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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Bickham Family Papers circa 1694-1975

© 2013 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Bickham Family. Papers

Dates:

circa 1694-1975

Size:

7 linear feet (12 boxes)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

The Bickham Family Papers include family and business correspondence and legal documents. The collection date from 1694 to 1975, the bulk is the correspondences of Martin Bickham, his son Stephan Girard Bickham, grandson Martin Bickham and great grandson Martin Hayes Bickham, from 1820 to 1939. The documents include letters between family members, business associates, evidence collected for legal battles and estate papers, including wills, deeds, leases, account books and receipts.

Information on Use

Access

The collection is open for research

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Bickham Family. Papers, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Biographical Note

The Bickham Family emigrated from England to Chester, Pennsylvania in the late seventeenth century. Later generations of the family owned property and continued to live in the Philadelphia region.

The Bickham family included Martin Bickham, consul to Isle de France (Mauritius) from 1816 until 1826. His son, Stephan Girard Bickham, became a well-known merchant in the Philadelphia area, while his daughter LaDorie married the Comte DuPont and had one son, Arthur DuPont. Following the deaths of Comte and Comtesse DuPont, Martin Bickham and Stephan Girard Bickham became the managers of DuPont’s inheritance in the United States.

Stephan Girard’s son, Martin Bickham, who would later lease Conestoga Farm from Arthur DuPont, was the father of sociologist and activist Martin Hayes Bickham.

Scope Note

The Bickham Family Papers include family and business correspondence, memorabilia, and legal documentation, including deeds, indenture contracts, land surveys, banking material, account and estate records.

Series I: Genealogy, includes information relating to the genealogy of the Bickham family. This series includes a family tree.

Series II: Family Correspondence, contains correspondence sent to or from Bickham family members and is arranged chronologically. Letters relate to property, business transactions and family gossip. This series spans from 1809-1975. Letters written to Martin H. Bickham span the Great Depression and include personal accounts.

Series III: Legal Disputes, includes correspondence and legal documentation of two large legal disputes involving Bickham family members. The first, the White-Larramendi v. Martin Bickham Controversy, was ongoing between 1802 and 1829, and concerned a ship owned by Martin Bickham and the loss of property on the boat. Most of the documents pertaining to this controversy are in French. The second legal dispute is the Conestoga Farm Controversy, a dispute over land inheritance after Arthur DuPont’s death. Documents date from 1859 to 1930, though most are from 1921 and 1922.

Series IV: Legal Documents and Business Correspondence, documents legal transaction and business endeavors undertaken by Bickham family members from 1694 to 1955. This series includes invoices, receipts and account books as well as legal contracts.

Series V: Notes and Ephemera. This series includes “To Let” signs, newspaper clippings, medicine and home remedies, and notes about the French Revolution written in 1848. This series includes documents from 1821-1968.

Series VI: Ledgers, includes 4 ledgers used to keep track of accounts and help with estate management in the mid-19th century

Series VII: Oversize, includes two posters. One is from the estate sale held by Ellen Bickham after her husband’s death in 1922. The other is an advertisement for a 1897 sale relating to Eugenia Bickham’s musical instrument business.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:

http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/spcl/select.html

Martin Hayes Bickham. Papers

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Series I: Genealogy

Box 1   Folder 1

Family Genealogy and Family Tree

Box 1   Folder 2

Notes from Genealogy Search

Series II: Family Correspondence

Box 1   Folder 3

Letters written by Martin Bickham, some in French, 1813-1836

Box 1   Folder 4

Journal 1830-1831 and letters to and from Martin Bickham 1815-1880

Box 1   Folder 5

Mementos, including lock of hair, 1809

Box 1   Folder 6

Martin Bickham, notes and clippings, circa 1830s

Box 1   Folder 7

Letters from Martin Bickham to his daughter and her husband the Comte DuPont, 1837-1848

