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McDowell family papers, 1779-1924, 1855-1919 (bulk dates)

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Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig


McDowell family papers


1779-1924, 1855-1919 (bulk dates)


University of Kentucky Special CollectionsLexington, Kentucky 40506


Arranged chronologically.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], McDowell family papers, 1779-1924, 1855-1919 (bulk dates), 1M51M20, AAN0205LM, Special Collections, University of Kentucky.


1.3 cubic ft. (ca. 1000 pieces)


Ephraim McDowell, a Danville, Ky. physician, is known as the founder of abdominal surgery as a result of his successful operation to remove an ovarian tumor from Mrs. Jane Todd Crawford in 1809. His father, Samuel McDowell, was a prominent Kentucky jurist. A later member of the family was William C. McDowell, who served on the Lexington (Ky.) Tobacco Board of Trade.

Scope and Content

This is a collection of papers of the McDowell family of Kentucky, the product of two distinct accessions. It includes depositions and other legal documents pertaining to a trial in Fayette Circuit Court over land disputed between Samuel McDowell and James McGinty and others dating from 1802- 1805, and a number of speeches and other papers concerning Ephraim McDowell, which were written by Samuel M. Wilson, a Lexington, Ky. lawyer and historian, in the 1920's (52W131). The majority of the collection, however contains papers relating to later members of the McDowell family, particularly William C. McDowell. There are many letters concerning William's farming interests and activities, as well as family correspondence and legal papers such as deeds and indentures (51M20). These papers date from 1855-1919. They are only partially processed.


  • Crawford, Jane Todd, 1763-1842.
  • McDowell, Ephraim, 1771-1830.
  • McDowell, Samuel, 1735-1817, complainant.
  • McDowell, William C.
  • McGinty, James, defendant.
  • Farms--Kentucky.
  • Land tenure--Kentucky.
  • Ovariotomy.
  • Tobacco industry--Kentucky.
  • Farmers.
  • Surgeons.
  • Danville (Ky.)--History.
  • Deeds.
  • Indentures.
  • Speeches

User Restrictions

Copyright has not been assigned to the University of Kentucky.