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-- Manuscript Group 90 Ashbel W. Corey (1798-1839) and Anna E. Corey (fl.1824-1857) Papers, 1790-1904



Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs

Manuscript Group 90 Ashbel W. Corey (1798-1839) and Anna E. Corey (fl.1824-1857) Papers, 1790-1904 2 linear feet / 5 boxes



Processed by Irina Peris

March 2000 as part of the "Farm to City" project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.


Biographical Note:

Ashbel Wheelock Corey was a prominent Newark lawyer and entrepreneur. He was born on February 12, 1798 in Caldwell, Essex County, New Jersey. He studied law in the office of Silas Whitehead, the clerk of Essex County, and was admitted to the bar in 1826. Corey assisted in the process of securing the charter of the New Jersey Railroad and Transportation Co., and he subsequently was elected to its Board of Directors. Although Corey was actively involved in overseeing construction of the railroad, he still practiced law and participated in a cargo shipping business conducted by Caleb W. Bruen (1768-1846), the father of his wife, Anna Elizabeth, whom he married in 1827. Corey did not seem to be successful in his business endeavors, however, for at the time of his death from tuberculosis in 1839, his estate was not sufficient to pay his debts. His wife, who had to take care of four children, rented out her property. Ashbel and Anna Corey had four children: Anna Elizabeth (later Baldwin), Sophia, Henry, and Andrew.


Provenance Note:

This collection was donated by Mrs. Alex M. Linnett in 1921.



Scope and Content Note:

This collection consists of 2 linear feet of correspondence, business records, financial documents, legal documents, literary productions, and printed materials dating from 1790 to 1904. The documents relate to the practice of law in 19th century New Jersey, transportation, as well as a variety of subjects such as education, medicine, religion, and women as independent entrepreneurs. This collection is organized into six series: Correspondence, Business records, Financial documents, Legal documents, Literary productions, and Printed material. The documents within each series are arranged chronologically with the exception of the category "Various Individuals" in Series I and the book list in Series VI, where the arrangement is alphabetical.


Series Description:

Series I. Correspondence, 1822-1893.

Contained in 12 folders, this series is divided into two sub-series:


Sub-series I. Correspondence, personal. 1822-1893.

This sub-series largely consists of letters addressed to or written by Anna E. Bruen (Corey) which discuss family matters, her relationship with her future husband, and her deep devotion to religion. The letters she sent to her parents during a trip with her husband to the West Indies in 1836-1837 explore cultural differences and racial ambiguities of the places visited, along with medical issues. The latter topic reflects the main purpose of the trip, the improvement of her husband’s health.

These letters are contained in 9 folders.


Sub-series II. Correspondence, business. 1826-1839.

The correspondence of Ashbel W. Corey and other individuals concerns mostly financial and family issues. Contained in 3 folders.


Series II. Business Records, 1808-1895.

This series consists of 27 folders of lease contracts, accounts, law practice documents, and miscellaneous records dating from 1808 to 1895. The business records reflect Ashbel W. Corey’s various activities: his work as a lawyer (mostly the financial side of a practicing attorney), as a partner of Caleb W. Bruen’s shipping business, and as a landlord.


Series III. Financial Documents, 1808-1873.

This series consists of 13 folders of account books, receipts, bonds, mortgages, insurance policies, and stock accounts. Among the financial documents, the account books of Anna E. Corey are of special interest. They give a detailed picture of her daily expenses and profits. Her receipts and lease contracts give an account of her efforts to sustain herself financially after the death of her husband. The financial documents of Ashbel W. Corey include receipts, bonds, and mortgages. Stock accounts of Ashbel W. Corey reflect his financial involvement with the New Jersey Transportation and Railroad Co.


Series IV. Legal Documents, 1790-1887.

This series consists of 13 folders of land deeds, court notices, and estate papers, which reflect the activities of Ashbel W. Corey as an investor in the New Jersey land market. The results of his financial endeavors are represented in his estate papers. The legal documents also reflect his family’s involvement in various lawsuits.


Series V. Literary Productions, 1833-1904.

This series consists of 5 folders of diaries, essays, and a poem. Of note is the diary of Anna E. Corey kept during a family boat trip which comments on the weather, food served on board, her husband’s health, and the children’s behavior. Her essays on religion are a good source of information on the period’s popular religious sentiments. This series includes a poem written by Andrew M. Corey, son of Anna E. and Ashbel W. Corey; a calligraphy book of the other son, Henry M. Corey; and an essay on the insurance business by an unknown author.


Series VI. Printed Material, 1814-1853.

This series consists of one oversized volume and 2 folders of schoolbooks, the school diploma of Sophia B. Corey, and a fragment of the publication, "The Judgment of the Supreme Court of New Jersey."



Related Collections:

Manuscript Group 79, Caleb W. Bruen (1768-1846), Cabinetmaker and Distiller, Record


Manuscript Group 181, Estate of Daniel Tichenor (1757-1831), Vendue Book: Ashbel W.

