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.
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.
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 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 husbands 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. Coreys various activities: his work as a lawyer (mostly the financial side of a practicing attorney), as a partner of Caleb W. Bruens 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 familys 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 husbands health, and the childrens behavior. Her essays on religion are a good source of information on the periods 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."
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.
The New Jersey Historical Society