Collection ID: LMC 1584
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Collection context


King, Charles, 1789-1867, King, Rufus, 1755-1827, Peter, Sarah Worthington King, 1800-1877, King, Edward, 1795-1836, Worthington, Eleanor, 1777-1848, and Worthington, Thomas, 1773-1827
The King mss., 1815-1863, consists of the correspondence of Rufus King, 1755-1827, member of the Continental Congress and of the Constitutional Convention, U. S. senator and minister to Great Britain, and of members of his family.
1 folio (oversize) and 1 Box (1 standard)
Materials are in English .
Preferred citation:

[Item], King mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.


Biographical / Historical:

Rufus King, 1755-1827, was a member of the Continental Congress and of the Constitutional Convention, as well as a US senator and minister to Great Britain. He was born on March 24, 1755 in Scarborough, Maine. He graduated from Harvard College in 1777 and began to study law, but he interrupted his studies to enroll in the militia and serve in the American Revolutionary War. After the war, King was sent to the Constitutional Convention where he served on the Committee of Style and Arrangement and helped draft the Constitution. At the urging of Alexander Hamilton, King moved to New York City in 1789, where he was elected as one of the first senators for the state of New York. In 1796, he was named the U.S. Minister to Great Britain by George Washington. He retired from public life in 1826, after several unsuccessful bids for political office as a member of the Federalist party. King married Mary Alsop on March 30, 1786, and they had seven children. He died on April 29, 1827.

Edward King, 1795-1836, was a lawyer and Rufus King's fourth son. He was born on March 13, 1795 in Albany, New York. He spent his childhood in Great Britain while his father served as an ambassador there. After returning to the United States, he attended Columbia University and studied law. He emigrated to Ohio in 1815, settled at Chillicothe, and was admitted to the bar in 1816. On May 15, 1816, King married Sarah Ann Worthington, 1800-1877, and they had two sons. He held several political offices, including Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives. In 1831, the family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, and King helped establish the Cincinnati Law School. He died on February 6, 1836.

Sarah Worthington King Peter, 1800-1877, was the wife of Edward King and an American philanthropist. She was born on May 10, 1800, the daughter of Thomas Worthington, governor of Ohio and US senator, and his wife Eleanor Swearingen Worthington. Following the death of her first husband in 1836, Mrs. Sarah (Worthington) King moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where her sons were attending Harvard College. In 1844 she married William Peter, British consul at Philadelphia. In 1850, she founded the Philadelphia School of Design for Women. After Peter died on February 6, 1853, she converted to Catholicism and devoted herself to works of charity and patronage of the arts. She died on February 6, 1877 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Scope and Content:

The King mss., 1815-1863, consist of the letters of Rufus King, 1755-1827, member of the Continental Congress and of the Constitutional Convention, U. S. senator and minister to Great Britain, and members of his family.

The Rufus King letters proper, 1815-1826, are mainly personal letters from Rufus King to his fourth son, Edward. Two of these letters, that of December 16, 1815, and that of December 20, 1817, are partly printed in Charles R. King, ed., The Life and Correspondence of Rufus King ... V(1898): 494-495 and VI(1900):86-87 (E302.6 .K5 A3). Also included in this part of the collection are letters between Rufus King and Thomas Worthington relating to the affairs of Edward King, and a letter of January 12, 1825, from Charles King to his father, Rufus, relating to the health of his wife.

The 1837-1863 letters are chiefly letters from Mrs. Sarah (Worthington) King to her mother, Mrs. Eleanor (Van Swearingen) Worthington, at Chillicothe, Ohio. A few letters of other members of the family are also included.

Acquisition information:
Purchase: 1947

This collection is arranged following original order.

Physical location:
ALF (Auxiliary Library Facility) - OVFlat; Lilly - Stacks



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[Item], King mss., Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.

Indiana University Bloomington
1200 East Seventh Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47405-5500, USA
Indiana University Bloomington
(812) 855-2452