Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Leavitt mss., 1846-1849, consist of six letters from George C. Leavitt, 1824-1854, teacher and surveyor, to his parents in New Hampshire, and one letter from his wife Elizabeth to his parents. Upon emigrating to Indiana in late 1845 or early 1846 Leavitt first secured employment as a school teacher. By 1848 he had married and had been appointed the Crawford county surveyor. The Leavitts apparently left Indiana in early 1850 since they are not listed in the 1850 census of Crawford county, and Leavitt died in Sterling, Arkansas in 1854.

The letters in the collection were written during Leavitt's residence in Leavenworth, Indiana and contain detailed descriptions of the area and of his life, work, and acquaintances there. Topics included in the letters are educational, social, religious, and political conditions, commerce with New Orleans, the founding of Leavenworth, disease and epidemics in the region, as well as local gossip. One of the letters is notable for the crisscross style of writing characteristic of the period.

Included with the collection are photostatic copies of two letters from the Mississippi State Archives. These are from Nathan G. Howard of Lawrenceburgh, Indiana, to James Payson Jordan in Lubec, Maine, dated June 26, 1826, and from William R. Howard of Fayette, Mississippi, to Nathan G. Howard dated July 23, 1827.

Collection size: 9 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.