Box 1   Folder 8

Papers relating to Martin Bickham’s estate collected by Stephan G. Bickham after M. Bickham’s death

Box 1   Folder 9

Letters from Stephan Girard Bickham to his father Martin Bickham and others, 1816-1831

Box 1   Folder 10

Family correspondence, in French, 1825-1829

Box 1   Folder 11

Family correspondence, in French, 1836-1860

Box 1   Folder 12

Family correspondence, 1852-1859

Box 1   Folder 13

Letters from Ladorie Bickham (Comtesse de DuPont), written in French 1827-1841

Box 1   Folder 14

Letters written by Arthur DuPont, grandson of Martin Bickham, some in French 1837-1922

Box 1   Folder 15

Writings by and about Ladorie Bickham (Comtesse de DuPont) 1835

Box 1   Folder 16

Papers of Maurice Bickham, in French 1826-1828

Box 2   Folder 1

Papers concerning Stephan Girard Bickham’s appointment as Arthur DuPont’s trustee, some in French 1839-1859

Box 2   Folder 2

Undated Letters from Stephan Girard Bickham concerning Arthur DuPont’s estate

Box 2   Folder 3

Writings by Stephan Girard about a legal problem, few dated 1863 most undated

Box 2   Folder 4

Stephan Girard Bickham Letters regarding his father and nephew’s estates, few dated 1860 most undated

Box 2   Folder 5

Letters to Stephan Girard Bickham 1857-1870

Box 2   Folder 6

Letters by Stephan Girard Bickham concerning his estates

Box 2   Folder 7

Checks to Martin Bickham and Lidorie Bickham (Comtesse de DuPont) 1839-1853

Box 2   Folder 8

Stephan Girard Bickham business letters 1859-1873

Box 2   Folder 9

Miscellaneous Family Correspondence relating to Stephan Girard Bickham’s hospitalization

Box 2   Folder 10

Letters from Martin Bickham to his son Martin H. Bickham while at University of Chicago September-October 1913

Box 2   Folder 11

Letters from Martin Bickham to his son Martin H. Bickham while at University of Chicago November- December 1913

Box 2   Folder 12

Letters from Martin Bickham to Martin H. Bickham January- June 1914

Box 2   Folder 13

Letters from Martin Bickham to Martin H. Bickham July-December 1914

Box 2   Folder 14

Letters from Martin Bickham to Martin H. Bickham January- May 1915

Box 2   Folder 15

Letters from Martin Bickham to Martin H. Bickham June-August 1915

Box 2   Folder 16

Letters from Martin Bickham to Martin H. Bickham September-October 1915

Box 2   Folder 17

Letters from Martin Bickham to Martin H. Bickham November-December 1915

Box 3   Folder 1

Letters from Martin Bickham to Martin H. Bickham January-May 1916

Box 3   Folder 2

Letters from Martin Bickham to Martin H. Bickham June-August 1916

Box 3   Folder 3

Letters from Martin Bickham to Martin H. Bickham September-December 1916

Box 3   Folder 4

Letters from Martin Bickham to Martin H. Bickham January-June 1917

Box 3   Folder 5

Letters from Martin Bickham to Martin H. Bickham July-August 1917

Box 3   Folder 6

Letters from Martin Bickham to Martin H. Bickham September 1917-January 1918

Box 3   Folder 7

Letters from Martin Bickham to Martin H. Bickham February-August 1918

Box 3   Folder 8

Letters from Martin Bickham to Martin H. Bickham September 1918-February 1921

Box 3   Folder 9

Letters from Martin Bickham to Martin H. Bickham March-August 1921

Box 3   Folder 10

Letters from Martin Bickham to Martin H. Bickham September-December 1921

Box 4   Folder 1

Letters from Martin Bickham to Martin H. Bickham January-March 1922

Box 4   Folder 2

Letters from Martin Bickham to Martin H. Bickham April-July 1922

Box 4   Folder 3

Miscellaneous Letters to Martin H. Bickham 1908-1920

Box 4   Folder 4

Letters written by Martin H. Bickham to his parents, includes newspaper clipping 1916-1919

