Joseph L. Tillinghast Papers
Lawyer and U.S. Representative, of Providence, R.I.
Size: 0.25 linear feet
Catalog number: MSS 963
Processed by: Rick Stattler, November 2001
©Rhode Island Historical Society
Joseph Leonard Tillinghast (1791-1844) was born in Taunton, Massachusetts, but was a resident of Providence for most of his life. He received his M.A. from Brown University in 1819. He practiced law for many years and was a member of the House of Representatives in the General Assembly, serving as Speaker of the House from May 1829 to October 1832. He was a Whig U.S. Representative from Rhode Island from 1837 through 1843. He died in Providence on December 30, 1844.
Tillinghast married Rebecca Power, daughter of Nicholas. They had a son, Nicholas P. Tillinghast (1817-1869), who became an Episcopal clergyman; a daughter, Mary Anna (1826-1918), who married Truxton D. Beale; and another daughter, Rebecca, who married Charles Willing.
Rogers, L.E., ed. Biographical Cyclopedia of Representative Men of Rhode Island (Providence, R.I.: National Biographical Publishing Co., 1881).
Tillinghast, Rose C. The Tillinghast Family of Rhode Island 1560-1971. Published by the author, 1972.
Return to top
Scope and content:
This collection consists mostly of letters written to Tillinghast while he served as U.S. Representative from 1837 to 1843. The content is a fairly even mixture of politics, family, and legal matters. Also included are two folders of his daughter Rebecca's family correspondence, and two folders of miscellaneous congressional notes.
Return to top
This collection has been gathered from many different sources, most of which have been identified. The letters received by Rebecca Willing are probably the "correspondence of the Joseph L. Tillinghast family" purchased from the American Library service in 1950. 38 letters received by Joseph between 1837 and 1842 were purchased from William Wheeler at an unknown date. A few items came in through Mrs. Joseph W. Greene Jr. in 1974. 20 letters received between 1812 and 1841 were purchased from the Manuscript Company of Springfield in 1980. Three letters from Joseph to daughter Rebecca were purchased from P.T. Conley in 1972.
There are also many items whose provenance is unknown, including the Congressional notes, and several other miscellaneous documents received.
1818.104.22.168- Tillinghast, C.F. Gift of "a package of manuscripts and printed papers formerly belonging to Joseph L. Tillinghast, among which are sundry letters to the Library Committee of Congress."
1885.13.2 Knight, Jabez C. Gift of letter copy to Henry Clay, 10/12/1833
1886.5 Parsons, C.W. Gift of a letter, possibly to William A. Hoppin, 10/12/1833
1950.34.1- Amer. Library Service Purchase of "Correspondence of family" (probably letters from wife and daughter)
1967.82 Hoag, Paul F. Purchase of letter to Secretary of Navy Upshur, 2/8/1842
1972.79.1-3 Conley, Patrick T. Purchase of three letters to Rebecca Tillinghast Willing
1922.214.171.124-5 Greene, Mrs. J.W. Gift of letter from Stephen Randall, 4/7/1838.
1975.79.1-39 Wheeler, William Purchase of 39 letters dated 1837-1842.
1980.150.1-20 Manuscripts Co. of Springfield Purchase of 20 letters received, 1812-1841.
19126.96.36.199-2 Peterson, Scott Purchase of letters dated 8/3/1831 and 9/10/1837.
2001.96 Strader, John Purchase of letter dated 6/16/1838.
Most of these gifts and purchases were originally treated as separate collections until 1995, when MSS 963 was formed.
Return to top
Folder 1. Correspondence, 1812-1829
1812/01/21 Tillinghast, Paris, of Fayetteville. Family news from cousin.
1817/06/25 Sedgewick, R., of New York. Cases of Sprague and Potter.
1820/03/20 West, Richardson & Co. of Boston. Libel case.
1826/05/26 Fairbanks, J., of Boston. Note against A. Rogers.
1827/11/27 Bailey, John, of Washington. Custom House appointment.
1828/10/28 ---?, John, of Whitehall, N.Y. Mr. Titus' bail money.
1829/04/27 Kramer & Co. of Boston. Demand payment from client.
1829/05/25 Richmond, J.R., of Bristol. Case of Margand vs. DeWolf.
Folder 2. Correspondence, 1831-1837
1831/08/03 Putnam, Aaron, of Owego, N.Y. Estates of J.B. Mason and Taft Balcom.
1831/09/21 Dreyfous, Simeon, of Philadelphia. Case against G & A Richmond, jewelers.
1831/11/01 Pratt, Peter, of Providence. New city charter, method of electing aldermen, and the effect of a strong city government in preventing riots.
1833/10/12 Letter to Henry Clay (retained copy) offering support and inviting visit, on behalf of a Clay committee. With two copies of the committee's resolutions.
1833/12/13 White, N. & S., of New York. John Hutchins' note.
1834/03/11 Eyers?, William, of Boston. Factory slow, cannot pay.
1837/06/17 Billings, N. & W.W., of New London, Conn. Robinson, Brown & Co. debt.
1837/09/10 Tillinghast, Nicholas P., of Providence. Offered tutor post at Geneva College.
1837/09/15 Ames, Samuel, of Providence. Assistance in court case.
1837/09/23 Gordon, Thomas F., of Philadelphia. Seeking to index Congressional records. Includes copy of 9/30/1837 response from Tillinghast.
1837/10/03 Anonymous, of Providence. Requesting an inquiry into Federal spending.
1837/10/11 Watson, William R., of Providence. Opposes sub-treasury system.
Folder 3. Correspondence, 1838 (none from 1839)
1838/02/22 Balch, Benjamin, of New York. Two printed circulars re marine insurance.
