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MSS 197Roberts, Mary Kendall Greene, 1899-1992The Mary K. Roberts Collection of Kendall and Greene Family Papers, 1811-1986
Gallaudet University Archives
Descriptive SummaryRepository: Gallaudet University ArchivesCall No.: MSS 197Creator: Roberts, Mary Kendall Greene, 1899-1992Title: The Mary K. Roberts Collection of Kendall and Greene Family Papers, 1811-1986Quantity: 1.25 linear feet (2 ½ document boxes) Abstract: A collection of historical family letters, genealogical research, and family photographs from the Kendall and Greene families.Note: Administrative InformationAcquisition Information: After accumulation of these papers by Ms. Roberts, they were left to her daughter, Silvia Roberts Lowrey. Following Ms. Lowrey's death, the papers were inherited and donated to Gallaudet University by Kendall descendants Tricia Lowrey Lippert, Mary Rose, and Cindie Marx and her daughter Cecily. Processed By: Christopher Shea, May 2014. Processing Note: Some items have been repaired with yellowed tape that will require conservator treatment. This includes items in the following boxes and folders: (box 1) 7, 8, 36, 37, 40, 41, 62; (box 2) 7, 17, 18; (box 3) Portraits: Greene, Walter Hamilton. Conditions on Use and Access: This collection is open to the public with no restrictions. Photocopies may be made for scholarly research.Related Material in the Archives: Photographs· Amos Kendall and family at the grave of John Calvin. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Portraits· Brady, Mathew B. Full figure pose of Amos Kendall sitting and reading "Richmond Enquirer." Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Portraits· Fenderich, Charles. An engraving of Amos Kendall. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Portraits· Guillauma, Louis Mathieu Durcer. Half figure pose of Amos Kendall in an oil portrait. Gallaudet Univeristy Archives, call number: Portraits· Half figure pose of Amos Kendall standing, holding an envelope resting on a book. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Portraits· Half-length portrait, three-quarters to left of Amos Kendall. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Portraits· Head and shoulder pose of Amos Kendall, taken between 1864 and 1865. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Portraits· Higgins, Francis C. Head and shoulder portrait of Amos Kendall as Postmaster General [...] Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Portraits· Smith, Henry W. Head and shoulder pose of Amos Kendall. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: PortraitsSMSS· Papers, Mary Gold. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: SMSSVertical Files· Kendall, Amos. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Deaf Biographical· Kendall family. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Deaf Biographical Biographical SketchBorn 1899 in New York City, Mary Kendall Greene was the great-granddaughter of Amos Kendall through his daughter, Mary Ann Kendall, and her second husband, Joseph D. Greene.
After attending Columbia University, she began working for attorney Arthur Sidney Roberts and eventually married him. Ms. Roberts got into genealogy as a hobby and spent many years tracing her family background. From relatives, she accumulated a collection of 19th and early 20th century letters written by her notable relatives. She had three sons and a daughter; the daughter, Silvia (later Silvia Lowrey) became a professional genealogist and assisted her mother with the work represented in this collection. Ms. Roberts passed away in 1992.
Amos Kendall (1789-1869) was an influential journalist and politician whose writings and support of Andrew Jackson helped raise the Democratic Party to the national stage. Kendall contributed to newspapers (some of which are included in this collection), served as Jackson's postmaster general, and was one of Jackson's "Kitchen Cabinet" of personal advisors. A wealthy man, Kendall also donated land to provide a home for the Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb and persuaded Congress to support the new institution. Mary Ann Kendall Greene (1820-1875) was Amos Kendall's first child, borne by his first wife, Mary Woolfolk Kendall. Mary Ann originally married a man named Daniel Gold, but after Gold's death, she remarried to Joseph D. Greene (1827-1898). The Greenes traveled abroad after the Civil War as Joseph took a foreign service post. Mary Ann was troubled by constant respiratory distress, which may have been untreated tuberculosis, and the Greenes later moved west in search of a healthier climate. They eventually settled in Faribault, Minnesota. Mary Ann died there in 1875. Their son Walter Woolfolk Greene was Mary Kendall Greene Roberts' father. Scope and ContentResearchers are most likely to be interested in Ms. Roberts's collection of historical letters from her ancestors, covering the 19th and early 20th centuries. The bulk of these letters were written by Amos Kendall or Mary Ann Kendall Greene, including correspondence between Mary Ann and her parents and a variety of letters sent to Mary Ann by her sisters and cousins. Other items include some of Mary Ann's correspondence with her second husband, Joseph D. Greene; letters between Amos and his first wife, Mary Woolfolk Greene; and later letters and papers from Ms Roberts' father, Walter Woolfolk Greene, and her brother, Walter Hamilton Greene. A fragment of Mary Ann's diary has also been included. Besides the letters, the other major part of the collection is Ms. Roberts' notes on her genealogical research into the Kendall, Greene, and related families. This material includes lists of descendants and relatives, family trees, and historical anecdotes typed by Ms. Roberts. The collection also includes a set of historical photographs from the Kendall and Greene families. These are mostly portraits of prominent members, including pictures of Amos, Mary Ann, and Joseph, as well as numerous pictures of Walter Woolfolk Greene. Series DescriptionsSeries 1. Historical letters, 1811-1927 Box 1A collection of letters by members of the Kendall and Greene families, most written by Amos Kendall and his daughter Mary Ann. These include correspondence between Mary Ann and her parents; between Mary Ann and her sisters; between Amos and his first wife, Mary Woolfolk Kendall; between Mary Ann and her second husband, Joseph D. Greene; and between Amos and Joseph.
