Bullitt-Berry-Hopson family papers

Abstract

The Bullitt-Berry-Hopson family papers (dated 1823-1988, bulk 1823-1911; 1.7 cubic feet; 4 boxes) comprise correspondence, ephemera, photographs, and family history papers that document the extended family of Dr. Owen G. and Virginia Berry Bullitt of Kentucky.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Bullitt-Berry-Hopson family papers
Extent
1.7 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Domestic Life -- United States
Family archives -- Kentucky -- Lexington.
Letters.
African Americans -- Kentucky -- Lexington
Arrangement
Collection is arranged by format.
Finding Aid Author
Carol Street
Preferred Citation
2009ms035 : [identification of item], Bullitt-Berry-Hopson family papers, 1823-1988, bulk 1823-1911, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Virginia Berry (1830-1914) was the oldest child of Henry King Berry (1808-1885) and Mary Catherine Taylor (1811-1892). Virginia lived in the Lexington-Versailles area of Kentucky with her seven sisters and two brothers until her marriage to Dr. Owen Gwathmey Bullitt in 1848. Owen Bullitt (1815-1861) also also came from a large family, with six sisters and five brothers, born to Thomas Washington Bullitt (1777-1823) and Diana Moore Gwathmey (1782-1853). Diana Moore Gwathmey Bullitt was related to George Rogers Clark.
Virginia and Owen Bullitt had ten children, although four of them died at very young ages. The last child, Lilly Owen Bullitt was named after her father, who died before her birth in 1861. The family had considerable wealth that provided for boarding school education for all of the children and for travel in the U.S. and abroad.
The family sided with the Confederacy during the Civil War. At least two siblings of Virginia and Owen fought for the South: Alexander Clark Bullitt, who was held as a prisoner of war in Ohio, and Anderson Berry, who was injured.
After Owen's death in 1861, Virginia and her children moved to Lexington. Financial considerations caused daughter Mary Katherine Bullitt, to go to work, first as a newspaper reporter and then as Lexington's first librarian at the the city's new free library. By all accounts, she loved working as a librarian and remained there until her death from cancer in 1911.
The Hopson family lived in Lexington and/or Paris, Kentucky, from the 1830s to the early 1900s. It is likely they lived in what is now called the Wallis House in Paris, Kentucky, built in 1850. Henry Hopson and Catharine Cooke were married in 1830 in Lexington. Their son, Joseph Henry Hopson, married Nannie Clarke Bullitt in 1883 in Lexington. Their daughter, Katharine Temple Hopson, married Robert Browning Hamilton in 1910 in Lexington, Ky. Robert and Katharine Hamilton's daughter, Mary Virginia Hamilton, was the poet Virginia Adair (1913-2004).
Scope and Content
The Bullitt-Berry-Hopson family papers (dated dated 1823-1988, bulk 1825-1911; 1.7 cubic feet; 4 boxes) comprise correspondence, ephemera, photographs, and family history papers that document the extended family of Dr. Owen G. and Virginia Berry Bullitt of Kentucky.
The letters depict domestic life for a large, upper-middle class family in Kentucky during the middle of the 19th century. Many of the letters are from female relatives to other female relatives and describe travel, children, cooking, holiday celebrations, and other aspects of domestic life. Some letters reflect business ventures such as property or Dr. Bullitt's medical practice.
The majority of letters are related to Virginia Berry Bullitt. There are two folders of letters from her husband during his travels as well as letters from her numerous sisters, nieces, nephews, and cousins. Owen's sister, Diana Gwathmey Bullitt Kearny (1821-1906), known to all as Die, was a frequent letter writer to the Bullitts and their children.
The Bullitt and Berry families had at least two members of their family enlisted in the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy. Her cousin W. Bullitt wrote letters to Virginia during his time as a prisoner of war in the Ohio State Penitentiary. Her brother Anderson Berry (1839-1921) was was also a prisoner of war and sent Virginia letters from Fort Delaware, Ohio State Penitentiary, and Camp Chase Prison.
A significant portion of the collection contains correspondence to Mary Katherine Bullitt, Virginia and Owen's daughter, from James Lane Allen, a successful author from Lexington, who was then living in New York City. The letters begin in 1895 and continue until her death in 1911. Transcripts of these letters are available in the collection.
As in many families, nicknames are frequently employed, many names are recycled through generations, and letters are addressed very informally. Much care has been taken to determine the intended recipient. For Virginia Berry Bullitt, Owen G. Bullitt, and Mary Katherine, who received the most letters in the collection, the letters are sorted by their names and who sent it to them. For people who appear infrequently in the collection, they may only have a folder for the correspondence sent to and from them. As is noted in the family history papers, a relative destroyed an entire trunk of letters, so the letters give a glimpse into the lives of the family members, but do not contain complete sets of letters.
The collection also contains 25 photographs of Owen and Virginia Bullitt; their children, particularly Mary Katherine Bullitt, Ann Clark Bullitt, and post mortem photographs of Diana Temple Bullitt, who died when she was young; and members of the Hopson family. There are painted photographic portraits of Owen's parents, Thomas Washington and Diana Gwathmey Bullitt. Other photographs depict the Hopson family, which descended from Ann Clark Bullitt Hopson. Of particular note is the crystoleum photograph of Ann Clark Bullitt.
There are numerous recollections by Bullitt and Berry descendants that date from the 1980s and provide colorful stories about the family. The collection also contains genealogical and historical research done by later members of the families.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Access Collection is open to researchers by appointment
Use Restrictions
The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

