Edmondson/Jacobs Family papers
The bulk of the Jacobs Family papers consists of correspondence between Emma Edmondson Jacobs and her brother, William V. E. Jacobs, her mother, and her sisters. Emma Edmondson Jacobs lived in various locations throughout Maryland, including New Market, Easton, and Church Creek. Also included is a diary belonging to Emma Edmondson Jacob's mother, Emma V. E. Jacobs, dated 1854, and describing her life and how her beau asked her father for her hand in marriage. Other items in the collection include receipts, invoices, manuscripts, photographs, financial records, and ephemera.
Important Information for Users of the Collection
This collection is open for research.
Edmondson/Jacobs 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.
This collection is PROCESSED.
The Edmondson family originally settled in Virginia but relocated to Talbot County, Maryland, not long after its arrival in North America in the seventeenth century. John Edmondson was one of the early settlers of Dorchester County, Maryland, moving there from Talbot County around 1665. William V. M. Edmondson (b. ca. 1812), a descendant of John Edmondson, was a landowner and physician in East New Market, Maryland. Edmondson attended medical school at Washington University of Baltimore from 1845 to 1847, receiving his diploma in March 1847. After the death of his wife Elizabeth, about whom little is known, Edmondson married Eugenia S. Manning on December 24, 1855. Eugenia (b. June 27, 1834) was affectionately called "Grannis" by her only stepchild, Emma, and Emma's children. Sometime after William V. M. Edmondson's death in 1872, Eugenia S. M. Edmondson married James H. Thomas (b. ca. 1827), who was also a physician.
Emma V. Edmondson (ca. 1836-1908), the daughter of William and Elizabeth, married James Thomas Jacobs (ca. 1834-1896). James T. Jacobs was a physician in East New Market and Emma was listed as a schoolteacher in the 1880 census. Four of their children survived into adulthood: Linda (ca. 1857-1919); Eugenia [Jean] (ca. 1861-1924); William V. E. (ca. 1862-1934); and Emma E. (ca. 1871-1948).
Linda, also called "Bosie," was a music teacher. She married Edmund Dandridge Murdaugh (ca. 1853-1925), an educator to whom the Jacobs family sometimes referred to as "the professor" in their letters. The Murdaughs had at least one child, James Edmund Dandridge Murdaugh (ca. 1886-1939). The correspondence documents the Murdaughs' residence in various places around the state of Maryland. In 1909, Edmund was the principal of the State Normal School in Frostburg, Maryland, now Frostburg State University. Their son, known as Dandridge, received his master's degree from George Washington University in 1922. At least one of his children survived infancy, James Edmund Dandridge Murdaugh, Jr. Dandridge Murdaugh, Jr., graduated from Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania in 1940; his father may also have been connected with that school.
William V. E. Jacobs, the son of Emma V. Edmondson Jacobs and James T. Jacobs, rose to the rank of Commandant in the U. S. Revenue Cutter Service, the precursor of the modern-day Coast Guard. His travels throughout the United States included visits to New Orleans, Louisiana; Mobile, Alabama; San Francisco, California; Alaska; Washington, D. C.; and Hawaii on vessels including the U. S. R. S. vessels Forward, Seward, Bear, Corwin, Hamilton, and Manning, as well as the U. S. S. Windom. In 1911, William was the superintendent of the U. S. Revenue Cutter School of Instruction in New London, Connecticut. William was later awarded the Navy Cross for his distinguished service as commander of the U. S. S. Niagara during the First World War.
Emma and James Jacobs's daughters Jean and Emma E. Jacobs both had careers as schoolteachers. Jean remained near East New Market, while Emma spent part of her career at Church Creek, also located in Dorchester County. Emma graduated from Easton High School in 1889 and, by 1892, had secured her position in Church Creek. In 1899, when her brother William secured a promotion he offered to support his sister so that she could retire from teaching. However, Emma continued teaching until at least 1902. Later in her life, Emma lived with William on both coasts of the United States near where he was stationed in the Revenue Cutter Service.
