Skip to main content

Leakin-Sioussat papers

Identifier: MS 1497


The collection consists of the papers of George Armistead Leakin (1818-1912), of his daughter Annie Leakin Sioussat (1849-1942), and of her son St. George Leakin Sioussat (1878-1960). The collection consists of 50 boxes and spans the period, 17th century-1960.


  • circa 1650-circa 1960


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.


23.93 Linear Feet (44 full Hollinger boxes; 6 flat boxes )

Language of Materials



Boxes 1-8 deal with the George A. Leakin Papers. Boxes 9-30 with Annie L. Sioussat. Boxes 31-45 with St. George L. Sioussat. Box 46 with Sheppard C. Leakin and William R. Leakin. Boxes 47-50 with miscellaneous documents.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts of St. George Leakin Sioussat and Harold Donaldson Eberlein, 1960 and 1963.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of the papers of George Armistead Leakin (1818-1912), of his daughter Annie Leakin Sioussat (1849-1942), and of her son St. George Leakin Sioussat (1878-1960). Leakin's papers deal with his career as an Episcopal minister in Baltimore. Annie L. Sioussat was an historian, church woman, and reformer. Her papers deal with Maryland colonial history, the Woman's Auxiliary of the Protestant Episcopal Church, the Maryland State Federation of Women's Clubs, the Maryland Society of the Colonial Dames of America, and Civil Service reform. St. George L. Sioussat was an historian and chief of the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress. His papers deal with his teaching career, work at the Library of Congress, and his association with the American Historical Association, the Mississippi Valley Historical Association and the American Philosophical Society.

The collection includes some papers concerning Sheppard C. Leakin (1790-1867), William Ridgely Leakin (1859-1912), the Dobbin and Hoxton families, and land in St. Mary's and Calvert counties in the 17th and 18th century.

The collection consists of 50 boxes and spans the period, 17th century-1960.

Leakin-Sioussat Papers

George Armistead Leakin (1818-1912) was an Episcopal minister, ordained a deacon in 1843 and a priest in 1845. He was Rector of Trinity Church in Baltimore from 1845 until 1887 after which and until his death he did missionary work in public institutions such as the city jail. He also was associated with the Seamen's Mission and did missionary work among the immigrants who moved into the area around Trinity Church in the 1880s.

Leakin's papers (8 boxes) span the period 1826-1913. They largely pertain to his long ministry. There are about 200 manuscripts of sermons given between 1843 and 1903. Also included are notes he jotted down to be used in sermons or concerning his work. These notes are not well organized.

The collection contains about 500 pieces of Leakin's incoming correspondence. There is an interesting series of letters (1842-1845) of about 100 items from Leakin's classmates at the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria which discuss their work at the seminary and after beginning their work in the church. Leakin's most extensive, extant correspondence is with the two Episcopal Bishops of Maryland under whom he served, William R. Whittingham and William Paret. Whittingham's letters from 1840s-1870s contain advice for Leakin as Rector of Trinity Church while the correspondence (1870-1904) with Paret concerns Leakin's missionary work in Baltimore public institutions.

Leakin's family correspondence is fairly detailed for the years he spent away at school, Princeton (1833-1835), and Virginia Theological Seminary (1842-43). There are letters from his mother, Margaret [Dobbin] Leakin, and correspondence (1844-1865) with his wife, Anna [Miller] Leakin, before their marriage while she was in Georgetown and he in Baltimore. Only a few letters exist after their marriage in 1846.

All of Leakin's incoming letters, including those from his family are filed alphabetically. Some of Leakin's outgoing letters, especially to his mother and wife, survived. These are filed after the incoming correspondence as are the few letters Margaret [Dobbin] Leakin and Anna [Miller] Leakin received from persons other than George A. Leakin.

A few of Leakin's diaries are in the collection covering the first year of his ministry (1842-1843) and his last years (1896-1906).

