[1834–1903, Letters of Attorney and Judge Harvey Klapp Fowler of Manchester, Vermont, plus Misc. Letters and Manuscripts].

Bulk of the archive is incoming letters to student and young attorney and judge H.K. Fowler, 1837–1847

Archive of 25 letters and papers of Vermont attorney, Harvey K. Fowler (1818–1909?).

The bulk of the archive comprises 15 incoming letters, from 1837 to 1847, sent to student and, later, young attorney and judge, H.K. Fowler. One outgoing letter from Fowler plus some legal documents and misc. papers, possibly associated with his law practice, are also seen.

Harvey Klapp Fowler was born in Poughkeepsie, New York where his father, Jacob Fowler (1784–1849), was a merchant and, later, farmer. In 1837, just as the present correspondence begins, Harvey K. Fowler moved to Manchester, Vermont to study at the Burr and Burton Seminary. He studied law with the firm of Sergeant & Miner, was admitted to the bar in 1843, and subsequently started his own practice, Sergeant & Fowler.

Fowler practiced law in Manchester for 57 years, retiring in 1900. He served as register of probate, master in chancery, deputy county clerk, and, on and off for various terms, as judge. He served in the latter office for about 28 years in all.¹

Correspondents writing to Fowler include his father; his mother, Ruth Klapp Fowler (d.1847); his future wife, Mary Jane Noble; his brother, Jesse C. Fowler (1811–1846); other Fowler Family members; and a letter signed “Sergeant,” by his law partner, Leonard Sergeant (1793–1880), of the firm Sergeant & Fowler. Sergeant served as a Vermont legislator and, from 1846–1848, Lieutenant Governor.

Selected excerpts:

Respected son, I received your letter dated the 3d February on the 21st at a later hour than usual on acct of Isaac & Moses leaving the store and Elias becoming a news agent in the post office they both have quit and invetoryed [inventoried] the goods to Elias and in the spring James Barlow becomes a partner with Elias. ... Amos has taken his stand with George Brown in the Hollow opposite the blk. Smith Shop, where he carrys [sic] on his shoe business. ([Jacob Fowler], Union[?] Vale, Dutchess County [N.Y.], March 2, 1838)
No! Jane has not declined writing to you. Do you think she would refuse to comply with your last request? With the last promise made you when we parted? ... I see by your writing that you have fears in regard to me. I do not charge you of being jealous… There is no call for fears at present. ... You are constantly seeing new faces forming new acquaintances. You will doubtless see many that your Green mountain girl will not compare with. But Hello Harvey I have no fears. ... I do not see a gentleman once in two weeks, and if I did they would not speak to me because I am engaged and Mr. F. would cane them. What do you think that the Dorset [Vermont] loaffers troubled themselves very very much about me and the little Lawyer. ([Mary] Jane [Noble], fiancée of HKF, September 4, 1840)
I recd. your two letters & should have answered before…but it was not until last evening that the all absorbing question of the [legislative] Session (bridging the Lake) was disposed of (defeated). Now we may rise tomottow & may not until next week. There is yaet some inmportant business on hand…to wit Removal of Franklin County buildings to Sheldon (passed the house). Removal of State’s prison to Isle La Motte [in Lake Champlain] (engrossed in the Senate). ... I shall never wish to come here again, at least in my official character—there is too much corruption in political life to keep quiet conscience. ([Lt. Governor Leonard] Sergeant, Montpelier, November 11, 1847)
There is one more request the first Tu[e]sday in next month I deliver a temperance address. I cannot get read of it. I want you to fix one for me. You will have a chance to get something of that nature but keep it dark fromJoshua and all others. It will be a great job for you but a greater one for me and I have not time to bother with it. I will have to study it and that will be enough for me, don’t you think so. On the evils of intemperance is the subject, the powerful influence of appetite address to the ladies & mothers the necessity of their[?] influence &c. As son as you can do it I will inclose a V [a $5. banknote?] for your trouble. (Jesse C. Fowler, Washington Hollow [Dutchess County, New York], October 4, 1837)
Pop looks as well as I have seen him in five years. Jane & Ed goes to [New] york in May the store the corner of Fulton & Broadway Ed is determined to get rich or Poor. ...if I have no relapse I shall be off to the west or South before that time… we have a wedding in Poughkeepsie, the Journal is Married to the Eagle, two Whig papers, it takes two whig Papers to make one so of course takes two whigs to make one & this will be the majority, this fact[?] we shall get two to the Whigs one & Van [Martin Van Buren] will be the man. (J.C. Fowler, Washington Hollow [Dutchess County, New York], April 11, 1844)

Among the correspondence there is one autograph letter signed by Judge Fowler in 1847, commenting on his father’s health and mental state. Two additional letters are also found in the collection, possibly to and/or from Fowler’s relations. Two poetical manuscripts, approx. 4 manuscript pages are also seen; they may be by a woman, A.E. Marsh, possibly Aurelia E. Marsh (see legal papers and documents).

Legal documents and papers in the collection, while not specifically noting any connection to Judge Fowler, may pertain to his legal practice or to the extended Fowler family. These include an 1843 deed in Bennington County, Vermont; an 1849 Vermont indenture between Jonathan Hapgood and Aurelia E. Marsh; Hapgood’s 1870 last will and testament; and an 1846 account list of legal expenses.

One typed document, 1903 articles of agreement, is signed by all four of Judge Harvey K. and Mary Jane Noble Fowler’s children: Frances J. Fowler, Warren Fowler, E[dmond].H. Fowler, and J[oseph].W. Fowler.

Description: [1834–1903, Letters of Attorney and Judge Harvey Klapp Fowler of Manchester, Vermont, plus Misc. Letters and Manuscripts].

[Various places in Vermont, New York, etc.], 1834, 1837–1847, 1870, 1886, and 1903. Approx. [42] manuscript pages. 25 items comprising: 18 Autograph Letters Signed, 5 legal documents and misc. papers (including one typed document signed), and 2 misc. manuscripts. Mostly 4tos and folios, including bifoliums. Folds; overall, very good.


Ref. 1. Carleton, Genealogical and Family History of the State of Vermont (New York, 1903), pp132–134.

Price: $350.00