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Stephen P. Middleton Letter Book and Diary

Identifier: MS 00018

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  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

Acc. 2009.492: Volume of copies of outgoing correspondence of Stephen P. Middleton of Norristown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania for the years 1886-1892. The front cover is labeled 'Copy 1886-1892' and the first page is titled "Time Account of Stephen P. Middleton of Norristown, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, wrote October 18th, 1886."

The first 3 pages were begun in 1880-1881 as an account of time worked and earnings, but starting on page 4 the author copied his outgoing letters. Letters are both of a private and professional nature and often concern Middleton's search for work. He is also interested in competitive ice skating and is looking for someone to support him in his athletic ambitions. In other places  he talks about working in a sawmill and brickyard and toward the end to the volume he is looking for work as machinist or engineer.

On the last page, on February 24, 1891 Middleton writes: "It surprises me that I was ever so overcome by misery vc [?] as to write such nonsense as I have written in this book. Wild ravings of one unfortunate brought low by misery. No principle in acting or writing."  Some of the copied letters have comments written across the filled-in  pages, e.g. "Foolish weakness", "Nonsense" or "Returned" Received". etc.

There is an alphabetical index of recipients in the back of the volume as well as a clipping about competitive skating.

Acc. 2009.518: In this Diary, 1890-1893 Stephen P. Middleton, who is living with his parents and siblings, describes his various jobs, being out of work, as well as social activities. He is very active in sports. Also included are YMCA sports programs.

For a more detailed description and excerpts, both provided by the seller, please see folder  links below.


  • Creation: 1880-1881, 1886-1893

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use:

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical Information:

Information about this individual or organization may be available in the Special Collections Research Center Wiki: .


0.03 Linear Feet

Physical Characteristics or Technical Requirements:

The fragile nature of this material may limit handling.

Diary, 1890-1893, has been cleaned of mold, but mold stains are still present throughout the pages.

Acquisition Information:

Acc. 2009.492 was purchased on 10/22/2009; Acc. 2009.518 was purchased on 11/05/2009.

Processing Information:

Accessioned and minimally processed in October and November 2009 by Ute Schechter.

Guide to the Stephen P. Middleton Letter Book and Diary
Ute Schechter.
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
The collection description/finding aid is written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository