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John and Margaret Hood Zug papers


John and Margaret Hood Zug papers
Zug, John and Margaret Hood
Collection number:
1.50 linear feet (83 items)
Bulk dates:
Inclusive dates:
Collection Area:
State of Maryland and Historical Collections
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email:

The papers of John and Margaret Hood Zug consist of correspondence and covers a broad range of subjects, including temperance, Christian behavior, child-rearing, and even antebellum southern society. Much of the correspondence is between Pennsylvania natives John Zug, a temperance speaker and minister, and Margaret Ann (Hood) Zug before and after their marriage in 1841. There is also correspondence between Zug and his friends and associates in the temperance movement. And, after Zug's death and Margaret Zug's remarriage sometime before 1846, there is extensive communication between Margaret and a cousin who moves from Pennsylvania to Richmond, Virginia, and reports her impressions of her new home and society.

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John and Margaret Hood Zug papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

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Historical Note

John Zug and Margaret Hood spent most of their lives in southern Pennsylvania. John Zug's family lived in Carlisle in Cumberland County, while Margaret Hood evidently lived in several southern Pennsylvania towns, including Newville, Springfield, and Stoughstown in Cumberland County and York in York County.

John Zug was an agent of the Colonization Society, an active speaker for the temperance movement, and an advocate of the Methodist Church, before entering Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, to study law. He graduated from Dickinson College in 1840. Later that year he relocated to Baltimore, Maryland, where he helped establish a private school and served as instructor. Margaret Hood remained in southern Pennsylvania until July 1841, when she married John Zug and joined him in Baltimore.

Life in Baltimore was not easy for the newly married couple. In August 1842, as Margaret recovered from the birth of their son Edgar, John departed for several months of travel to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. He attempted to sell copies of a book he had written on a subject not disclosed in his letters. The couple's correspondence from this period indicates that they sold some of their furniture and personal belongings in an effort to reduce their debt.

The Zugs moved back to southern Pennsylvania by September 1842, probably due to their deepening financial problems. John returned to his family's farm to assist his father and practice law. Margaret and Edgar moved to Newville, where they probably stayed with her family. In early 1843, the couple still lived apart, although John planned to move his family into a new home in Carlisle in April.

John Zug's health was a perennial concern for his family and friends. Immediately before his wedding in July 1841, he suffered a ruptured blood vessel in his lung. He believed that his illness was due to "frequent exposure in public speaking [for the temperance movement], particularly in the open air," and he curtailed his excessive schedule of public addresses thereafter. In March 1843, Zug wrote to a friend that he had been ill since Christmas and that a recent convalescent trip to the country was unsuccessful. Zug's efforts to move his family and to begin practicing law compromised his recuperation. Despite the assistance and care of family and friends, John Zug died during the latter half of 1843.

Margaret Hood Zug remained in Carlisle with her young son after her husband's death. She remarried in 1847.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The papers of John and Margaret Hood Zug consist of eighty letters, two poems, and a travel itinerary and health regimen that span the period 1837 to 1851, although the bulk of the material is dated 1838 to 1843. Correspondents include Dickinson College presidents John Price Durbin and Robert Emory; Thomas and Sarah Moore; Thomas Bowman; Fritz Alberti; B. H. Crever; Henry Welling; Samuel Zug; George Coffey; William Kelley; John Hoss; Richard Batler; and Bishop Waugh. Major topics include Dickinson College; the temperance movement; religion; courtship and marriage; early nineteenth century travel in the Mid-Atlantic region and further west; family issues; and African-Americans and abolition. The correspondents also discussed politics and the death of U. S. President William Henry Harrison; health and financial concerns; the Thanksgiving holiday; John Zug's school in Baltimore; and conditions in southern Pennsylvania; Baltimore; and Richmond, Virginia.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The University of Maryland Libraries purchased the papers of John and Margaret Hood Zug from Carmen Valentino in 1990.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by: Pamela Alsop, June 1997

Processing note:

Materials in this collection were separated into three series. All materials have been placed into acid-free folders within an acid-free box; items within the first series were placed into separate acid-free folders to distinguish correspondents. Fragile items have been placed into archival plastic enclosures.

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Jennie A. Levine, September 2005.

