Collection ID: BHC-MSS 0027

Collection context


1862-1874, bulk 1853-1855
John and Maggie Lathrop were a married couple living in Bridgeport in the mid-19th century. The correspondence between the two, sent when the two were dealing with health issues and were forced apart, offer insight into the everyday on goings of Bridgeport in its early history.
.63 Linear Feet
English .


Scope and Content:

The collection focuses on the mid 1850s and the very early 1870s, with no coverage of intervening years. However, they contain a great deal of information on local Bridgeport history with regards to the 1850s - a time of great development in the city - with minute details about businesses, fires, and churches. Wrapped up in this are insights in New England at the time.

Due to the medical issues both Maggie and John were dealing with, as well as those of family members, the letters also shed light into medicine and medical practice at the time.

The details in the correspondence are intimate, allowing for a solid view into private 19th century lives.

Biographical / Historical:

Unfortunately research has yielded precious little about the lives of the Lathrops outside of what is in the correspondence. No death of birth or death has been located for either. What is known is that Maggie was originally from New Jersey, likely Westfield, and John was from Bridgeport and lovingly called himself a Yankee in contrast to Maggie's mid-Atlantic family members. The two did have health problems that forced them apart from each other, and they were likely married sometime in the 1850s. They had three children by the time of Maggie's illness in the 1870s.

This biography will be updated as new information is found.


Upon purchase, the letters were already divided between the correspondence John sent to Maggie in the 1850s and the correspondence she sent to him in the 1870s. The calling cards and other material separated the two. All correspondence is grouped together now, then followed by the additional information instead. Split between the letters from John to Maggie, 1852-1855 with Maggie living in Westfield; Maggie to John while Maggie seeks a cure for her lung infection (they had 3 children at this point); additional material at the end.

Indexed Terms

Medicine--United States--History
Bridgeport (Conn.)


925 Broad Street
Bridgeport, CT 06604, USA
203-576-7400, #7