William P. Preston Collection, 1799-1913, MS 978

William P. Preston Collection, 1799-1913


Maryland Historical Society
 

  

(Text converted and initial EAD tagging provided by Apex Data Services, March 1999.)
 

William P. Preston Collection, 1799-1913
Maryland Historical Society

Contact Information:
Manuscripts Department
Maryland Historical Society Library
201 West Monument Street
Baltimore MD 21201-4674
410.685.3750
Fax: 410.385.2105
library@mdhs.org
www.mdhs.org

 


Descriptive Summary

William P. Preston Collection, 1799-1913

MS 978

Maryland Historical Society

Baltimore MD 21201-4674

 


Scope and Content Note

The William P. Preston Collection contains primarily three groups of material: papers of William P. Preston, prominant Baltimore criminal lawyer; correspondence of his wife Margaret Smith Preston; and correspondence as well as other material related to their daughter May Preston McNeal.

The items pertaining to William P. Preston are nearly all connected with his legal practice. Included are accounts, bills, and receipts associated with insolvancy and debt collection cases; case notes; court petitions; city tax assessments; sworn statements and depositions; deeds, wills, indentures, mortgages; and warrents. Preston specialized in criminal law and his papers deal with cases of debt collection, murder, assault, and robbery. Other types of legal activity such as divorce proceedings, estate management, libel and slander are also evident. Several separate legal cases are grouped together within the collection, such as the A.H. Simmons Estate activities (1850's), the Bank of Maryland Failure (1834-35), Barnum vs Barnum (1867), State vs Thomas Hibbetts (1870), State vs Clark and Cullen (1870), State vs Peter Corrie (No Date) and the Stewart Murder trial (1838). Preston's legal correspondence deals with the full range of his activities, but is primarily related to his clients request for assistence and communications with other lawyers.

Preston appears to have been a devoted husband and father, as witnessed by his many letters to his wife Margaret and daughter May. Margaret corresponded heavily with him and also her daughter. May's letters to Preston are scattered in this collection but are well represented in MS 711. The May Preston McNeal material consists mostly of correspondence with her mother, much of it while May was away at St. Joseph's College, a Catholic girl's boarding school in Baltimore. The family correspondence as a whole is for the most part made up of trivial observations and family news. Occasional references are made to current political events and less often, the civil war. Margaret, while a young, unmarried girl living near Gettysburg Pa., received numerous letters from would-be suitors as well as from a priest and a nun whom she knew concerning religious matters.

Other material in the collection includes a body of incoming correspondence addressed to Elizabeth Woodbury (1840's); a small number of items relating to Joshua Vansant McNeal, May's husband; a sizeable group of poetry written by Margaret Smith Preston's pre-marriage admirers and by various family members; an assortment of essays written on various subjects by William P. Preston; some records of St. John's German Catholic Church (1799-1841); papers relating to Henry F. and Philip C. Friese, Baltimore lawyers; documents associated with the Preston farm Pleasant Plains in Baltimore county. Also included in the collection are scrapbooks of William P. Preston relating to his political interests, most particularly his opposition to the Know-Nothing Party of the 1850's.

 

Note: See MS 711 and 1861 for additional material relating to the Preston Family. Also MS 1835

 


Container List

Note: unless otherwise stated, all materials are sorted chronologically.

 

Box 1

1

William P. Preston, Legal Papers 1810-1820's

 

 

 

2-7

William P. Preston, Legal Papers 1830's

 

 

 

8

William P. Preston, Legal Papers-Deeds, Indentures, Mortgages 1830's

 

 

 

9

William P. Preston, Legal Papers-Stewart Murder Trial 1838

 

 

 

10-13

William P. Preston, Bank of Md. Failure 1834-1835

 

 

 

14-22

William P. Preston, Legal Papers 1840's

 

 

 

Box 2

23-48

William P. Preston, Legal Papers 1840's

 

 

 

Box 3

49-71

William P. Preston, Legal Papers 1840's

 

 

 

Box 4

72-81

William P. Preston, Legal Papers-Deeds, Indentures, Mortgages 1840's

 

 

 

82

William P. Preston, Legal Papers-Maritime 1840's

 

 

 

83

William P. Preston, Legal Papers-P.B. Benson and Schooner Lion 1840's

 

 

 

84-90

William P. Preston, Legal Papers 1850's

 

 

 

Box 5

91-97

William P. Preston, Legal Papers 1850's

 

 

 

98-100

William P. Preston, Legal Papers-Deeds, Indentures, Mortgages 1850's

 

 

 

101-106

William P. Preston, Legal Papers-A.H. Simmons Estate 1850's

 

 

 

107-110

William P. Preston, Legal Papers 1860's

 

 

 

Box 6

111-118

William P. Preston, Legal Papers 1860's

 

 

 

119

William P. Preston, Legal Papers-Deeds, Indentures, Mortgages 1860's

 

 

 

