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Royall Tyler collection, 1753-1935.
Tyler, Royall, 1757-1826.
Library Call Number Copy Material Location
Vermont Historical Society Library  Doc 45  Manuscript  Vault-Manuscript 

Personal Author : Tyler, Royall, 1757-1826.
Title : Royall Tyler collection, 1753-1935.
Physical Description : 9 linear feet.
General Note : Continued in Doc 46-52, XMSC 43, Ms Size B,C,D.
Summary :

The papers created or collected by Royall Tyler include correspondence on business and personal matters, 1787-1825; papers relating to Tyler's involvement in Shays' Rebellion, 1787; legal forms and accounts, 1792-1821; court dockets of Windham County, Vermont, 1815-1818; and manuscripts of Tyler's literary works. There is also an early diary of John Adams (1735-1826) that Tyler presumably acquired during his brief engagement to John's daughter, Abby. A collection of contemporary publications, such as "The Polyanthos," "The Port Folio," and "The Analectic Magazine," have been retained with the collection because some are inscribed with Tyler's name and may have formed part of his library; others contain works by him.

Mary Palmer Tyler is represented in the collection by her diary, 1821-1842, as well as in correspondence with her husband and children. There is also a daguerreotype of Mary and several other photographs and silhouettes of Mary, Royall, and their children.

The collection encompasses a large correspondence file of the Tyler family, including letters written and received by children and descendants of the family, as well as affiliated families such as the Palmers, the Boardmans and Meigs, and the Browns. Particularly well represented in the correspondence are Thomas Pickman Tyler, Guy Brown, and Diane Brown Tyler.

Amelia and Thomas Tyler copied many of the family's works into bound volumes and added work of their own, and Charles Royall's daughter, Gertrude, continued the tradition in creating her own commonplace books, ca. 1852-1866. Several of the Tylers were ministers, and the collection includes some of their sermons.

Helen Tyler Brown continued her great uncle's work of researching the life of Royall Tyler through correspondence and research trips to Boston. She planned to use her research for a drama about Royall Tyler; her notes and drafts for that project are part of this collection. Also included are preliminary versions of a biographical sketch of her great-grandfather, her grandfather (Charles Royall Tyler), and her father (Allan Brown) published in "The Vermont of Today" and an introduction to "The Contrast," edited by James Wilbur and published in 1920. Brown's biggest undertaking, in collaboration with Frederick Tupper of the University of Vermont, was the editing and publication of "Grandmother Tyler's Book," an autobiographical account by Mary Palmer Tyler. The correspondence between Brown and Tupper, drafts, illustrations, publication notices, and reviews are all housed here.

Biographical or historical data :

Royall Tyler was born in 1757 in Boston, Mass., the son of Royall and Mary Steele Tyler. He graduated from Harvard College in 1776 and received a degree from Yale the same year. He was admitted to the Massachusetts bar in 1780. Tyler served in the militia in 1778 as a major and in 1787 as an aide to General Benjamin Lincoln during Shays' Rebellion.

He was engaged to Abby Adams, the daughter of John and Abigail Adams, but their engagement ended in 1785. In 1794 he married Mary Palmer, and had eleven children: Royall (1794-1813), John Steele (1796-1876), Mary Whitwell (1798-1874), Edward Royall (1800-1848), William Clark (1802-1882), Joseph Dennie (1804-1852), Amelia Sophia (1807-1878), George Palmer (1809-1896), Charles Royall (1812-1896), Thomas Pickman (1815-1892), and Abiel Winship (1818-1832).

Tyler served as state's attorney for Windham County, Vt., 1794-1801; assistant judge of the Vermont Supreme Court, 1801-1807; and chief justice, 1807-1813. He also taught law at the University of Vermont, 1811-1814, and wrote "Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Judicature" (New York: I. Riley, 1809-1810). As playwright and author he produced the first American comedy, "The Contrast," in 1787, and went on to create other works such as "The Algerine Captive" (1797), and "The Chestnut Tree," which he wrote shortly before his death but which was not published until 1931. Tyler died August 26, 1826, in Brattleboro, Vermont

Royall Tyler's wife, Mary, was born in 1775 and died in 1866. In 1811 she wrote "The Maternal Physician," published by Isaac Riley, and in her later years wrote an autobiographical account of her life. That work was passed down through the family and was finally edited and published in 1925.

Personal Subject : Tyler, Royall, 1757-1826.
Tyler, Charles Royall, 1812-1896.
Brown, Allan, d. 1904.
Tyler family.
Subject Term : Shay's Rebellion, 1786-1787.
Court calendars Vermont Windham County.
Dramatists, American.
Church records and registers Connecticut Stafford.
Geographic Term : Windham County (Vt.) Politics and government.
Brattleboro (Vt.) Social life and customs.
Stafford (Conn.) Church history Sources.
Genre/Form : Correspondence.
Commonplace books.
Added Author : Tyler, Royall, 1757-1826.
Adams, John, 1735-1826.
Tyler, Mary Palmer, 1775-1866.
Palmer family.
Boardman family.
Meigs family.
Brown family.
Tyler, Thomas Pickman, 1817-1892.
Brown, Guy.
Tyler, Diane.
Tyler, Gertrude.
Tyler, Amelia.
Brown, Helen Tyler, 1864-1935.
Tupper, Frederick, 1871-1950.
Wilbur, James Benjamin, 1856-1929.
Mejia, Ignacio, 1813-1906.
Electronic Resource : Click here for full text of finding aid.