The Reynolds Family Papers digital collection features the correspondence of brothers William and John Fulton Reynolds of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Older brother William Reynolds served as a naval officer on the U.S. Exploring Expedition from 1838-1842, and was one of the first North Americans to view Antarctica. His younger brother, John Fulton Reynolds, had a distinguished if not abbreviated military career, serving in both the Mexican War and the American Civil War. He was killed on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, July 1, 1863. For additional resources, see the Reynolds Family Papers research guide.
The digital collection includes letters from William Reynolds to sister Lydia Moore Reynolds dated 1834 to 1838, prior to his departure with the U.S. Exploring Expedition. It also includes letters between William Reynolds and father John Reynolds dating 1824-1845 and between William Reynolds and sisters Harriot, Eleanor and brother James, 1853-1877. Further letters by William Reynolds from the 1838-1842 U.S. Exploring Expedition letters are available transcribed in print in Voyage to the Southern Ocean by Anne Hoffman Cleaver and E. Jeffrey Stann.
The letters of John Fulton Reynolds dated 1849 to 1863, were compiled in a scrapbook by his younger sister Eleanor Reynolds. These items can be discovered with the rest of the collection or explored separately in the Eleanor Reynolds Scrapbook.
The digital collection also contains military orders and correspondence to and from John Fulton Reynolds, 1847-1863 as well as union military dispatches to and from John Fulton Reynolds, 1862.
The digital collection presents a selection of the Reynolds Family Papers Collection. For more information about the physical collection, see the Reynolds Family Papers finding aid.
The original Reynolds Collection project was digitized with the support of a 2002 NETShare grant award. The award program is an extension of the federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and is administered in Pennsylvania through the Department of Education, Office of Commonwealth Libraries.
Transcriptions were created during the NETShare grant project by Steve Ness and Kristin Raab. An additional selection of letters between William Reynolds and father John Reynolds dating 1824-1845 and between William Reynolds and sisters Harriot, Eleanor and brother James, 1853-1877 were transcribed by Glenn Knight.