Project Ayer
The Ayer and James Families and the Civil War

Project Ayer is a collection of documents (several hundred) relating to the family of Ira Ayer, Jr.  The bulk of the documents are letters to and from the family from between 1845 and 1899.  The people involved are Ira, his parents, siblings and children and the family of his wife, Jennie James.  There are two main parts to Project Ayer.  The primary part includes most of the documents and they are listed below.

The second part is a collection of documents relating to Ira Ayer, Jr's time with the Freedmen's Bureau.  He was stationed in Georgia and Virginia from 1866-8.

The third part is a collection of a couple hundred documents relating specifically to the settlements of the estates of Ira's mother-in-law, Jane Francis James and her son Clemens (or Clements) James.  Those documents are in a section called Ayer vs. James.

Related Documents:

Table of Contents for this summary document:

Table of Contents for the detailed documents:

 

 

Pre Civil War

Item

Date

Type

Description

Summary

Transcriber

Malcolm_00416
Transcription
Source

7-Jan-45

Letter

From: Lucretia L. Page Bradley
Where: Haverhill, MA
To: Children of James and Sarah Ayer

Letter of condolences to the children of James and Sarah Ayer on the death of her sister-in-law Sarah Bradley Ayer and their brother Low Bradley Ayer who died a few month before.

Bill
AyerIraII0851
Transcription
Source

27-Aug-53

Letter

From: Ira Ayer, Jr
Where: Meadville
To: Sister

Ira just arrived at school again. I think the year is 1853.

Bill
AyerIraII0271
Transcription
Source

11-Sep-53

Letter

From: Ira Ayer, Jr
Where: Meadville
To: Vinnie

Ira talks about being elected to a position in a society he belongs to.  It seems to be a forensic society where members debate topics and recite speeches.  Ira asks Vinnie for the best speech she can find from Buffalo.  Ira talks of his studies and asks about friends and relatives.

Bill
AyerIraII0881
Transcription
Source

4-Nov-53

Letter

From: Ira Ayer, Jr
Where: Meadville
To: My most darling loveliness (Vinnie)

Ira writes to Vinnie thanking her for sending written material that he used in a presentation before the school.  He then says he will come home soon and would like in introduce Vinnie to a friend.

Bill
AyerIraII0041
Transcription
Source

16-Nov-53

Letter

From: Ira Ayer, Jr
Where: Meadville
To: Vinnie

Ira talks about his deceased brother Lowe.  At the end he talks of going home to visit the family.

Bill
AyerIraII0841
Transcription
Source

8-Jan-54

Letter

From: Ira Ayer, Jr
Where: Meadville
To: Vinnie

Ira tells Vinnie about his trip from home back to school.  He also asks her advise on his writing to a girl he fancies named Nancy.

Bill
AyerIraII0021
Transcription
Source

17-Feb-54

Letter

From: Ira Ayer, Jr
Where: Meadville
To: Vinnie

Ira is angry Vinnie has not written in a long time.

Bill
AyerIraII0071
Transcription
Source

17-Feb-54

Letter

From: Ira Ayer, Jr
Where: Meadville
To: Vinnie

Ira writes the second letter of the day to Lavinia.  His first letter asked her why she hadn’t written and her letter was angry about him not responding to a letter she wrote that he never received.  Ira talks at length of how he has just found God.  He also tells Lavinia of news he has from home.

Bill
AyerIraII0171
Transcription
Source

15-Apr-54

Letter

From: Ira Ayer, Jr
Where: Meadville
To: Vinnie

Ira talks of his trip from home to school.  His stage was able to make better than seven miles an hour from Erie to Meadville.  Ira also talks of his studies.

Bill
AyerIraII0721
Transcription
Source

11-Jun-54

Letter

From: Ira Ayer, Jr
Where: Meadville
To: Vinnie

Ira continues to try to get Vinnie to share his views on religion.

Bill
AyerIraII0831
Transcription
Source

25-Jun-54

Letter

From: Ira Ayer, Jr
Where: Meadville
To: Vinnie

Ira opens with Spanish or Latin I think and tell how he is doing and about graduation ceremonies that he attended.  He did well in school and his roommate will visit during summer vacation.

Bill
 26-May-55EventIra Ayer, Jr gets rank of 1st LieutenantSixty-Seventh Regiment - Thirty Second Brigade - Eight Division - NY Infantry 
 8-Jun-55EventIra Ayer, Jr gets his commissionIra is listed through the 1861 edition of the NY AG report. 
AyerIraII0031
Transcription
Source

22-Aug-59

Letter

From: Ira Ayer, Jr
Where: Lima
To: Vinnie

Ira is just settled in at a new school.  He is very happy and says it is much better than Alleghany (however, he ends up back at Alleghany in a year and very happy there).

Bill
AyerIraII0321
Transcription
Source

22-Oct-59

Letter

From: Ira Ayer, Jr
Where: Lima
To: Brother George

Ira congratulates George on the birth of his baby Iris and asks George if he can pay back the money that he lent Vinnie.

Bill
AyerIraII0331
Transcription
Source

4-Dec-60

Letter

From: Ira Ayer, Jr
Where: Meadville
To: Sister and Brother (Vinnie and George)

Ira is happy to be back at Allegheny.  He is very impressed with the new headmaster (Loomis).

Bill
AyerIraII0531
Transcription
Source

9-Feb-61

Letter

From: Ira Ayer, Jr
Where: Meadville
To: Brother and Sister

Ira says all is well, does his lecture on religion, and begs Vinnie to write more.

Bill


Pre Civil War

Item

Date

Type

Description

Summary

Transcriber

Malcolm_004
Transcription
Source

7-Jan-45

Letter

From:  Lucretia L. Page Bradley
Where: Haverhill, MA
To: Children of James and Sarah Ayer

Letter of condolences to the children of James and Sarah Ayer on the death of her sister-in-law Sarah Bradley Ayer and their brother Low Bradley Ayer who died a few month before.

Bill

AyerIraII0851
Transcription
Source

27-Aug-53

Letter

From: Ira Ayer, Jr
Where: Meadville
To: Sister

Ira just arrived at school again. I think the year is 1853.

Bill

AyerIraII0271
Transcription
Source

11-Sep-53

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Meadville

To:  Vinnie

Ira talks about being elected to a position in a society he belongs to.  It seems to be a forensic society where members debate topics and recite speeches.  Ira asks Vinnie for the best speech she can find from Buffalo.  Ira talks of his studies and asks about friends and relatives.

Bill

AyerIraII0881
Transcription
Source

4-Nov-53

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Meadville

To:  My most darling loveliness (Vinnie)

Ira writes to Vinnie thanking her for sending written material that he used in a presentation before the school.  He then says he will come home soon and would like in introduce Vinnie to a friend.

Bill

AyerIraII00041
Transcription
Source

16-Nov-53

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Meadville

To:  Vinnie

Ira talks about his deceased brother Lowe.  At the end he talks of going home to visit the family.

Bill

AyerIraII0841
Transcription
Source

8-Jan-54

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Meadville

To:  Vinnie

Ira tells Vinnie about his trip from home back to school.  He also asks her advise on his writing to a girl he fancies named Nancy.

Bill

AyerIraII0021
Transcription
Source

17-Feb-54

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Meadville

To:  Vinnie

Ira is angry Vinnie has not written in a long time.

Bill

AyerIraII0071
Transcription
Source

17-Feb-54

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where: Meadville

To:  Vinnie

Ira writes the second letter of the day to Lavinia.  His first letter asked her why she hadn’t written and her letter was angry about him not responding to a letter she wrote that he never received.  Ira talks at length of how he has just found God.  He also tells Lavinia of news he has from home.

Bill

AyerIraII0171
Transcription
Source

15-Apr-54

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Meadville

To:  Vinnie

Ira talks of his trip from home to school.  His stage was able to make better than seven miles an hour from Erie to Meadville.  Ira also talks of his studies.

Bill

AyerIraII0721
Transcription
Source

11-Jun-54

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Meadville

To:  Vinnie

Ira continues to try to get Vinnie to share his views on religion.

