University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Aaron Nickerson Collection 1839-1860

© 2016 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Nickerson, Aaron. Collection




0.25 linear feet (1 box)


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


Aaron Nickerson was a settler who moved to Texas from the northern states shortly after the Texas Revolution and the creation of the Republic of Texas (1836-1845). The collection includes letters he sent to Lizzie Swartwout, a Michigan woman from 1839 to1860.

Information on Use


The collection is open for research.

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When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Nickerson, Aaron. Correspondence, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Biographical Note

Little is known of the author of the letters in this collection, Aaron Nickerson. From the contents of the collection, he moved to La Grange, Texas, from a northern state (possibly Michigan) in 1839. The Texas Revolution had ended in 1836, and many settlers were moving to the state as it emerged as an independent republic. Lizzie, Aaron’s correspondent in this collection, lived in Jackson, Michigan, though information on her life is sparse as well. The letters in the collection range from 1839 to 1860, covering almost all of Texas’ shift from independent republic to state, including the Mexican-American war (1846-1847).

Scope Note

The Aaron Nickerson Collection contains four letters written by Aaron Nickerson to Lizzie Swartwout. The letters largely concern Aaron’s move to La Grange, Texas and his life in his new home. Of particular interest in the letters are mention of an itinerant phrenologist and Nickerson’s contracting of typhoid fever. Nickerson also writes of his concern for Lizzie’s health should she come to join him in Texas. Judging from the tone of the letters and the salutations, Lizzie was very close with Nickerson, perhaps his wife. Two of the letters are dated from 1839, and the remaining three are dated in 1860. Also included in the collection are four envelopes addressed to Swartwout. All letters are arranged chronologically.

The collection was previously part of the Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection.

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Subject Headings


Box 1   Folder 1

Correspondence, 1839-1860

  • Letter from Aaron Nickerson to Lizzie Swartwout, December 3, 1839
  • Letter from Aaron Nickerson to Lizzie Swartwout, December 25, 1839
  • Letter from Aaron Nickerson to Lizzie Swartwout, February 28 – March 1, 1860
  • Letter from Aaron Nickerson to Lizzie Swartwout, August 29, 1860
  • Envelopes for letters to Lizzie Swartwout, 1839-1860

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