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Breedin family papers

Identifier: GTM-800422

Scope and contents note

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 (1797-1856) and Lucy Payne Singleton (1808-1860) of Winchester, Virginia. Lucy Singleton Breedin was the daughter of General James Singleton and Judith Throckmorton Ball (1776-1852) and the sister of James Washington Singleton (1811-1892). 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).


  • 1811-1976

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.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are solely responsible for determining the copyright status of the materials being used, establishing who the copyright owner is, locating the copyright owner, and obtaining permission for intended use.


0.83 Linear Feet (2 Hollinger Document Cases)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Ruth Coleman Marthinson, April 1980.

Breedin family papers
Margaret McAleer, Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections, Washington, D.C.
Description rules
Local Practice
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