Bill

AyerIraII0831
Transcription
Source

25-Jun-54

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Meadville

To: Vinnie

Ira opens with Spanish or Latin I think and tell how he is doing and about graduation ceremonies that he attended.  He did well in school and his roommate will visit during summer vacation.

Bill

  26-May-55 Event Ira Ayer, Jr gets rank of 1st Lieutenant Sixty-Seventh Regiment - Thirty Second Brigade - Eight Division - NY Infantry  
  8-Jun-55 Event Ira Ayer, Jr gets his commission Ira is listed through the 1861 edition of the NY AG report.  

AyerIraII0031
Transcription
Source

22-Aug-59

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Lima

To:  Vinnie

Ira is just settled in at a new school.  He is very happy and says it is much better than Alleghany (however, he ends up back at Alleghany in a year and very happy there).

Bill

AyerIraII0321
Transcription
Source

22-Oct-59

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Lima

To:  Brother George

Ira congratulates George on the birth of his baby Iris and asks George if he can pay back the money that he lent Vinnie.

Bill

AyerIraII0331
Transcription
Source

4-Dec-60

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Meadville

To:  Sister and Brother (Vinnie and George)

Ira is happy to be back at Allegheny.  He is very impressed with the new headmaster (Loomis).

Bill

AyerIraII0531
Transcription
Source

9-Feb-61

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Meadville

To:  Brother and Sister

Ira says all is well, does his lecture on religion, and begs Vinnie to write more.

Bill

 

 

Civil War 1861

Item

Date

Type

Description

Summary

Transcriber

 

12-Apr-61 Event Fort Sumter is fired upon    

AyerIraII0511
Transcription
Source

2-May-61

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Meadville

To:  Brother (George)

Ira thanks his brother-in-law George for offering him a commission saying that he had formed a company of his own.

Bill

AyerIraII0381
Transcription
Source

20-May-61

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Meadville

To:  S. P. Bates

Ira asks Samuel Bates to get the Governor to personally assure that his Allegheny Company will be accepted.

Bill

  11-Jun-61 Event The Alleghany Company leaves Meadville They went by Canal boat to Camp Wilkins near Pittsburg.  It took 3 days and they received cheers all along the way.  
  14-Jun-61 Event Ira Ayer, Jr is mustered in as Captain at Camp Wilkins    
  1-Jul-61 Event Company moved 12 miles up river to Camp Wright    

AyerIraII0371
Transcription
Source

6-Jul-61

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Camp Wright

To:  Mother

Ira writes to his mother knowing that she does not have long to live.

Brad

AyerIraII0361
Transcription
Source

7-Jul-61

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where: 

To:  Mother

Ira writes a poem saying good bye to his mother.

 

Bill

AyerIraII0471
Transcription
Source

8-Jul-61

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Camp Wright

To:  Vinnie

Ira writing his sister that he is comfortable and enjoying Camp Wright.  He observed a comet (Tebbutt) for a couple of nights.  Ira also talks about their dying mother.  He included the poem in AyerIraII036 with the letter.

Brad

AyerIraII0481
Transcription
Source

17-Jul-61

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Camp Wright

To:  Brother

A short letter to George saying that Ira may have to move out soon for MD.  He said he included a newspaper clipping on his regiment.  He is enjoying camp life better than he expected.

Brad
  21-Jul-61 Event The First Battle of Bull Run    

AyerIraII0491
Transcription
Source

5-Aug-61

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Brother

Ira writes about hoping to see George in camp (he has not enlisted yet).  It is very hot in camp and they are waiting for orders to move.  He really enjoyed Baltimore.

Bill

  14-Aug-61 Event Julia Mariah Wadsworth Ayer, Ira's mother dies at age 52 Wife of Ira, I and mother to Ira, II  

AyerIraII0011
Transcription
Source

20-Aug-61

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Big Falls

To:  Vinnie

Ira writes about protecting the Washington area from invasion and talks of demoralized troops from the first Bull Run.  He has not heard from his family for a while and wants to know the fate of his mother.  She had died six days before the writing of this letter.

Brad

AyerIraII610907
Transcription
Source

7-Sep-61

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Camp Tenally

To:  Sister Sadie

Getting used to camp life, remembering his mother and giving Sarah encouragement.  Ira thinks he is about to move out but will still be there for a while..

Bill

AyerIraII0521
Transcription
Source

26-Sep-61

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Camp Tenally

To:  Brother George

Apparently George has just enlisted as an officer.  Ira asks if George will bring Vinnie to Washington.  Ira’s dad and two younger sisters went to Allegheny to pick up Ira’s things.  They got to see the school and meet some of his friends.  He is still enjoying camp life.

Brad
  25-Oct-61 Event Samuel R James enlists with Battery A, 5th US Artillery He served as a 2nd Lieutenant. As a volunteer he was not paid.  He was awaiting a commission that he claims was personally promised by E M Stanton, the Secretary of War.  

AyerIraII0501
Transcription
Source

17-Nov-61

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Camp Pierpont, VA

To:  Vinnie

Ira speaks eloquently about the weather and the war.

Bill

  20-Dec-61 Event Ira Ayer, Jr. and his company see action for the first time at Dranesville    

 

 

Civil War 1862

Item

Date

Type

Description

Summary

Transcriber

  24-Feb-62 Event Having not received his commission, Samuel R James resigned    

AyerIraII0261
Transcription
Source

4-Mar-62

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Camp Pierpont

To:  Brother George

Ira writes to George telling him of life in camp and about the family back home.  Ira, Sr. bought a piano for the young girls.

Bill

AyerIraII0411
Transcription
Source

4-Mar-62

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Camp Pierpont

To:  Vinnie

Ira tells Vinnie how blessed he is and remembers the death of their mother.  Ira is sitting on a General Court Martial.

Bill

  17-Mar-62 Event Samuel Reginald James is Mustered into the 1st NY Artillery in Washington, DC as a 1st Leiut. This is his second time in service   

AyerIraII0061
Transcription
Source

29-Apr-62

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Camp at ?? Station

To:  Vinnie

Ira congratulates Vinnie on the birth of her son.  Then he talks of where he is and of Uncle Joseph and hopes for an early peace.

Bill

AyerIraII0101
Transcription
Source

11-Jun-62

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Camp at Union Landing

To:  Vinnie

Ira had just marched 7 miles in the pouring rain from Fredericksburg and was about to break camp again.  He heard from Uncle Joseph and asked how Vinnie’s family were doing.

Bill

  26-Jun-62 Event Ira Ayer, Jr. sees action at Beaver Dam Creek    
  27-Jun-62 Event Ira Ayer, Jr. sees action at Gaines’ Mill and receives the first of his three wounds.

From Martial Deeds:

At Gaines’ Mill, he received a gunshot wound in the right side and a severe contusion of the right arm.

It is also where Edwin Pier was mortally wounded, and event that ultimately led to the meeting of Ira Ayer, Jr. and Jennie James.

 

JamesWilliam0151
Transcription
Source

12-Jul-62

Letter

From:  William James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Wm B. Pier Esqr

Copy of a letter about the death of Mr. Pier's son Edwin.  This is the letter that led Ira Ayer, Jr. to meet Jennie by visiting the James to thank them for taking such good care of Edwin .

Bill

  11-Aug-62 Event ra Ayer, Sr. marches into Camp Morgan (Fort Porter) with the company he has recruited. Since it was the first company recruited, it was named Company A.  

JamesJaneF0021
Transcription
Source

19-Aug-62

Letter

From:  Jane Frances James

Where:  403 13th St, Washington, DC

To:  Mrs. Lincoln

Jane writes a letter thanking the President for helping her husband get a job at the Treasury Department, offering her condolences for the death of Willie Lincoln, talks of her son who was drowned, her husband’s poem written for Willie Lincoln, her work with the dying in a military hospital, and asks for help finding a job in the Agriculture Department.

Bill

  22-Aug-62 Event

Ira Ayer, Sr. is awarded a ceremonial sword by his company.

