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Catherine G. Wirt letter

 Collection — Box: BW 7, Folder: 1 [X031589291]
Identifier: MSS 16174

Scope and Contents

Catherine G. Wirt letter, March 17, 1836, to Mrs. Matilda Crossitt of Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky, seeking to obtain letters that her father, William Wirt, had written to Mrs. Crossitt's father, makes up 0.03 cubic feet.

People associated with the letter include Mrs. Hester Edwards (nee Pope), Samuel L. Southard, and Mr. Green in Washington D. C.


  • Creation: 1836 March 17

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

Catherine G. Wirt letter, March 17, 1836, mentions Mrs. Hester Edwards who was related to Mary Todd Lincoln. She was born Hester Pople and married Presley Edwards in Lexington, Kentucky in 1810. Presley was one of Benjamin Edwards sons. Benjamin Edwards was born in Stafford County, Virginia in 1753. He had 13 children. Benjamin also had a son named Ninian Edwards who became governor of Illinois. Ninian Edwards had a son named Ninian Wirt Edwards who married Elizabeth Todd, the oldest sister of Mary Todd Lincoln. Mrs. Matilda Cossitt's nephew is Ninian Wirt Edwards. Matilda's brother Presley was the husband of Hester Pope Edwards, making Hester her sister-in-law. Catherine's father, William Wirt read the Eulogy at the Funeral of Benjamin Edwards.

William Wirt (1772-1834) was an American author and statesman credited with turning the position of United States Attorney General into one of influence under James Monroe. In Virginius Dabney's, Mr. Jefferson's University, Dabney writes, "The brilliant and versatile William Wirt, then Attorney General of the U. S. and chief prosecutor of the Aaron Burr trial for treason in 1807, was offered the professorship of law, along with the presidency of the University. Jeferson had not contemplated electing anyone president of the institution, since he preferred a chairman of the faculty, but in order to get Wirt it was necessary to offer him the two positions. Wirt declined. " When Wirt was found to be unavailble, John T. Lomax" was chosen professor of law.

Ninian Wirt Edward (1809-1899) was an American politician. Born in Sangamon County, Illinois. Edwards was the son of Ninian Edwards, the Illinois territorial and state Governor of Illinois. He was married to Elizabeth Todd (sister of Mary Todd Lincoln). In 1834-1835 he was Attorney General for Illinois. He also served in the Illinois House of Representatives, the Illinois State Senate, the Constitutional Convention of 1847, and the Illinois Superintendent of Public Instruction in 1854-1857.


0.03 Cubic Feet (One folder in a document box BW 7.)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was purchased from Crown Collectibles by the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia on July 11, 2016.

Catherine G. Wirt letter
Ellen Welch
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States