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The Papers of the Edmondson/Jacobs Family span the years 1836 to 1954 with the bulk of the material dating between 1880 and 1900. Correspondence addressed to Emma E. Jacobs comprises the largest portion of the material. The collection also includes correspondence between other members of the Edmondson/Jacobs family, manuscripts, poetry, printed ephemera, passports, a scrapbook, financial records, and photographs.
The correspondence documents the daily lives of the family and focuses on local events and domestic concerns. Topics frequently discussed in the correspondence include religious services, social events, illness, clothing purchases, teaching, the weather, and vacations. The financial records in this collection include information on the distribution of William V. M. Edmondson's estate upon his death and numerous documents relating to the settlement of debts. These records provide valuable insight into the economic status of the Edmondson/Jacobs family.
Custodial History and Acquisition Information
The University of Maryland Libraries purchased this collection from Charles Apfelbaum, a rare books and manuscripts dealer, in 2000.
Processed by Tammy Hamilton, February 2004.
When the collection was acquired, the correspondence was divided by recipient and further divided by sender. The remaining materials were received in no discernable order, although the photographs had been separated from the papers. Items other than correspondence were divided into personal and financial papers. The materials have been placed in acid-free folders and stored in acid-free boxes. The photographs have been placed in Mylar sleeves.
EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Sarah Heim, May 2004.
Arrangement of Collection
The collection has been organized into four series:
Detailed Description of the Collection
Series 1: Correspondence, 1850-1930 (1 linear foot)
The bulk of the series, dating between 1880 and 1900, consists of correspondence between members of the Jacobs family. Emma E. Jacobs, also called "Pink," was the recipient of the majority of the letters. Her brother, William V. E. Jacobs, was the principle author. Frequent topics in the correspondence include religious services, social events, illness, clothing purchases, teaching, the weather, vacations, and the experiences of William V. E. Jacobs as he traveled the United States as a captain in the Revenue Cutter Service. While the letters of William V. E. Jacobs were written during his military service, his letters focus on his personal life and social engagements. William's letters to his sister Emma are didactic in nature and include instruction on spelling, grammar, and etiquette as well as advice on how to handle her school and on whether or not she should marry.
Also included is correspondence between Emma E. Jacobs and those associated with her professional career such as James L. Bryan, the superintendent of the Church Creek school district, and the parents of pupils. The series also contains correspondence to Helen Emory from her daughters Agnes and May. The link between the Jacobs and Emory families is unclear.
Arrangement of the correspondence is alphabetical by recipient and then alphabetical by sender. Under each recipient the arrangement within each sender group is chronological; undated material appears after all the dated items. Letters addressed to more than one person, such as "children" or "sisters," are filed under the heading of the recipient with the most singly addressed correspondence from that sender. (For example, a letter from Emma V. Edmondson Jacobs, addressed "Dear Children," appears as "To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs with Eugenia [Jean] Jacobs and Murdaughs -- From Emma V. Edmondson Jacobs.") Letters from senders whose full surname name could not be identified appear at the end of all senders for an individual recipient.