Contents of the Collection

Correspondence, 1823-1979, undated

Atkinson family correspondence, circa 1859

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Berry, Henry King correspondence, receipts, clippings, telegraph, 1861-1885

  • Box 1, folder 2
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Bullitt, Ann Clark correspondence, 1859

  • Box 1, folder 3
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Bullitt, Ferdinand B. to parents regarding trip to Bogota, Colombia, 1823

  • Box 1, folder 4
This folder also includes a later, undated letter from Hebe Craig to Katharine T. Hamilton, which encloses the Ferdinand Bullitt letter from Bogota.
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Bullitt, Henry Berry correspondence, Kentucky Military Institute cadet card, 1865-1867

  • Box 1, folder 5
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Bullitt, Lilly Owen correspondence, circa 1875

  • Box 1, folder 6
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Bullitt, Lizzie correspondence, undated

  • Box 1, folder 7
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Bullitt, Mary Katherine correspondence, 1864-1979

Bullitt, Mary Katherine from James Lane Allen (author), 1895-1911

  • Box 1, folder 8-15
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Bullitt, Mary Katherine from James Lane Allen letter transcripts, undated

  • Box 1, folder 16-17
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Bullitt, Mary Katherine correspondence, 1864-1911

  • Box 1, folder 18
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Bullitt, Mary Katherine from unidentified, undated

  • Box 1, folder 19
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Bullitt, Mary Katherine from Nancy Bullitt, undated

  • Box 1, folder 20
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Bullitt, Mary Katherine from Virginia Berry Bullitt (mother), 1875

  • Box 1, folder 21
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Bullitt, Mary Katherine from Diana G. Bullitt Kearny, undated

  • Box 1, folder 22
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Bullitt, Mary Katherine condolences from her class regarding the death of her sister, Lilly Owen Bullitt, 1876

  • Box 1, folder 23
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Bullitt, Mary Katherine correspondence, remembrances, clippings concerning her death, 1911-1979

  • Box 1, folder 24
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Bullitt, Owen Gwathmey correspondence, 1825-1860

Bullitt, Owen Gwathmey correspondence , 1841-1860

  • Box 2, folder 1
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Bullitt, Owen Gwathmey business correspondence, 1857-1860

  • Box 2, folder 2
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Bullitt, Owen Gwathmey from nieces, nephews, 1850-1860

  • Box 2, folder 3
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Bullitt, Owen Gwathmey from siblings, 1825-1860

  • Box 2, folder 4
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Bullitt, Owen Gwathmey from Bullitt family, 1859-1860

  • Box 2, folder 5
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Bullitt, Owen Gwathmey from Virginia Berry Bullitt (wife), 1859

  • Box 2, folder 6
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Bullitt, Owen Gwathmey from Diana G. Bullitt Kearny , undated

  • Box 2, folder 7
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Bullitt, Owen Gwathmey with Frederick de Kantzow, 1841-1853

  • Box 2, folder 8
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Bullitt, Owen Gwathmey from Mary Ann Bullitt Steuart, 1854-1860

  • Box 2, folder 9
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Bullitt, Virginia Berry correspondence, 1848-1911

Bullitt, Virginia Berry from Berry family, 1854-1866

  • Box 2, folder 10
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Bullitt, Virginia Berry from Bullitt and Berry cousins, 1857-1911

  • Box 2, folder 11
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Bullitt, Virginia Berry from children, 1863-1876

  • Box 2, folder 12
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Bullitt, Virginia Berry from nieces and nephews, 1859-1867

  • Box 2, folder 13-14
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Bullitt, Virginia Berry from Anderson Berry, held at Ohio Penitentiary, Fort Delaware, and Camp Chase Prison, 1863-1865

  • Box 2, folder 15
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Bullitt, Virginia Berry from Henry King Berry (father), 1849-1861

  • Box 2, folder 16
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Bullitt, Virginia Berry from Henry B. Bullitt (son), 1865-1868

  • Box 2, folder 17
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Bullitt, Virginia Berry from Owen G. Bullitt (husband), 1848-1859

  • Box 2, folder 18-19
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Bullitt, Virginia Berry from W. Bullitt, prisoner of war at Ohio Penitentiary and Philadelphia martial barracks, 1863-1865

  • Box 2, folder 20
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Bullitt, Virginia Berry from Eloise Bullitt de Kantzo, 1848

