MG 730 - Hamilton, A. Boyd Collection

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Scope and Content

The collection contains the papers of several generations of the Hamilton family and papers of Adam Boyd, born in 1746. Adam Boyd's papers include a ledger, dated 1791, an account book of expenses for William Maclay, 1805-1809, receipts, 1797-1811; an account book for the lottery conducted by the Presbyterian Church; and a deed for the sale of a lot of ground to Rev. Nathaniel Snowden, 1795.

Contains, also, papers of A. Boyd Hamilton (b. 1808, d. 1896) including correspondence, 1818-1895; papers concerning a variety of subjects presented before the Historical Society, 1877-1895; account books for the Poor House, 1811, and the Harrisburg Greys, 1829; scrapbooks of newspaper clippings, late 1800's; booklets, including the "Autobiography of Capt. John Kean" and two books in German with the signature R. J. Haldeman on cover; genealogy books of the Hamilton family and a Memorial by William Egle upon the death of A. Boyd Hamilton in 1896. Additional papers of A. Boyd Hamilton include two scrapbooks with the autographs of the first settlers of Harrisburg, 1876-77; papers concerning the history of Paxtang Manor; estate papers of William Calder, 1884; a book on the centennial of Dauphin County with a list of contributors, 1885, and papers concerning the establishment of the Harrisburg Public Library, 1889-91.

The papers of William Hamilton include the Whig Almanac, 1845-47; a copy of Washington's Valedictory Address to the people of the United States, 1838; and a scrapbook of news clips from early 1800's.

The papers of Hugh Hamilton include medical passes from the University of Pennsylvania, a marriage certificate, Hugh Hamilton to Florence Wallace, 1875, various papers and booklets written by him with programs from the Donegal Presbyterian Church, 1913, and information concerning Dr. William Wilson Rutherford.

Also contains the papers of A. Boyd Hamilton (b. 1875, d. 1945) grandson of the first A. Boyd Hamilton. They include a certificate from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania appointing him secretary to the Governor, 1927; a bond and mortgage on land in Erie City; receipts presented by Edward Shippen Thompson which he used for a presentation; newspaper passes and note from Vance C. McCormick; the 1927 census report on manufacturers in Pennsylvania, 1939; reports of the County History Committee, 1930-1952; miscellaneous papers, a newspaper published by the State Council of Defense with a memoriam to him upon his death in 1945, two issues of Pennsylvania Gazette with items of local history, and a Certificate of Merit from the Congress of the United States. Two Bibles presented to him by Lieutenant Governors during the time he was Secretary of the Senate.

Printed booklet, a "Memorial to Rosanna Boyd Hamilton," 1872

Typewritten historical sketch of Old Hanover Church with a notice of the church at Conewago and the New-Side Presbyterian Graveyard by A. Boyd Hamilton

Photograph of a painting, "View on the Susquehanna," 1823

Telegram from N. Hamilton to Mrs. A. Boyd Hamilton, May, 1906

Enrollment card for Little Light Bearers for membership of Henry Kelker Hamilton, born May 3, 1906

Commencement Program for the Harrisburg Academy, 1927, listing Henry Kelker Hamilton as a member of the class of 1927

Five photos of Henry Kelker Hamilton as a child, 1908 and 1910

Deeds (6) involving members of the Hamilton family, 1859-1899

Contains the record book of the lottery organized to raise five thousand dollars to build the Presbyterian Church. The first meeting of the commissioners was held on June 1, 1803, custodian of the account was Adam Boyd, 1803.

Contains a scrapbook of newspaper reports of the election returns of October, 1840, a diagram of the House of Representatives, 1847, a page from Gleason's Pictorial with an engraving of the railroad bridge across the Susquehanna near Harrisburg, and a large poster with pictures of Garfield's home in Ohio, 1887.


ADAM BOYD, b. 1746, d. 1814, was by trade a carpenter. He served in the Revolutionary War, and settled in Lancaster County. He arrived in Harris ferry about 1783, married Jeannette Macfarlane, and settled permanently as a farmer in Harrisburg in 1784. He was active in the affairs of the county, the city, and the organization of the Presbyterian church in Harrisburg. He was guardian of the Hanna and Maclay minor children. His daughter, Rosana Boyd, b. 1786, married Hugh Hamilton in 1807, and died in 1872.

ADAM BOYD HAMILTON, b. 1808, d. 1896, was a son of Hugh and Rosana Boyd Hamilton. He was educated by private tutors and the Harrisburg Academy and followed his father into the newspaper business. He was appointed a commissioner of the city in 1860 and held many municipal offices. He was one of the original founders of the Historical Society of Dauphin County and served as its president until his death. He was, also, active in various charitable and religious organizations of the city, was an original member of the Presbyterian church, involved in the establishment of City Hospital, the organization of the Public Library, and president of the Pennsylvania State Agricultural Society.

WILLIAM HAMILTON, b. 1824, was a son of Hugh and Rosana Boyd Hamilton.

DR. HUGH HAMILTON, b. 1845, d. 1923, was a graduate of the Harrisburg Academy, Pennsylvania State College, and the medical school of the University of Pennsylvania. He was a chemist for the State Agricultural Society and did pioneer work in what afterward became the pure food laws. He married Florence Wallace in 1875.

A. BOYD HAMILTON, b. 1875, d. 1945, was a son of Hugh and Florence Wallace Hamilton and grandson of the first A. Boyd Hamilton. He grew up in Harrisburg, was a newspaper man for several years with the Associated Press and special correspondent for papers in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York, Chicago, Washington and editor of the Harrisburg Telegraph. He was involved in politics and state government, and became known as a historian. He was for many years a member of the Historical Society of Dauphin County. At the time of his death he was Deputy Director of the State Council of Defense, Secretary of the Council, Deputy Commander of the Citizens Defense Corps, and Chief of Staff of the Panel of the State Disaster Plan.

Date(s): 1791-1952

Extent: 2 cartons,2 boxes, 34 folders, 203 enclosures