Thomas Jr. is living in Florida. Several brokers write John Wilkes Parsons about his investments in railroad stock.

Titled: juliacertificates (not in collection), May 5, 1848
Thomas Parsons (Jr.) to Abby Parsons, May 18, 1848
Worcester Railroad to John Wilkes Parsons, June 8, 1848
Worcester Railroad to John Wilkes Parsons, July 12, 1848
Boston & Maine Railroad to John Wilkes Parsons, July 26, 1848

f.3 Aug-Dec 1848 (5 letters, multiple correspondents):
John Wilkes Parsons receives multiple letters from railroad companies concerning his investments. William writes to his father and discusses investments in railroads and finances.

Boston & Maine Railroad to John Wilkes Parsons, Aug. 22, 1848
William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Oct. 4, 1848
Western Railroad Offices to John Wilkes Parsons, Nov. 2, 1848
Western Railroad Offices to John Wilkes Parsons, Nov. 15, 1848
Not in collection but transcribed, Dec. 5, 1848
Boston Worcester Rail R. Office to John Parsons, Dec. 6, 1848

f.4 Jan 1849-Aug 1853 (5 letters, multiple correspondents):
William writes to his father in 1849 and makes mention of the California Gold Rush, and gold fever. In February 1851, John is working as a successful shopkeeper in Florida. However, in 1853, John is wandering throughout the country. He visits Washington, and then takes a train west to Kentucky. In his second letter in 1853 he talks about women in Kentucky.

William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Jan. 17, 1849
William Parsons to John Wilkes Parsons, Jul. 7, 1849
John Parsons (Brother) to Abby Parsons, Feb. 6, 1851
John Parsons (Brother) to Abby Parsons, July 24, 1853
John Parsons (Brother) to Abby Parsons, Aug. 6, 1853

f.5 April-June 1855-1860 (5 letters, multiple correspondents):
In Thomas Jr. letter from 1856 he talks about Indian trouble in Florida and how President Pierce is not helping. Norris writes John Wilkes Parsons from Iowa. He comments on Iowa’s rich farming land, and also on the slavery debate going on in Missouri. Abby is visiting Florida and she writes her sister about her experiences there.

Thomas Parsons (Jr.) to Abby Parsons, April 21, 1855
J.A. Norris to John Wilkes Parsons, Nov. 15, 1855
J.A. Norris to John Wilkes Parsons (?), 1855 (?)
Thomas Parsons (Jr.) to Abby Parsons, June 9, 1856
Abby Parsons to Emily Parsons, June 17, 1860


B. 1861-1865

f.6 May-Nov 1861:
Jane Gove to Julia Parsons, May 4, 1861. Rye, NH, start of the war; anti-South; first reactions to the rebellion
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Oct. 9, 1861. Camp Jackson, Concord, NH; discusses camp life. Col. Cross
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Oct. 12, 1861. Camp Jackson, Concord, NH; being mustered into service
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Nov. 9, 1861. In camp outside of Washington, describes trip from Concord to Washington; camp life. Co. K. 5th NH.
f.7 December 1861.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Dec. 3, 1861. Alexandria, VA, no Thanksgiving, marching around the Washington area, explains chain of command, and breakdown of brigade.

Norris to Father, Dec. 7, 1861. Iowa, discusses reaction to the war in Iowa, fighting in Missouri. Fighting under the command of Col. Morris.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Dec. 13, 1861. Camp California, VA, likes receiving letters, Gen. McClellan, picket duty, in good health. Gets paid.

George Gove to Julia Parsons, Dec. 28, 1861, Camp California, VA Describes Christmas Day in camp. Foot race, wrestling match, baseball game, oyster supper. Preparing winter quarters.
f.8 Jan-Feb 1862
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Jan. 21, 1862. Camp California, VA. Discusses weather. Anxious to see Rebels. Makes more money in the Army then in NH.
George Gove to Jane Gove (Mother), Feb. 9, 1862. Camp California, VA. Makes mention of Col. Cross. Asks about NH elections. Small skirmishes with NY troops against Rebels
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Feb. 9, 1862. Camp California, VA. Picket duty. Mentions NH elections. Regt. Is marching around Northern VA.
Warren Parsons to Jane Gove, Feb. 10, 1862. Rye, NH. No mention of the War. Family correspondence
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Feb. 16, 1862. Camp California, VA. Describes uniform. Col. Cross is a strict disciplinarian. Train using the bayonet. Eager for a battle. Makes mention of the Anaconda Plan. Is healthy but there is an outbreak of measles in camp.
f.9 March-June 1862
No letter (envelope only), March 15, 1862

George Gove to Julia Parsons, March 19, 1862. Manassas Junction, VA. Army is on the move. Hard marching.
George Gove to Jane Gove, May 25, 1862. Ft. Lookout, VA. Believes it is his duty to stop the rebellion.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, June 9, 1862. State Hospital in New Haven, CT. Wounded at the Battle of Fair Oaks. Shot through the hand and in the arm. Explains Battle of Fair Oaks. Brigade suffered greatly.

