Table of Contents
A Guide to the collection at the Connecticut Historical Society
Charles Cole was born in Chatham, Connecticut in 1839. He attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1864, and for the next thirty years worked out of his office in Hartford. He practiced both constitutional and corporation law and served as attorney for a variety of businesses in Hartford and other parts of Connecticut. He was also involved in the Republican Party in Connecticut. He died in August 1895 at the age of 56.
The collection consists primarily of handwritten or typed letters sent to Cole by fellow lawyers, businessmen and clients. There are a handful of letters from Cole’s siblings but these are mostly about business matters. The materials were donated in four file folders spanning the period between 1885 and 1893 and were arranged either by first or last name or the name of a company or business. Within each section the materials were not arranged alphabetically. The folders were marked 1, 2, 3 and 5 covered the periods 1885-1887, 1887-1889, 1889-1891 and 1891-1893. Missing from the collection is the bulk of the year 1891 (parts of January and December of that year are covered) which presumably would have appeared in folder 4. The materials have been kept in their original order and further alphabetized.
Box 1 contains the documents from 1885-1887 and those from 1887-1889 through the letter L. Included are letters from J.M. Addis (1887) asking for advice about setting up his own real estate office in Bridgeport; James P. Baker (1887) asking for money with a note from Cole “Sent check to Baker for $500;” Misses Benedict and Phelps, Stenographers and Copyists (1887) advertising the opening of their office and asking for a “share of your patronage;” Anna B. Bruther (1886), Cole’s cousin, reporting that interest on bank notes has arrived and that father is well; a blank application for a liquor license in Connecticut; A.S. Dickinson (1886-1887) about a case involving Mrs. Alfred S. Dickinson and her siblings over their mother’s belongings; Lynde Harrison (1886) offering to help settle a dispute between Cole and Mr. Barnum; James W. Hull, Berkshire Life Insurance Company (1886) praising Cole’s “plan” to save “the concern from utter ruin;” Dr. George S. Huntington (1889) writes about taxes he owes; J. W. Johnson (1886) regarding Pierre Pirout, who was on an elevator shortly before a boy was killed and is now in France; Morrow amp; Stratton (1886) asking about the Charter Oak Life Insurance Company, having found Cole’s name in Hubbell’s Legal Directory; William Parry (1885) reporting that he has not found the home of Miss Mary Taft but has found two other witnesses; and the Vermont Farm Machine Company (1885) writing about cans shipped to Cole that have not yet arrived.
Box 2 contains the remainder of documents from 1887-1889, all of 1889-1891 and 1891-1983 through the letter B. Included are letters from Stephan Ball, Hartford Life Insurance Company (1889) about a fraudulent insurance claim; Ranney amp; Clark (1890) writing about a woman trying to get rent from a man disappeared after she spent $250 on appliances; Wm. B. Grimes (1890) about an argument with Mrs. Fannie Grimes Camp (believed to be his sister) over a loan and interest due; James J. Inglis (1890) about purchasing a cow from Cole; Robert M. Jackson, Middlesex Banking Company (1890) asking if Mr. Cole can represent the Company’s interests in the Legislature; McNett amp; Tisdale (1887-1889 and 1890) about a variety of cases in Ottumwa, Iowa, including one involving Mr. Stiles, who they call a “veritable Wilkins Micawber;”; Charles H. Noble (1889-1890) saying he cannot pay Cole due to his wife’s illness; James Roche (1888) writing about the Hillard Estate; H.C. Speer (1890) writing to apologize for not saying goodbye to Cole the previous day; Emily S. Smith (no year), Cole’s sister, writing about business regarding commissioners; A.J. Tewey (1889) writing to explain to Cole why in the Branford case the knife could not have penetrated the “inner table of the skull;” Snow amp; Wooster, Contractors and Builders (1891) writing to apologize for not getting to Cole’s work before winter; and Edgar J. Wells (1890) writing about a case involving the estate of the late Charles H. Brainard. Mrs. Fannie Grimes Camp and the Berlin Iron Bridge Company are given their own folders. Mrs. Camp wrote to Cole numerous times and included are additional letters from Geo. W. Moore amp; Co. about Mrs. Camp’s mortgage loans. Included among the documents relating to the Berlin Iron Bridge Company are questions about the legality of “pooling arrangements;” what to do about John Carlson, who lost his leg in an accident; and a blank deposition form and related court documents.
Box 3 contains the remainder of the documents from 1891-1893. Included are letters from the Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (1892) writing about their Third Annual Dinner; Elder amp; Waite (1891-1892) writing about the Follet case; two letters to Mary J. Dickinson (1892), Cole’s sister, from a pair of banks; Rufus W. Griswold (1892) writing about Mrs. Fannie Grimes Camp; Samuel Huntington (1892) writing to ask Cole to forward a letter to the Judge of Probate for the District of Berlin, signed “With love to Bessie” (Huntington was Cole’s father-in-law). C.R. Johns amp; Co. (1892) writing about Mrs. Fannie Grimes Camp not paying taxes on two lots in Austin, Texas; S.W. Kellog amp; John P. Kellog (1892) writing about the case of Sarah M. Camp vs. Laura E. Pearsall, with court documents included; H.L. Pomeroy (1892) including newspaper clippings; J.W. Russey (1892) writing on a page from The Northwestern Financier; Otto B. Schlutter (1891) asking Cole to take care of a nuisance his neighbor promised to remove but never did; A.W. Scoulle, Architect and Builder (1892) sending rent check to Cole; and Charles Howard Williams (1892) begging Cole not to enter judgment but to wait until the claim can be paid, promising that he has told Cole the truth. Mrs. Fannie Grimes Camp is again given her own folder. It contains several lengthy letters to Cole that often do not appear to be about business, although some mention bills
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Use of the material requires compliance with the Connecticut Historical Society's Research Center regulations.
Camp, Fanny Grimes.
Berlin Iron Bridge Co.
Lawyers -- Connecticut -- Hartford.
Item, Collection Title, Collection number (Box #, Folder #). Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut.
Collection was processed by Robert Johnston in 2008.
EAD Finding Aid created August 2012.