   

AyerIraII0091
Transcription
Source

22-Aug-62

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Vinnie

He just traveled from Fortress Monroe to Fredericksburg and on to Washington.  He is on leave and spending time with his Uncle J (James).  He asks about their other sister's education.  Also, he had sent $200 dollars home and has not heard if it arrived.

Bill

  26-Aug-62 Event Samuel Reginald James, 1st Lieut. is wounded at Manassas Junction This is the injury that ended his military carrier.  According to the doctor’s report “I do hereby certify that I have carefully examined this officer and find that on the night of the 26th in a charge made upon his battery by a body of Rebel Cavalry at Manassas Junction.  He was injured by his horse which was shot falling upon – Thereby causing him to spit blood.  And that in [] thereof he is in my opinion unfit for duty.  I further declare my belief that he will not be able to resume his duties in a less period than 15 or 20 days!  

AyerIraII0601
Transcription
Source

28-Aug-62

Letter

From:  ?? White

Where:  Lower Salem, Washington Co., OH

To:  Capt. Ayer

The father of Samuel White tells Ira that his son was not able to make it home alive.  He talks of his son’s love for Ira.

 

Bill

  30-Aug-62 Event Ira Ayer, Jr. is wounded at Bull Run

From Martial Deeds:

At Bull Run, Captain Ayer received a severe wound.  “On this same ridge the rebel bullet struck my arm, and another went through my hat.  The former made a sad hole in my canteen, causing all my cold coffee to run out.”  His wound was a severe one, fracturing the left forearm.

Ira will be out on leave until December.

 
  4-Sep-62 Event Capt. Ira Ayer, Sr. musters in.

He musters in the company he recruited as Company A of 116th Regt, NY Infantry.

 
  4-Sep-62 Event Capt. James Ayer, Jr. musters in. He musters in the company he recruited as Company K of 116th Regt, NY Infantry.  
  18-Oct-62 Event Ira Ayer, Jr. is promoted to Major    
  24-Oct-62 Event Samuel resigns for the 2nd time    

AyerIraFile0022
Transcription
Source

27-Oct-62

Letter

From: Dr. John Crouyn, MD

Where: Buffalo

To: To whom it may concern

   

AyerIraI0111
Transcription
Source

Nov-62

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Sr

Where:  Head Quarters 116th Reg Camp Chapin

To:  Secretary of the Erie County Savings Bank

Ira gives his daughter Lavinia authorization to withdraw money from his savings account.

Bill

AyerIraII0401
Transcription
Source

16-Dec-62

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Baltimore

To:  Vinnie

Ira has stopped on Baltimore on his way back to his Regiment after spending four months recovering from his wound in the arm.

Bill

AyerIraII0441
Transcription
Source

22-Dec-62

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Camp of 10th Regt PRC

To:  Vinnie

Ira returns to his regiment four months after receiving a wound in his arm.  He is surprised to find that a couple weeks earlier he had been elected major by the other officers (records show this happened two months earlier).  Ira discusses the politics of the election, how badly his regiment had been devastated in the last battle (probably Antietam) and other matters.

Bill

AyerIraII0051
Transcription
Source

28-Dec-62

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Camp of 10 Regt PRC

To:  Vinnie

Ira speaks eloquently about the reasons for fighting and about “the Flag”.  He discusses a few other topics including the condition of his arm.

Bill

 

 

Civil War 1863

Item

Date

Type

Description

Summary

Transcriber

AyerIraII0451
Transcription
Source

6-Jan-63

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Head Quarters 10th Regt PRC

To:  Sister

Ira writes about being put in charge of the Regt while the colonel is on leave.  He also writes of returning from home a few weeks ago and Washington. (the letter says 1862, but it is 1863)

Bill

AyerIraII0251
Transcription
Source

10-Jan-63

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Camp of 10th Regt PRC Miners Hill, VA

To:  Vinnie

Ira talks of meeting George, his father’s thoughts of resignation, and his grandmother’s illness.

Bill

AyerIraII0211
Transcription
Source

16-Jan-63

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Head Quarters 10th Regt PRC

To:  Vinnie

Ira says he is about to break camp and cross the Rappahannock.  He is in charge of the Regt and they will be held in reserve.

Bill

AyerIraII0861
Transcription
Source

27-Jan-63

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Head Quarters 10th Regt PRC

To:  Vinnie

This letter is hard to read, but seem just to reprimand Vinnie for not writing.

 

AyerIraII019/20/221
Transcription
Source

1-Feb-63

 

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Head Qurs 10th Regt PRC

To:  Vinnie

Ira thanks Vinnie for a very nice, long letter, asks about some sickness that the kids (especially the boy) have had.  Ira asks if he had been too severe with the family when home last (recovering from a wound).  He also worries friends felt snubbed because he didn’t meet with them.  He talks a little of aunt Sarah and begs Vinnie to hire a girl to help around the house.  Ira offers to pay.  He also talks of sending money to the younger sisters and will send extra to cover the cost of going to their grandmother’s funeral. Ira talks of Amanda's poetry, Emma (not sure who she is because it's too early for Emma James, and being stationed in DC to regroup.  He also talks of his promotion to command the regiment.  He talks of meeting the doctor.

Bill

AyerIraII0231
Transcription
Source

13-Feb-63

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Head Quarters 10th Regt PRC at Miner’s Hill, Va

To:  Vinnie

Ira talks of how nice is tent is.  It is only a few miles from Camp Pierpont where his company had trained only a year before, a year and four campaigns.  He talks of how different things are now.

Bill

  1-Mar-63 Event Capt. Ira Ayer, Sr. resigns his commission and leaves Baton Rouge for home. Ira, who was 60 years old, had not been well for a while.

Bill

AyerIraII0421
Transcription
Source

11-Mar-63

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Camp of 10th Regt PRC

To:  Sisters

Ira talks to his younger sisters of their father’s resignation and how Ira will meet him in Washington.  Ira talks of their health and how they don’t write enough.  Ira says he may not be able to send money for a while.

Bill

AyerIraII0241
Transcription
Source

20-Mar-63

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Camp of 10th Regt PRC Miners Hill, VA

To:  Brother George

George is taking a leave of absence to take care of his family.  Ira is still waiting for his father to come through DC.

Bill

AyerIraII0871
Transcription
Source

3-Apr-63

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Camp of 10th Regt PRC, Miners Hill, VA

To:  George

Ira talks of little George’s illness, his meeting with his father and a mass meeting in the chambers of the House and Senate.

Bill

AyerIraII0811
Transcription
Source

7-Apr-63

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Camp of 10th Regt PRC, Miners Hill, VA

To:  Sister Sady (Sarah)

Ira says he is happy that Sarah sent a nice letter to Cousin Sarah.  He refers to Sarah’s course of study and tries to address some issues concerning Sarah without mentioning the issues.  He is glad she is seeing Simon Tifft, her future husband.

Bill

AyerIraII0181
Transcription
Source

5-May-63

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Capital Hill Barracks

To:  Brother George

Ira’s Regiment is stationed in Washington.  Their duties are to escort prisoners from the docks to a place for them to be held.  It is an easy duty.  Ira talks of family, a doctor, and a joke and says Cousin Gorham will visit.  Ira is studying Math in his spare time.

Bill

AyerIraII079/781
Transcription
Source

8-May-63

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Capital Hill Barracks

To:  Sister Sady (Sarah)

Ira counsels Sarah on opening up to accept her intuition to allow Simon Tifft to date her.

Bill

AyerIraII0751
Transcription
Source

11-May-63

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Capital Hill Barracks

To:  Julia

Ira apologizes in his way for not writing, talks of Julia’s desire to leave school and his discussions with a friend doctor who has a daughter of an age appropriate for marriage.

Bill

  22-May-63

Event

Capt. James Ayer, Jr. dies in camp in Baton Rouge, LA of disease.    

AyerIraII0971
Transcription
Source

14-Jun-63

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Camp of 10th Regt PRC Near Uptons Hill VA

To:  Vinnie

Ira asks to keep the their father and sisters from hearing about “a certain young lady in Washington” (Jennie James) but does not say why.  He also talks of his visit with cousin Gorham and letters he has received.