Jane Gove to Julia Parsons, June 10, 1862. Raymond, NH. Mother to daughter. Family topics. Mentions George fighting and letters she has received from him.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, (envelope only), June 11, 1862.

George Gove to Julia Parsons, June 15, 1862. State Hospital in New Haven, CT. Wounds doing better. Mentions Col. Cross’s wound at Fair Oaks. No Transcription.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, June 29, 1862. State Hospital in New Haven, CT. Complains about food. McClellan visits hospital. Wants to be there to march on Richmond.
f.10 July-Oct 1862
George Gove to Julia Parsons, July 13, 1862. State Hospital in New Haven, CT. Wounds are painful. Supports McClellan

George Gove to Warren Parsons, Aug 24, 1862. State Hospital in New Haven, CT. Wounds are healed. Gets paid. Excited to go back and join the 5th again.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Sept. 3, 1862. Camp California, VA. Back in the Army. Writes about journey from New Haven to Washington.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Sept. 12, 1862. Frederick City, MD. Marching through MD. Writes about MD countryside. Mentions General McClellan, Pope, Burnsides, and “Stonewall” Jackson.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Oct. 2, 1862. Harpers Ferry, VA. After Antietam. Detailed account of the battle. Says he “enjoyed” the battle. Says he was under heavy artillery fire. Mentions taking the 4th NC Vol. colors. Upset that papers do not mention the 5th. Lincoln visits camp.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Oct. 18, 1862. Harpers Ferry, VA. Promoted. Skirmishers. Makes mention of John Brown
f.11 Nov-Dec 1862
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Nov. 10, 1862. Warrenton, VA. Army on the move. Skirmishers as usual. McClellan farewell review. Upset about removal of McClellan. Comments on food.
George Gove to Sam Gove, Nov. 27, 1862. Camp near Falmouth, VA. Thanksgiving. Comments on food. Homesick. Comments made about General McClellan.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Dec. 7, 1862. Camp near Falmouth, VA. Preparing for winter. Comments on Thanksgiving. Receives four months worth of pay.
George Gove to Jane Gove, Dec. 14, 1862. Fredericksburg, VA. After the battle of Fredericksburg. Safe. “Slaughtered like sheep.” Goes into detail about the battle. Tells how he picked up the flag. The battle was a great failure.

George Gove to Julia Parsons, Dec. 20, 1862. Camp near Falmouth, VA. Reactions of Fredericksburg. Calls it a failure. Blames commanders, not the troops. Talks about loses in regt. Homesick.
f.12 Jan-March 1863
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Jan. 11, 1863. Pt. Lookout, MD 23rd Birthday. Rebel prisoners. Guard duty. Supports Lincoln.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Jan. 15, 1863. Camp Near Falmouth, VA. No furlough. Says army is in high spirits and ready for a fight.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Jan. 27, 1863. Camp Near Falmouth, VA. Marching in the mud. Promotions within the Regt. Thomas Livermoore.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Feb.15 1863. Camp Near Falmouth, VA. Hopes for a furlough. Writes about how Col. Cross ought to have a star, but doesn’t because of political reasons
George Gove to Julia Parsons, March 2, 1863. Camp Near Falmouth, VA. Burnsides replaced by Hooker. Does not like Democrats. Deserters. Claims 99/100 deserters are Democrats

