About this Collection
The papers of Margaret Bayard Smith (1778-1844), author and leader in Washington, D.C., social and political circles during the first decades of the nineteenth century, span the years 1789-1874, with the bulk of the material concentrated in the period 1796-1840. They include family and general correspondence, diaries, journals, and commonplace books. Most of the papers consist of family correspondence between Smith and her sisters Jane Bayard Kirkpatrick and Maria Bayard Boyd, and her husband, Samuel Harrison Smith (1772-1845), editor of the Jeffersonian National Intelligencer, a banker, and Treasury Department official. The Smiths moved to Washington, D.C., shortly after their marriage in 1800, and they remained there for the rest of their lives. Other correspondents in the collection include Mary Hering Middleton, A. Emilie Pichon, and Eliza Susan Morton Quincy. Topics covered include Washington, D.C., social life, presidential elections, the British occupation of Washington in 1814, and visits to the Virginia homes of Thomas Jefferson and James and Dolley Madison.
Description of Series
The collection is arranged in five series as follows. The digital images were scanned from eight reels of microfilm. A current finding aid (PDF and XML) to the collection is also available online with links to the digital content on this site.
- Diaries and Journals, 1804-1831 (Reel 1)
Diaries and journals kept by Margaret Bayard Smith.
- Commonplace Books, 1799-1843 (Reels 1 and 2)
Commonplace books kept by Margaret Bayard Smith, Ann Smith, and Susan B. Smith.
- Family Correspondence, 1789-1842 (Reels 3-8)
Correspondence among Smith and Bayard family members, arranged alphabetically by name of family member and therein chronologically.
- General Correspondence, 1796-1874 (Reel 8)
Smith’s correspondence with friends and acquaintances, arranged alphabetically by name of person and therein chronologically.
- Miscellany (Reel 8)
Clippings, notes, a resolution pertaining to a canal in the District of Columbia, and writings by Smith and others.