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Valentine Peers papers, Bulk, 1789-1826

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Finding aid prepared by Megan Mummey


Valentine Peers papers


Bulk, 1789-1826


University of Kentucky Special Collections


Collection is arranged chronologically.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open to researchers by appointment.

Preferred Citation Note

73M20 : [identification of item], Valentine Peers papers, 1789-1911, bulk 1789-1826, University of Kentucky Special Collections.


0.23 Cubic feet

1 box


Valentine Peers (1756-1830) was a brigade major in the Revolutionary Army and operated saltworks and cotton mills in Maysville, Kentucky. Correspondence, genealogical information, a land warrant, silhouettes, and photographs comprise the papers and document the family's business and personal affairs.


Valentine Peers was born in Sisburn, Ireland, on May 26, 1756. He immigrated to Virginia briefly in 1773 but quickly moved back to Ireland. After returning to Virginia in 1775, Peers joined the Revolutionary Army and served as a brigade major under General George Weedon. He fought in the Battle of the Brandywine in 1777. Following the war, Peers settled in Loudon County, Virginia. He married Eleanor Grayson Orr, the daughter of John Dalrymple and Susannah Grayson Orr, in 1891 and moved to Maysville, Kentucky, in 1893. They had eight children: Mary Eleanor, John D., Edward, Valentine J., Benjamin O., Henry P., Jane M., and Susan E. While living in Kentucky, Peers operated a saltworks; opened cotton mills in Maysville and Paris, Kentucky; and worked as a landlord. He died on June 6, 1830.

Westbeld, Kirk J. The Valentine Peers Collection: Guide and Inventory. University Libraries, Rare Books and Manuscripts. The Ohio State University, 2001. Web. 22 Aug. 2011.

Scope and Content

The Valentine Peers papers contain correspondence, genealogical information, a land warrant, silhouettes, and photographs that document the family's business and personal affairs. The papers consist primarily of letters to Eleanor Grayson Peers from her husband Valentine Peers, her sister Betsy Orr Powell, and her children. The letters from Valentine Peers to his wife concern business matters, including the day-to-day affairs of his saltworks. The papers include silhouettes of Valentine and Eleanor; John Dalrymple Orr and Susannah Grayson Orr, Eleanor's father and mother; Colonel William Grayson, Eleanor's uncle; Alexander Dalrymple Orr; and Mary Ball Orr. Other materials include genealogical notes on the Orr, Grayson, Powell, and Peers families; the will of Susannah Orr; Valentine Peers' land warrant; and photographs of Peers' descendant Valentine Peers Collins and his wife Harriet Gates Collins.


  • Grayson family
  • Orr family
  • Peer family
  • Powell family
  • Kentucky--Genealogy.
  • Maysville (Ky.)--History.
  • Paris (Ky.)--History.
  • Orr, Susannah Monroe Grayson, 1743-1780
  • Peers, Eleanor Grayson Orr, 1772-1817
  • Businessmen--Correspondence.
  • Cotton manufacture--Kentucky.
  • Salt mines and mining--Kentucky--Lower Blue Licks.
  • Silhouettes.
  • Toll roads--Kentucky.
  • Wills.

User Restrictions

The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections.

Collection Inventory

Correspondence, 1789-1848, 1911
[Box: 1, Folder: 1]
Correspondence, undated
[Box: 1, Folder: 2]
Land warrant, 1823
[Box: 1, Folder: 3]
Silhouettes and photographs, undated
[Box: 1, Folder: 4]
Genealogical information, undated
[Box: 1, Folder: 5]