Joseph D. Greene's letters to Mary Ann are of particular interest. He writes of the mood in Washington, DC, after the fall of Richmond in 1865, and in a later letter writes about President Lincoln's assassination, including a description of seeing the President's body lying in state. Other unusual items include an 1835 letter by Zebedee Kendall, Amos's father, addressed to his children and grandchildren, and a poem titled "To Mary," apparently written by Amos to his first wife. A few pages of Mary's diary from late in her life, shortly after her relocation to Faribault, Minnesota, are also included. The remainder of the collection includes some letters to Mary Ann's first husband, Daniel Gold; correspondence by Ms. Roberts' father Walter Woolfolk Greene, including some letters to his parents and to his future wife, Callie Garrard; and correspondence by Ms. Roberts' brother, Walter Hamilton Greene.Series 2 includes typed transcripts of some of these letters prepared by Ms. Roberts.
Series 2. Transcripts, 1979-1980Box 1A small collection of typed, and some handwritten, transcripts of Kendall and Greene family letters. Most of these letters are copies of ones appearing in series 1, and some include historical and biographical facts interpolated by Ms. Roberts. A few of the items in this series are transcribed from letters whose originals are not present in this collection, including a correspondence between Frances Woolfolk and Nancy Bullard Woolfolk, sisters of Amos Kendall's first wife, Mary Woolfolk Kendall.
Series 3. Other Family Records, 1875-1980Box 1This series collects other items related to the history of the Kendall and Greene families. Of particular interest is a collection of locks of hair, including a mixed sample from Amos Kendall and his first fiancée, Mary Lawrence. (Amos's engagement to her was broken when he moved to Kentucky to take a teaching job; he ended up marrying Mary Woolfolk instead.)
Other samples present include locks from Sarah Hamilton Garrard, Ms. Roberts' maternal grandmother; and Mary Burton Hamilton, her great-grandmother. This collection also includes copies of family lists from the Kendall family Bible; copies of Amos Kendall's and Mary Kendall Greene's wills; and biographical sketches written by Ms. Roberts, covering Amos Kendall, her father, Walter Woolfolk Greene, and her brother, Walter Hamilton Greene.
Series 4. Newspapers, 1840-1961Box 2A collection of newspapers related to Amos Kendall, including copies of the 1840 Extra Globe that he contributed to, an 1873 Washington newspaper with a retrospective of his life, and some 20th-century newspaper clippings with articles about Kendall.
Series 5. Mary K. Roberts personal papers, 1923-1986Box 2Includes several drafts of an autobiographical sketch, a passport she used during an European trip in her 20s, and a school paper on Amos Kendall's fellow politician Francis Preston Blair. Also included is some of Ms. Roberts' correspondence, consisting mostly of letters to other family members with questions about family history and genealogical issues. Some correspondence written by Ms. Roberts' daughter, Silvia Roberts Lowrey, is also present.
Series 6. Genealogical notes and research, undatedBox 2The results of Ms. Roberts' genealogical research, including lists of descendants, family trees and charts, and notes on prominent members. Besides the Kendall and Greene families, this research covers several other branches of Ms. Roberts' family tree, including the Garrard, Burton, and Hamilton families (from her mother's side), and the Dakin and Minot families, who married into the Kendall branch before Amos's time.
Series 7. Photographs, 1869-1977Boxes 2-3A collection of photographs related to the Kendall and Greene families. Includes many photos of Ms. Roberts's father, Walter Woolfolk Greene; her brother, Walter Hamilton Greene; and several of her ancestors and more distant relatives, including Amos Kendall, Mary Ann Kendall Greene, and Joseph D. Greene. Some photographs of houses important to the family, in particular Joseph D. Greene's birthplace in Delaware and a house built by Zebedee Kendall, are also present. Also includes a scrapbook of family history created by Ms. Roberts, which originally held family photos and her historical notes and clippings from the charts she created. Unfortunately, the scrapbook is in poor condition and many of the photos are loose or missing.
Series Description and Folder Lists
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