1838/03/31 Arnold, James, of Providence. Pension application.
1838/04/07 Randall, Stephen, of North Providence. Olney Winsor pension.
1838/04/14 Tillinghast, Mary A., of Prov. (daughter). School; request to frank letter.
1838/04/30 Tillinghast, Nicholas P., in Society Hill. Birth of child, politics.
1838/05/10 Arnold, Lyman, of Smithfield. Pension application of grandmother Phebe Peck, widow of George.
1838/05/11 Blodgett, William, of Providence. Tariffs.
1838/06/16 Crapo, Philip, of Providence. Case not continued.
1838/06/16 Blodgett, W.P. of Providence. Short social note.
1838/06/21 Rawson, Samuel, of Providence. Pension of mother Elizabeth Rawson.
1838/12/15 Ashley, Joseph, of Providence. Seeking legal counsel.
Folder 4. Correspondence, 1840
1840/01/12 Chapin, S., of Providence. Father's Revolutionary service.
1840/01/27 Anthony, Henry B., of Providence. Politics.
1840/02/02 Davenport, Gideon, of Providence. Pension for widowed mother; politics.
1840/02/18 Anthony, Henry B., of Providence. Politics.
1840/02/29 Anthony, Henry B., of Providence. Politics. Whig headquarters.
1840/02/29 Anthony, John G., of Cincinnati. Requests public topographical documents.
1840/03/05 Tillinghast, N.P. Dated "Theo. Sem.", Alexandria. Thanks for father franking so many catalogues.
1840/03/10 Newcomb. Mrs. R., of Providence. Navy pension bill; his family's arrival.
1840/03/18 Mallett, E.J., of Providence. Mailbox rental.
1840/03/26 Anthony, H.B., of Providence. "I wish Congress would adjourn. I am afraid they will get up a war if they keep together, and that is the only thing in my opinion which can elect Van Buren."
1840/03/31 Blodgett, William, of Providence. Whig convention, Gov. King, liberty pole and log cabin in Providence, "loco focos".
1840/04/11 Smith, William H., of Providence. Politics; illness of Tillinghast's mother.
1840/04/16 Hazard, Isaac P., of Providence. Recent parade in Providence, etc.
1840/04/20 Randall, Mowry, of Providence. Patent for power loom picker.
1840/04/21 Anthony, Henry B., of Providence. Ohio politics; is Harrison's letter forgery?
1840/04/21 Chapin, S., of Providence. Passage of law in house.
1840/04/24 Chapin, S., of Providence. Lobbying.
1840/04/25 Chapin, S., of Providence. Senator Pierce dislikes Chapin.
1840/04/27 Young, Samuel, of Providence. French spoliation claims.
1840/05/04 Randall, Mowry, of Providence. Thanks for help in patent application.
Folder 5. Correspondence, 1841-1843
1841/09/09 Holden, Henry, of Providence. Seeks appointment in Santo Domingo, Haiti
1841/12/08 Blodgett, William, of Providence. Power estate.
1841/12/18 Brown, Samuel, of Naval Office, District of Providence. Accounts due Brown from the U.S.
1841/12/20 Hazard, Samuel, of Philadelphia. Apologizes for mistake in mail.
1842/01/04 Waterman, Richard, of Providence. Landscaping; linseed oil; tariffs on paper.
1842/02/08 Letter to A.P. Upshur, recommending J.H. Creighton for commission.
1842/12/16 Templeman, George, of Washington. Requests old copies of U.S. laws.
1843/01/16 Sparks, Jared, of Cambridge. Suggests placing Maryland Gazette at library.
Folder 6. Correspondence, undated, from wife and daughters
Folder 7. Congressional documents (notes, etc.), 1832-1841.
Including 1836 resolution re fortifications at Brenton Point
Folder 8. Congressional documents, 1842-1843, re publication of Synopsis of the Cruise of the U.S. Exploring Expedition... by Charles Wilkes. Including letters as follows:
1842/01/19 Abert, J.J. Recommends engraver
1843/02/09 Perry, Matthew C., of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Recommends John C. Jay.
1843/02/14 Pickering, Charles, of Washington. Summarizes work of expedition.
Undated Woodbridge, William. Encloses copy of work.
Folder 9. Miscellaneous:
1817 Legal case of James B. Mason vs. Henry Mansfield
1833, 1834 Two receipts from George Baker by Nathan Hale for silver
Folder 10. Rebecca (Tillinghast) Willing. Correspondence, 1834-1842 and undated, from family.
Folder 11. Rebecca (Tillinghast) Willing. Correspondence, undated, from father J.L. Tillinghast
Return to top
Ames, Samuel, 1806-1865
Anthony, Henry B., 1815-1884
Anthony, John G., 1804-1877
Beale, Mary A. (Tillinghast), 1826-1918
Clay, Henry, 1777-1852
Creighton, James H.
Hazard, Isaac P., 1794-1879
Mallett, Edward J., 1797-
Mason, James Brown, 1775-1819
Newcomb. Mrs. R.
Perry, Matthew C., 1794-1858
Pickering, Charles, 1805-1878
Providence, R.I. - Politics and government
Randall, Stephen, 1793-1874
Rhode Island - Politics and government
Smith, William H., 1784-1860
Snowtown Riot, 1831
Sparks, Jared, 1789-1866
Tillinghast, Nicholas P., 1817-1869
Tillinghast, Mary A., 1826-1918
United States - Politics and government
Upshur, Abel P., 1791-1844.
Watson, William R., 1799-1864
Wilkes, Charles, 1798-1877
Willing, Rebecca (Tillinghast)
Winsor, Olney, 1753-1837
Woodbridge, William, 1780-1861
End of finding aid - return to top