Bill

  1-Jul-63 Event The Battle of Gettysburg begins and Ira Ayer, Jr. sees action    

AyerIraII0391
Transcription
Source

16-Jul-63

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  In Camp near Berlin (now Brunswick), MD

To:  Mrs. James

Ira either thanks Jane for introducing him to her daughter or thanks her for approving their intension of getting married.

Bill

AyerIraII0561
Transcription
Source

1-Aug-63

Letter

From:  Juo. F. McLaren

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Major

McLaren is in Washington and had some very good visits with the James family.  He was not able to get a satisfactory appointment to a hospital.  He needs Ira to tell him where he is so he can return to the regiment.

Bill

AyerIraII0771
Transcription
Source

29-Aug-63

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  In Camp at Rappahannock Station VA

To:  George

Ira tells his brother-in-law about his camp and the hopes for finishing the campaign soon.  They are riding high after the great victory at Gettysburg.  Ira was sickened by the ceremony to present General Meade with a ceremonial sword.  He was denied a leave to visit his sister and brother-in-law.

Bill

AyerIraII0741
Transcription
Source

9-Sep-63

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Rappahannock Station, VA

To:  Sadie (Sarah Ayer)

Ira tells Sadie about Jennie and talks about Sarah’s marriage.  He also hopes that Julia will soon get married.

Bill

JamesJaneF0291
Transcription
Source

18-Sep-63

Letter

From:  Jane F James

Where:  403 13th Street, Washington, DC

To:  Major Ira Ayer, Jr.

Jane thanks Ira for his letter, discussed how people are doing and invites Ira to visit Washington.

Bill

JamesWilliam0061
Transcription
Source

27-Oct-63

Letter

From:  William James

Where:  403 13th St, Washington, DC

To:  Major Ira Ayer

This letter is 3 1/2 pages of a sermon followed by a note.  William said that he talked to the War Department.  They said that when Ira is ready to come to Washington to get married, he should make fill out a request for a leave and have General Meade sign it and send it to William.  William would deliver it to the Secretary of War and make sure that everything is taken care of.  Then he said that Jennie and her mother and fine and he is sick.

Bill

AyerIraFile0032
Transcription
Source

13-Dec-63

Letter

From: Ira Ayer, Jr

Where: Warrenton Junction, Va

To: Major Robert A McCoy

Ira requests a three day pass to go to Alexandria to transact important private business (get married).  
  18-Dec-63 Event Ira Ayer, Jr. is promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel Ira is placed in charge of the Regiment.  

AyerIraFile0042
Transcription
Source

18-Dec-63 Special Order From: E. D. Townsend, Assistant Adjunct General, War Department Ira his three day pass to get married gets extended to 18 days.  

AyerIraII0121
Transcription
Source

21-Dec-63 Announcement Wedding announcement for Ira and Jennie  

Bill

JamesWilliam0011
Transcription
Source

25-Dec-63

Letter

From:  William James

Where:  403 13th St, Washington, DC

To:  Major & Jennie Ayer

William writes to Ira and Jennie on their honeymoon.

Bill

AyerIraII0591
Transcription
Source

27-Dec-63

Letter

From:  John. F. McLaren

Where:  Manassas Junction, VA

To:  Major Ira Ayer, Jr

Sergeant Major McLaren is reporting the status of the regiment to Ira while Ira is on his honeymoon.  He also says that he had tried to visit with Ira.

Brad

JamesWilliam0101
Transcription
Source

31-Dec-63

Letter

From:  William James

Where:  403 13th St, Washington, DC

To:  Major & Jennie Ayer

William tells Ira and Jennie while on their honeymoon to say that Jane is very sick and is afraid of dying.  Jane wants them to come home right away.

Bill

 

 

Civil War 1864-5

Item

Date

Type

Description

Summary

Transcriber

AyerJennieJames0051
Transcription
Source

18-Jan-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Love letter, no news

Bill

AyerJennieJames0061
Transcription
Source

21-Jan-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Love letter, not much news

Bill

AyerJennieJames0081
Transcription
Source

25-Jan-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Love letter.  Mother is improving and Jennie is hoping for a boy.

Bill

AyerJennieJames0071
Transcription
Source

29-Jan-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Love letter.  Jennie is beginning to see signs of her pregnancy.

Bill

AyerJennieJames0101
Transcription
Source

1-Feb-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Love letter

Bill

AyerJennieJames0091
Transcription
Source

3-Feb-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Love letter and talks about Ira’s dad and hopes for children.

Bill

AyerJennieJames0011
Transcription
Source

7-Feb-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Jennie asks Ira not to continue in the army after the war.  She talks of raising little Ira (it turns out to be Jane) in Evergreen Cottage after big Ira can rest after years of toil.

Bill

AyerJennieJames0111
Transcription
Source

9-Feb-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

A short letter to accompany a package of food and other items for Ira.

Bill

AyerJennieJames0121
Transcription
Source

10-Feb-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Sam suggests that it would be a good time for Jennie to visit Ira since he is comfortably situated.  She will bring her guitar.

 
 

10-Feb-64

Event Ira Ayer Sr. arrives in Evans with the body of his brother James and three other Evans men. I don't know where he met the bodies.  

AyerJennieJames0131
Transcription
Source

15-Feb-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Jennie heard that no passes were to be given to wives.  Jennie bought more music. 

 

AyerIraII0801
Transcription
Source

18-Feb-64

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Head Qu 10th Regt PRC, Manassas Junction, VA

To:  Vinnie

This is the 1st letter to Vinnie since getting back from NY after visiting after the marriage.  Ira talks of Guerilla fighting, someone named Amanda and Jennie.

Bill

AyerJennieJames0141
Transcription
Source

18-Feb-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Jennie remembers last summer when they were falling in love and says she hopes she will not be able to ware the same dresses (she is pregnant).  She kept a diary when they were in NY for their honeymoon.

 

AyerJennieJames0151
Transcription
Source

23-Feb-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Jennie does not want to raise the family in Washington or any city.  She wants to live in the country, I think Evans.

 

AyerJennieJames0161
Transcription
Source

24-Feb-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Went for a walk with Bessie and Mrs. Pierpont lives nearby. 

 

AyerIraFile0052
Transcription
Source

27-Fet-64 Oath of Office Who: Ira Ayer, Jr, Lieut. Colonel    

AyerJennieJames0171
Transcription
Source

28-Feb-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Jennie suggests sending seeds to Ira Sr. from the Agricultural Dept suggesting that Jane got a job there.

 

AyerJennieJames0181
Transcription
Source

1-Mar-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Jennie received money and valuable papers from Ira.  The papers may have to do with his promotion.  She said their children will prize them highly.  She hopes he will stay at Manassas and she will send a photo of herself in the next letter.

 

AyerJennieJames0191
Transcription
Source

3-Mar-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Jennie talks of missing Ira, saving money, and the she is not showing with the baby yet.

 

Bill

JamesWilliam0021
Transcription
Source

10-Mar-64

Letter

From:  Jane James

Where:  403 13th St, Washington, DC

To:  Dearest Children (Ira and Jennie)

This is the first part of a letter.  I haven't found the end yet.  Jane sent a trunk of cloths and kegs of Oysters.

 

JamesJaneF0131
Transcription
Source

19-Mar-64

Letter

From:  Jane Frances James

Where:  403 13th St, Washington, DC

To:  Children

Jane writes to Jennie and Ira in camp.  William has had pneumonia.  She talks of Hannah, Emma, Samuel, Clements, John, and Bessie.  She asks of Ira’s father.  She asks if they need anything and asks them to write to Jennie’s siblings.

Bill

AyerJennieJames0271
Transcription
Source

22-Mar-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Manassas Junction, VA

To:  Parents, sisters & brothers

While in camp with Ira, they are awoken two nights in a row with orders, the second time the regiment left in the morning to protect the railroad.  No confederate troops were seen.