Arrangement of Collection

The papers of John and Margaret Hood Zug have been organized as three series:

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Correspondence, 1837-1851 (80 items)

This series contains eighty letters written to John and Margaret Hood Zug, arranged by recipient. The first of these groupings contains three letters John Zug wrote to Thomas Moore, a cousin of Margaret Hood Zug, between 1837 and 1841. Zug discussed his studies and graduation from Dickinson College, his courtship of Margaret Hood, the establishment of his school in Baltimore, the temperance movement, and his and Moore's health. The second grouping consists of a single letter John Zug wrote to Captain John Hoss in 1843. In it, Zug discussed his poor health and his plans to move his family into a new home and to begin the practice of law.

Thirty-three letters written to Margaret Hood Zug by John Zug between 1838 and 1843 comprise the third grouping of correspondence. Major topics include their courtship and marriage, financial concerns, John Zug's school and social life in Baltimore, travels on behalf of the Methodist Church and the Temperance Society, the condition of their health, family and friends, and their son Edgar.

The fourth grouping contains thirty-three letters written to John Zug between 1838 and 1843 by various correspondents, including Thomas Bowman and Fritz Alberti, former schoolmates from Dickinson College; his wife's cousin Thomas Moore; his brother Samuel Zug; Bishop Waugh of the Methodist Church; and Dickinson College presidents John Price Durbin and Robert Emory, as well as other individuals. The correspondents touched on a wide variety of subjects including life at Dickinson College during and after Zug's studies there, the active involvement of Zug and several of his friends in the temperance movement, and religion and the Methodist Church. In addition, issues such as courtship and marriage, early nineteenth century travel in the Mid-Atlantic region and further west, family issues, African-Americans and abolition, politics, the death of U. S. President William Henry Harrison, and health and financial concerns were addressed. The letters also described the Thanksgiving holiday, John Zug's school in Baltimore, and conditions in southern Pennsylvania, Baltimore, and Richmond, Virginia.

The fifth grouping of correspondence consists of ten letters written to Margaret Hood Zug by her cousin Thomas Moore and his wife Sarah between 1841 and 1851. The correspondence alludes to the death of John Zug, although it is not directly addressed. On 5 February 1846, Sarah Moore wrote: There was a Methodist lady called here a few days ago to see Mrs. Zug, she heard I was looking for you and saw a lady dressed in black with me and concluded it was you, she used to know your husband and thought a great deal of him.

Thomas Moore wrote the following to Margaret on April 5, 1849, soon after Sarah's death: "In a few months it will be six years since the dearest friend I ever had of my own sex [John Zug] was laid in the lonely dwelling place." In addition to spousal death, other topics addressed by the Moores include friends and family; life in Richmond, Virginia; health concerns; Margaret Zug's remarriage in 1847; and religion.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
John Zug to Thomas Moore, 1837-1841 series 1box 1folder 1
John Zug to Captain John Hoss, 1843 series 1box 1folder 2
John Zug to Margaret Hood Zug, 1838-1843 series 1box 1folder 3
Correspondence received by John Zug, 1838-1843 series 1box 1folder 4
Thomas and Sarah Moore to Margaret Hood Zug, 1841-1851 series 1box 1folder 5

Series 2: Poetry, 1838 and undated (2 items)

This series consists of two love poems, both of which were probably written or copied by John Zug and sent to Margaret Hood. The first poem is dated 31 March 1838 and begins with the line: "'Twas on a bright and sunny day of March." Attached to this poem are quotes about love clipped from books and other published sources. The second poem is not dated but is entitled "The Old Bachelor," and the name "Miss M. A. Hood" is written on an outer flap. The materials are arranged chronologically with dated materials appearing first.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Poetry -- "'Twas on a bright and sunny day of March", 1838 series 2box 1folder 6
Poetry -- "The Old Bachelor", undated series 2box 1folder 7

Series 3: Travel, undated (1 item)

This series contains a sheet of paper listing the hot springs in the region, the traveling distance between them, and a daily "treatment" itinerary. The list probably belonged to John Zug and may relate to his convalescence after the serious illness he suffered in summer 1841.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Travel and treatment itinerary, undated series 3box 1folder 8

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