The Breedin Family Papers, which include letters, manuscripts, and photographs, are comprised mainly of correspondence between various members of the Breedin and Singleton families from the 1850s to the 1870s. The bulk of the correspondence is addressed to members of the family of Enoch C. Breedin and Lucy Payne Singleton of Winchester, Virginia. Lucy Singleton Breedin was the daughter of General James Singleton and Judith Throckmorton Ball and the sister of James Washington Singletone. Much of the correspondence is between the children of Enoch and Lucy Breedin (Lucy, Louise, Fannie, Anna, and Alfred) and their Illinois cousins, the children of James Washington Singleton.
The Breedin correspondence, consisting of well over 150 letters, is unusually vivid and detailed. Many of the letters deal extensively with society on the eve of the Civil War, personal perceptions of the war, and ensuing financial difficulties. The majority of the correspondence is, while by no means exclusively, from a female perspective. The most extensive run of correspondence is addressed to Louise Breedin and Lucy Singleton Breedin Mouzon, containing many interesting insights into a woman's role in society during the mid-nineteenth century. Because of economic hardships, both young women were required to locate teaching positions in order to support themselves: "I wish to prepare Lucy for a situation where enjoying the respect of her Employers she would be qualified for independence" (Mme R.A. Togno, 30 August 1856). Letters to Lucy and Louise have not been itemized separately in the finding aid because of their large number. Also if interest is a long run of correspondence from Rosaline Van Wyck describing local events and people in Oakland, California (1859-1873).
Conditions governing access note
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.