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A Guide to the Spencer Family Papers

Finding aid created by Sarah Kleinman

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
December 2009

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Spencer family
Title: Spencer Family Papers
Dates: 1863-1915
Abstract: Primarily the letters of Mrs. J.S. Spencer, wife of Rev. James Selden Spencer, written from Palm Beach, Florida, and occasionally other places in transit to Florida.
Extent: 0.4 Linear feet. 1 box.
Identification: MS 265
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

Rev. James Selden Spencer was the rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Tarrytown, NY. He held the position for forty-eight years, beginning in 1865. Mr. Spencer was acquainted with Washington Irving when Irving was a vestryman at Christ Episcopal. The reverend and Mrs. Spencer divided their time between Tarrytown, NY and West Palm Beach, FL. Rev. Spencer died in West Palm Beach at age 93 on December 1, 1914, leaving behind his widow Mrs. Spencer and their six sons, Creighton, Irving, Harold, Frederick, Knowlton, and Kingsland.

Citation: "Rev. J.S. Spencer dies at 93," New York Times, December 2, 1914.

Scope and Content

The collection consists primarily of personal correspondence of Mrs. J.S. Spencer to her son, Kingsland written primarily from West Palm Beach, Florida. There are also a few legal documents pertaining to 19th century family members (Charlotte Billings Spencer and Jared W. Spencer). Letters contain routine news and inquiries about the family, only occasionally touching on matters in West Palm Beach.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Spencer Family Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Contents List

1 Spencer family wills, loans, inventories, memorandums, and approval of sales. 1863-1877
1 Misc. letters, family correspondents unknown
1 Letters from "Mamma" [Mrs. J.S. Spencer] from outside Florida. 1902-1910
1 Letters from "Mamma" in Florida to son Kingsland Spencer. 1896-1903
1 Letters from "Mamma" in Florida to son Kingsland Spencer. 1907-1915
1 Dried flowers (enclosures in letters)

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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