Annie Middleton Leakin Sioussat (1849-1942, nee Leakin; Mrs. Albert Willis Sioussat) was an historian, church woman, and reformer. Her papers (15 boxes) span the period 1864-1941 with the bulk of the material dating from 1900-1933. Her papers include correspondence, mss. writings, speeches, reports, and printed material and cover her interest in the Woman's Auxiliary of the Protestant Episcopal Church, the Maryland State Federation of Women's Clubs, the Maryland Society of the Colonial Dames of America, the Arundell Club, and Civil Service reform.

Mrs. Sioussat's correspondence is rich and complete containing substantive letters on the operation of the various organizations to which she belonged. The letters are her incoming correspondence and are arranged chronologically. The occasional drafts of her replies that survived are also filed chronologically. The undated letters are filed at the end arranged alphabetically by writer.

Sioussat kept most letters concerning her work in the Protestant Episcopal Church in a separate file, but those letters relating the the Protestant Episcopal church in the general correspondence are letters (1920s-1930s) from Arthur B. Kinsolving, Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, and his wife Sally Bruce Kinsoliving, letters (1919-1933) from Alice T. Tiffany, Secretary of the Maryland Woman's Auxiliary of the Protestant Episcopal Church, letters (1911-1929) of Mary Elizabeth Beach, Secretary of the Church Missions Publishing Company in West Hartford, Connecticut, and letters (1892-1920) of Julia C. Emery, Executive Secretary of the Woman's Auxiliary of the Protestant Episcopal Church. The letters of Tiffany, Beach, and Emery in the general correspondence are more personal and detailed about the running of the Woman's Auxiliary than their more official letters to Sioussat in her Woman's Auxiliary papers.

The Maryland Society of the Colonial Dames is well represented in the general correspondence. Of particular interest are the letters (1910-1920) of Sioussat's close friend and Maryland Society President, Emilie McKim Reed, and letters (1910-1920) from Alice W. Garrett. Their letters discuss strategy and the operation of the Maryland Society.

During World War I, Sioussat was connected with various war relief organizations and material on these is found in the correspondence for years 1914-1918. From 1918-1920s Sioussat was active in the Women's Department of the Civil Service Reform Association of Maryland. Her correspondence reflects that interest and includes about 30 letters (1910-1920) from Charles J. Bonaparte discussing the civil service reform movement in Maryland.

In addition to her correspondence, Sioussat collected papers concerning the Woman's Auxiliary of the Protestant Episcopal Church, the Maryland State Federation of Women's Clubs, the Arundell Club, and the Maryland Society of the Colonial Dames of America. Sioussat was Maryland President of the Woman's Auxiliary for nearly 30 years until she resigned in 1930. In addition to the personal correspondence with other Woman's Auxiliary members mentioned above, Sioussat kept a separate file of more official Woman's Auxiliary correspondence spanning the period 1890-1933. There are also copies of miscellaneous speeches by Sioussat on the Woman's Auxiliary, reports on its work, especially missions, and printed material about the Woman's Auxiliary. These papers include some material on an affiliated organization, the Girls' Friendly Society of Maryland. In 1908 Sioussat was a delegate to the Pan-Anglican Congress in England, and a journal of her trip as well as some notes on the Maryland Episcopal delegation to the Jamestown Exposition are included.

The material in Sioussat's papers concerning the Maryland State Federation of Women's Clubs are not related to Mrs. Sioussat's work as an officer in 1921, but cover the period 1912-1916. These papers are incoming correspondence (directed to the Presidents, Elizabeth King Ellicott (d. 1914), Mrs. Edward C. Wilson, and Mrs. Francis Sanderson, and the replies of Executive Secretary, Eleanor M. Sloan). The correspondence reveals the activities of the Maryland State Federation especially its legislative lobbying for public health, scholarships for women college students, domestic education at the Maryland Agricultural College, and women's eligibility as school board members. There are also letters from women's clubs wanting to join the Federation and many include pamphlets explaining their clubs' activities. The Federation papers also include the annual reports, 1914-1915 and 1915-1916 for about twenty of the Federation's member clubs activities.

There are also miscellaneous copies of the Federation's minutes, resolutions, and reports for the years 1912-1916. The Committee Reports deal with Baby Week 1916, conservation, immigration, and a registry for nurses.

