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Mayer-​Bradstreet correspondence

Identifier: MS 3059


The collection contains 42 letters from Charles Mayer and 20 letters from Brantz Mayer to Martha Bradstreet, circa 1831-1869.


  • 1831-1869


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open 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.

Biographical / Historical

Brantz Mayer (1809 - 1879) was born in Baltimore. Like his older brother, Charles, he studied law, and was admitted to the Bar in 1829. In 1844, he founded the Maryland Historical Society, to satisfy his hobby of collecting historical artifacts. He served as a Unionist in the Civil War, earning him the rank of Colonel. He also wrote and published many books throughout his life.

Martha Bradstreet (1780-1871) was the step-​granddaughter of John Bradstreet, Major General of the French and Indian War. She resided most of her life in New York, where she engaged in numerous legal disputes over land and the terms of John Bradstreet’s will. She called upon the aid of attorneys such as the Mayer brothers and Aaron Burr to assist her in these legal battles.

Charles F. Mayer (1795-1864) was born in Baltimore. He served as an attorney in the state of Maryland, as a state Senator from 1831-1835, and later as a Supreme Court Justice. Specifically, he dealt with many cases concerning realty and insurance


0.25 Linear Feet (4 folders)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of David S. Thaler in honor of Jacqueline Smelkinson, 2004.

Related Materials

MS 1574, Mayer papers, 1811-1863

MS 2287, Mayer-Clarke papers, 1809-1879

MS 581, Brantz Mayer papers, 1791-1896

Scope and Contents

The collection contains 42 letters from Charles Mayer and 20 letters from Brantz Mayer to Martha Bradstreet. Most of the letters from Charles Mayer contain legal advice regarding Bradstreet’s disputes over the terms of General John Bradstreet’s will. The letters discuss fees and regulations of their case, which was presented at the Supreme Court. One of the letters in the Charles Mayer/Martha Bradstreet Correspondence folder is written by Eliza Mayer, Charles’ wife, and two are written by their son, Lewis. Most of the letters concern legal procedures, such as in the cases Bradstreet v. Henry Huntington, and Bradstreet v. Potter. Many also briefly mention the welfare of the Mayer family, and significant events in their lives. The letters from Brantz Mayer similarly discuss legal matters and family news. In addition, several ask for autographed notes or letters from Aaron Burr, since Brantz Mayer collected Burr material and he was aware that Martha Bradstreet corresponded regularly with Burr. A few of the letters written in the 1860s discuss the Civil War, in which Brantz Mayer served as a Union soldier. He comments on the cause of the war, abolition, the Confederacy, and nationalism. The collection contains transcriptions of all letters.

Guide to the Mayer-​Bradstreet correspondence
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

  • 2020-03-25: 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