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Francis Pollard Papers

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS331

Collection-level Scope and Content Note

The Francis Pollard Papers consist of two series: correspondence and photographs. Correspondence is arranged chronologically; photographs are arranged alphabetically by the name of the person pictured. NB: An additional letter written by Francis Pollard (2/6/1862) is housed at the Indiana Historical Society. This letter concerns a visit to the Senate during which Senator Jesse D. Bright was expelled from the Senate for writing a letter to Jefferson Davis. Information about this letter can be accessed at: TML This web page contains inaccurate biographical information concerning Francis Pollard.


  • 1861 - 1935
  • Majority of material found within 1861 - 1870

Collection-level Access Restrictions

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical note

Francis Pollard was born in England, the son of Matthew Pollard and Anna Pollard. Pollard, along with several siblings to whom he wrote the letters in this collection, emigrated to Rhode Island where they settled in Valley Falls. Pollard and his brother John went to work in the cotton mills of Valley Falls. Pollard decided to switch professions and at the same time gain American citizenship by mustering into the Union Army with Co. G of the 2nd District of Columbia Infantry on January 15, 1862. He was honorably discharged on February 28, 1864 and remustered into Co. E (?) 2nd Regiment District of Columbia Volunteer Infantry. After serving as Second Lieutenant with this company he was honorably discharged on September 12, 1865.

After the war, Pollard went West and presumably died on or around February 11, 1870, the date his final letter was written to his family. His family, however, did not learn of his presumed death and several letters were written between Pollard's family and acquaintances concerning his whereabouts after February of 1870. Pollard had been married to an Abbie F. Brown, from whom he had become estranged and later divorced. In several of the letters written to his siblings, Pollard expresses his negative feelings towards her, as well as his concern for their children. On March 16, 1867 Pollard was remarried to Emma Beatison who later petitioned for and was granted a Civil War widow's pension.

Pollard's letters, mostly written from Washington, DC, offer an interesting perspective on national events and landmarks. Pollard meets President Abraham Lincoln several times, once commenting on the President's sense of humor. He also visits the Smithsonian Institute and the Capitol Grounds, Senate, and House of Representatives, commenting on the accessability to the American governmental grounds and leaders compared to those in England. Pollard comments on the situation of runaway slaves in Washington, DC, and recounts his own daring story of escape from a work camp at Harper's Ferry, at which he was wrongly imprisoned. Pollard also recounts stories of performing for famous figures with the regimental band.


1 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials


Francis Pollard Papers
Shira Loev. Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057