Bill

JamesJaneF0151
Transcription
Source

6-Apr-64

Letter

From:  Jane Frances James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Children

Jane writes to Jennie and Ira in camp.  She worries about them and wants Jennie to write to Jennie’s siblings and friends.  Jane also tells them of all the people who wish them well.

Bill

JamesJaneF0141
Transcription
Source

11-Apr-64

Letter

From:  Jane Frances James

Where:  403 13th St, Washington, DC

To:  Children

The family tried to get passes to visit Ira and Jennie in Manassas but were denied.  William is trying to talk to the Secretary of War.  They believe that the Army is about to move and that Jennie should come home.

Bill

AyerJennieJames0041
Transcription
Source

19-Apr-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Jennie is back from Manassas and this is at least the second letter she has sent.  She talks of gardening and missing missing being together in the tent.

Bill

AyerJennieJames0031
Transcription
Source

23-Apr-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Hugh visits Jennie after recently being with Ira.  Jennie talks about how she is satisfied with the Ira's sleeping arrangements now that he is sleeping alone.  Ira sends Jennie dried flowers from the garden.  Jennie's appetite is good and she is not suffering from Morning Sickness.  Jennie’s mother Jane if feeling better and looking better than Jennie has seen her in years.  Emma is also better and Mr. Laub and Jennie are sick.

Bill

AyerJennieJames0201
Transcription
Source

25-Apr-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Nice love letter.  Jane and Emma were sick but glad to hear nice words from Ira.  Ira's sister Julia is very sick.  I get the feeling that Jennie thinks Julia will die.  Julia lives another 7 years to age 26.    Jennie had a talk with Samuel telling him he should look to Ira as an example.  Samuel agreed.  The flowers Jennie brought home from camp are doing will.  "Burnside's Army passed through the city creating much excitement.

 

AyerJennieJames0021
Transcription
Source

28-Apr-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Jennie asks Ira if she should send him a copy of the letter she wrote to his father.  She is glad to hear the camp is getting well defended and sorry to hear about the uprising in the 6th Regiment.  She hopes Ira will not have to move because of it.

Bill

AyerJennieJames0211
Transcription
Source

30-Apr-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Jennie was in pain, similar to pain she had felt when she was with Ira in Manassas.  In a letter from the 26th Ira had implied he might have to move out and go further away.  In a letter from the 27th it seemed he would not.  Jennie talks of Ira cultivating flowers in camp five days before he almost dies in battle.

 

AyerJennieJames0221
Transcription
Source

1-May-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Jennie writes very well about how worried she is about Ira.  Ira must have written that he was breaking camp to fight the impending battle.  She is still having pain, but not as bad.  The pregnancy is going well. A friend has noticed that Jennie is pregnant.  She will start telling people.

Bill

AyerJennieJames0231
Transcription
Source

3-May-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

 Love letter

Bill

AyerJennieJames0241
Transcription
Source

5-May-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Ira is in Culpeper, VA on the eve of battle.  Washington is about to empty out for the summer.  Ira had invited Jane to go to Evans for the summer but she didn't want to go further than Baltimore.

Bill

  6-May-64 Event Ira Ayer, Jr. is wounded in The Wilderness

Ira is hit in the leg by a mini-ball.  From Martial Deeds:

In a letter dated May 6th, the second day of the battle, he says:  “I was leading my regiment into line when hit by a bullet from one of the enemy’s sharpshooters, which passed through the large bone of my leg, causing a very painful though I hope not dangerous wound.  I was compelled to leave the field at once, which I did after exhorting my men to do their duty.”

 

AyerJennieJames0251
Transcription
Source

8-May-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Jennie is worried about Ira and doesn't know he has been wounded. 

Bill

AyerJennieJames0261
Transcription
Source

11-May-64

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Jennie is worried because she has not heard from Ira since the start of the Battle of the Wilderness.

 

Bill

AyerIraFile0062
Transcription
Source

12-May-64 Note Ira arrives in a hospital in Alexandria, VA and was transferred to one in DC the next day    
  11-Jun-64 Event

 

 

Ira Ayer, Jr. is mustered out

Ira was still in General Hospital, Washington, DC at the time.  He was recovering from his wound from May 6.  
  13-Jul-64 Event Ira Ayer, Jr. is released from the hospital He was in the hospital for over two months.  

JamesJaneFFile0214
Transcription
Source

15-Jun-64 Event

Congress recognizes Jane and others

For their work on the "Home for the Relief of Friendless Woman and Children

 

JamesWilliam0051
Transcription
Source

1-Aug-64 Check

From:  William James: 

To:  C Cainniack, Junior

Check for $50.00.  The back says "Aug 3rd Satisfied in full by Maj Ira Ayer, Jr, C Caunniack, Jr

 

JamesJaneF0111
Transcription
Source

6-Aug-64

Letter

From:  Jane Frances James

Where:  403 13th St, Washington, DC

To:  Children

Jane talks of an accident the William had when he took Jennie and Ira to the station for their trip to NY.

Bill

  28-Aug-64 Event Jennie Ayer born    

AyerIraII057/611
Transcription
Source

30-Aug-64

Letter

From:  Wm M Slater

Where:  ?

To:  Col Ira Ayer

A former subordinate of Ira's tells him of news of other former subordinates in battle and asks for Ira's recommendation for a promotion.

 

Bill

  12-Sep-64 Event Samuel James is turned down for a position in the Veteran Reserve Corps A board found him "deficient in Disability, General Education, Intelligence, Knowledge of Tactics and Service".  
  19-Jan-65 Event Ira Ayer commissioned Captain in the Veteran Reserve Corps Ira does not muster in until after two promotions  

AyerIraII0671
Transcription
Source

20-Jan-65

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  George and Vinnie

Ira apologizes for taking so long to write and brings them up to date on the family.  Ira is waiting for his commission but will likely be only a Captain due to a lack of openings.  Ira talks of listening to some famous people speak.

Bill

JamesWilliamLOC0013
Transcription
Source

23-Jan-65

Letter

From:  William James

Where:  403 13th St, Washington, DC

To:  Abraham Lincoln

Letter requesting an appointment as tax collector of Virginia.  He doesn't get it for a year.  He talks of his dedication to the Union and his hatred of slavery.

Bill

AyerIraII0631
Transcription
Source

Probably early '65

Letter

From:  E. J. Hill

Where:  Lincoln U.S. Gen. Hospital, Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer

Letter from a wounded member of Ira's Regt who was wounded after Ira's Wilderness wound. 

 
  20-Feb-65 Event Ira Ayer, Jr. brevetted major and lieutenant colonel, Veteran Reserve Corps Does not muster in yet  

AyerIraII0621
Transcription
Source

20-Feb-65

Letter

From:  Wm M Slater

Where: 

To:  Col Ayer

More news from the front

Bill

  13-Mar-65

Event

Ira Ayer, Jr. brevetted colonel, Veteran Reserve Corps for "gallant conduct at the Battle of the Wilderness" Does not muster in yet  
  22-Mar-65 Event Samuel James gets his former commander, then Lieutenant (now Brigadier Major General) Adelbert Ames to sign an affidavit It said James served under him from Oct 61 to Feb 62 with distinction  
  9-Apr-65 Event The South surrenders at Appomattox    

 

 

Post Civil War

Item

Date

Type

Description

Summary

Transcriber

JamesJaneF0051
Transcription
Source

14-Apr-65 Pass

From:  War Department

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Jane F James

Pass to travel to Richmond issued only 5 days after the end of the war.

 
  2-May-65 Event Ira Ayer, Jr. musters in as colonel in the Veteran Reserve Corps Not sure what this means.  Is this when he reported for duty?  

AyerIraII0581
Transcription
Source

2-Jun-65

Letter

From:  Juo. F. McLaren

Where:  Allegheny, PA

To:  Col. Ayer

McLaren asks Ira how he has been doing. He asks about Ira’s family.  He also talks about reading he has been doing about the war.  He is now a reporter for a local paper.  It would be good to find info on the paper because he said he writes stories about a soldier’s life.

