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James Howard McHenry papers

Identifier: MS 0544


This collection contains the James Howard McHenry papers, dated 1810-1885. The vast majority of the collection is composed of family and business correspondence, but there are also scrapbooks, clippings, and ledgers.


  • 1810-1885


Conditions Governing Access

Open to the public without restrictions.

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.


2.09 Linear Feet (4 full Hollinger boxes; 2 half Hollinger boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts of Mrs. Gaylord Lee Clark, William B. Marye, and Mrs. Gaylord Lee Clark in March 1942, January 1945, and July 1963.

Related Materials

MS 544.1, James Howard McHenry journals, 1836-1878

MS 544.2, James Howard McHenry account books, 1843-1901

Scope and Contents

The collection primarily contains the correspondence of James Howard McHenry (1820-1888) from 1849-1885 (circa 1000 items), which includes both incoming family and business letters as well as some drafts of McHenry's replies. The letters are largely from the period 1867-1878. The business letters are mainly about his farm "Sudbrook" in Pikesville, Maryland and the livestock he bred and judged. His frequent business correspondents include Henry White in Paris, 1868-1869; Thomas H. Buckler in Baltimore, 1867-1868; Thomas Hill writing about McHenry's real estate in Baltimore, 1867-1876; and Thomas J. Hand discussing cattle breeding, 1868-1878. His family correspondents include his wife, Sarah (Cary) McHenry; their son, Wilson Cary McHenry, writing from the Pennsylvania Military Academy in West Chester, Pennsylvania during 1875-1876 and from Yale University in 1876-1878; his uncle, Charles Howard, writing from Fort Warren prison during the Civil War, 1861-1862; and his aunts, Sophia McHenry in Baltimore and Monmouth in the 1860s and Sophia C. Read in Baltimore, in the 1860s. The correspondence also contains a few letters written to Sarah (Cary) McHenry from her friends, 1863-1878.

The collection also includes three scrapbooks kept by McHenry with clippings on farming (volume 1), clippings on politics and the Civil War (volume 2), passports and one commonplace book (volume 3). A commonplace book, 1817-1819, is attributed to McHenry's mother, Juliana Howard McHenry, and there is one unidentified account book from the 1860s. McHenry's memoranda and receipts from the 1860s-1880s, pertaining to his farm and livestock, are included in the collection as well.

Additionally, there are two letters/essays written by McHenry's grandfather James McHenry (1753-1816) and a copy of his estate inventory. I

Guide to the James Howard McHenry papers
Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2019-08-06: 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