Reeve Family Papers, 1767-1866
Ms 18
Ms 18

Summary Information

Fairfield Museum and History Center
Reeve family
Reeve Family Papers, 1767-1866
Ms 18
Date [inclusive]
0.5 Linear feet
General Physical Description note
(1 box, 375 items)
This collection includes correspondence and other papers of the Tapping Reeve family of Litchfield, CT and also includes items from Aaron Burr and Lyman Beecher.

Preferred Citation note

Item, Collection Title, Collection number (Box #, Folder #). Fairfield Museum and History Center, Fairfield, Connecticut.

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Biographical/Historical note

Tapping Reeve (1744-1823), the son of Presbyterian minister Abner Reeve, was born in Brookhaven, NY and educated at the College of New Jersey (Princeton). He moved to Connecticut in 1771, was admitted to the bar in 1772, and moved to Litchfield in 1773. Tapping Reeve is noted as the founder and first teacher of the Litchfield School of Law, as judge of the Connecticut Superior Court, and as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Errors. He was active in the political, civic and religious affairs of his community, publishing many legal and political works throughout his lifetime. He was noted as an advocate of equal education and equal legal rights for women.

Sarah (Sally) Burr Reeve (1754-1797), first wife of Tapping Reeve, was the daughter of President Burr of Princeton and sister of Aaron Burr (1756-1836). She was in poor health throughout much of her adult life.

Elizabeth (Betsy) Thompson Reeve (1774-1842) was Tapping's second wife and was born in Watertown, CT. They married in Bethlehem in 1798. She may have been his housekeeper at one time.

Aaron Burr Reeve (1780-1809), only child of Tapping Reeve, married Annabelle Shelton (1798-1849). Their son Tapping Burr Reeve (1809-1829) died while a student at Yale College.

Amelia Ogden (1779-1866) was described by Lyman Beecher's daughter as "another inmate of the orphan who held the place of a daughter in the household."


A Genealogical Register of the Inhabitants of the Town of Litchfield, Connecticut by George C. Woodruff, Hartford Press, 1980.

Autobiography, Correspondence, etc. of Lyman Beecher, D. D., ed. by Charles Beecher, New York, Harper and Sons, 1865.

Dictionary of American Biography, Charles Scribner's, New York, 1935.

The Bench and Bar of Litchfield County, Connecticut, 1709-1909, by Dwight C. Kilbourn, Litchfield, 1909.

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Scope and Contents note

This list is made up primarily of personal letters coming in to Tapping Reeve and his immediate family, and to and from Aaron Burr. There are also bills, receipts, notes and one deed belonging to Tapping Reeve, a few outgoing letters and some miscellaneous items.

The letters are arranged alphabetically by correspondent under the Reeve family members listed in the biographical note and Aaron Burr. Much of the collection has been transcribed. The final two folders hold copies of Amelia Ogden's will and probate records and the sermon preached at the funeral of Tapping Reeve by Lyman Beecher. Some of the letters, bills and checks have been laminated.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Fairfield Museum and History Center

370 Beach Rd.
Fairfield, CT

Conditions Governing Access note

There are no restrictions on access to this collection.

Conditions Governing Use note

Use of the material requires compliance with the Fairfield Museum and History Center regulations.

Custodial History note

The origin of these items is unclear, possibly a donation by Annie Burr Jennings.

Processing Information note

This collection was processed by Irene Miller in May 1982.

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Controlled Access Headings

Personal Name(s)

  • Beecher, Lyman, 1775-1863
  • Burr, Aaron, 1756-1836
  • Ogden, Amelia, 1779-1866
  • Reeve, Aaron Burr, 1780-1809
  • Reeve, Elizabeth Thompson, 1774-1842
  • Reeve, Sarah Burr, 1754-`797
  • Reeve, Tapping Burr, 1809-1829
  • Reeve, Tapping, 1744-1823


  • Correspondence.
  • Judges--Connecticut--Litchfield--Correspondence.
  • Lawyers--Connecticut--Litchfield--Correspondence.
  • Real property--Connecticut--Litchfield County.
  • Receipts (financial records)

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Collection Inventory

 Folder A Aaron Burr 1775-1831   11.0 items

Timothy Edwards 1775 

Sally Reeve 1777, 1779, 1780, n.d.   4.0 items

Tapping Reeve 1786, n.d.   3.0 items

Calvin Goddard 1831 

Receipt 1790 

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 Folder B Aaron Burr   4.0 items

Photocopies of correspondence, outgoing to P. Van Gaasbeck 1795 

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 Folder C Transcripts of Items in Folders A and B   17.0 items

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 Folder D Tapping Reeve Outgoing Correspondence   6.0 items

Sally Reeve 1773, n.d.   2.0 items

Betsy Reeve n.d.   3.0 items

Unidentified n.d. 

