Mary Speakman Lupton Papers

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Collection Title: Mary Speakman Lupton Papers

Collection Number: Ms. Coll. 111

Box Numbers: Ca. 2000 items (6 boxes)

Repositiory: Chester County Historical Society, West Chester, PA

Language: English

Abstract:

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Abstract: 

Letters of the Lupton and Speakman families, primarily from and to Mary Speakman Lupton. Correspondents include her parents, Wilson and Eliza Roberts Speakman; her husband, Hugh S. Lupton; her daughter, Carrie Damon Lupton; and her sons, Daniel Walker Lupton, James Roberts Lupton, and Hugh Sidwell Lupton; as well as correspondence of her uncle, James B. Roberts;  aunts, Susan D. Roberts and Mary Roberts Walker; uncle by marriage, Daniel Walker; and various cousins including Susan Mary Roberts Walker (later Wickersham), daughter of Mary and Daniel Roberts.  Included in this collection of letters are many of the envelopes, some with stamps and postmarks, as well as some greeting cards and invitations.  It should be mentioned that letters were intended to be shared; even if a letter were addressed to only one person, it was understood that other family members would read it.  In some cases an explicit direction to forward the letter to another family member was given; very rarely a letter might indicate that it was for the intended recipient’s eyes only.  Two or more people might add a bit to an outgoing letter in order to save on paper and postage.  Hugh S. Lupton was an agent of the Equitable Life Assurance Society, and many of Mary’s and Hugh’s letters are on company letterhead paper.

The Luptons and Speakmans were middle-class families of the late 19th and early 20th century who belonged to the Society of Friends.  Although some of the letters were written during the period of the Civil War, only one or two direct references are made to it, and it is hard to assess how much, if any, impact the war had on their daily lives.   If the letters written by Daniel Walker to his daughter, Susan Mary, are typical, it does not seem to have affected his ability to travel and conduct business to a significant degree, as he rarely refers to the war. The fact that he was writing to a young woman, however, may have inhibited his choice of topics.  Most of the correspondence concerns family matters, health concerns, business and farming conditions, friends and neighbors, and meetings of the Society of Friends.


Biography:

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Biography: 

Mary Speakman Lupton was the daughter of Eliza Roberts and Wilson Speakman. She had two sisters, Annie (1854-    ) and Esther [“Hetty”] (1858-1906).  Annie married Herbert L. Speakman in 1879; they moved to Monmouth, Illinois, and then to Jerome, Idaho.  Annie and Herbert had four children: Arthur, Mary, Bertha, and Harold.  Mary’s younger sister, Esther, did not marry and remained at home in West Chester with Eliza and Wilson Speakman.

Mary Speakman  (b. 1856) married Hugh S. Lupton (b. 1845) in1880, and they had four children:  Daniel Walker  (b. 1881), Carrie Damon (b. 1883), James Roberts (b. 1892), and Hugh Sidwell Jr. (b. 1895). 

Mary’s mother, Elizabeth (Eliza) Roberts (1820-1905), was the daughter of James B. Roberts (1783-1823) and Esther Darlington (1793-1877).   in 1880 she married Wilson Speakman (1806-1904). She had four siblings:  Susan D. (1815-1898), Edward D. (1817-1889), Mary (1819-1855), and James B. 1813-1903).  

Susan Mary Roberts Walker (b. 1849) was the daughter of Mary Roberts and Daniel Walker (1807-1875).  In 1855, when Mary was six years old, her mother died in childbirth and her infant brother, Edward, also died.

Mary spent the years from 1862 to 1868 in West Chester at the home of cousin William Darlington, where her unmarried aunt, Susan Darlington Roberts, also lived. 

James B. Walker went to California in 1850 after his marriage to Lucy Cynthia Lewis, and she joined him there in about a year.  After Lucy’s death, James remarried in 1893, to Agnes L. Brown. 