George Gove to Julia Parsons, March 22, 1863. Camp Near Falmouth, VA. St. Patrick’s Day. Says Cross ought to be a Brig. Gen. “The Fighting Fifth”
f.13 April-July 1863
George Gove to Julia Parsons, April 9, 1863. Camp Near Falmouth, VA, many desertions. Lack of 5th in the newspaper. Says the Irish are unreliable. Calls the 5th “Light Cavalry.” President Lincoln.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, April 10, 1863. Location unspecified. Only 390 troops in regt. Predicts this summer will end the Rebellion.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, May 10, 1863. Camp Near Falmouth, VA. Letter after Chancellorsville. Includes map of battle field. Explains the battle and confusion of war. Criticizes generals. Col. Cross praises his Company
George Gove to Julia Parsons, June 10, 1863. Camp Near Falmouth, VA. Back from furlough. Explains trip from NH back to VA.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, June 20, 1863. Centreville, VA. Marching from Falmouth. Dislikes Hooker. Wants a new General.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, July 9, 1863. U.S. Hospital Chestnut Hill Phila. PA. Letter after Gettysburg. Explains march from Falmouth to Gettysburg. Wounded in the arm fighting on July 2. Explains second day of fighting at Gettysburg. Regt. loses 90 out of 160 men. Col. Cross’s death. Says it is the greatest blow to the regt.
f.14 Aug-Sept 1863
Llewellyn Gove to Julia Parsons, Aug. 3, 1863. Shawnee, Kansas. Cousin writing Julia. Fighting in the West. Fighting “Bushwackers” in Kansas who kill innocent Union citizens. Command of home defense militia. Rebels from Missouri.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Aug. 21, 1863. Concord, NH. On furlough in NH. Camping/resting in Concord
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Sept. 11, 1863. Concord, NH. Encouraged about news across the country and thinks the end is near
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Sept. 17, 1863. Concord, NH. Ball celebrating the one year anniversary of Antietam. Chooses not attend. Makes mention of deserters. Says the glory of the Regt. dropped when Col. Cross was killed.
f.15 Oct-Nov 1863
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Oct. 16, 1863. Concord, NH. New soldiers joining the Regt. Might be promoted to Lieutenant.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Oct. 23, 1863. Boston Harbor. Leaving to head back to the South. Sorry he did not come home to visit.
Llewellyn Gove to Julia Parsons, Nov. 3, 1863. Fort Riley, Kansas. From cousin fighting “Bushwackers” in Kansas. Lawrence Massacre (Aug 21, 1863). Life on the frontier.

George Gove to Julia Parsons, Nov. 18, 1863.Point Lookout, MD. Explains trip back to the South. Salary/Payment. At a camp for Rebel prisoners
f.16 Jan-April 1864
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Jan. 1, 1864. Point Lookout, MD. Lincoln visits “Army of the Potomac”
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Feb. 14, 1864. Point Lookout, MD. Rebel prisoners. Capt. Livermoore. Asks about politics in NH. Copperheads. Masons.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, March 4, 1864. Point Lookout, MD. Politically charged letter. Does not want Gilman to be elected in NH. Thinks it is dishonorable to just let the Republicans go home to vote. Negro Regt.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, March 23, 1864. Point Lookout, MD. Rain and mud. Voters returned back to Regt. Copperheads. NH politics.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, April 6, 1864. Point Lookout, MD. Off prison duty. Bad weather. Capt. Livermoore.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, April 26, 1864. Point Lookout, MD. Negro Regt. Predicts summer campaign will be brutal. Proud of his Regt. Back on prison duty.
f.17 May-June 1864
George Gove to Julia Parsons, May 12, 1864. Point Lookout, MD. Predicts successful summer. Guard duty. Deserters. Newspaper clipping of story about a deserter.
George Gove to Jane Gove (missing), May 25, 1864. Point Lookout, MD. Orders to leave. Going to join Grant’s army.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, June 10, 1864. In the trenches on Gainis Farm, VA. Back at the front. Fighting Rebels.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, June 20, 1864. Petersburg, VA. Arriving at Petersburg. Writes about early fighting at Petersburg. Start of siege/trench warfare. Negro Regt.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, June 23, 1864. Petersburg, VA. Skirmishing. Attacking rebel rifle pits. Tells objectives/goals of the mission.
f.18 July 1864

George Gove to Julia Parsons, July 1, 1864. Petersburg, VA. Picket duty. Explains battle lines. Rebels on defensive. Wants to attack.