Mrs. Sioussat was a member of the Arundell Club. This club originated in the 1890s as a reform organization, but by the 1930s it was largely concerned with providing a meeting place and lecture series for its members and renting its rooms to like-minded organizations. The Arundell Club papers in this collection do not relate directly to Mrs. Sioussat. They date largely from 1928-1933 and deal with building maintenance, room rentals, and the 1933 lecture series.

Mrs. Sioussat appears to have been most active in the Maryland Society of the Colonial Dames of America, and the papers of this organization deal with her activities. She was the historian for the Maryland Society, and there are many of her monthly reports (1909-1930s) on the Society's historical research and preservation activities. There are also some speeches by Colonial Dames and miscellaneous resolutions, minutes, and articles on Maryland history written by Colonial Dames. The collection includes five boxes of notes and notebooks on Maryland Colonial history and genealogy by Sioussat, presumably gathered for her work in the Colonial Dames including her two books, Old Baltimore (1931) and Old Manors in Colonial Maryland (1911). Some of the genealogical material was compiled by Sioussat's predecessor as historian of the Colonial Dames, Mary W. Griffith (Mrs. Monte Griffith).

The collection includes material concerning Sioussat's other interests including the American Historical Association, the English Speaking Union, Civil Service Reform, and the Maryland Forestry Association.

The few personal papers in the collection are diaries (1866-1924, n.d. 16 vols.), reminiscences of her childhood, and some biographical material.

The papers of St. George Leakin Sioussat (1878-1960) relate to his career as historian and chief of the Manuscripts Division at the Library of Congress. The papers are largely his correspondence with some of his writings, speeches, and research notes.

Sioussat's correspondence is rich and detailed covering his work as a professor at the University of the South (1904-1911); Vanderbilt University (1911-1917), Brown University (1917-1920), and the University of Pennsylvania (1920-1938); his participation in the AHA; his presidency (1917) of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association; Editorship of the Tennessee Historical Magazine (1915-1917); his work as Chief of the Manuscripts Division at the Library of Congress (1938-1948); and his participation in the American Philosophical Society. The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent and copies of Sioussat's replies are filed with the incoming letters.

The earliest correspondence deals with his teaching career in the South and his editing of the Tennessee Historical Magazine. Material on this period are from the University of the South, Vanderbilt University, Stephen B. Weeks (U.S. Department of Education), Archibald Henderson (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) and Philip Hamer. Material on his career at Brown University is found in the letters of the University's president, W.H.P. Faunce. The correspondence of E.P. Cheyney, Roy and Jeanette Nichols, Richard Shryock, Arthur P. Whitaker, and the University of Pennsylvania Faculty Research Council deal with Sioussat's years at the University of Pennsylvania.

Most of Sioussat's correspondence as Chief of the Manuscripts Division at the Library of Congress appears to have remained at the Library of Congress. The bulk of his material in this collection is carbon copies of his reports on the division (found in the Subject File).

There is much correspondence relating to Sioussat's activities outside of his professional duties. He took an active part in the American Historical Association from ca. 1908-1930s and this is revealed in his voluminous correspondence with J. Franklin Jameson and Waldo Gifford Leland. Also, in 1924, he was AHA Program Chairman, and there is much correspondence relating to soliciting and choosing papers. Sioussat also corresponded with historian Justin H. Smith, who was chairman of the AHA Historical Manuscripts Commission (1917-1923), but most of the extensive Smith-Sioussat correspondence is of a personal nature. In addition to the AHA, Sioussat was an active member of the Mississippi Valley Historical Association. He participated in its survey (1911) of the certification of history teachers, and there is correspondence about the survey from Andrew McLaughlin and Frederic L. Paxson. The letters of Evarts B. Greene and A.E. McKinley discuss methods of teaching history in general. Papers relating to Sioussat's presidency (1917) of the MVHA are filed under Mississippi Valley Historical Association, and some are found in the correspondence of the Secretary-Treasurer, Clara Paine and Clarence W. Alvord.

