Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Shaw mss., 1833-1908, consist of letters and papers of William Shaw, 1817-1909, tailor, who was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and indentured himself in 1833 for three years to William R. Melroy of Newville, Pennsylvania, to learn the tailoring trade. In 1840 he moved to Indiana from Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and settled in Washington, Indiana, where he was married to Martha Reisinger on June 22, 1841. They moved to New Albany, Indiana, in 1847, and there Shaw, in partnership with a man named Nunemacher, established a merchant tailoring business. Early in the 1870's Shaw retired from business and became a cutter in the garment department of the quartermaster's depot at Jeffersonville, Indiana, a position which he held until forced to retire by the infirmities of old age.

Shaw's papers include: [1] A complete set of his indenture papers, including (a) a birth record, (b) the indenture, and (c) an expense account for the period of his apprenticeship; [2] a book containing the names and measurements of the customers of the firm of Nunemacher & Shaw, 1860-1867. Entries for orders are also included. Many of the customers during this period were officers of the Union Army; [3] Letters to Shaw, (a) from relatives and friends who resided, in the main, in Pennsylvania and Middle Western states, (b) from Civil War officers in regard to orders for uniforms, (c) in regard to the affairs of the Grand Temple of Honor of Indiana, a fraternal temperance organization, of which Shaw was a Grand Worthy Templar during the Civil War period. These letters are dated 1860-1867; [4] Receipts for taxes paid in Floyd County, Indiana, 1867-1902; [5] Journal, 1897- 1904, relating to William Shaw's genealogy.

Biographical data has been obtained from the mss. and from two newspaper clippings filed with the collection under the date of June 23, 1903.

Collection size: 450 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.