|Description||Series||Box / Reel||Folder / Frame|
|To Josephus Brannoch -- from Emma E. Jacobs, 1893||series 1||box 1||folder 1|
|To William V. M. Edmondson -- from Emma [V. Edmondson Jacobs], undated||series 1||box 1||folder 2|
|To Helen Emory -- from Agnes, 1913-1914||series 1||box 1||folder 3|
|To Helen Emory -- from May, 1913||series 1||box 1||folder 4|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from Samuel Bancroft Jr., 1902||series 1||box 1||folder 5|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from [blank] Baumer, undated||series 1||box 1||folder 6|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from James L. Bryan, 1893||series 1||box 1||folder 7|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from Samuel L. Byrn, 1905||series 1||box 1||folder 8|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from Dukes Downs, 1881||series 1||box 1||folder 9|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from [blank] Haskins, 1904||series 1||box 1||folder 10|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from H. Holn, 1893||series 1||box 1||folder 11|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from Emma V. Edmondson Jacobs, 1888-1899||series 1||box 1||folder 12|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from Emma V. Edmondson Jacobs, 1888-1899||series 1||box 1||folder 13|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from Eugenia [Jean] Jacobs, 1890-1899||series 1||box 1||folder 14|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from James T. Jacobs, 1889||series 1||box 1||folder 15|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from Lily R. Jacobs, 1888||series 1||box 1||folder 16|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from William V. E. Jacobs, 1891-1899||series 1||box 1||folder 17|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from William V. E. Jacobs, 1891-1899||series 1||box 1||folder 18|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from William V. E. Jacobs, 1891-1899||series 1||box 1||folder 19|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from Edmund Murdaugh, 1890||series 1||box 2||folder 1|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from Linda E. Jacobs Murdaugh, 1893||series 1||box 2||folder 2|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from [blank] Roycroft, 1904||series 1||box 2||folder 3|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from Treasury Department, 1893||series 1||box 2||folder 4|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from Belle [Isabel] Trippe, 1893-1905||series 1||box 2||folder 5|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from Addie H[blank], 1903||series 1||box 2||folder 6|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from Olive R[blank], 1904||series 1||box 2||folder 7|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from Betty, undated||series 1||box 2||folder 8|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs -- from unidentified, 1893-1901||series 1||box 2||folder 9|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs with Eugenia [Jean] Jacobs -- from William V. E. Jacobs, 1909-1911||series 1||box 2||folder 10|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs with Eugenia [Jean] Jacobs -- from Linda E. Jacobs Murdaugh, 1909||series 1||box 2||folder 11|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs with Eugenia [Jean] Jacobs and William V. E. Jacobs -- from Murdaughs, 1922||series 1||box 2||folder 12|
|To Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs with Eugenia [Jean] Jacobs and Murdaughs -- from Emma V. Edmonds Jacobs, 1888-1891||series 1||box 2||folder 13|
|To Emma V. Edmondson Jacobs -- from Henry H. Goldsborough, 1898||series 1||box 2||folder 14|
|To Emma V. Edmondson Jacobs -- from William V. E. Jacobs, 1892-1894||series 1||box 2||folder 15|
|To Eugenia [Jean] Jacobs -- from Eugenia [Grannis] Edmondson Thomas, 1911||series 1||box 2||folder 16|
|To William V. E. Jacobs -- from George Hicks, 1913||series 1||box 2||folder 17|
|To William V. E. Jacobs -- from Eugenia [Grannis] Edmondson Thomas, 1911||series 1||box 2||folder 18|
|To William V. E. Jacobs -- from Treasury Department, 1894-1898||series 1||box 2||folder 19|
|To William V. E. Jacobs -- from Margie, undated||series 1||box 2||folder 20|
|To [blank] Manning -- from William V. M. Edmonson, 1850||series 1||box 2||folder 21|
|To James Edmund Dandridge Murdaugh, Jr. -- from Emma [Pink] E. Jacobs, 1930||series 1||box 2||folder 22|
|To James Edmund Dandridge Murdaugh, Jr. -- from William V. E. Jacobs, 1930||series 1||box 2||folder 23|
|To Linda [Bosie] E. Jacobs Murdaugh -- from William V. E. Jacobs, 1889||series 1||box 2||folder 24|
|To Eugenia [Grannis] Edmondson Thomas -- from Emma V. Edmonds Jacobs, 1897||series 1||box 2||folder 25|
|To Eugenia [Grannis] Edmondson Thomas -- from William V. E. Jacobs, 1895||series 1||box 2||folder 26|
|To Treasury Department, Life-Saving Service -- from William V. E. Jacobs, 1897||series 1||box 2||folder 27|
|To Belle [Isabel] Trippe -- from Dr. N. L. Dashiell Jr., 1892||series 1||box 2||folder 28|
|To [blank] Vane -- from Emma E. Jacobs, 1892||series 1||box 2||folder 29|
|To Olive R[blank] -- from Emma E. Jacobs, 1904||series 1||box 2||folder 30|
Series 2: Personal Records, 1845-1949 (0.25 linear feet)
Included in this series, the bulk of which dates from 1880 to 1930, are manuscripts, poetry, diaries, and printed ephemera. The series contains the passports of Emma E. Jacobs and William V. E. Jacobs from the late 1920s, which document their travels in Europe. The diary of James Edmund Dandridge Murdaugh contains only a few entries each year and does not contain a comprehensive account of his life. The scrapbook, collected by both James Edmund Dandridge Murdaugh and his son, includes mostly clippings and articles about literary figures.