Box 4   Folder 5

Letters from J.H. Styer to Martin H. Bickham concerning goods from Martin Bickham’s estate August-October 1922

Box 4   Folder 6

Notes from E.M. Bickham, wife of Martin Bickham, concerning payment of debt and sale of estate 1922

Box 4   Folder 7

Miscellaneous 1921-1941 mostly undated notes, one copy of letter, a letter from Cousin Galen (1933), a birthday card (undated), a death notice (1941), and Martin H. Bickham’s business cards

Box 4   Folder 8

Letters from Arthur Bickham to Martin H. Bickham 1922-1930

Box 4   Folder 9

Letters from Martin H. Bickham to Comte Richemond, Martin Bickham and his sister Jennie Sietz August 1922

Box 4   Folder 10

Letters from Edith Mae Bickham to Martin H. Bickham 1917-1948

Box 4   Folder 11

Letters from Blanche (Bickham) Boehringer & husband William H. Boehringer to Martin H. Bickham 1917-1933

Box 4   Folder 12

Letters from Blanche (Bickham) Boehringer to Martin H. Bickham 1935-1941

Box 4   Folder 13

Letters of William Bickham and wife Mollie to Martin H. Bickham 1921-1941

Box 4   Folder 14

Letters from Aunt Weasie to Martin H. Bickham and one from Sam Bickham to Aunt Weasie 1922-1941

Box 5   Folder 1

Letters from Sam Bickham to Martin H. Bickham 1903-1933

Box 5   Folder 2

Letters from Sam Bickham to Martin H. Bickham 1936-1939

Box 5   Folder 3

Letters from Jean (Bickham) Seitz to Martin H. Bickham 1929-1941

Box 5   Folder 4

Letters from various cousins to Martin H. Bickham 1929-1938

Box 5   Folder 5

Letters from Ellen Bickham to stepson Martin H. Bickham 1926-1933

Box 5   Folder 6

Letters from Ellen Bickham to stepson Martin H. Bickham 1934-1938

Box 5   Folder 7

Letters from sister Bessie (Bickham) Styer, daughters Gladys and Suie and husband James Styer to Martin H. Bickham 1923-1941

Box 5   Folder 8

Letter from Emma (Bickham) Pitcher to father Martin H. Bickham 1940

Box 5   Folder 9

Letters from Robert E. Simpson to Martin H. Bickham 1954 and 1957

Box 5   Folder 10

Letters from his nieces and nephews to Martin H. Bickham 1966-1975

Series III: Legal Disputes

This series contains documents detailing two major legal disputes: the White-Larramendi v. Martin Bickham Controversy and the Conestoga Farm Dispute. This includes legal correspondence, legal documents, and evidence from the disputes.

Box 5   Folder 11

Bickham’s account of the White- Larramendi Affair 1824

Box 5   Folder 12

Document about the White-Larramendi Controversy, written in French

Box 5   Folder 13

Document about the White-Larramendi Controversy 1818-1823, written in Spanish and French

Box 6   Folder 1

Document about the White-Larramendi Controversy, written in French with English translation (1823)

Box 6   Folder 2

Bickham’s Statement for his defense undated

Box 6   Folder 3

Legal Document in French

Box 6   Folder 4

White’s Statement (in Spanish), Tribunal’s Sentence in Laramandy v. Bickham (French), and Currency Exchange 1818-1824

Box 6   Folder 5

Opinion of Don Manuel Bernalde, written in Spanish 1825

Box 6   Folder 6

Letters written in Spanish 1818-1824

Box 6   Folder 7

Undated Legal Document in French

Box 6   Folder 8

Summation of Case in English 1824 and Letters to M. Bickham in English and French 1824-1825

