John William Stewart Family papers
The Papers of John William Stewart span the years 1857 to 1906 with the bulk of material dating from 1857 to 1869 and consist primarily of correspondence written to John William Stewart from relatives and friends in Emmitsburg, Maryland and Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. They report on their health and that of family members and friends, engagements, marriages, prayer meetings, a trip on the Mississippi, and the Civil War. Included in one letter is an 1864 flyer entitled "Greeting to the Churches of the Presbytery of Baltimore from the Presbytery's Committee of Foreign Missions."
Important Information for Users of the Collection
This collection is open for research.
John William Stewart Family papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.
Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.
Digital copies of the letters in this collection are available at http://digital.lib.umd.edu/results.jsp?index1=dmKeyword&query1=john+william+steward+family in the University of Maryland's Digital Collections.
This collection is PROCESSED.
John William Stewart, the son of John Sheeler Stewart (b.1812) and Margaret Barbour Witherow (1818-1902), was born in Emmitsburg, Frederick County, Maryland on January 21, 1844. Stewart's father died before 1860 and his mother then married Robert Smith Grier (1790-1865), the minister of the Emmitsburg Presbyterian Church. Stewart graduated from Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania in 1864 and attended medical school in Philadelphia. His sister, Rose J. Stewart (b. 1841) married James C. Annan (1836-1894), an Emmitsburg merchant.
Stewart married Rosa B. McLean (b.1846) and the first years of their marriage were spent in Dayton, Ohio, where he was a physician. Their first child, Florence, was born there in 1869. Shortly thereafter, the Stewarts moved to Rock Island, Illinois where they raised seven more children. Throughout their adult lives, Stewart and Rosa remained in contact with their family and relatives in Maryland and Pennsylvania. John's uncle, Alexander Stewart (b.1810), practiced medicine in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania for more than thirty years. Rosa's parents and siblings also lived there. Stewart's sister and mother remained in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
In Rock Island, Stewart ceased practicing medicine and became a partner in the Stewart and Montgomery Hardware store which operated into the twentieth century. The Stewarts were members of the New Broadway Presbyterian Church in Rock Island. From 1878 to1880 the pastor was the Rev. James Russell Miller who later became a prominent Presbyterian writer. As late as1920 Stewart was living in Rock Island, Illinois with his daughter, Rosabel.
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The Papers of John William Stewart span the years 1857 to 1906 with the bulk of material dating from 1857 to 1869 and consist primarily of correspondence written to John William Stewart from relatives and friends in Emmitsburg, Maryland and Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. They report on their health and that of family members and friends, engagements, marriages, prayer meetings, a trip on the Mississippi, and the Civil War. Included in one letter is an 1864 flyer entitled "Greeting to the Churches of the Presbytery of Baltimore from the Presbytery's Committee of Foreign Missions." Correspondents include his uncle, Alexander Stewart, and his wife, Rosa Stewart.
Custodial History and Acquisition Information
The University of Maryland Libraries purchased John William Stewart Papers from Carmen D. Valentino, a rare books and manuscripts dealer, in 2006.
Processed by Terry Ann Sayler, December 2006
The materials have been placed in acid-free folders and stored in an acid-free box.
EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Jennie A. Levine, February 2007.
Arrangement of Collection
This collection has been divided into two series.
Detailed Description of the Collection
Series 1: Family Correspondence, 1857-1885 (45 items)
Series I consists of correspondence between John William Stewart and his family and friends. Stewart's father died before he reached the age of sixteen and his uncle, Alexander Stewart, may have served as a surrogate father for Stewart. His letters contain advice and counsel for the young Stewart from college into adulthood, including the choice of medicine as a profession. Alexander practiced medicine in Shippensburg for more than thirty years.
Among the topics covered in the letters are the Civil War, travel and religion. On October 1, 1862, Alexander Stewart wrote to his nephew, John, of his encounter with soldiers from Antietam two days following that battle and the whereabouts of his sons, Alexander and John, both of whom were soldiers in the war. In 1866, Stewart's cousin Augusta, wrote him about the enjoyable trip she took on the Mississippi from Rock Island, Illinois to Burlington, Iowa remarking on the boat, the scenery and the company.
Religion was an important part of Stewart's life from his college days onward. His uncle and his mother as well as his friends wrote about the importance of God, prayer meetings and other religious observances and encouraged him to lead a moral life. But belief in the prophecies of legendary British prophetess, Mother Shipton, were also important, as reported by James Russell Miller, a Presbyterian minister and writer, in an 1881 letter.
The Stewart family in Illinois remained in close contact with all their relatives in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Rosa, Stewart's wife, traveled east in early 1878 to see relatives in Emmitsburg and Shippensburg and in a series of letters wrote to him and the children about her visits.
