MSS 0402 - Waples Family Papers

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The Waples Family Papers, spanning the dates 1753-1864, contains correspondence, wills, deeds and surveys, financial and legal documents, speeches, manumissions, a broadside, a newspaper clipping, an announcement, and invitations. The papers outline the family’s role in the economic development of Milton in Broadkill Hundred, Delaware. But the bulk of the collection, 1851-1864, focuses on Gideon B. Waples, beginning with the pre-Civil War period when he was a student at Delaware College. After he voluntarily left his studies, he became a farmer and businessman in southern Delaware; he also served as a political aide to two governors of Delaware during the Civil War. The collection covers layers of a maturing man’s life: his close male friendships formed during college days; his political leanings during the tumultuous 1850s-1860s, including his association with Stephen A. Douglas’s American Union Party; and life in Milton, Delaware.

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