Box 6   Folder 9

Letters relating to Conestoga Farm 1852-1861

Box 6   Folder 10

Letters to Martin Bickham, Stephan Girard’s son, about Conestoga Farm 1876-1930

Box 6   Folder 11

Arthur DuPont’s documentation of ownership of Conestoga Farm 1828-1877

Box 6   Folder 12

Letters concerning the leasing of Arthur DuPont’s property to Martin Bickham 1846-1906

Box 6   Folder 13

Receipts to Martin Bickham for paying rent on farm 1880-1891

Box 6   Folder 14

Receipts to Martin Bickham for paying rent on farm 1892-1913

Box 6   Folder 15

Letters by Martin Bickham about the family history on the farm 1920-1921

Box 6   Folder 16

Letters of between Martin Bickham and Comte Richemond on inheritance from Arthur DuPont 1880-1921

Box 6   Folder 17

Letters by Martin H. Bickham to his father Martin Bickham on ownership of farm 1920- August 1921

Box 6   Folder 18

Letters from Martin H. Bickham to his father Martin Bickham on ownership of farm September 1921- 1922

Box 6   Folder 19

Letters by Comte de Richemond to Martin and Martin H. Bickham 1921-1922

Box 6   Folder 20

Letters to and from Martin H. Bickham concerning the legal sale of Conestoga Farm 1920-1922

Series IV: Legal Documents and Business Correspondence

This series contains material regarding legal transactions and business endeavors undertaken by Bickham family members, arranged chronologically. This includes deeds, surveys, contracts, checks, receipts and correspondences.

Box 7   Folder 1

Legal Documents (Will, Surveys) 1694-1804

Box 7   Folder 2

Notes regarding various surveys 1714-1792

Box 7   Folder 3

Indentures and Will of Jonathan Wright 1705-1778

Box 7   Folder 4

Documents of Thomas Bickham 1737-1789

Box 7   Folder 5

Documents of Richard Bickham 1714-1762

Box 7   Folder 6

1763 Deed

Box 7   Folder 7

Martin Bickham Documents Surveys 1742-1766

Box 7   Folder 8

Deed of Land between Lynford Landner and John Landner 1774

Box 7   Folder 9

Documents of Caleb Bickham 1778-1792

Box 7   Folder 10

Documents from Martin Bickham including deeds, a will, and power of attorney

Box 7   Folder 11

Invoices and Business papers of Martin Bickham, written in French 1826-1832

Box 7   Folder 12

Business Correspondence to Martin Bickham, some in French 1813-1835

Box 7   Folder 13

Late 19th century notes, letters and Market Book 1855-1856

Box 7   Folder 14

Deeds and Land Rental agreements and Letters pertaining to the land rented 1825-1844

Box 7   Folder 15

Invoices and Business Papers of Martin Bickham, especially cotton import to Philadelphia 1831-1833

Box 7   Folder 16

Invoices and Business Papers of Martin Bickham 1830-1832

Box 7   Folder 17

Account Books from Martin Bickham 1832, 1851-56

Box 7   Folder 18

Business Correspondence to Martin Bickham, some in French 1831-1846

Box 7   Folder 19

Business Correspondence to Martin Bickham 1844-45

Box 7   Folder 20

Martin Bickham’s papers relating to lawsuit with James Dehaven, tenant of DuPont Farm

Box 8   Folder 1

Anonymous Journal 1831-33

Box 8   Folder 2

Anonymous Journal 1837-39

Box 8   Folder 3

Account Books for Federal Hall Farm 1855

Box 8   Folder 4

Receipts and other financial papers of Stephan Girard Bickham and Martin Bickham relating to property held in trust for Arthur DuPont 1848-1863

Box 8   Folder 5

Accounts of Stephan Girard Bickham 1844-1871

Box 8   Folder 6

Legal papers and property maps belonging to Stephan Girard Bickham 1865-73

Box 8   Folder 7

Papers relating to various court cases in which Stephan Girard and his wife Sarah Bickham were involved circa 1860

