Treasure Trove of Documents Discovered in Maryland Attic

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Members of the list may be interested to hear that a remarkable cache of documents spanning the 1660s through the mid-20th century has been recently uncovered in an old Eastern Shore manor house. Poplar Grove, granted to the Emory family by Lord Baltimore in 1669, and still in the possession of descendants, is a veritable treasure trove of 400 years of American history. The well-connected Emorys played important roles in national and state politics, and served in every major military conflict from the Revolution to World War II. They also saved virtually every scrap of paper that came into their possession, including 17th century land records, a letter from a West Point cadet describing ex-President Monroe's 1828 visit to the Academy, important Civil War documents, an antislavery petition signed by dozens of Eastern Shore residents in the 1830s, and a detailed description by Tench Coxe of buying a slave in Philadelphia in 1779.

Through a partnership between the Maryland State Archives and the C.V. Starr Center for the American Experience at Washington College, a team of four student researchers under the direction of State Archivist Dr. Edward Papenfuse, is spending the summer carefully inventorying, transcribing, and cataloguing these priceless resources. The Poplar Grove papers will eventually be accessible to researchers through the Maryland State Archives.

The project has aroused quite a bit of public interest. To share its findings with all those following the story, the Poplar Grove team has created a blog that will be updated throughout the summer, and will include scans of some of the more interesting finds: HYPERLINK "" The team welcomes postings of comments and questions on the blog site.

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