Arrangement is alphabetical by recipient and then by correspondent.
|Description||Series||Box / Reel||Folder / Frame|
|To Dear Ones (John Stewart Family) -- From Rosa Stewart Annan (Online), 1880||series 1||box 1||folder 1|
|To Mary -- From ? (Online), 1878||series 1||box 1||folder 2|
|To Will M. Ogilby -- From John W. Stewart (Online), 1865||series 1||box 1||folder 3|
|To John W. Stewart -- From Augusta (Online), 1865-1866||series 1||box 1||folder 4|
|To John W. Stewart -- From John M. Annan (Online), 1860-1861||series 1||box 1||folder 5|
|To John W. Stewart -- From A. A. Bloombergh (Online), 1861||series 1||box 1||folder 6|
|To John W. Stewart -- From Margaret B. Grier (Online), 1861, 1863||series 1||box 1||folder 7|
|To John W. Stewart -- From John C. Holliday (Online), 1880||series 1||box 1||folder 8|
|To John W. Stewart -- From Rev. James Russell Miller (Online), 1881||series 1||box 1||folder 9|
|To John W. Stewart -- From Mont (Online), 1862||series 1||box 1||folder 10|
|To John W. Stewart -- From J. Taylor Motter (Online), 1862||series 1||box 1||folder 11|
|To John W. Stewart -- From Will M. Ogilby (Online), 1865||series 1||box 1||folder 12|
|To John W. Stewart -- From Alexander Stewart (Online), 1857-1860, 1862, 1864, 1869||series 1||box 1||folder 13|
|To John W. Stewart -- From Florence Stewart (Online), 1887||series 1||box 1||folder 14|
|To John W. Stewart -- From Rosa Stewart (Online), 1878||series 1||box 1||folder 15|
|To John W. Stewart -- From Rose Stewart (Online), 1861, 1865, 1867, 1869, 1875, 1878||series 1||box 1||folder 16|
|To John W. Stewart -- From William Witherow (Online), 1863||series 1||box 1||folder 17|
|To John W. Stewart children -- From Rosa B. Stewart (Online), 1878||series 1||box 1||folder 18|
|To Rosa Stewart -- From Augusta (Online), 1883||series 1||box 1||folder 19|
|To Rosa Stewart -- From Florence (Online), 1884||series 1||box 1||folder 20|
|To Rosa Stewart -- From R(ose) J. Annan (Online), 1894||series 1||box 1||folder 21|
|To Rosa Stewart -- From N(ancy) J. Harper (Online), 1885||series 1||box 1||folder 22|
Series 2: Business Correspondence, 1885-1906 and undated (4 items)
Series II consists of correspondence pertaining to John William Stewart's business affairs. In a letter dated 1885, J. H. Lester wrote Stewart about his hardware business in South English, Iowa. John Strohn wrote to Stewart about payment for a rental property in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania in 1900. Stewart also had business interests in Antler, Saskatchewan, Canada, and in 1906 received news of grain and horses from R. A. Irwin.
Arrangement is alphabetical by correspondent.
|Description||Series||Box / Reel||Folder / Frame|
|To John W. Stewart -- From Mrs. Irwin (Online), undated||series 2||box 1||folder 23|
|To John W. Stewart -- From R. A. Irwin (Online), 1906||series 2||box 1||folder 24|
|To John W. Stewart -- From J. H. Lester (Online), 1885||series 2||box 1||folder 25|
|To John W. Stewart -- From John Strohm (Online), 1900||series 2||box 1||folder 26|
The following materials in the UMCP HBK Maryland Room collection contain information about Emmitsburg, Maryland, in the mid-nineteenth century.
- Emmitsburg: history and society, edited by Emile A. Nakhleh and Mary B. Nakhleh. (Emmitsburg, MD: Emmitsburg Chronicle, 1976) (UMCP HBK Maryland Room, Maryland Stacks F189.E5E44).
- Helman, James A. History of Emmitsburg, Maryland, with a Prelude of Historical Facts of Frederick County. (Frederick, MD: Citizen Press, 1906). (UMCP HBK Maryland Room, Maryland Stacks F189.E5H4)
- Williams, Thomas J.C. History of Frederick County, Maryland. (Baltimore: Regional Pub. Co., 1967). (UMCP HBK Maryland Room, Maryland Reference F187.F8W7 1967). Reprint of the original 1910 edition.
The following websites provide additional information about the people and places in this collection:
- John Motter Annan: http://www.emmitsburg.net/archive_list/articles/history/civil_war/coles_cavalrymen/soldiers_index.htm. Accessed December 2006.
- Rosa J. Stewart Annan: http://www.emmitsburg.net/archive_list/articles/people/williams_history/williams_history_j_stewart_annon.htm. Accessed December 2006.
- Margaret Barbour Witherow Stewart Grier: http://www.emmitsburg.net/archive_list/articles/people/fcd/withrow_family.htm. Accessed December 2006.
- Robert Smith Grier: http://www.emmitsburg.net/archive_list/articles/places/churches/presbyterian_church.htm. Accessed December 2006.
- James Russell Miller: http://www.jr-miller.com/. Accessed December 2006.
- Rock Island, IL Broadway Historic District: http://www.rigov.org/citydepartments/ced/broadwaydistrict.html. Accessed December 2006.
- Stewart and Montgomery Hardware store: http://www2.rigov.org/pdf/hpc/agendas/2003/111903hpcagenda.pdf. Accessed December 2006.
For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.
Selected Search Terms
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Maryland Libraries' Catalog. Researchers desiring related materials about these topics, names, or places may search the Catalog using these headings.
- Emmitsburg (Md.) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.
- Maryland -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
- Merchants -- Illinois -- Rock Island.
- Shippensburg (Pa.) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century.
- Stewart, John William, 1844-1920? -- Correspondence.
- Stewart, Rosa, 1846- -- Correspondence.