The diary of Emma V. Edmondson Jacobs, approximately twenty-five pages in length, covers a short time period. Of particular interest is her description of a beau's asking her father for her hand in marriage.
The materials are arranged alphabetically by type of material.
|Description||Series||Box / Reel||Folder / Frame|
|Admission cards, Washington University of Baltimore, 1845-1847||series 2||box 1||folder 1|
|Advertisements, undated||series 2||box 1||folder 2|
|"The American Navy during the Revolution", undated||series 2||box 1||folder 3|
|Business cards [humorous], undated||series 2||box 1||folder 4|
|Certificate of Exemption from Militia, 1867||series 2||box 1||folder 5|
|Dance Card, 1886||series 2||box 1||folder 6|
|[Diary of Emma V. Edmondson Jacobs], 1854-1855||series 2||box 1||folder 7|
|[Diary of James Edmund Dandridge Murdaugh], 1919-1922||series 2||box 1||folder 8|
|[Essay by Emma E. Jacobs], June 30, 1890||series 2||box 1||folder 9|
|[Essay by William V. E. Jacobs], undated||series 2||box 1||folder 10|
|[Eulogy for Elizabeth], 1837, undated||series 2||box 1||folder 11|
|Geneological, undated||series 2||box 1||folder 12|
|Grade Report, undated||series 2||box 1||folder 13|
|"How She Fired the Burglars" [Emma E. Jacobs], undated||series 2||box 1||folder 14|
|"The Invasion of Britain by Julius Caesar" [Edmund D. Murdaugh stationary], undated||series 2||box 1||folder 15|
|Pamphlets and Programs, 1880-1940||series 2||box 1||folder 16|
|Passports, 1926-1930||series 2||box 1||folder 17|
|Poetry, 1850, undated||series 2||box 1||folder 18|
|"The Problem of Life; We Solve it for Ourselves" [Isabel Trippe], 1887||series 2||box 1||folder 19|
|Railway Ticket, undated||series 2||box 1||folder 20|
|Religious Material, undated||series 2||box 1||folder 21|
|Scrapbook, 1924-1949||series 2||box 1||folder 22|
|Teaching Certificates, 1883-1902||series 2||box 1||folder 23|
Series 3: Financial Records, 1836-1954 (0.50 linear feet)
The bulk of this series documents the financial transactions of William V. M. Edmondson prior to his death in 1872. Included are lease agreements; land deeds; documents relating to promissory notes and the judicial settlement of debts; and receipts for household purchases, money received, and taxes paid. After the death of William V. M. Edmondson, Eugenia S. M. Edmondson, Emma V. Edmondson Jacobs, and James T. Jacobs became the administrators of Edmondson's estate and settled outstanding business transactions.