120

William P. Preston, Legal Papers-Barnum vs Barnum, 1867

 

 

 

121-124

William P. Preston, Legal Papers 1870's

 

 

 

125

William P. Preston, Legal Papers-Deeds, Indentures, Mortgages 1870's

 

 

 

126

William P. Preston, Legal Papers-State vs Thomas Hibbetts 1870

 

 

 

127

William P. Preston, Legal Papers-State vs Clark and Cullen 1870

 

 

 

128

William P. Preston, Legal Papers 1880's

 

 

 

129-132

William P. Preston, Legal Papers No Date

 

 

 

Box 7

133-143

William P. Preston, Legal Papers No Date

 

 

 

144

William P. Preston, Legal Papers-Petition re: State Constitution No Date

 

 

 

145-152

William P. Preston, Legal Papers-State vs Peter Corrie No Date

 

 

 

153

William P. Preston, Legal Papers-Hugh Gelston vs Mary Ann Frazier and Others No Date

 

 

 

154

William P. Preston, Legal Papers-Court Speech No Date

 

 

 

Box 8

155

Miscellaneous Correspondence, Legal 1830's

 

 

 

156-164

Miscellaneous Correspondence, Legal 1840's

 

 

 

165-166

Miscellaneous Correspondence, Legal 1850's

 

 

 

167

Miscellaneous Correspondence, Legal 1860's

 

 

 

168

Miscellaneous Correspondence, Legal 1870's

 

 

 

169

Miscellaneous Correspondence, Legal No Date

 

 

 

170

Miscellaneous Correspondence Personal 1808-1870

 

 

 

171

William P. Preston, Correspondence Received 1830's

 

 

 

172-175

William P. Preston, Correspondence Received 1840's

 

 

 

Box 9

176-184

William P. Preston, Correspondence Received 1840's

 

 

 

185-193

William P. Preston, Correspondence Received 1850's

 

 

 

194-196

William P. Preston, Correspondence Received 1860's

 

 

 

197-198

William P. Preston, Correspondence Received 1870's

 

 

 

Box 10

199

William P. Preston, Correspondence Sent 1840's

 

 

 

200

William P. Preston, Correspondence Sent 1850's

 

 

 

201

William P. Preston, Correspondence Sent 1860's

 

 

 

202

William P. Preston, Correspondence Sent 1870's

 

 

 

203-204

William P. Preston, Correspondence Sent-May Preston McNeal Addressee 1860's

 

 

 

205

William P. Preston, Correspondence Sent-Margaret Smith Preston Addressee 1840's

 

 

 

206-209

William P. Preston, Correspondence Sent-Margaret Smith Preston Addressee 1850's

 

 

 

210-212

William P. Preston, Correspondence Sent-Margaret Smith Preston Addressee 1860's

 

 

 

213

William P. Preston, Correspondence Sent-Margaret Smith Preston Addressee 1870's

 

 

 

214

William P. Preston, Correspondence Sent-Margaret Smith Preston Addressee No Date

 

 

 

215

Margaret Smith Preston, Correspondence Sent-William P. Preston Addressee 1840's

 

 

 

216-219

Margaret Smith Preston, Correspondence Sent-William P. Preston Addressee 1850's

 

 

 

220

Margaret Smith Preston, Correspondence Sent-William P. Preston Addressee 1860's

 

 

 

221

Margaret Smith Preston, Correspondence Sent-William P. Preston Addressee 1870's

 

 

 

222

Margaret Smith Preston, Correspondence Sent-William P. Preston Sddressee No Date

 

See also MS 1835

 

 

 

Box 11

223-230

Margaret Smith Preston, Correspondence Received 1830's

 

 

 

231

Margaret Smith Preston, Correspondence Received 1840's

 

 

 

232-233

Margaret Smith Preston, Correspondence Received 1850's

 

 

 

234-235

Margaret Smith Preston, Correspondence Received 1860's

 

 

 

236

Margaret Smith Preston, Correspondence Received 1870's

 

 

 

237-238

Margaret Smith Preston, Correspondence Received 1880's

 

 

 

239-241

Margaret Smith Preston, Correspondence Received No Date

 

 

 

Box 12

242

Margaret Smith Preston, Correspondence Sent-May Preston McNeal Addressee 1850's

 

 

 

243-245

Margaret Smith Preston, Correspondence Sent-May Preston McNeal Addressee 1860's

 

 

 

246-248

Margaret Smith Preston, Correspondence Sent-May Preston McNeal Addressee 1880's

 

 

 

249

Margaret Smith Preston, Correspondence Sent-May Preston McNeal Addressee 1890's

 

 

 

250

Margaret Smith Preston, Correspondence Sent-May Preston McNeal Addressee No Date

 

 

 

251-252

May Preston McNeal, Correspondence Sent-Margaret Smith Preston Addressee 1860's

 

 

 

253-263

May Preston McNeal, Correspondence Sent-Margaret Smith Preston Addressee 1870-1890

 

 

 

