A small collection of the family papers of American painter John Gadsby Chapman (1808-1898), consisting mostly of letters to Chapman from colleagues and associates, and correspondence with his son, Conrad Wise Chapman. Of special interest are Conrad Chapman's letters to his family, written while he served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. These letters, dating from the years 1861 to 1865, provide details on Conrad's experiences in the Confederate army, and include a set of undated drafts which form an extended diary in letter form. In his letters, Conrad writes of forced marches, sleeping on wet straw, the beauty of the landscape and scenery, and the daily routine of camp life.
The collection also includes a number of letters dating from the 1890s written by Conrad to his brother John; a letter from the U.S. Congress regarding John Gadsby Chapman's commission for the Capitol rotunda; and letters documenting 19th century life, including the sale of slaves and a description of the Washington homestead in Fredericksburg, VA. Letters written to John Gadsby Chapman include a lengthy autograph letter from the American painter Thomas Sully, dated February 14, 1830.
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