Brad

AyerIraII0681
Transcription
Source

2-Jun-65

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  George Barr

Ira agrees with George that Mr. Austin is not good for Julia.  Julia, Sarah, and Simon, Sarah’s husband are visiting.

Bill

AyerJennieJames0281
Transcription
Source

8-Jul-65

Letter

From:  Jane F James

Where:  Richmond, VA

To:  Clemm & ?

Jane, William, Samuel, and John arrive in Richmond for the fist time since the war.  Jane tells the story of Mr. Pollard.  Jane says Richmond is in ruins. 

Bill

JamesJaneF0171
Transcription
Source

8-Jul-65

Letter

From:  Jane Frances James

Where:  Richmond, VA

To:  Jenny

About Pollard 

Bill

AyerIraII0301
Transcription
Source

31-Jul-65

Letter

From:  Jane F James

Where:  Richmond, Linden Row, M 2nd

To:  Jennie

In 1865 July 31 fell on a Sunday:  Jane talks of Mr. Pollard (husband to Annie) being sick.  She also mentions that the city is very different.  She wishes that Jennie and Ira could visit.

Bill

AyerJennieJames029/381
Transcription
Source

12-Sep-65

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Lindon Row, Richmond, VA

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Jennie writes of her first trip back to Richmond since the end of the war.  She talks of the destruction and the bitterness of the residents.

Bill

AyerJennieJames0301
Transcription
Source

15-Sep-65

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Lindon Row, Richmond, VA

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Jennie talks more of the problems in Richmond.  Her Mother, Father and sister Emma are also in Richmond.  Hannah and Clements are in Washington.

Bill

AyerJennieJames0371
Transcription
Source

Sep-65

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Lindon Row, Richmond, VA

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Unfinished and undated (Sept 1865).

Bill

AyerIraII0691
Transcription
Source

18-Oct-65

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Brother

Ira is sad to hear of the death of Geogie.  Ira talks of Mr. Pollard, Annie, and the general state of Richmond. 

Bill

JamesWilliam0071
Transcription
Source

20-Nov-65

Picture

Tintern Abbey

Envelope says, "Picture of Tintern Abby -1865, Fanny Spencer, our grandmother Jane Frances James' cousin"  Also says, "? "Ancestral home of James family"”

 

AyerIraII0701
Transcription
Source

25-Nov-65

Letter

From:  Ira and Jennie

Where:  403 13th Street, Washington, DC

To:  Brother

Ira talks of the Little fellow who is sick.  He also says that the package Jennie is putting together for them isn't ready yet.  Ira's father will build a new saw mill and Ira is not sure if he will re-enlist. 

Bill

AyerJennieJames0311
Transcription
Source

11-Dec-65

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Ira is in Ashland helping William James (Jennie’s father) “during these trying time”.  The rest of Jennie’s family (other than Samuel) are in Washington with Jennie.  Jennie will soon leave to be with Ira.

 

JamesJaneF0011
Transcription
Source

11-Feb-66

Letter

From:  Jane Frances James

Where:  Ashland, VA

To:  ?

More problems with Mr. Pollard   He wants a divorce and Jane wants him arrested for adultery.  Jane wants Ira to be transferred to Ashland.  She also wants Jennie and Ira to go to Macon, GA to get Annie's baby.  Annie would only go if Jane goes and Jane is too tired.

Bill

JamesJaneF018/251
Transcription
Source

21-Feb-66

Letter

From:  Jane Frances James

Where:  Ashland, VA

To:  Children

Jane still want Ira to transfer to VA.  She is helping her other three daughters make clothes for school.  More problems with Mr. Pollard  He has shown up in Richmond with his girlfriend and signed the hotel register under a false name.  William is in DC and will soon be making the rounds doing tax collection.  Jane wants Ira and Jennie to get baby Eddie (Annie's son) from Macon, GA.

Bill

JamesJaneF019/211
Transcription
Source

Mar-66 Letter

From:  Jane Frances James

Where: Probably Ashland

To: Ira and Jennie

Talks of Uncle John, Rev. John Francis.  Talks of the girls going to Genesee College.  Talks of Samuel in New York, tells Jennie to write aunt S. F. Spencer, Jane's only sister lives at 28 Hill Street Newport Monmouthshire in Wales.  Eddie must be brought from Mr. Pollard's sister

 
?????
Transcription
Source
16-Apr-66 Deed

From:  P. H. Russell & WF

Where:  Ashland, VA

To:  William James

William buys his first piece of property in Ashland  

AyerJennieJames0321
Transcription
Source

3-May-66

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Ashland, VA

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Jennie talks of missing Ira and the possibility of Ira working for her father.  Also, she talks of Ira getting a promotion.  The promotion didn’t come for over a year.

Bill

JamesWilliam186605104
Transcription
Source

10-May-66

Event

President Johnson nominates William James "to be collector of internal revenue for the third collection district State of Virginia"

Bill

AyerIraII0551
Transcription
Source

21-May-66

Letter

From:  Father and Mother

Where:  403 13th Street, Washington, DC

To:  My Dr, Dr Son

Jane talks of how she, with much difficulty was able to get her husband’s nomination to tax collector for Richmond approved by the Senate.  She also suggests she could help get Ira promoted to General if he forwards the necessary documents.  That didn’t happen.

Bill

AyerIraII0431
Transcription
Source

26-May-66

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Macon, GA

To:  Vinnie

Ira is sorry to hear of the loss of Vinnie's son (Charlie?).  Ira is thinking of leaving the army around 1 July and then staying with William until he decides what to do next. 

Bill

FranceHannahJames0011
Transcription
Source

29-May-66

Letter

From: Hannah James

Where: Ashland

To: Clem

She talks of her relationship with Clem, Christian, and another man, and general news.

Bill

AyerJennieJames0331
Transcription
Source

5-Jun-66

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Ashland, VA

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Love letter.  Talks of being pregnant.

 

AyerJennieJames0341
Transcription
Source

9-Jun-66

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Ashland, VA

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Little Jennie is sick. 

 
  20-Oct-66 Event Julia Ayer born    

USPO610725
Transcription
Source

8-Jan-67 Patent By:  William James Patent for "Improved Attachment for Stills to Test the Proof of Spirits"  

JamesWilliamFile026
Transcription
Source

7-Apr-67

Letter

From:  Jos. Segar

Where:  Richmond, VA

To:  Hon. Hugh McColloch, Secretary of the Treasury U. S

He accuses William James of steeling powers of attorneys and other thinks

Bill

JamesWilliamFile0366
Transcription
Source

8-Apr-67

Letter

From:  H. [Ithnson] Mare

Where:  Richmond, VA

To:  Hon. Hugh McColloch, Secretary of the Treasury U. S.

He accuses William James of making purchases at a store and demanding two receipts, one lower for him to pay and another higher one for billing the government.  He also accuses him of whipping a US Senator.

Bill

JamesWilliamFile046
Transcription
Source

 

Letter

From:  C. F. Smith, Dept Shff, Nelson Co. Va

To:  the Honorable Secretary of the Treasury of the United States

He had investigated the same issues mentioned buy Segar

Bill

JamesWilliamFile056
Transcription
Source

14-Apr-67

Letter

From:  N. Davidson

Where:  Richmond, VA

To:  A. B. Johnson Esq.

Davidson has arrived in Richmond and begun his investigation

Bill

JamesWilliamFile066
Transcription
Source

15-Apr-67

Letter

From:  N. Davidson

Where:  Richmond, VA

To:  Hon. E. A. Rollins

Davidson continues his investigation

Bill

JamesWilliam0141
Transcription
Source

16-Apr-67

Patent By:  William James Patent for an improvement for suspension bridge supports  

JamesWilliamFile076
Transcription
Source

17-Apr-67

Letter

From:  N. Davidson

Where:  Richmond, VA

To:  Hon. E. A. Rollins

To:  N. Davidson

Davidson continues his investigation

Bill

JamesWilliamFile086
Transcription
Source

23-Apr-67

Letter

From:  N. Davidson

Where:  Richmond, VA

To:  Hon. E. A. Rollins

Davidson has finished his investigation but the results are not included

Bill

JamesWilliamFile126
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May-67? List

Treasury Department

Summary of Charges against William

 

JamesWilliamFile096
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May-67 Transcript Transcript from the trial against Williams    
  27-Jun-67 Event Ira Ayer, Jr. named Colonel by brevet for gallant conduct at the Battle of the Wilderness    

JamesWilliamFile106
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3-Sep-67

Letter

From:  L. D. Harmon

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  President Johnson

Asking the President to remove William from office based on evidence at the Treasury Department

 

JohnsonPapers00115
Transcription
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4-Sep-67

Letter

From:  Jeremiah S. Black

Where:  Washington, DC

To:  President Johnson

Asking the President to remove William from office based on evidence at the Treasury Department

 

JamesWilliam186801017
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2-Nov-67 Election William Elected to Virginia Constitutional Convention for Hanover Co.

