Hall of Records Commission

of a Meeting 
at the Maryland State Archives
Electronic Classroom
12 Noon, June 6, 2001

Call to Order by the Chairman
Chairman Bell called the meeting to order at 12:24 p.m. in the words of Dr. Ridgway, "D-day at the Archives."

Attendees & Introduction of Special Guests

Chairman Bell welcomed special guests John Lyon, Outerbridge Horsey and Mrs. Hamilton Lee Horsey.

Reports and Minutes of Previous Meetings

Records Retention and Disposal Schedules

Old Business

Archivist's Report & Staff Activities 
     (see the Maryland State Archives Bulldog for additional details)

At this time, Dr. Papenfuse asked the Chairman's permission to move Special Presentations above Recent Acquisitions.

Special Presentation

Horsey Collection, MSA SC 5362
Dr. Papenfuse reported that, during the Watergate hearings, he had just finished his dissertation and received his degree from Hopkins when he got a call from a Jesuit priest, Father Tom Handley.  Father Handley had written a great deal on Charles Carroll of Carrollton and was interested in the Carroll and Lee families.  He knew that Dr. Papenfuse was interested in the economic history of this period.  He told Dr. Papenfuse about this fabulous collection that Outerbridge Horsey had, and that he knew that there were materials in the collection Dr. Papenfuse would like to see about the tobacco trade and a host of other things.  Dr. Papenfuse called Ambassador Horsey and was advised that this collection was in a wooden chest in his dining room, but Ambassador Horsey was loathe to let these materials out of the house without knowing what they were.  Dr. Papenfuse said that, if given permission to inventory these materials on-site and provide a good inventory, the Maryland Historical Society would publish the inventory, and Ambassador Horsey could decide what to do with the papers while Dr. Papenfuse would have the opportunity to look at those that related to the economic history of the state.

The Horseys welcomed Dr. Papenfuse into their home and allowed him to pull documents out of the chest.  He was just enthralled with what he found there and, as promised, prepared a complete inventory of the collection.  In his brashness and youthfulness, he thought they should go to the Maryland Historical Society (at that point, he had not been hired to work at the Archives).  The Historical Society never published the guide, but the Archives did.  It is available on-line and takes you to the bulk of the collection, which is at the Historical Society.

Last fall, Dr. Papenfuse received a call from Outerbridge Horsey advising him that the family had retained some of the papers and were looking for a good home for them.  After suggesting the Maryland Historical Society and some other institutions, Dr. Papenfuse said that the Archives would be interested as well.  What was wonderful is that the family kept back from the collection some choice items that illustrate different aspects of the history of the state. Dr. Papenfuse distributed color reproductions of the items given to the Archives, and they are available off the Archives' web site so that scholars can get to use them immediately.  These seven documents are worth about $82,000 and consist of:

  • A letter from George Washington at Mount Vernon to Governor Thomas Sim Lee, who was the first Catholic Governor of Maryland.  Governor Lee was extremely important in later years in terms of negotiating with Virginia over the terms of the Potomac River;
  • An exquisite thank you letter from the Marquis de Lafayette to Thomas Sim Lee;
  • Another letter from GeorgeWashington, written in his own hand at New Windsor, to Thomas Sim Lee;
  • A letter from Chief Justice John Marshall to his son, John Marshall, Jr., telling him what he should be doing -- not in terms of the law -- but in terms of managing the family plantation and estate;
  • A letter from Robert E. Lee to Mrs. M. C. Lee written at Petersburg in the middle of the war where he is telling Mrs. Lee his position.  Dr. Papenfuse said this letter made it through the lines and to the Lee family;
  • A letter from Jefferson Davis to Miss Horsey written from prison on July 4, 1866;
  • A letter from the President Madison's wife, Dolly Madison (in her own hand), to Miss Lee saying she was terribly sorry that Miss Lee couldn't do what she promised to do.  Dolly was asked to write a letter on Miss Lee's behalf.  The person she was writing to also needed to have it translated into French.  Dr. Papenfuse pointed out the French translation on the handout.
  • Mr. Horsey told the Commission that he is glad the collection is at the Maryland State Archives.

    Secretary Richkus offered a resolution of thanks, adopted by acclamation, to the Horsey family for providing the Maryland State Archives with such a splendid contribution to its Special Collections, seconded by Dr. Phillips and unanimously approved, the Chairman concurring.

    Recent Acquisitions

    Finding Aids, Reference Services, and Publications

    Education and Outreach

    Administrative & Fiscal Matters

    Forthcoming special meetings of the Commission & events of interest

    At this time, the Chairman asked if there were any questions.  Dr. Phillips requested a status report on the activities of the Archives of Maryland Advisory Board.  Dr. Papenfuse referred the Commission to the archivesofmaryland.net web site.  According to Dr. Papenfuse, there is nothing like it in the world.  Next, Dr. Papenfuse called the Commission's attention to an article he wrote for Uncommon Sense included in today's packet.  It talks about a revolution in archives and refers to this site.  Dr. Papenfuse will be extending an invitation to the Archives of Maryland Advisory Board to attend the next Hall of Records Commission meeting to give a full report on its accomplishments.

    Next, Dr. Papenfuse demonstrated for the Commission new information now on-line on the Archives of Maryland web site.  He showed the Commission that all of the Annual Reports of the Comptroller's Office, going back to the first comptroller, are now on-line.  Treasurer Dixon asked when the first Comptroller's report was issued and Dr. Papenfuse stated it was in 1852 after the Constitutional Convention.

    Also on the Archives of Maryland web site, under Slavery Commission, Searching for Ancestors who were Slaves, there is an index to everyone recorded among the Freedom Records of Prince George's County.  The Archives also put up the history and roster of Maryland volunteers, Volume 2, encompassing all of the people who were recruited/enlisted, slave or free, in the United State Colored Troops from Maryland.  Anyone interested in a cross section of all of the men of the African American community of military age as of the Civil War (1863-1864) should visit this site.  Treasurer Dixon said he was proud to have an ancestor who served in the 39th Regiment.  Dr. Papenfuse said he would send Treasurer Dixon the reference to his ancestor by email.

    Finally, Dr. Papenfuse advised the Commission that photographs of Judge Murphy are available for anyone who provides the Archives with a donation in Judge Murphy's name.

    Next meeting

    Chairman Bell said that the Commission members would be notified of the next meeting and would receive a packet in the mail prior to the meeting.


    There being no further business to discuss, Dr. Phillips offered a motion to adjourn the meeting at 1:24 p.m., which was seconded by Secretary Richkus and unanimously approved, the Chairman concurring.

    Approved by the Hall of Records Commission, November 14, 2001

                                                The Honorable Robert M. Bell, Chairman

                                                Edward C. Papenfuse, Jr., Secretary

    Dr. Edward C. Papenfuse
    State Archivist

    Maryland State Archives

    350 Rowe Boulevard
    Annapolis, Maryland 21401

    Email: If you have an Email account linked to your WEB browser, click here to activate your mail program to send an inquiry or message to me at archives@mdarchives.state.md.us or contact me at (410) 260-6403.

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