Box 13

264-267

May Preston McNeal, Correspondence Sent-Margaret Smith Preston Addressee 1870-1890

 

 

 

268-269

May Preston McNeal, Correspondence Sent-William P. Preston Addressee 1850-1880

 

 

 

270-271

May Preston McNeal, Correspondence Received 1850-1913

 

 

 

272

May Preston McNeal, Correspondence with C.S. Abell 1859-1863

 

 

 

273

May Preston McNeal, Essays and Notes ca. 1890's

 

 

 

274

May Preston McNeal, St. Joseph's Academy ca. 1860's

 

 

 

275-277

Joshua Vansant McNeal, Correspondence Sent-May Preston McNeal Addressee 1870-1890

 

 

 

278

Joshua Vansant McNeal, Correspondence Received 1870-1880

 

 

 

279

Elizabeth Woodbury Correspondence Received 1840's

 

 

 

280-284

Preston Family, Poetry 1830-1880

 

 

 

Box 14

285

A Journal of Six Days [by William P. Preston?] 1833

 

 

 

286

William P. Preston, Discourse Delivered before the Maryland Institute 1862--Arranged by pagination

 

 

 

287

William P. Preston, Clippings and Notes regarding State vs Edward Deems 1868

 

 

 

288

William P. Preston, Essay Baltimore and its Reminiscences 1869

 

 

 

289-293

William P. Preston, Drafts of Eulogy on Father James Dolan 1870--Arranged by pagination

 

 

 

295-295

William P. Preston, Notes on History and Politics No Date

 

 

 

296

William P. Preston, List of Properties Owned No Date

 

 

 

297

William P. Preston, Petition for the Creation of a Lyceum of Culture in Baltimore No Date

 

 

 

298

William P. Preston, Essay On the Suspension of Habeas Corpus in South Carolina No Date

 

 

 

299

William P. Preston, Essay History of the BandO Railroad No Date

 

 

 

300

William P. Preston, Speech Our Catholic Female Schools No Date

 

 

 

301

William P. Preston, Essay The Death of Archbishop Spaulding No Date

 

 

 

302

William P. Preston, Essay President Lincoln No Date

 

 

 

303

William P. Preston, Essay History of the Maryland Institute

 

 

 

304

William P. Preston, Essay Andrew Jackson No Date

 

 

 

305

William P. Preston, Essay On Murder No Date

 

 

 

306-308

Preston Family, Miscellaneous Items ca. 1860-1880

 

 

 

309-310

St. Johns German Catholic Church of Baltimore, Records ca. 1799-1841

 

 

 

Box 15

1

William P. Preston Letter book 1856-1857

 

 

 

2

Receipts of Expenses on Farm Known as Pleasant Plains 1852-1864

 

 

 

3

Agricultural Transactions and Expenses on Elm Grove Farm Owned by Philip R.J. Friese No Date

 

 

 

Box 16

4

William P. Preston Letter Book 1828-1830

 

 

 

5

William P. Preston Pocket Ledger No Date

 

 

 

6

William P. Preston Pocket Ledger No Date

 

 

 

7

William P. Preston, Notes in the case of W. Stewart 1838

 

 

 

8

Proceedings of the Moot Court of the Friday Evening Club 1833

 

 

 

9

William P. Preston Ledger 1835

 

 

 

10

William P. Preston, Hillen Road Company document copies No Date

 

 

 

11

William P. Preston Letter Book 1831-1834

 

 

 

12

William P. Preston Bank Book

 

 

 

13

James Lawson Pocket Ledger

 

 

 

14

William P. Preston Private Cash Accounts

 

 

 

15

Joseph Southard Accounts No Date

 

 

 

16

Willaim P. Preston Pocket Ledger 1832-1849

 

 

 

17

William P. Preston Address Book No Date

 

 

 

18

William P. Preston Diary 1863

 

 

 

Box 17

19

William P. Preston Pocket Ledger

 

 

 

20

Robert Wickham Graduation Book (Yale) 1828

 

 

 

21

William P. Preston Diary 1849

 

 

 

22

William P. Preston Diary 1853

 

 

 

23

William P. Preston Diary 1854

 

 

 

24

William P. Preston Diary 1860

 

 

 

25

William P. Preston Diary 1869

 

 

 

26

William P. Preston, Notes on the 1834 Bank of Maryland Failure

 

 

 

27

William P. Preston Scrapbook on the Know-Nothing Party 1848-1875

 

 

 

28

William P. Preston Scrapbook regarding his political activities, 1835-1857

 

 

 

29

William P. Preston, Notes on State of Maryland vs Solomon T. Wilson

 

 

 

30

William P. Preston, Notes on State of Maryland vs John T. Patterson

 

 

 

31

William P. Preston, School Composition Book 1829

 

 

 

32

May Preston McNeal, Spelling Rules and Diary 1865-66

 

Note: Box 17 also contains 3 Folders of oversize material; see oversize File for land plots