Box 8   Folder 8

Paper books of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, containing cases of Stephan Girard Bickham

Box 8   Folder 9

Receipts of Stephan Girard and Sarah Bickham 1866-1876

Box 8   Folder 10

Legal papers of Stephan Girard Bickham 1855-1865

Box 8   Folder 11

Letters and documents regarding Stephan Girard Bickham’s finances and estate

Box 9   Folder 1

Stephan Girard Bickham’s accounts 1869-1871

Box 9   Folder 2

Account and Memorandum Books of Stephan Girard Bickham and Sarah Bickham 1859-1869/1870

Box 9   Folder 3

Account and Memorandum Books of Stephan Girard Bickham and Sarah Bickham 1870-1873 and undated

Box 9   Folder 4

Account and Memorandum Books of Stephan Girard Bickham and Sarah Bickham 1873-74

Box 9   Folder 5

Book of Stephan Girard Bickham’s finances and estates

Box 9   Folder 6

Receipts of Martin Bickham 1864-1879

Box 9   Folder 7

Account and Memorandum Books of Martin Bickham 1863-1887

Box 9   Folder 8

Financial Papers and Receipts of Martin Bickham 1869-1873

Box 9   Folder 9

Financial Papers and Receipts of Martin Bickham 1874-1878

Box 10   Folder 1

Correspondence from Eugenia Bickham to father Martin Bickham concerning musical instrument business January 1896-May 1896

Box 10   Folder 2

Correspondence from Eugenia Bickham to father Martin Bickham concerning musical instrument business June 1896-March 1897

Box 10   Folder 3

Business Correspondence from E.R. McCaa to Martin Bickham 1896-January 1897

Box 10   Folder 4

Banking papers from Fulton National Bank and financial papers belonging to Martin Bickham 1896-1898

Box 10   Folder 5

Banking papers from Ephrata National Bank to Martin Bickham 1897

Box 10   Folder 6

Banking papers from Ephrata National Bank and Fulton National Bank to Martin Bickham 1898

Box 10   Folder 7

Farm accounts and receipts and tax notices for Martin Bickham 1895-1920

Box 10   Folder 8

Miscellaneous receipts 1909-1955

Series V: Notes and Ephemera

This series contains documents that are of interest to the family but that are not correspondence. This includes “To Let” signs, newspaper clippings, information about the formation of Conestoga County, Pennsylvania and San Fernando Valley, California, medicine and home remedies, and notes pertaining to the French Revolution.

Box 11   Folder 1

Miscellaneous Documents all but one in French and unsigned, other is from Bank of Pennsylvania 1822-1828

Box 11   Folder 2

Clippings and papers about free banking 1821-41

Box 11   Folder 3

Charter and Bye Laws of the Mutual Insurance Company of Lancaster Co, PA 1843

Box 11   Folder 4

“To Let” signs 1844

Box 11   Folder 5

Papers relating to the proposed formation of Conestoga Co, PA (never founded) 1845

Box 11   Folder 6

Documents relating to the French Revolution 1848-1852

Box 11   Folder 7

Documents relating to medicine and home remedies. Includes lock of hair.

Box 11   Folder 8

Clippings concerning the founding of San Fernando Valley 1928

Box 11   Folder 9

Notes for speech delivered at Churchtown PA by Martin H. Bickham 1968

Series VI: Ledgers

This series contains four ledges from 1837-1870 that are related to accounts and the running of the estate.

Box 12   Folder 1

Notes from Martin Bickham’s 1837 Ledger

Box 12   Folder 2

Martin Bickham’s Ledger 1837

Box 12   Folder 3

Bickham Family Ledger 1856-1857

Box 12   Folder 4

Bickham Family Ledger also used as an exercise book for French 1868

Box 12   Folder 5

Account Book of Stephan Girard Bickham 1870

Series VII: Oversize

Box OVRZ   Folder 1

Instrument Sale poster 1897 and Estate Sale poster 1922

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