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Smiley Bancroft papers, 1840-1885.
Bancroft, Smiley, 1808-1874.
Library Call Number Copy Material Location
Vermont Historical Society Library  MS 53  Manuscript  Vault-Manuscript 

Personal Author : Bancroft, Smiley, 1808-1874.
Title : Smiley Bancroft papers, 1840-1885.
Physical Description : .5 linear ft.
Summary :

The collection is mostly related to Smiley, though the connections are not always clear. There are a few pages of Bancroft genealogical research, a commission for Smiley as a captain in the 18th regiment Vermont militia in 1849, and a variety of family letters, many from Auburn, in the 1850s. Because Smiley was a Justice of the Peace for a number of years, and involved also in tax collection, there are a variety of legal documents involving tax lists, deeds, calls to jury duty, attachment of goods and chattels, etc., as well as personal financial affairs of Smiley, including debt notes, deeds, his commissions as Justice of the Peace, and related papers.

There are a number of letters from Smiley's adopted son Charles written during the Civil War. Charles enlisted from Woodbury, Vermont for three years, on August 28, 1861, and he died in from disease on April 30, 1862. Many papers are related to trying to collect his death benefits from the Treasury Department. Two other Civil War death benefit cases were handled by Smiley, and the correspondence is extensive.

After the war, Smiley's papers include fire insurance records, tax bills, miscellaneous financial matters, matters relating to his being a Justice of the Peace, his duties as a guardian for a minor, and family correspondence. There are four diaries, with brief entries, for 1867, 1875, 1884 (kept for three months, by a young man, unidentified), and an earlier diary, perhaps from the 1850s containing facts and figures for tax assessing. Lastly, there is a ledger for the 1860s and some of the 1870s, detailing daily activities and expenses.

Biographical or historical data :

Smiley Bancroft was born January 5, 1808, the third child of Jonas Bancroft Jr. (b. 1770) and Nancy Bancroft (1779-1850), of Ward (now Auburn), Massachusetts. Smiley married a cousin, Mary Chase Bancroft, April 20, 1831, at Auburn. She was born November 12, 1809 and died August 1, 1878. They are both buried in East Calais. Smiley moved to Vermont sometime after 1841, and lived first in Cabot, then in Woodbury, in 1846 until sometime in the 1850s, and finally in Calais, Vermont. Smiley and Mary had three children, Mary Elizabeth (born December 9, 1838); Nancy Mehitable (born February 11, 1841, married Alfred Wheelock of Calais, Vermont on May 15, 1859); and Clarissa (born July 15, 1843, died March 27, 1864). They also brought up a foster child, Charles Fisher (born January 28, 1835, died April 30, 1862), who took the Bancroft name. Smiley Bancroft died July 4, 1874.

Related Collections : The VHS collection contains a related collection, Bancroft family letters, 1845-1866, MSC 209:38.
Personal Subject : Bancroft, Smiley, 1808-1874.
Bancroft, Charles F., 1835-1862.
Bancroft family.
Subject Term : Farm life Vermont Washington County.
Geographic Term : Calais (Vt.) Archival resources.
Woodbury (Vt.) Archival resources.
Auburn (Mass.) Archival resources.
Vermont History Civil War, 1861-1865.
United States History Civil War, 1861-1865.
Genre/Form : Deeds.
Letters correspondence.
Financial records.
Added Author : Bancroft, Addison, 1817-
Electronic Resource : Click here for full text of finding aid.