  • Box 2, folder 21
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Bullitt, Virginia Berry from Lucy Johnson, 1856-1866

  • Box 2, folder 22
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Bullitt, Virginia Berry from W. H. Jones (attorney), 1861-1866

  • Box 2, folder 23
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Bullitt, Virginia Berry from Diana G. Bullitt Kearny, undated

  • Box 2, folder 24
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Bullitt, Virginia Berry from G. F. Robb, 1862-1885

  • Box 2, folder 25
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Bullitt, Virginia Berry from Mary Ann Bullitt Steuart, 1859-1861

  • Box 2, folder 26
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Bullitt, Virginia Berry business correspondence, receipts, promotional material, 1864-1880

  • Box 2, folder 27
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Bullitt, Virginia Berry from unidentified, includes poem dedicated to her, 1854-1863

  • Box 2, folder 28
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De Kantzo, Frederick William correspondence , undated

  • Box 3, folder 1
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Johnson, Lucy correspondence, 1861

  • Box 3, folder 2
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Kearny, Diana Gwathmey Bullitt from Owen G. Bullitt, 1842-1858

  • Box 3, folder 3
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Kearny, Diana Gwathmey Bullitt correspondence, undated

  • Box 3, folder 4
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Kearny, Diana Gwathmey Bullitt from family, 1860-1875

  • Box 3, folder 5
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Kearny family correspondence, 1860-1861

  • Box 3, folder 6
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Steuart, Mary Ann Bullitt correspondence, circa 1857

  • Box 3, folder 7
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Unidentified correspondence, 1856-1889

  • Box 3, folder 8
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Bullitt family receipts and accounts, 1858-1859

  • Box 3, folder 9
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Recipes for soda ash soap and medicine for a child, undated

  • Box 3, folder 10
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Photographs, 1840s-1910, undated

Bullitt, Diana Gwathmey painted photograph, undated

  • Box 4, item 1
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Bullitt, Diana Gwathmey photograph , undated

  • Box 4, item 2
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Bullitt, Thomas Washington photograph, undated

  • Box 4, item 3
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Bullitt, Dr. Owen Gwathmey photograph, undated

  • Box 4, item 4
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Bullitt, Virginia Berry photograph, undated

  • Box 4, item 5
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de Kantzow, Eloise Bullitt tintype photograph, undated

  • Box 4, item 6
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Bullitt, Virginia Berry daguerreotype portrait , undated

  • Box 4, item 7
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Bullitt, Virginia Berry tintype photograph, undated

  • Box 4, item 8
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Bullitt, Dr. Owen Gwathmey painted portrait, undated

  • Box 4, item 9
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Kearny, Diana Bullitt painted portrait reproduction, undated

  • Box 3, folder 14
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Bullitt, Owen G. and Virginia B. family daguerreotype, undated

  • Box 4, item 11
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Bullitt, Diana Temple (likely) post-mortem daguerreotypes (2), 1853

  • Box 4, item 12-13
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Bullitt, Mary Katherine full-length portrait, undated

  • Box 3, folder 14
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Bullitt, Mary Katherine photograph, undated

  • Box 4, item 15
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Hopson, Ann Nannie Clark Bullitt child portrait tintype, undated

  • Box 4, item 16A
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Hopson, Ann Nannie Clark Bullitt child portrait on card, undated

  • Box 4, item 16B
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Hopson, Ann Nannie Clark Bullitt portrait crystoleum , undated

  • Box 4, item 17
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Bullitt, Virginia Berry; Joseph Henry Hopson; Ann Nannie Clark Bullitt Hopson; Mary Katherine Bullitt; Katharine Temple Hopson; Sally the Cook; Jumbo the dog in front of Virginia Bullitt's residence, corner of Clay and Central Avenue, Lexington, Ky., 1885

  • Box 3, folder 14
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Hopson, Ann Nannie Clark; ; Rose Gamble; Sally the Cook in front of 642 Central Avenue, Lexington, Ky. , undated

  • Box 3, folder 14
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Hopson, Catherine Eston Cooke daguerreotype, undated

  • Box 4, item 20
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Hopson, Stephen Cooke and Joseph Henry Hopson ambrotype, undated

  • Box 4, item 21
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Hopson, Joseph Henry encased, small, oval photograph, undated

  • Box 4, item 22
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Hopson, Charlotte Armstrong painted photographic portrait, undated

  • Box 4, item 23
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Hopson, Mary Susan painted photographic portrait, undated

  • Box 4, item 24
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Allen, James Lane photographic portrait, undated

  • Box 3, folder 14
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Family history, 1855-1988, undated

Clippings for Bullitt-Berry-Hopson family obituaries, Kearny Castle, Qwathmey-Grayson House, Philip Kearny scandal, circa 1855-circa 1960

  • Box 3, folder 11
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Family genealogy research papers, transcripts of selected letters, 1988, undated

  • Box 3, folder 12-13
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Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

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