Table of Contents
A Guide to the collection at the Connecticut Historical Society
Frederick Augustus Tracy was born October 25, 1789 at Norwich, Connecticut. He married Eliza Ripley in 1813 and they settled in New York City where he was a merchant, broker and active businessman. Their children included Frederick (b. 1814) John Ripley (1820-1855), Charles Augustus (b. 1826) and Margaret Sophia (b. 1831). John Ripley Tracy married Charlotte Gray (b. 1818) and settled in Hartford, Connecticut where he was a merchant, shipping guns to Australia and Peru, among other activities. Their children, born in Hartford, were John Frederick (b. 1844), Samuel Gray (b. 1846), Newbold Le Roy (b. 1853), Charlotte Gray (b. 1848), Annie Hinchley (b. 1850) and Sophia Dennie (b. 1854). Newbold immigrated to Australia where he married Florence Elstampe and had children Frederick LeRoy (b. 1885) and Eric Gray (b. 1893). Samuel G. Tracy invested in a variety of businesses including pearl cultivation and lubricating oils.
The collection had been partially but incompletely processed shortly after receipt. Some of that initial arrangement has been retained. The materials are arranged in roughly chronological order, with the eldest generation first followed by children in their birth order. The papers of John Ripley Tracy, 1844-1858) primarily relate to his business interests, including the New Jersey Zinc and Copper Company, the railroad, the lead trade, the gun trade, and investments in a shot manufactory in Britain based on the purchase of a patent from David Smith. Among the more significant documents are those related to the consignment of guns to Australia in 1853, with Edward Wadsworth serving as Tracy’s agent in Australia, and another venture to sell Colt pistols in Callao, Peru. The earliest of his letters announces the birth of his first son in 1844. In addition to correspondence, John’s papers include financial documents and legal records, including a copy of his will, and deeds. John’s wife Charlotte Gray Tracy is represented by correspondence, some with friends but the bulk with family, namely Sarah Jane Gray LeRoy, Margaret Sophia Tracy, and her son John F. Tracy. John F. Tracy’s papers include legal documents and correspondence, 1861-1925. Samuel G. Tracy is represented by correspondence, 1912-1913 including letters to his sister Sophie, and records related to his interest in pearl cultivation, including the incorporation records of the American Pearl Corporation, 1905. Financial and legal records and product formulae of the Lovell & Tracy Oil Co. of Hartford, document Samuel’s interest in a local business. Newbold and Charlotte are represented by correspondence, primarily from family members. Of note is a series of letters to Anne Tracy from Genevieve Cowles, written from Palestine in 1909. Documents related to related families are arranged alphabetically and include genealogical notes on those families as well as original documents from the 18th and early 19th centuries. Unidentified correspondence is arranged at the back of the collection, along with a unique group of cards with images of birds created by real feathers
There are no restrictions on access to the collection.
Use of the material requires compliance with the Connecticut Historical Society's Research Center regulations.
Tracy, Charlotte Gray, b. 1818.
Tracy, Charlotte Gray, b. 1848.
Tracy, John Ripley, 1820-1855.
Tracy, Newbold, b. 1853.
Tracy, Samuel Gray, b. 1846.
American Pearl Corporation.
Lovell & Tracy Oil Co. (Hartford, Conn.)
Pearl oyster culture.
Item, Collection Title, Collection number (Box #, Folder #). Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut.
Collection was processed by Barbara Austen in 2008.
EAD Finding Aid created June 2011.