Corey was the executor of this estate

Manuscript Group 398, Rutherfurd Family Papers: Contains a letter from Ashbel W.




Container List:

Box Folder Title Dates
1 Series I. Correspondence, 1822-1893
Sub-series 1.

Correspondence, personal.

1 Anna E. (Bruen) Corey. Letters received 1824-1849
2 Anna E. (Bruen) Corey. Letters sent 1836-1839
3 Anna E. Corey (Baldwin). 1856-1868
4 Ashbel W. Corey. Letters received 1831-1837
5 Henry M. Corey. Letters received 1859-1862
6 Sophia B. Corey 1866-1893
7 James H. Bruen 1829
8 Various individuals 1822-1887
9 Various individuals n.d.
Sub-series 2

Correspondence, business

10 Ashbel W. Corey 1826-1832
11 Ashbel W. Corey 1836-1839
12 Various individuals 1826-1839
Series II. Business Records, 1808-1895.
1 13 Anna E. Corey. Lease contracts 1845-1847
14 Ashbel W. Corey. Lease contracts 1839-1840
15 Ashbel W. Corey. Accounts 1832-1837
16 Ashbel W. Corey. Rent accounts 1834-1838
17 Ashbel W. Corey. Law practice documents 1808-1824
18 Ashbel W. Corey. Law practice documents 1825-1828
19 Ashbel W. Corey. Law practice documents 1829
20 Ashbel W. Corey. Law practice documents 1829-1830
21 Ashbel W. Corey. Law practice documents 1830
22 Ashbel W. Corey. Law practice documents 1831
23 Ashbel W. Corey. Law practice documents 1832-1833
24 Ashbel W. Corey. Law practice documents 1834-1835
2 1 Ashbel W. Corey. Law practice documents 1836-1837
2 Ashbel W. Corey. Law practice documents 1838-1839
3 Ashbel W. Corey. Law practice documents n.d.
4 Ashbel W. Corey. Miscellaneous
5 Caleb W. Bruen. Miscellaneous 1819-1840
6 Various individuals. Miscellaneous 1833-1895
Series III. Financial Documents, 1808-1873.
2 7 Anna E. Corey. Account books 1839-1844
8 Anna E. Corey. Receipts 1824-1847
9 Anna E. Corey. Receipts 1848-1856
10 Ashbel W. Corey. Account books 1826-1833
11 Ashbel W. Corey. Account book 1835-1836
12 Ashbel W. Corey. Accounts, promissory notes 1832-1837
13 Ashbel W. Corey. Bonds, mortgages 1828-1837
14 Ashbel W. Corey. Receipts 1820-1828
15 Ashbel W. Corey. Receipts 1829-1839
3 1 Ashbel W. Corey. Stock accounts 1833-1838
2 Ashbel W. Corey. Insurance policies 1835-1864
3 Caleb W. Bruen. Miscellaneous 1808-1847
4 Various individuals. Miscellaneous 1839-1873
Series IV. Legal Documents, 1790-1887.
3 5 Anna E. Corey. Court notices, draft of will, etc. 1839-1852
6 Anna E. Corey. Deeds 1837-1857
7 Ashbel W. Corey. Estate papers 1839-1840
8 Ashbel W. Corey. Articles of agreement, court appeals 1830-1840
9 Ashbel W. Corey. Deeds 1828-1833
10 Ashbel W. Corey. Deeds 1831-1834
11 Ashbel W. Corey. Deeds 1835
12 Ashbel W. Corey. Deeds 1835
13 Ashbel W. Corey. Deeds 1836
14 Ashbel W. Corey. Deeds 1837-1838
15 Sophia B. Corey. Deeds 1860-1873
16 Anna E. (Corey) Baldwin 1869-1887
17 Caleb W. Bruen 1790-1847
18 Various individuals. Miscellaneous 1789-1857
Series V. Literary Productions, 1833-1904.
4 1 Anna E. Corey. Diary 1833-1835
2 Anna E. Corey. Essays on Religion 1848
3 Andrew M. Corey. Poem "The American Epic" 1904
4 Henry M. Corey. Calligraphy book n.d.
5 Essay and notes on the insurance business n.d.
Series VI. Printed Material, 1814-1853.
4 6 "The Judgment of the Supreme Court of New Jersey" 1835
OS Sophia B. Corey. School diploma 1845
5 Baldwin, Austin. "A Table Book and Primary Arithmetic, Compiled and Arranged for the Introductory Department of the New York High Schools." New York: R. Lockwood 1839
Emerson, Frederick. "The North American Arithmetic, Part Second." Boston: Tappan and Whittemore 1853
Rudd, John C. "A Compendium of Geography Containing, Besides the Matter Usual in Such Works, A Short System of Sacred Geography." Trenton, NJ: D. and E. Fenton 1819
Watts, Isaac. "Psalms of David." Elizabethtown, NJ: Isaac Kollock 1814



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