Salt family letters
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of, for the majority, correspondence between members of the Salt family of Bath, N.Y. William M. Salt is a major contributor to this correspondence, as are three of his sisters Elinor, Mary (Mollie), and Caroline (Caddie). There are also some receipts and bills, and other writings which included recipes for toilet soap and poems. In addition, there are included some letters from individuals not apparently related to the Salt family.
The collection spans the years of 1808 through 1917, although the bulk of the materials cover the 1850's through the 1890's. Some correspondence was undated. Letters written by William Salt, Jr. include his perspective on the start of the Civil War while in Arkansas, his trip to Rome, Italy in 1870, and his experiences of life at Seton Hall College. The letters of Elinor Salt and Caddie Salt are also particularly detailed in describing life for women and families in the 1800's in the New York and New Jersey areas, and include personal thoughts, feelings, and ambitions as well as observations on events. The material is generally in good condition, with the exception of a small number of letters which are damaged and/or faded.
A letter from William Salt, Jr. to his sister Elinor dated 4 May 1861 details the takeover of Fort Smith, Arkansas by Confederate troops (folder 7). Another letter by William Salt, Jr. to one of his sisters, dated 26 May 1870, describes his experiences in Rome, Italy (folder 14).
- Creation: 1808-1917
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1850 - 1890
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
All materials available in this collection (unless otherwise noted) are the property of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center and Seton Hall University, which reserves the right to limit access to or reproduction of these materials. Reproduction of materials or content is subject to United States copyright restrictions and may be subject to federal or state privacy regulations. Permission to publish exact reproductions must be obtained from the Director of the Archives and Special Collections Center.
Biographical / Historical
The Salt family originally lived in Brooklyn, NY but moved to Bath, NY in the 1840s. William Salt married Jane Dodge of Brooklyn and the couple had nine children: William Salt, Jr., Mary, John, Elinor, Caroline, Phoebe, Jennie (possibly Jane), Dannie, Sarah, and Wellington.
William Salt, Sr. was a carpenter. Jane Dodge Salt had at least two sisters, Elinor and Sarah, and a brother, Titus Dodge. Elinor Dodge married Oliver Hicks and had a son Oliver. After her husband died, she lived with her mother, Jane Dodge, in Brooklyn. A cousin, Elinor Gustin, apparently lived in Pennsylvania. The family was Baptist.
William Salt, Jr., was the oldest child of William and Jane Salt. He was born in Brooklyn on 19 September 1837. When the family moved to Bath, he attended school for a time before leaving to work in his father's shop and continued to study on his own. At age 18, he began studying law and teaching school. In 1859, he converted to the Episcopal Church and decided to join the ministry, later receiving an offer to teach at a parish school in Van Buren, Arkansas. He arrived at this school in 1860, and remained there after the outbreak of the Civil War, unable to return to New York before travel was halted. After the school at which he was teaching, located within an army fort, was broken up, Salt entered the Theological Seminary at Camden, South Carolina. He and the other students at the seminary were later drafted into the Confederate Army, and he served for almost three years in the Marion Artillery. Towards the end of the war, he and another soldier made the journey north on foot, working at a farm for a time on the way.
After his return to Bath in July 1865, Salt worked for his father for a time before teaching at the Academy at Bath. Questioning his faith in the Episcopal Church, he investigated the Roman Catholic Church and was baptized in that faith on 12 October 1867 at St. Ann's Church in New York City, NY. He then entered the seminary at Seton Hall College before being sent by Bishop Bayley to study at the American College at Rome in 1870. Suffering ill health, he returned to Seton Hall and was ordained a priest 3 June 1871. Salt was appointed Professor of Logic, filled various chairs, was Director of the Seminary and Treasurer of the College, and was made Vicar General of the Diocese of Newark by Bishop Wigger. In 1881 he resigned as Treasurer but continued to teach and direct the Seminary until the late 1880s. He died on 7 October 1890.
Mary Salt, sometimes called Mollie by her sisters, married Burchard Platt in approximately 1880 and had a son, Roger. They lived in Bath. Burchard Platt died in 1905.
John Salt, born approximately 1839 (Drake account), worked in the naval shipyards in New York during the Civil War and then enlisted in the Union Army, a corporal in the 173rd NY Volunteers. He kept a diary during the war, and was killed in action during the assault on Port Hudson, Louisiana in 1863 (Drake account).
Elinor Salt was a teacher.
Caroline Salt, also called Cadeline, Carrie, and Caddie, may also have been a teacher.
Dannie Salt apparently married and had a daughter named Lizzie.
Sources: Marshal, Rev. William F. "Seton Hall College," Seton Hall College Catalogue, 1895-1896. (South Orange, NJ: Seton Hall College, 1895) and an account by Don Drake of Bath, NY (1960).
2.5 Linear Feet (, Approximately 800 items.)
Language of Materials
The Salt family originally lived in Brooklyn, NY but moved to Bath, NY in the 1840s. William Salt married Jane Dodge of Brooklyn and the couple had nine children: William Salt, Jr., Mary, John, Elinor, Caroline, Phoebe, Jennie (possibly Jane), Dannie, Sarah, and Wellington. This collection consists of, for the majority, correspondence between members of the Salt family. William M. Salt is a major contributor to this correspondence, as are three of his sisters Elinor, Mary (Mollie), and Caroline (Caddie). There are also some receipts and bills, and other writings which included recipes for toilet soap and poems. In addition, there are some letters from individuals not related to the Salt family. The collection spans the years of 1808 through 1917, although the bulk of the materials cover the 1850's through the 1890's. Topics covered in the correspondence includes the outbreak of the Civil War in Arkansas, life at Seton Hall College, and life for women and families in New York and New Jersey.
This collection was arranged chronologically.
Preservica Internal URL
Preservica Public URL
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection was purchased for the Archives and Special Collections Center by Alan B. Delozier in 2010. Accession number 2010.0025.
Existence and Location of Copies
Select items from this collection have been digitized. To view these items, click here.
This collection was processed by Lori Lauterbach and Tracy M. Jackson, May and June 2012. Finding aid written and encoded by Lori Lauterbach and Tracy M. Jackson, July 2012.
Genre / Form
- Salt family letters, 1808-1917 (bulk 1850-1890)
- Lori Lauterbach and Tracy Jackson
- June 2012
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.