Sioussat was also active in his alma mater (Johns Hopkins University). He was active in the Alumni Council. A major interest of the Council in the period 1912-1914 was how to attract students from the Southern states. The letters of John M. McBryde, Jr., Edward F. Buckner, John H. Latan, Ira Remsen, and George L. Radcliffe discuss this and other Johns Hopkins matters.

While at the University of Pennsylvania, Sioussat became a member (1928) of the American Philosophical Society. His participation in this Society lasted until his death. He was particularly active on the Library Committee and his correspondence contains much about this committee. The letters of Luther P. Eisenhart, Gertrude D. Hess, Julia A. Noonan, William J. Robbins, Alban Hoopes, William E. Lingelbach, Edwin Conlin, and Richard Shryock all touch on Sioussat's APS acrivities. In addition there are copies of Library Committee Reports and APS publications in the Subject File.

Much of Sioussat's correspondence was with his colleagues who wrote about their teaching experiences, job opportunities, and research. Among these were I.J. Cox (Northwestern University), Beverly Bond, Jr. (University of Cinncinati), William E. Dodd (University of Chicago), William S. Jenkins (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), A.T. Volwiler (Wittenberg College), C.H. Van Tyne (University of Michigan), Arthur P. Whitaker (Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania), Frederic L. Paxson (University of Wisconsin), and W.L. Fleming (Louisiana State University).

Non-teaching colleagues included Samuel F. Bemis (Lives of the Secretaries of State), Julian Boyd (Papers of Thomas Jefferson), Waldo Gifford Leland (American Council of Learned Societies), Max Farrand (Henry E. Huntington Library), and Clinton Rogers Woodruff (National Municipal League) who discussed Nashville's municipal development with Sioussat.

For his own research in American history Sioussat corresponded with various research institutions, and there is much correspondence from his predecessors at the Library of Congress including Gaillard Hunt, J.C. Fitzpatrick, J. Franklin Jameson, and Thomas P. Martin.

The Subject File has some of Sioussat's research notes especially those on the organization of the American Philosophical Society and Benjamin Franklin.

The last group of correspondents are several of Sioussat's former students, including H.M. Henry, Donald McMurry, C. Gregg Singer, and Mother Kathryn Sullivan. Their letters discuss job-hunting and publication of their works. Sullivan's correspondence (1933-1936) is especially detailed concerning the publication of her thesis.

Sioussat's writings contained in the collection are largely book reviews of historical works and a few articles. There are also several of his speeches. He also kept a sample of notes and examinations he used in his history classes at the University of Pennsylvania (1930) and a few of his students' papers from a Sociology class at the University of the South (1907).

The Subject File contains reports by Sioussat on the American Philosophical Society Library and the Library of Congress Manuscript Division. There are also research notes on the organization of the APS and on Benjamin Franklin as well as biographical material on Sioussat, newspaper clippings, and photographs.

Sheppard Church Leakin was a soldier, banker, and mayor of Baltimore, 1838-40. His papers, ca. 100 items, deal with the War of 1812 in Baltimore and Maryland politics in the 1830s. Includes letters from Peter Cooper, Henry Clay, and Reverdy Johnson.

William Ridgely Leakin (1859-1912) was the son of George A. Leakin and lawyer in Savannah, Georgia, 1880s-1917. His papers (ca. 70 items) are largely letters to his father and sisters (Margaret Leakin and Annie L. Sioussat) concerning his father's estate. Includes several articles on Georgia history and a scrapbook kept by William.

Both Annie L. Sioussat and her son St. George were interested in their family genealogy. In addition to the genealogical notes they compiled, they collected original family letters. The collection includes some Dobbin family letters (1789-1883), Hoxton family letters (1830s-1902), including those of Mrs. Sioussat's cousin, Eliza Hoxton Magruder, and Semmes family letters, 1800-1822. There are also a group of unrelated Civil War letters pertaining to Robert B. McKim. Among the original manuscripts in the collection are two boxes of land deeds and papers called the Somervell papers which pertain to land in St. Mary's and Calvert counties in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Guide to the Leakin-Sioussat papers
Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2019-10-29: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Mallory Herberger.

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States