Friday, July 30, 2010

Major Family Papers

The Papers of the Major Family of Frankfort Now Open to Researchers!

The Univers
ity Archives is pleased to announce that an important collection of 19th century material has been organized and arranged, and is open to researchers. The Major Family was a prominent Frankfort family in the mid-nineteenth century. The majority of the manuscripts and documents in this collection relate to Samuel Ire Monger Major II, who was the editor and publisher of the influential Kentucky Yeoman and a noted local politician (member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, mayor of Frankfort following the Civil War), civic leader, and entrepreneur. In addition, a number of documents relate to his: grandfather, Francis, a farmer and early settler of Franklin County; father, Samuel Ire Monger Major I, who was Clerk of the Penitentiary of Kentucky, a businessman, politician and noted local civic leader during the early days of Frankfort; brother, Dr. Patrick Major, who was a business partner and confidant, and whose correspondence reflects their close relationship; and son, Patrick Upshaw Major, a well-known attorney and judge.

A number of the Major family women are represented here as well, including: Margaret (Peggy) Porter who was married to Francis Major; Martha Hipkins Bohannon married to Samuel Major I, and known as Martha H. Major; and Mary Brown Scott who married Samuel Major II to become Mary B. Major. Unfortunately, there is very little biographical information regarding the Major Family women. But the extensive correspondence between the women, to and from their husbands, fathers and sons as well as with cousins and friends give more than a passing glimpse into their social background, daily lives, education, and some sense of their political and financial views.

There are personal documents that range from poetry to journals, business and financial papers that concern a wide range of endeavors, land and legal documentation such as deeds and land grants for holding in Kentucky and Virginia as well as other states, and political material that relates to campaigns and political beliefs.

Researchers and scholars will find this collection is rich in primary source material relating to
the politics, events and repercussions of the Civil War as well as the business and personal aspects of American Slavery.

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