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George W. Ludington Collection

Creator:
Turrell, Orlando B.  Search this
Warshaw, Isadore, d. 1969  Search this
Caldwell, Edwin  Search this
Camby, Henry B.  Search this
Ludington, George W., (bank cashier)  Search this
Ludington, Harrison  Search this
Ludington, B. L.  Search this
Ludington, Charles H.  Search this
Ludington, Sam  Search this
Ludington, Sims  Search this
Ludington, James  Search this
Ludington, Nelson  Search this
Names:
Bank of Kent  Search this
Caldwell and Company  Search this
H. Ludington & Company  Search this
Lathrop, Ludington & Company  Search this
Savings Bank of Caldwell, Whitney, and Company  Search this
U.S. Appraisers Office  Search this
Extent:
0.66 Cubic feet (2 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Correspondence
Date:
1817-1889
Summary:
Letters and memoranda written by Ludington family members to George Ludington, cashier of the Bank of Kent, Ludingtonville, New York.
Scope and Contents:
The Collection consists almost entirely of letters and business memoranda received by George Ludington. The major correspondents are his six brothers. Additional correspondents include other family members, friends and business associates. The documents are in varying states of physical preservation. A few fragments lack the originator's name or date.

The bulk of the correspondence is dated in the years just prior to and during the Civil War. The primary subject matter is business dealings, mainly financial transactions involving extension of loans by George Ludington, their servicing and repayment. Some correspondence relates to merchandise purchases and to dealings in commodities, primarily grain but also including cotton and lumber. There are numerous references to local "currencies" (the notes of banks, often of uncertain security) and to the credit-worthiness of individuals.

The letters often refer to matters of personal and family interest and include revealing comments on military aspects of the Civil War (particularly the draft and the then legal practice of paying substitutes for military duty.) One Ludington brother served in the Union Army and was seriously wounded. There are references to difficulties with Indian tribes in Illinois and Minnesota. A description of a disastrous railroad accident is included.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into three series.

Series 1: Family correspondence, 1848-1889

Series 2: Other correspondence, 1817-1889

Series 3: Certificates of Deposit, 1862-1863
Biographical / Historical:
George Ludington was a banker who lived in Ludingtonville, Putnam County, New York. Four of his brothers were in the lumber manufacture and merchandising and other businesses in the Midwest. Another brother was in the import/export trade in New York City.

James Ludington was a lumber dealer of Milwaukee and occasionally Bloomington, (Indiana?). Most of his letters deal with financial relations with George Ludington and his bank. The amounts mentioned were large for those times, and James seemed to be equal in status to George, frequently offering advice on business matters. He was clearly in debt to George over the period covered by the correspondence, 1856-1864.

Nelson Ludington was a lumber manufacturer and dealer in Chicago, also in a debtor relationship to George Ludington. His letters expressed strong criticism of the conduct of Civil War operations.

Charles H. Ludington was a senior partner in Lathrop, Ludington and Company, an import/export firm in New York City.

Harrison Ludington was a senior partner of H. Ludington & Co., lumber merchants of Milwaukee and later mayor of that city (1872-1876) and governor of Wisconsin (1876-1878).

Sims Ludington, apparently the youngest brother of George, was a lumber merchant in Winona, Minnesota. He served in the Union Army and was seriously wounded in 1863.

Sam Ludington, based on a single letter in 1856, was apparently poorly educated with uncertain employment.

Other family members represented in the correspondence were B.L. Ludington (relationship uncertain), employed in the U.S. Appraisers Office, New York City, and a cousin, Henry B. Camby, New York City. One brief note indicates he may have been in the apparel business.

Non-family correspondents include the following:

Orlando B. Turrell, an employee of Caldwell and Co., a bank in St. Paul, Minnesota and later the cashier of the Marine Bank of that city. His letters, often lengthy and spanning 1857-1864, are mostly concerned with financial transactions and general business conditions in Minnesota but are written in a friendly style with many personal references.

Edwin Caldwell, a senior partner of the Savings Bank of Caldwell, Whitney and Co., St. Paul, Minnesota. His letters, written between 1857 and 1859, are primarily business-related, and are concerned with loan transactions for George Ludington's bank. However, there are numerous personal comments, reflecting a somewhat adversarial relationship with Ludington.
Related Materials:
Materials at Other Organizations

The State Historical Society of Wisconsin's holdings include the papers of Harrison Ludington, one of the Luddington brother's and a correspondent in this collection.
Provenance:
The collection was purchased from Augusta Warshaw, widow of Isadore Warshaw, in 1971.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865  Search this
Exports -- 19th century  Search this
Indians of North America -- 19th century  Search this
Local finance -- 19th century  Search this
Draft resisters -- 19th century  Search this
Draft -- 19th century  Search this
Commercial products -- 19th century  Search this
Cashiers -- 19th century  Search this
Money -- 19th century  Search this
Bankers  Search this
Banks and banking, American -- 19th century  Search this
Lumber trade -- 19th century  Search this
finance -- 19th century  Search this
Substitute soldiers, Civil War  Search this
Indian relations  Search this
International trade -- 19th century  Search this
Imports -- 19th century  Search this
Commodities -- 19th century  Search this
Hiring of war substitutes, Civil War  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence -- 19th century
Citation:
George W. Ludington Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0135
See more items in:
George W. Ludington Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0135

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