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Start Over You searched for: Creator Chambers, Jennie Remove constraint Creator: Chambers, Jennie Names Brown, John Remove constraint Names: Brown, John Names Chambers, Jennie Remove constraint Names: Chambers, Jennie Place Harpers Ferry (W. Va.) -- History -- 19th century Remove constraint Place: Harpers Ferry (W. Va.) -- History -- 19th century

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Jennie Chambers papers, 1838-1936

3 Linear Feet
Amateur artist and author, from Harpers Ferry, W. Va. Collection includes correspondence, daybooks (1880-1888) and other papers relating to the affairs of the Chambers family and their cousins, the Castles of Harpers Ferry, W. Va. Includes commonplace books, letters received after the Civil War from Union soldiers whom Miss Chambers' father boarded during the war, and letters from friends and suitors of Jennie and her sisters, depicting the social life of the period in West Virginia and Maryland. Also includes drafts of Chambers' article, What a School-Girl Saw of John Brown's Raid, published in Harpers Magazine in 1902, along with other essays and poems by Chambers and unidentified authors.

The collection consists largely of family correspondence based in and around Harpers Ferry, which is arranged chronologically from 1838 through 1936. Since three of the four Chambers sisters never married, there are many letters from their friends and suitors. In particular are courtship letters from Jennie's suitor Charles Davies, a lawyer who wooed her for fifteen years. Although she appears to have loved him, her parents disapproved and the couple never wed; Davies eventually married someone else. There is also significant correspondence from the Castle sons to their mother in Harpers Ferry.

Along with correspondence, the collection includes some legal and financial papers, loosely arranged by date. Of note in the legal papers is a handwritten copy of John Brown's will, although no context is provided as to why it is present in the family's papers. Also present in the collection are drafts, poems, and essays, both by Jennie Chambers and unidentified authors. Of note are the drafts from Chambers' article, What a School-Girl Saw of John Brown's Raid, eventually published in Harpers Magazine in 1902.

There is a file with evidence of Chambers' interest in painting, including her notes about mixing paint colors and some sketches. The collection also contains several daybooks and a few photographs, largely unidentified.

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