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Meigs family papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSS-0025

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence regarding the purchase and sale of property in Washington D.C. The documents were primarily written by General M. C. Meigs and his family members during the 1850s up until 1890. The majority of letters are in dialogue with his children. This collection contains a number of letters regarding domestic matters between family members that stretches across three generations, and it also contains letters and documents regarding professional matters such as bills of sale, deeds, property trusts, England’s Women’s Property Act of 1882, a letter addressed to General Meigs from the Library of Congress, and lastly, a civil engineering diagram of a hot water heating plant in Boston, MA. Taken as a whole, the papers give a picture of the private everyday life of a notable family with elite military traditions. The papers also give a picture of the administrative and legal process that General Meigs undertook in collecting information in the purchase and sale of property in Washington D.C.


  • Creation: 1853-1890


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on access. This collection is open to the public.

Conditions Governing Use

Towson University Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) is the owner of the original materials and digitized images in our collections; however, the collection may contain materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials. Consult with SCUA to determine if we can provide permission for use.

Biographical / Historical

Commodore Montgomery C. Meigs was born May 3, 1816; he was one of eight siblings. Meigs was a career army officer who graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1836. He is best recognized for his service as Quartermaster General of the Union Army during the Civil War and spent the majority of his army career in the Army Corps of Engineers, where he directed engineering projects from 1852 to 1882.

One of his biggest projects was the establishment of the Arlington National Military Cemetery in Washington D.C.. Another notable project was the Washington Aqueduct, which he supervised from 1852-1860. The project involved the construction of the Monumental Union Arch Bridge across Cabin John Creek. Throughout his life,

Montgomery Meigs sought advice from his siblings, most notably Dr. John Forsyth Meigs and Capt. Samuel Emlen Meigs about various domestic matters. Meigs was married to Louisa Rodger Meigs, and the couple raised two sons, John Rodgers Meigs and “Monty” Meigs.


0.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection has three series: 1. Legal Documents, 2. Correspondence, and 3. Meigs’ Personal Notes. The series are arranged by relative importance to the purchase and sale of property in Washington D.C. Legal Documents series is subdivided according to subject, and then arranged chronologically. Correspondence series is subdivided according to subject and creator, and then arranged chronologically. Meigs’ Personal Notes series is arranged chronologically.

Processing Information

Some oversized documents have been separated from the collection and placed into oversized folders.

Guide to the Meigs family papers
Neal Jones, revised by John Esh
6/27/2017, 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Towson University Special Collections and University Archives Repository

Albert S. Cook Library
8000 York Rd
Towson MD 21252 United States