Muse and Confidante: The Church Archive


The Church archive contains correspondence from the period of the founding of America, including letters from two of the Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, whose personal and political differences helped shape the course of political dialogue in the early days of the country. The letters are rich in personal and historical detail. Both Hamilton and Jefferson write to Mrs. Church with a combination of intimacy and respect. These letters complement the recorded history of the private lives of two of the most prominent statesmen in the early years of independence, and provides evidence of their practical concerns. A complete inventory of the Church archive is available here. There are other letters from Jefferson to Church held in the Library of Congress.

The papers consist of 84 items, 1716-1865, chiefly letters of Angelica Schuyler Church (1756-1815) and other family members, including her husband John Barker Church, brother-in-law Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804), father Philip John Schuyler, and brother-in-law Stephen van Rensselaer (1764-1839). Other notable correspondents include:

Justus Erich Bollman (1769-1821)
Charles James Fox (1749-1806)
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834)
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
Winfield Scott (1786-1866)
Baron von Steuben (1730-1794)
Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord (1754-1838)
George Washington (1732-1799)

Topics of interest include national politics and foreign affairs including the politics of Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson, the French Revolution, Marquis de Lafayette and his imprisonment, and the War of 1812; travel in Poland and Austria and in England; trade in America and India; and, family and personal matters. Persons mentioned or discussed include Marquis de Lafayette and his family, Marquis de La Tour (1770-1853); Philip John Schuyler; John Trumbull (1756- 1843), Maria Cosway, Mary Jefferson [Mrs. John Wayles] Eppes (1778-1804), Martha Jefferson [Mrs. Thomas Mann] Randolph (1772-1808), and Madam de Corny.

This collection was purchased by the Library on June 26, 1996.



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