Collection Contents:

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Collection Contents: 

Box 1

Folders 1-24

1.  Mary Speakman Lupton ALS to daughter, Carrie Damon Lupton , ca. 11 items, 1902-1907

  • Letters to Carrie when she was staying with grandparents in West Chester, with aunt Annie Speakman in Illinois
  • Letters to Carrie at home in Winchester, Virginia, when MSL was staying in West Chester to care for ailing parents, sister
  • Concern for Carrie’s “rheumatism”
  • Wilson Speakman’s illness and impending death, 1904, and Esther Speakman’s final illness in 1906
  • Young Friends’ Association matters

2.  Mary Speakman Lupton ALS to daughter, Carrie Damon Lupton ca, 16 items, March-April 1908

  • Letters to Carrie in Atlantic City, NJ, receiving treatment for back problems, other health concerns

3.   Mary Speakman Lupton ALS to daughter, Carrie Damon Lupton ca.  21 items, May-July 1908

  • Letters to Carrie in Philadelphia and Frankford, PA; one of Carrie’s doctors is a woman
  • News from home, especially how the chickens and turkeys are doing

4. Mary Speakman Lupton ALS to daughter, Carrie Damon Lupton, ca. 12 items, November-December 1908

5.  Mary Speakman Lupton ALS to father, Wilson Speakman, ca. 15  items, 1895-1904            

  • “My Dear Father, “ “My Dear Father and the Others”
  • 1895: progress of new house Mary and Hugh are building in Winchester, Virginia; Hugh is working as an insurance agent as well as farming
  • 4/8/1902: Mary writes to father on his eighty-sixth birthday, attributes his longevity to “the reward of a well ordered, temperate life.”   News that Hugh has bought another farm with the intention that his nephew Edward will work it
  • 10/5/1902:  farm and home news; residents of Winchester feeling effects of coal strike
  • mentions Baltimore fire of 1904;  automobiles create hazard on the pike for those still using horses

6.  Mary Speakman Lupton ALS to husband, Hugh S. Lupton ca. 20 items, 1903-1907

  • 2/6/1903: Mary in West Chester to help care for  ailing father, mother and sister.  Saw dentist for loose filling
  • 2/26/1903, post card: still at West Chester, family not much improved; Mary says she and her mother wrote to her sister Annie to come help when she can.
  • 11/25/1904:  back in West Chester, father in final stages of illness
  • 12/2/1904:  tells husband she is looking at his picture while she writes to him: “I feel the need of thee so often…thee is my balance wheel. I wobble without thee.”
  • 12/13/1904: “There can be no doubt now that Father is slipping away from earth.  It cannot be very long, Hugh…” (father died 12/19/1904)
  • 6/17/1906: Mary staying in West Chester to take care of sister Esther; mother died in 1905

7.  Mary Speakman Lupton ALS to mother, Eliza Roberts Speakman, ca. 17 items, 1891-1899

  • 5/27/1892:  medical advice to her parents, who still have colds after bouts of “la Grippe”
  • husband’s business travels to Baltimore and Richmond
  • family matters, hiring help for the farm and housework

8.  Mary Speakman Lupton ALS to mother, Eliza Roberts Speakman,  ca. 20 items, 1900

9.  Mary Speakman Lupton ALS to mother, Eliza Roberts Speakman, ca. 15 items, January-May 1901

  • farming news
  • family matters, health
  • father, Wilson Speakman, staying with Hugh S. Lupton family in Virginia on a long visit, summer 1901.

10. Mary Speakman Lupton ALS to mother, Eliza Roberts Speakman, ca. 11 items, June-December 1901

11.  Mary Speakman Lupton ALS to mother, Eliza R. Speakman (My Dear Mother, My Dear Folks at Home), ca. 16 items, 1902             

  • 1/25/1902 Farm life, looking for turkey eggs
  • 3/16/1902 Discusses preparation of house to host relatives and acquaintances coming to Quarterly Meeting
  • Births and deaths of family and neighbors
  • Farming reports, weather conditions

12. Mary Speakman Lupton ALS to mother, Eliza Roberts Speakman, ca. 17 items, January-July 1903

13. Mary Speakman Lupton ALS to mother, Eliza Roberts Speakman, ca. 15 items, August-December 1903

14. Mary Speakman Lupton ALS to mother, Eliza Roberts Speakman, ca. 13 items, January-June 1904

15. Mary Speakman Lupton ALS to mother, Eliza Roberts Speakman, ca. 13 items, July-December 1904

16. Mary Speakman Lupton ALS to mother, Eliza Roberts Speakman, ca. 15 items, January-May 1905

17.  Mary Speakman Lupton ALS to mother, Eliza Roberts Speakman, ca. 14 items, June-December 1905

18. Mary Speakman Lupton ALS to sister, Esther Speakman,  ca. 12 items  1891-1900

19. Mary Speakman Lupton ALS to sister, Esther Speakman,  ca. 13 items 1901-1903

20. Mary Speakman Lupton ALS to sister, Esther Speakman, ca. 16 items  1904-1906

21. Mary Speakman Lupton to sons, Daniel W., James R., and Hugh S. Lupton Jr., ca. 24 items, 1903-1912

  • Letters to James and Hugh at George School, Bucks County, PA, 1910-1912
  • Newspaper clipping: “Friends Plan Large Meeting”
  • Newspaper clipping: obituary of Henry Baetjer, Winchester, VA, merchant enclosed with letter of 5/16/1912

22. Mary Speakman Lupton to son, Hugh S. Lupton Jr., one item, 1904

23. Mary Speakman Lupton to son, James R. Lupton, ca. 19 items, 1904-1908

  • To James at home, 1904
  • To James at George School, 1902-1908
  • Interesting color picture transfer on two 1908 letters
  • George School bank book

24.  Mary Speakman Lupton to son, James R. Lupton, ca. 15 items, 1909-1911

  • To James at George School
  • Several joint letters from mother and father
  • Folded paper packet of sage from Aunt Annie Speakman in Idaho

 

Box 2

25.  Hannah H. Blackburn ALS, ca.  3 items

  • To cousin, Annie Speakman, 1898
  • To cousin, Mary Speakman Lupton, 1924
  • Newspaper clipping of poem: “Wm. Penn Smiles”

26.  Carrie Damon to cousin, Mary Speakman Lupton,  ca. 3 items,  1904-1906

27.   Lydia W. Irish to aunt, Mary Speakman Lupton, ca. 3 items, 1904

  • Lydia’s brother, Edward, had been farming at Winchester with the Hugh S. Lupton family for years until his sudden death from appendicitis in October 1904 (he was 27 years old)

28. Carrie Damon Lupton to brother, James R., and father, Hugh S. Lupton, ca. 2 items, 1908

29.  Carrie Damon Lupton to mother, Mary Speakman Lupton, ca. 16 items, 1902-1905

  • “Dear Home Folks”

30.  Carrie Damon Lupton to mother, Mary Speakman Lupton, ca. 26 items, 1908

  • describes treatments for her back pain and overall poor health

31.  Family letters to Carrie Damon Lupton,  ca. 10 items,  1908-1909

32.  Daniel W. Lupton to mother, Mary Speakman Lupton, and father, Hugh S. Lupton, ca. 6 items, 1900-1911

33. Hugh S. Lupton Jr. to brother, James R. Lupton, and grandmother,  Eliza Roberts Speakman, ca. 3 items,  1904-19024

34. Hugh S. Lupton Jr. to mother, Mary Speakman Lupton,  ca. 25 items, 1904-1924

  • some letters to MSL are written by daughter-in-law, Mildred
  • Mother’s Day card, 1924
  • Letter from Hugh’s daughter, Dorothy, to her grandmother, Mary Speakman Lupton

35.  Hugh S. Lupton Sr. to daughter, Carrie Damon Lupton, ca. 6 items,  1908

  • Hugh also frequently added to letters written to the children by Mary Speakman Lupton

36.  Hugh S. Lupton Sr. to sons, James R. and Hugh S. Lupton Jr., ca. 6 items, 1908-1912

37.  Hugh S. Lupton Sr. to wife, Mary Speakman Lupton, ca. 22 items,  1896-1908

38.  Hugh S. Lupton Sr. to father, one item, 1899

39.  James R. Lupton to mother, Mary Speakman Lupton, and sister, Carrie Damon Lupton, ca. 15 items, 1901-1908

40.  James R. Lupton to mother, Mary Speakman Lupton, ca. 24 items, 1909

  • Some addressed to “Papa” or both parents
  • Postcard to older brother, Daniel, from George School

