Major Family Papers, 1755-1942
The Major Family was a prominent Frankfort, KY family in the mid-nineteenth century. The bulk of the material in this collection relates to Samuel Ire Monger Major II, mayor of Frankfort following the Civil War, a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives and owner of the Kentucky Yeoman. A number of documents also relate to his father, Samuel Ire Monger Major I, who was Clerk of the Penitentiary of Kentucky and noted civic leader in early Frankfort; his brother, Dr. Patrick Major, who was also his business partner and confidants whose correspondence reflects their close relationship; and his son, Patrick Upshaw Major, a well-known attorney and judge. There is correspondence that relates to family and business matters, personal documents that range from poetry to journals, business and financial papers that concern a wide range of endeavors, land and legal documentation such as deeds and land grants for holdings in Kentucky and Virginia as well as other states, and political material that relates to campaigns and political beliefs. Of particular interest is a first-hand account of the New Madrid Earthquake, letters concerning the 1850 cholera epidemic and records relating to the Kentucky State Penitentiary.
Many of the Major Family women are represented as well. Among them are: Margaret (Peggy) Porter who married Francis Major to become Margaret (Peggy) Major; Martha Hipkins Bohannon who was married to S.I.M. Major I, and known as Martha H. Major; and Mary Brown Scott married to S.I.M. Major II, and commonly addressed as Mary B. Major. There is very little biographical information regarding the Major Family women; however, there is extensive correspondence between the women, to and from their husbands, fathers and sons as well as with cousins and friends. These give a glimpse into their social background, daily lives, education, and some sense of their political and financial views.