Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Gholson-Kittredge family papers

Abstract

The Gholson-Kittredge family papers (dated 1839-1916, bulk 1839-1860; 0.65 cubic feet; 8 folders) comprise letters, notes on legal cases, legal opinions and decisions, deeds, contracts, receipts, and creative writings, which primarily document the career and family life of Judge William Yates Gholson.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Gholson-Kittredge family papers
Creator
Gholson, William Y. (William Yates), 1807-1870
Extent
0.65 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Lawyers -- Correspondence.
Lawyers -- Ohio -- Cincinnati.
Legal documents.
Letters.
Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877)
Supreme Court of Ohio
Arrangement
Collection is arranged chronologically. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0101: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Gholson-Kittredge family papers, 1839-1916, bulk 1839-1860, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
William Yates Gholson (1807-1870) was born in Southampton, Virginia to Thomas Gholson Jr (1780-1816) and Ann Yates Gholson (1788-1856). His father, Thomas, was a Virginia State Representative. Gholson studied at the College of New Jersey, now known as Princeton University, graduated in 1825 and became an attorney after training at Needham, the home of Judge Creed Taylor. At Needham Gholson met his first wife, Martha Anne Jane Taylor (1805-1831), whom he married Christmas day 1827. They had two children together, Samuel Creed Gholson (1828-1910) and Anne Gholson (1831-1893); unfortunately, Anne passed away shortly after giving birth to her daughter. In 1834, Gholson left his children at Needham, moved to Pontotoc County, Mississippi, gained admission into the Mississippi bar and began to build a successful law practice. While in Mississippi, he assisted in the founding of the University of Mississippi in 1844 and served as one of the original members of the university's board of trustees. He also remarried in 1839 to Elvira Wright (1820-1885) with whom he had two more children – Virginia Elizabeth (1840-1880) and William Yates Jr. (1842-1862).
In the late 1840s, Gholson moved from Mississippi to settle in Cincinnati, Ohio where he opened a law office. Shortly after, he was appointed city solicitor. While in Cincinnati, his practice participated in a number of cases involving legal issues concerning patents and copyrights. Gholson used the notoriety he gained from patent infringement and other cases to successfully campaign for a seat on the Superior Court of Hamilton County from 1854 to 1859. In 1859, the Ohio Republican party placed Gholson on the ballot for the Supreme Court of Ohio where he defeated Democrat Judge Henry C. Whitman for a six-year term. Gholson resigned from the Court before the completion of his term in 1863, citing poor health, and returned to Cincinnati to resume his law practice. Gholson continued to write on legal topics after leaving the Court and became involved in issues arising from the end of the Civil War and reconstruction until his death in 1870.
Edmund Webster Kittredge (1833-1916) was an attorney in Cincinnati, Ohio and married William Gholson's daughter, Virginia (1840-1880). He formed a law partnership in the mid to late 1800s under the name of Kittredge & Wilby.
American Letters collector Wade Hall (1934-2015) was a native of Union Springs, Alabama. Starting in 1962, he lived in Louisville, where he taught English and chaired the English and Humanities/Arts programs at Kentucky Southern College and Bellarmine University. He also taught at the University of Illinois and the University of Florida. He held degrees from Troy State University (B.S.), the University of Alabama (M.A.), and the University of Illinois (Ph.D.). He served for two years in the U.S. Army in the mid-fifties. Dr. Hall was the author of books, monographs, articles, plays, and reviews relating to Kentucky, Alabama, and Southern history and literature. His most recent books include A Visit with Harlan Hubbard; High Upon a Hill: A History of Bellarmine College; A Song in Native Pastures: Randy Atcher's Life in Country Music; and Waters of Life from Conecuh Ridge.
Source: Supreme Court of Ohio. William Yates Gholson Biography. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/SCO/formerjustices/bios/gholson.asp
Scope and Content
The Gholson-Kittredge family papers (dated 1839-1916, bulk 1839-1860; 0.65 cubic feet; 8 folders) comprise letters, notes on legal cases, legal opinions and decisions, deeds, contracts, receipts, and creative writings. The majority of the letters are from both Gholson and Kittredge concerning either legal business or personal letters to their wives, although there are letters to and from other family members as well. The legal contracts and deeds pertain mostly to property leases and issues. Additionally, the collection contains extensive legal opinions and notes on decisions rendered between 1841-1858 composed by Gholson and Kittredge on a variety of cases, and these documents include exhaustive legal citations. The poetry, short prose, and small essays included in the collection cover education and teaching, remembering deceased loved ones, practicing another language, and personal opinions. There are three oversized documents, all indentures of lease resulting from the execution of different wills.
The Gholson-Kittredge family papers are part of the Wade Hall Collection of American letters, which includes correspondence and diaries from all over North America covering the time period of the Civil to Korean Wars. The materials were collected by Wade Hall and document everyday men and women.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Access The collection is open to researchers by appointment.
Use Restrictions
The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

Contents of the Collection

Deeds and contracts, 1839-1865

  • Box 61, folder 1
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Legal opinions and decisions, 1841-1858

  • Box 61, folder 2-3
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Receipts and Invoices, 1845-1916

  • Box 61, folder 4
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Correspondence, 1859-1901

  • Box 61, folder 5
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Cancelled checks, 1859-1860

  • Box 61, folder 6
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Short writings and poems, circa 1850-1865

  • Box 61, folder 7
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Notebook and ephemera, circa 1850-1865

  • Box 61, folder 8
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Indentures of lease (3), 1832-1894

  • Box 72, folder 1
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Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

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