41.  James R. Lupton to mother, Mary Speakman Lupton, ca. 13 items, 1910-1911

42.  James R. Lupton to mother, Mary Speakman Lupton, ca. 25 items, 1923-1924

43.  Rachel J. Lupton to cousin, Mary Roberts Walker, ca. 3 items,  1864, 1900

44.  Vangie Preston to Mary Speakman Lupton, ca. 2 items, 1904

45.  James B. Roberts to sister, Eliza Roberts Speakman, and niece, Mary Speakman Lupton, ca. 8 items, 1850-1909

  • Newspaper clipping:  “A Memory of Home”
  • Postcard notification of his death 4/20/1903
  • Letters, card from James’ second wife, Agnes; their house destroyed in 1906 San Francisco earthquake, seeking monetary aid from family

46.  Susan Darlington Roberts to Mary Roberts Walker, ca. 3 items,  1866

47. Annie Speakman to mother, Eliza Roberts Speakman, ca. 5 items,  1898-1906

  • Postcard to mother, 1905
  • Youngest son, Harold, died 9/18/05 of “cerebrospinal meningitis”

48.  Annie Speakman to sister, Mary Speakman Lupton, ca. 16 items, 1898-1903

49.  Annie Speakman to sister, Mary Speakman Lupton, ca. 20 items,  1904-1908

50.  Annie Speakman to sister, Mary Speakman Lupton, ca. 15 items, 1910-1924

51.  Assorted relatives and friends to Mary Speakman Lupton, ca. 13 items, 1875-1908

52.  Eliza Roberts Speakman to daughter, Mary Speakman Lupton, ca. 30 items, 1901-1904

53.  Esther Speakman to sister, Mary Speakman Lupton,  ca. 8 items,  1901-1905

54.  Ethel M. Speakman to aunt, Mary Speakman Lupton,  ca. 2 items,  1915

55.  Wilson Speakman to daughter, Mary Speakman Lupton, wife, Eliza Roberts Speakman, and grandson, Hugh S. Lupton Jr., ca. 8 items, 1859-1902

56.  “Aunt Jane” to Mary Speakman Lupton,  ca. 6 items, 1902-1907

57.   Daniel Walker to daughter, Susan Mary Roberts Walker, ca. 29 items, 1860-1865

  • After the death of her mother in 1855,  Susan Mary Roberts Walker (frequently referred to as “Cousin Mary”) lived with various relatives in Chester County, PA (e.g., the William Darlington family) and at Westtown School while her father traveled  on business
  • Very little mention made of Civil War although letters span that period

58.   Daniel Walker to daughter, Susan Mary Roberts Walker, ca. 31 items, 1866-1869

59.  Mary Roberts Walker to sister, Susan D. Roberts, one item, undated

60.  Nathan Walker to cousin, Susan Mary Roberts Walker, one item, 1865

61. Miscellaneous: collected by Susan D. Roberts and send to neice, Susan Mary Roberts Walker, with undated note, ca. 16 items, 1850s

62.  Letter to Susan Mary Roberts Walker and Robert A. W. Wickersham upon their marriage from Mary Speakman Lupton, Hugh, Maryann, cousin Carrie, Eliza and “Hettie” (Esther)

63.  Esther Darlington Roberts ALS, ca. 3 items, 1847 and 1856

  • To son, James; includes song performed by “Chandler Darlington and one other”
  • To sister, Cidney

64.  Esther Darlington Roberts ALS, saved by Susan D. Roberts and passed on to Susan Mary Roberts Walker, ca. 26 items

  • Mixed correspondence from 1849 to 1875
  • Report card  (“Statement of the Progress in Study,  Conduct, Etc.”) of Susan Mary R. Walker from Violet Dale Day School, 10/12/1859

65.  Assorted correspondence,  ca. 7 items, 1847-1921

  • George Speakman ALS to his brother, Wilson Speakman, 1847
  • Death notice of Frau Therese Otto sent to Mary Speakman Lupton, 1921
  • Blank check from Bank of Winchester  (VA) with notes on back

66.  Invitations, ca. 10 items, 1846-1880

  • To wedding of Annie Speakman and Herbert Speakman
  • To wedding of Mary Speakman and Hugh S. Lupton

67.  Cards, including Christmas, Valentine, etc.; postcards, ca. 20 items

68.  Miscellaneous materials, ca. 6 items

  • Booklet made by Susan Mary Roberts Walker to keep track of letters received and answered
  • Poems
  • Newspaper clipping and handwritten copy of poem, “The Dying Wife”

69. Speakman-Roberts family chart 

Other sources: CCHS clippings file.

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