George Gove to Julia Parsons, July 9, 1864. Petersburg, VA. Picket duty. Bored. Good food. Standoff between the two armies.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, July 19, 1864. Petersburg, VA. Explains movement of the army. Detail about fighting/siege. Explains shelling. Mentions the “battle” between Grant and Lee. Supports Lincolns reelection. Does not want to leave the Army.
f.19 Aug-Nov 1864
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Aug. 2, 1864. Petersburg, VA. Describes fighting. Skirmishing. Writes about Battle of the Crater. Negro division takes heavy loses. Hand to hand combat. Union defeat.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Aug. 28, 1864. Petersburg, VA. Fighting in Petersburg. Skirmishes
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Sept. 30, 1864. Petersburg, VA. 300 new recruits, not many from NH. 11 days left in the Army.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Oct. 16, 1864. Petersburg, VA. Citizen. Mustered out. Will be back in Raymond to vote for Lincoln. Lots of deserters in the 5th, which makes him very upset.
George Gove to Julia Parsons, Nov. 2, 1864. Raymond, NH. Home in Raymond. Writes about quick visit to Washington.
f.20 March 1865-March 1866
Julia Parsons to Warren Parsons (son), March 19, 1865
Anna Parsons to Abby Parsons, April 10, 1865. At the end of the letter Anna hears that the Civil War has just ended. Anna is living in New York City and describes the scene when the city finds out about Lee’s surrender.

Julia Parsons to Warren Parsons (son), April 16, 1865. Julia Parsons writes her reactions of Lincoln’s death to her son Warren. Julia liked Lincoln, and says that everyone is upset about his death.
Warren Parsons (son) to Julia Parsons, April 19, 1865. Also comments about the reactions to Lincoln’s death.
Anna Parsons to Julia Parsons July no day, 1865
Unknown to Emily Brown, March 30, 1866


C. 1866-1938

f.21 Jan 1870-Aug 1872
Unknown to Julia Parsons, Jan. 31, 1870. The letter states on the top, State of Iowa Thirteenth General Assembly House of Representatives. The writer is unknown, but he is working in the Iowa state government. He is working right now on school reform and writes about how much money he is making.
Anna Parsons to Abby Parsons, April 28, 1872
Anna Parsons to Abby Parsons, Aug. 25, 1872. Mentions the Mount Washington Railroad, and discusses a vacation.
f.22 March 1882
Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, March 9, 1882
Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, March 10, 1882
Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, March 19, 1882
Julia Parsons to Fred Parsons, March 31, 1882
Fred Parsons, Julia and Warren’s son, moves to Boston. Is able to find a job, and sells flour. In his letter from March 19, he writes condescendingly about the Irish.
f.23 April 1882
Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, April 7, 1882
Julia Parsons to Fred Parsons, April 12, 1882
Julia Parsons to Fred Parsons, April 18, 1882
Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, April 30, 1882
Fred is living in Boston. His mother wants him to find a better job (Apr. 12, 1882). Julia writes about a fire in Rye (Apr. 18, 1882). Fred gets a new job, but is still working in grocery (Apr. 30, 1882), and comments that the work is very hard.
f.24 July-Nov 1882
Julia Parsons to Fred Parsons, July 14, 1882
Julia Parsons to Fred Parsons, Nov. 19, 1882
Fred is still living in Boston. Julia writes him and asks him to come home for Thanksgiving.
f.25 March-Oct 1883
Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, March 12, 1883. Fred has spent one year in Boston. He writes his mother talking about his year and his finances.
John Fraser to Fred Parsons, April 12, 1883. Fraser writes Fred and tells about a new baby who is named after Fred.
Julia Parsons to Fred Parsons, April 13, 1883. Julia writes Fred on his birthday. Julia wants Fred to return to Rye at some point and leave Boston so he can take care of his parents.
Julia Parsons to Fred Parsons, Oct. 7, 1883. Julia writes about a very beautiful and expensive wedding and after party.
f.26 Jan-March 1884
Warren Parsons (son) to Julia Parsons, Jan. 17, 1884. Warren accuses his brother Fred of being lazy and writes about his morning routine.
Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, Feb. 11, 1884. Fred is still living in Boston and he work in a store. Fred writes that he enjoys to go skating in his free time, and regularly attends church and Sunday School.
Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, March 3, 1884
Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, March 10, 1884
Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, March 17, 1884
Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, March 27, 1884
f.27 June 1884
In Julia’s letter to Fred she asks him to come back home because his father cannot manage the farm and his medical practice too. In the letter dated Jun. 15, Fred says that he has quit his job. Jun. 20, 1844, is the last letter from Fred in Boston. He travels back to Rye by train.

Julia Parsons to Fred Parsons, June 5, 1844
Fannie Barber to Fred Parsons, June 13, 1844
Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, June 15, 1844
Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, June 20, 1844

f.28 June-July 1886
In this section of letters Julia is writing her daughter Anna Parsons. In the letters, Julia discusses her stepson, Warren Parsons, wedding.