William received 7 votes from whites and 1460 votes from blacks.  His two opponents received 1063 votes from whites and 3 votes from blacks

 

JamesWilliam186712044
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4-Dec-67 Event In a recess appointment the President removes William James from office due to misconduct "in place of William James, suspended for misconduct in office."  

JamesWilliamFile116
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9-Dec-67

Letter

From:  Judge John C. Underwood

Where:  Richmond, VA

To:  General J. P. C.  Shanks

Letter vouching for William.  Judge Underwood says the evidence against William was false.

Bill

  1-Jan-68 Event Ira receives an honorable discharge from the Veteran Reserve Corps    

JamesWilliam0041
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2-Jan-68 Ticket

From:  Richmond, Fredericksburg, & Potomac Rail Road

Where:  Richmond, VA

To:  William James

Pass Free for one year

 

JamesWilliam186801094
Transcription
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9-Jan-68 Event The Senate Finance Committee received papers regarding the removal of William James "Mr. Fessenden presented papers relating to the suspension of William James, collector of internal revenue for the third district of Virginia, which were referred to the Committee on Finance."  

JamesWilliam186801114
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10-Jan-68 Event The Senate agrees with the removal of William James for misconduct    

AyerIraII0981
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24-Mar-68 Event Ticket for Impeachment Trial of President Johnson This was probably William's.  He was probably rooting against the President because this was shortly after the President had removed him from office.  

JamesWilliam186806054
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2-Jun-68 Event The Senate reviews the case of William James    

JamesWilliam186903194
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5-jun-68 Event The Senate voted on William James' removal

"Resolved, That the Senate do not concur in the suspension of William James, collector of internal revenue for the 3d district of Virginia, and do not advise and consent to his removal from office.

Ordered, That the Secretary lay the said resolution before the President of the United States."

There is no record of his service after this point.

 
  30-Sep-68 Event

Lavinia (Vinnie) Ayer Barr dies at age 34

Sister of Ira, II  
  20-Oct-68 Event Ira Ayer, III born    

AyerIraII0821
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3-Sep-69

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Richmond

To:  Sarah and Simon

Sarah and Simon are about to move to Titusville to live with George (Vinnie died a year ago).  Ira reminisces about growing up.

Bill

FranceHannahJames0021
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5-Nov-69

Letter

From: Hannah

Where: Kansas City, MO

To: Jennie and Ira

Hannah just got married.  4 pages of sermon.

 

JamesWilliam186903194
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17-Dec-69 Event William petitions the Senate for recover of lost income from when he was removed from office    

JamesWilliam008/91
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1-Mar-70 Poem

By: William James

About: Susanna James Byers (his sister)

Poem about William’s deceased sister.

Bill

AyerIraII1011
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4-Mar-70

Letter

From:  Uncle Joseph (Joseph Davenport, Ira’s great uncle)

Where:  Titusville, PA

To:  Ira

Joseph updates Ira on the happenings in Titusville

Bill

PollardAnnieJames0021
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13-Oct-70

Letter

From: Annie James

Where: Ashland

To: Jennie

About the death of John and Mary's son

 
JamesSamuelR0011
Transcription
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1871 Poem Samuel R. James "A Descriptive Poem" religious in nature published in Washington.  
  26-Jul-71 Event Daisy Ayer born    

JamesSamuelRFile018
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23-Feb-72 Event Samuel R James petitions congress He is looking for reimbursement of his expenses while volunteering from October '61 to February '62  

Fiarella0449
Transcription
Source

28-Feb-73 Obituary

William Ayer Dies

 

Bill

  28-Sep-73 Event

Alice Ayer born

   

JamesJaneF0061
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18-May-74

Letter

From:  Jane Frances James

Where:  Ashland, VA

To:  Ira Ayer Jr

Jane thanks Ira for the help has has given and before William died.  Jane misses William.  She would like to visit Jennie and Ira (I think in Norfolk) but can't.  She talks of Clem and John. 

Bill

  14-Aug-75 Event Clementine Ayer born    
  20-Sep-76 Event Clemens James dies He died in some kind of railroad or streetcar accident  

AyerIraII0461
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12-Jan-77

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Richmond

To:  Jennie

Ira talks of a new case in Savannah, some political problems in the department, the death of his brother-in-law Clem, a possible meeting with the president (Grant), the elections issues with Hayes, a suicide, and Clem being stung by bees,

Bill

JessupJuliaAyer0011
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15-Jul-77

Letter

From: Julia Ayer

Where: Ashland

To: Ira Ayer, Jr.

She misses her dad and Mamma is still frail

Bill

JamesJaneFPM10
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28-Oct-77

Event

Jane is nominated to be postmaster for Ashland, VA The nomination is made and withdrawn a couple times.  She is finally confirmed on March 19, 1878.

Bill

JamesSamuelR0031
Transcription
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1-Jan-78 Pamphlet Samuel R James Holiday Journal - New Years Readings, Story by Samuel called "Disentangled Threads - To be Wound at Your Leisure"  My guess is that the pamphlet was a vehicle to get people to buy "Pond's Extract".  The story had nothing to do with Pond's but a significant chunk of the pamphlet is an ad.  

JessupJuliaAyer0021
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2-Jan-78

Letter

From: Julia Ayer

Where: Ashland

To: Ira Ayer, Jr.

   

JessupJuliaAyer0031
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16-Jan-78

Letter

From: Julia Ayer

Where: Ashland

To: Ira Ayer, Jr.

   

AyerJennieJames0351
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14-Nov-79

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Ashland, VA

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Jennie talked about how bad her nephew Eddie is, about buying cloths, needing money, she is feeling a little down, and the fire risk in Ashland is very high.

Bill

AyerJennieJames0361
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14-Dec-79

Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where:  Ashland, VA

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Jennie received two letters, a box of clothes, and a barrel of apples from Ira.  The family and cows are well.

Bill

JamesJaneF0121
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16-Oct-80?

Letter

From:  Jane Frances James

Where:  123 Willoughby Ave, Brooklyn, NY

To:  Jennie and Ira

Jennie was in Baltimore last week.  Jane watched a Grand Parade in NY.  Grant was there.  Talks of a candidate (Haneock?).  Jane will get to Baltimore.  "Favorable accounts from Eddie"

 

JamesJaneF0101
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 27-Oct-80?

Letter

From:  Jane Frances James

Where:  123 Willoughby Ave, Brooklyn, NY

To:  Jennie J Ayer

Jane’s daughter Emma lived on Willoughby Ave from before 1880 until at least 1910.

Jane seems heavily involved in the campaign.  Clementine was already born.

 

JamesJaneF0201
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 5-May-81?

Letter

From:  Jane Frances James

Where: 

To:  Ira

This is probably right after Jennie and Ira moved to NJ.  Jane is having work done.  Jennie is sick and Annie is there to help.  Jane is trying to get someone to go to help Jennie.  After Clementine is born.  Samuel is about to go to Europe.

Bill

JamesJaneF0161
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 24-May-81?

Letter

From:  Jane Frances James

Where: 

To:  Annie

Annie is in NJ helping Jennie.  Jane talks of a Mr. Smithson and a Mr. James.  Jane is still trying to find someone for Jennie to hire.  Jane has been writing letters to Eddie.  He seems to be with someone named Mr. Avery and Jane wants him back.  There is something about Emma that depresses Annie.  There is some suit against Ira that has been dropped and would have embarrassed him.

