Series I: Correspondence, 1818-1901, bulk 1824-1878
This series, which comprises approximately half of the collection, contains correspondence by and to various members of the Bonsall and Martin families. Most of the letters were generated by or to Edward H. Bonsall (1794-1879) and are personal in nature, although a small number concern Bonsall's career as a conveyancer and railroad industrialist. Substantial correspondence exists between Edward H. Bonsall and his son, Joseph Bonsall (1833-1876); and between Edward H. Bonsall and John Ousley Bonsall, a distant relative living in Ireland. The collection also contains several letters written by or to Spencer Bonsall when he was a student at the Westtown School in Chester, Pennsylvania. The Martin family is represented by several letters between William Martin, Esq. (1797-1862); his wife, Sarah Ann Martin (née Smith); and their daughter, Ellen Crosby Martin, wife of Spencer Bonsall.