Also included in the series are escrow agreements of Emma E. Jacobs and a single receipt issued to James Edmund Dandridge Murdaugh Jr., in 1954. Items are arranged alphabetically by type of material.
|Description||Series||Box / Reel||Folder / Frame|
|Distribution of Assets, 1872||series 3||box 1||folder 1|
|Escrow Agreements, 1933||series 3||box 1||folder 2|
|Judicial Documents on Debts, 1858-1866||series 3||box 1||folder 3|
|Land Deeds, 1843-1859||series 3||box 1||folder 4|
|Lease Agreements, 1867-1870||series 3||box 1||folder 5|
|Promissory Notes, 1836-1863||series 3||box 1||folder 6|
|Receipts, 1857-1954||series 3||box 1||folder 7|
Series 4: Photographs, 1889-1923 and undated (95 items)
This series consists of portraits, travel photographs, and photographs of various buildings. The travel photographs, which comprise the bulk of the series, were taken on family vacations on the west coast of the United States; the identity of the photographer is unclear. Location descriptions accompany the travel photographs, but the majority of the images depicting people are not identified or dated.
|Description||Series||Box / Reel||Folder / Frame||Item|
|Photographs, 1889-1923 and undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1|
|[Boys on steps] unidentified, Verso: "Grace Church, N.B.", undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 1|
|[Boys with dog] unidentified, Verso: "The boy's home. Shipmates of the good ship Rival.", undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 2|
|[Church, with spires] (two images), undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 3|
|[Church, Mt. Calvary] Verso: "Mt. Calvary", undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 4|
|[Girl with fur collar] unidentified, tintype, undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 5|
|[Girls seated in chair] unidentified, undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 6|
|[Group] Virginia, Belle, Emma E. Jacobs, Jean, and Dandridge identified, undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 7|
|[Group with dog] indecipherable writing at bottom, undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 8|
|[Group of women outdoors] unidentified, undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 9|
|Anne K. Hathaway, 1923||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 10|
|Laurence J. Hathaway, Jr., 1920, 1921||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 11|
|[House, front view], undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 12|
|[House, view from far left], undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 13|
|William V. E. Jacobs, 1923||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 14|
|[Man] unidentified, Verso: miniature photos, undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 15|
|Mildred [blank], Verso: "In change [indecipherable] changing, + Mildred, Sr. C.S.M., March 1886, March 1896", 1886? 1896?||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 16|
|[Plant in window], undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 17|
|[Round structure with three people in front], undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 18|
|Travel photograph scrapbook, (65 images), undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 19|
|[White building], undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 20|
|[White house with automobile in front] Verso: "Villa Cyclamens(?), officers home at Annecy(?) leave area Annecy(?)France, May 1919", May 1919||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 21|
|[White porch with tree in right foreground], undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 22|
|[Woman feeding chickens] unidentified, Verso: "Caught in the act, Aug., 1896", 1896||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 23|
|[Woman in cloak with umbrella] unidentified, undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 24|
|[Woman with fur stole] unidentified, undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 25|
|[Woman with ruffled collar] unidentified, 1900||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 26|
|[Woman seated near mantel] unidentified, undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 27|
|[Woman in white blouse seated in chair] unidentified, undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 28|
|[Woman in white blouse and skirt] unidentified, undated||series 4||box 1||folder 1||item 29|
The essay "East New Market," by Emma E. Jacobs, can be found in New Revised History of Dorchester County Maryland by Elias Jones (Cambridge, MD: Tidewater Publishers, 1966) on page ninety. This book is available in the Maryland Room, call number F187.D6J7 1966.
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.
- Dorchester County (Md.) -- Social life and customs -- Archival resources
- Edmondson family -- Archives
- Jacobs family -- Archive
- Maryland -- Social life and customs -- Archival resources
- Physicians -- Maryland -- East New Market -- Archival resources.
- Teachers -- Maryland -- Correspondence
- United States. -- Revenue-Cutter Service -- History -- Sources.
Names (Added Entries)
- Edmondson, William V. M.
- Jacobs, Emma E.
- Jacobs, William V. E.