Bill

JamesJaneF0081
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31-Jul-81?

Letter

From:  Jane Frances James

Where:  Ashland, VA

To:  Children

There was just a funeral.  It reminded her of Clemens' funeral.  Jane will send Nancy's trunk.  Mr. James says hi.

Bill

JamesJaneF0091
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7-Aug-81?

Letter

From:  Jane Frances James

Where:  Ashland, VA

To:  Jennie J Ayer

Jennie is in Morristown and Jane implies they are there for Jennie's health.  Mentions cousin May.  Jane has a dog named Fido that Annie takes care of.   Jane thanks Ira for the check and says she will try to get out of debt.  Sent Nancy's trunk to Jennie.  Jane has a deed that the husbands of her daughters must sign.  Sam has some kind of trouble.  Jane says Ira made the move for the welfare of his family.

Bill

JamesJaneF0041
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14-Sep-81

Letter

From:  Jane Frances James

Where:  Ashland, VA

To:  Ira and all

Jane asks Ira’s help in getting a neighbor to pay back rent.  The neighbor is in Bon Air on business.  Jane is also suffering with her neck and blood poisoning.

Bill

AyerIraII031/
JamesJaneF022-41
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13-Nov-81? 

Letter

From:  Jane James

Where:  Morristown, NJ

To:  Hannah France

About being sick and how Jennie and Ira are helping.   Ira leaves every morning on the 7:15 for NY and suffers with the wounded leg.  A doctor recommends an operation that would lay him up for several weeks.  Eddie is with Samuel. Annie is with Mr. James.  It's been 4 months since Jane was with Hannah and family.

Looks like a note at the top of the letter from Ira to Sady talking about the death of Jane.

Bill

JamesJaneF0071
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28-Feb-82

Letter

From:  Jane Frances James

Where:  Ashland, VA

To:  Miss Jennie J Ayer

Written on Ashland Post Office stationary.  The letter is very hard to read.  It is to her granddaughter.  Jane is not doing to well.  Annie is getting married.  It is nine years to the day since her husband died.

Bill

AyerIraII0641
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26-Sep-82

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  Titusville, PA

To:  Jennie

Ira and his son Ira are on the second stop of a big trip.  The first stop was to a reunion at Allegheny.  The second stop was to see family at Titusville, PA (Sarah, Simon, George, and Uncle Joseph (great uncle Joseph Davenport).  Ira and Ira were about to leave to visit Ira I.

Bill

  17-Apr-83 Event Jane F James dies She died in Brooklyn while visiting Emma  

JamesJaneFLS11
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7-Jan-84 Lawsuit

Ira goes to court to protect the assets of Jane's estate

When she died she was in debt

Bill

  18-Jan-84 Event Ann James Pollard James dies She died in Maryland  
JamesJaneFFile0113
Transcription
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28-Jul-84 Lawsuit Jane F. James vs. Samuel Hicks It seems that Hicks was suing William James for unfairly collecting taxes in 1866  

1885-12-18TheJerseyman12
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18-Dec-85 Article

About: Ira Ayer, Jr.
Paper: The Jerseyman
Where: Morristown, NJ

Article about Ira being transferred to San Francisco

 

AyerIraII0651
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4-Aug-86

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where:  San Francisco

To:  Jennie

Ira talks about a patriotic parade that he was in.  He said he included a newspaper account of it.

Bill

AyerIraII0281
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27-Apr-87 Obituary G. P. Beal Gorham was Ira Ayer, Jr.’s cousin by his aunt Mary Low Ayer.  It seems that Gorham went west in 1854 to mine, possibly for the gold rush.  
  28-Jul-89 Event Ira Ayer, I dies at age 86    

AyerIraII0131
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2-Dec-90 Event Dedication of the monument to Pennsylvania 10th Reserves at Gettysburg    

Fiarella0109
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25-Jul-91

Letter

From:  U S Grant GAR Post

Where: Brooklyn, NY

To:  The President

Endorsement of Ira by the entire post and many prominent people and companies from Brooklyn and New York.

Bill

AyerIraII0141
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1-Dec-91

Letter

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where: Washington, DC

To:  Jennie

Ira is staying a couple of blocks from where Jennie lived during the Civil War.  He reminisces about their wedding and talks of the reasons they should be thankful.  He has a short part about his business purposes.

Bill

WilliamsAliceAyer0011
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20-Oct-97 Event Alice and George get Married Newspaper write-up on the wedding

Bill

Fiarella0119
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15-Jun-98 Letter

From:  Records and Pensions

Where: Washington, DC

To:  Ira Ayer

Ira's military record for pension purposes

Bill
JamesSamuelR0021
Transcription
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Jan-99 Poem Samuel R. James A poem called "Morning"  

 

 

Undated

Item

Date

Type

Description

Summary

Transcriber

AyerJennieJames0391
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  Letter

From:  Jennie James

Where: 

To:  Ira Ayer, Jr.

Jennie is going to price Back Silk as a gift from Ira.

 

JamesJaneF0031
Transcription
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  Letter

From:  Jane Frances James

Where: 

To:  My Dear Dear Children

Jane talks of traveling through Rockets and Ft. Monroe.   Ask for several things.

 

JamesJaneF0261
Transcription
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  Letter

From:  Jane Frances James

Where: 

To:  Jennie, Ira, Hannah, Baby, and all

Hard to read.  Talks of father and cousin Sam, parades, marching into Richmond, Stars and Stripes.

 

JessupJuliaAyer0041
Transcription
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  Letter

From: Julia Ayer

Where: Ashland

To: Ira Ayer, Jr.

   

AyerIraII0341
Transcription
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  Note

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where: 

To: 

Improvement of Time

 

AyerIraII0351
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  Note

From:  Ira Ayer, Jr

Where: 

To: 

   

JamesWilliam0031
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  Note

From:  William James

Where:  403 13th St, Washington, DC

To:  Hon G M Robeson, Secretary of the Navy

William asks if he and his wife can call for a few minutes at 7:30pm.

 

AyerIraII0661
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  Card GAR card for Ira Ayer, Jr. It's from New Jersey so it must be from around 1883-5  

AyerIraII0711
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  Card Card of Matias Ramero He is a minister from Mexico  

AyerIraII0731
Transcription
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  Ticket "For the Review" Major General Augur (Christopher C. Augur) was promoted to Major General in 1862 and retired in 1885.  

AyerIraII0951
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  Card Card for General Badeau Likely General Adam Badeau  

AyerIraII0291
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  Invitation Invitation to the home of Postmaster General Creswell and his wife John Creswell was Postmaster General from March 5, 1869 to June 22, 1874.  During that time, January 31st fell on a Monday in 1870.  It could have been for Ira.  He was just about to be appointed Special Agent for the Treasury Department, had been stationed in Richmond and would soon be stationed in Norfolk.  

AyerIraII0991
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  Money Confederate $5 bill    

AyerIraII1001
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  Money Confederate $10 bill    

 

Document Sources

1 Dr. Bliss Clark Collection
2 National Archives Civil War Collection - not online
3 Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress
4 Library of Congress "A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation"
5 United States Patent Office
6 National Archives records of William James investigation and trial from the US Senate Papers - not online
7 Annual Report to the Secretary of War, 1867
8 National Archives records of Samuel Reginald James petition of Congress - not online
9 Fiarella Williams Collection
10 Journal of the executive proceedings of the Senate of the United States, Volume 21
11 Hanover County Court Records available on-line
12 Jerseyman Newspaper 18 December 1885 - Available at the Morristown Library, Morristown, NJ
13 US Supreme Court Reports, Volume 28
14 The Statutes at Large, Treaties, and Proclamations of the United States of America from December 1863 to December 1865
15 The Papers of Andrew Johnson: September 1867-March 1868, Edited by Paul Bergeron

 

 

Copyright Bill Scholtz 2008-

Last edited 08/26/2016