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James Thompson papers


James Thompson papers
Thompson, James
Collection number:
6 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:

Group of six handwritten business letters to and from James Thompson of Pennsylvania from correspondents in Baltimore and Havre de Grace. One of the letters, written to James Thompson by Magrew and Virdin, gives details o fthe damage to the Tide Water Canal and of the accidental drowning of its superintendent William Boyd

Important Information for Users of the Collection


This collection is open for research.

Preferred citation:

James Thompson papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

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Publication rights:

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.

Historical Note

James Thompson was born on February 2, 1782, in Thompsontown, Pennsylvania. He was the son of William Thompson, who settled and laid out Thompsontown, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, and Jane (Mitchell) Thompson. Thompson moved to New Mexico, Pennsylvania, in 1810 after his father completed building a stone gristmill there. He married Martha Allen on April 2, 1810. They had three sons, Charles A. (1811-1852), Allen A. (1814-1844), and Jerome (b. 1817). Thompson opened a store in New Mexico, Pennsylvania, in 1814. His brother Samuel joined him in this merchandising endeavor until about 1827. In 1821, Thompson became the first postmaster of New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and held that position until his death. His son Charles succeeded him. James Thompson died on December 14, 1847.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The papers of James Thompson consist of five business letters and one document, dated 1808 to 1841, which relate to the trade of flour, plaster, and wheat. The correspondence includes discussion of the condition of the goods, prices, and commercial transportation via the Tidewater Canal. Correspondents include a Mr. Albers of Baltimore, Samuel Thompson, and Tiffany, Fite & Co. in Baltimore.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The University of Maryland Libraries purchased the papers of James Thompson from Charles Apfelbm in 1995.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed by Martha Hooker, November 2003

Processing note:

The letters were placed in and acid-free folder and stored in an acid-free box.

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Jennie A. Levine, June 2006.

Arrangement of Collection

The collection consists of one series:

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Business Documents, 1808-1841 (6 items)

This series includes six handwritten business documents addressed to James Thompson by correspondents located in Maryland. A letter from a Mr. Albers in Baltimore concerns the condition and cost of one hundred barrels of flour. There is also an 1812 account of sales sent by Albers to Thompson. A letter from James Thompson's brother, Samuel, written in Baltimore in 1823 includes information on Albers' flour transaction and contemporary prices for wheat and rye. An 1841 invitation from wholesale clothier, Tiffany, Fite & Co., urged Thomspon to visit the firm's Baltimore store to view the stock. In addition, there are two letters from Magraw and Virdin of Havre de Grace, Maryland, that discuss the repair of the Tidewater Canal; the drowning of William Boyd, Superintendent of the Canal; and the going rate for staples such as flour, whiskey, cloverseed, and corn.

Arrangement is chronological.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Business Documents, 1806-1841 series 1box 1folder 1

Related Material

Researchers interested in James Thompson and his family may consult the following related collections and publications:

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.

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