Julia Parsons to Anna Parsons,June 16, 1886
Julia Parsons to Anna Parsons, June 20, 1886
Julia Parsons to Anna Parsons, July 1, 1886/td>

f.29 Aug 1888-March 1889
In 1888, Warren moves to Florida. He writes home saying that he is not in risk of Yellow Fever. Fred goes to Florida to visit Warren. On Dec. 27, he is in New York leaving on a steamer for Florida. He writes from the boat on Dec. 29, and explains the voyage. On Jan. 11, he writes back to Rye from Florida.

Warren Parsons (son) to Julia Parsons, Aug. 6, 1888
Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, Dec. 27, 1888
Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, Dec. 29, 1888
Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, Jan. 11, 1889
Julia Parsons to Fred Parsons, March 24, 1889

f.30 April-May 1889
Fred writes home from Florida again on April 1. He is visiting his brother Warren, and writes about a fishing trip, life in Florida, and farming. On May 2, he is in St. Augustine, and has bought a ticket to visit Washington DC. Fred writes on May 9 from Washington DC, and says he met President Cleveland and shook his hand.

Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, April 1, 1889
Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, May 2, 1889
Fred Parsons to Julia Parsons, May 9, 1889
Blank Letter, 1888

f.31 Oct 1893-May 1898
Abby writes Anna from Chicago. She is attending the 1893 World’s Fair. See Box 2 Folder 33, for budget ledger at the World’s Fair. The letter from Jennings is an attorney addressing his client, in what seems to be a civil law suit.

Abby Parsons to Anna Parsons, Oct 15, 1893
W.S. Jennings to Fred Parsons, May 3, 1898

f.32 June 1911-Aug 1934
Anna writes Abby from her vacation in Halifax. She writes about Coronation service that took place in various churches and mentions the Bishop of Nova Scotia. She also writes about the British Navy and a naval review. The letter dated Dec. 25, 1911, discusses Abby being sick, Christmas day celebrations, and makes mention of a Christmas tree. The letter from Feb. 25, 1925, is from John Fraser who is living in California. John Fraser makes mention of the Chicago World’s Fair, discusses life in California, and comments on the number of cars in California and driving.

Anna Parsons to Abby Parsons, June 29, 1911
Fred Parsons to Anna Parsons, Dec. 25, 1911
Fred Parsons to Thomas Simes, Feb. 4, 1925
John Fraser to Fred Parsons, Feb. 25, 1925
George Parsons to Julius, May 13, 1934
Fred Parsons to NH Highway Commissioner, Aug. 1934
NH Highway Dept. to Fred Parsons, Aug. 17, 1934


II. Miscellaneous

BOX 2
f.33 Account Book, 1819
World’s Fair Budget Ledger, 1893

Reward of Merit card given to Abby Parsons by her teacher
Calendar, 1893
f.34 Miscellaneous newspaper clippings.
f.35 Bills/receipts for work performed by Drs. John Parsons and Warren Parsons, 1838-1850 and three other receipts.
Genealogical notes
f.36 Miscellaneous Envelopes
Printed slip entitled “Cabin Plans”
Picture postcard, “Looking west on Washington Road towards town center, c.1887″
Legal Document, March 28, 1924
Legal note, Sept. 15, 1924
Legal Document, March 23, 1930
Voting Ballot, undated

3 Responses to “Parsons Family”

  1. George S. Gove Letter: June 10, 1864 - The Siege of Petersburg Online Says:

    [...] from the Siege of Petersburg in 1864 to his sister. These letters were placed online in 2012 as: “Parsons Family Papers, Milne Special collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire, N.H.” Gove´s descendant Doug Parsons worked diligently to make these letters available for The Siege [...]

  2. 5th New Hampshire Infantry - The Siege of Petersburg Online Says:

    [...] S. Gove Letter: June 20, 1864, Parsons Family Papers, Milne Special collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire, N.H.: “Our regt has not over 150 men for duty now, left Pt Lookout with 500, have had very hard [...]

  3. George S. Gove Letter: October 16, 1864 - The Siege of Petersburg Online Says:

    [...] from the Siege of Petersburg in 1864 to his sister. These letters were placed online in 2012 as: “Parsons Family Papers, Milne Special collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire, N.H.” Gove´s descendant Doug Parsons worked diligently to make these letters available for The Siege [...]