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 Folder E Tapping Reeve Incoming Correspondence 1772-1823   20.0 items

W. Barnes 1820 

Annabelle Sheldon Reeve Burr 1814 

Thaddeus Burr 1775, 1783 

Peter Colt 1772 

John P. Cushman 1820 

Pierpont Edward 1782 

Sam W. Hopkins 1812 

Jos. Johnson 1820 

Alfred Lathrop 1823 

Ezekiel Lewis 1781 

Charles Marsh 1820 

V. Maxcy 1809 

John Moseley 1820 

Eldred Simkins 1820 

J. C. Smith 1820 

Melancton Smith 1792 

Benjamin Tallmadge 1807   2.0 items

John Woodhull (bestowing of Princeton honorary degree on Tapping) 1813 

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 Folder F Tapping Reeve Legal and Financial Notes 1789-1807   7.0 items

Thomas Collier n.d. 

Caleb Baron 1802 

Daniel Potter 1807 

David Pierpont 1789 

Mr. Stoddard n.d. 

Col. Talmadge n.d. 

Agreement re: use of sawmill between Asa Sanford and Tapping Reeve 1805 

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 Folder G Tapping Reeve Financial Records 1791-1820   28.0 items

Receipts from: 

Joseph Belden 1820 

Thomas Brau and Austin Ginby 1815 

Dan Hopkins 1806 

Hezekiah Howe 1816 

H. Howe and P. I. I. Barnard 1816 

Dan Huntington 1805 

Joel Jones 1819 

Charles G. Reichel 1795 

Roger Skinner 1790, 1798 

Promissory notes and receipts 

Phoenix Branch Bank, Litchfield 1818, 1819 

Tax receipts 1790, 1816 

Connecticut Bible Society 1811, 1815, 1816 

American Board Commissioners for Foreign Missions 1819 

Samuel W. Hopkins 1809 

Robert Lenox 1823 

B. Tallmadge & Co. 1791, 1793 

Robert Whitten 

Notes, bills, bills of credit 

Betsey Collins 1815 

I. Cooke 1808, 1812 

Ezra Bronson 1792 

Jon Bunell and John Ensign 1793 

Dorcas Post 1807 

William Mitchel 1781 

Jesse Moss vs. Antony Taylor n.d. 

Moses Seymour 1805 

Quit claim deed, Selectman of Litchfield to T. Reeve 1813 

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 Folder H Transcripts of Some Items in Folders D-G   56.0 items

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 Folder I Sarah Burr Reeve Incoming Correspondence 1767-1774   17.0 items

Eunice Burr 1773 

Sally DeVoe 1790, 1774 

Pamela Dwight 1771 

Polly Grant 1767, 1771, 1773, 1774 

Polly Lyman n.d. 

Mary Ogden 1772 

Theodosia Provost 1770 

R. E. n.d. 

S. O. n.d. 

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 Folder J Elizabeth Reeve Incoming Correspondence 1809-1829   17.0 items

C. E. Beecher 1809 

Lyman and Harriet Beecher 1809 

A. G. Bris and Sarah Bush 1829 

Geo. Brach 1824 

M. R. Cornelius (Dr. Kissam's notes) n.d. 

Harriet Corning n.d. 

Sally Corning n.d. 

Harriet Cowles 1829 

Ogden Edwards 1807 

Jos. C. Hornblower 1829 

Helen Kent 1829 

Mr. Kilbourn n.d. 

John Cotton Smith 1829 

S. H. Tomlinson 1820, n.d. 

Unidentified n.d. 

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 Folder K Transcripts of Items in Folders I and J   36.0 items

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 Folder L Aaron Burr Reeve Outgoing Correspondence 1798-1807   17.0 items


Mrs. Betsy Reeve 1798, 1799, 1800, 1801, n.d. 

Tapping and Betsy Reeve 1802, n.d. 

David Bacon 1809 


D. Randolph 1807 

H. B. Rogers n.d. 

Oliv. Wolcott 1806 

Essay: "On a Taste for Science" with note Aaron kept for T. B. Reeve 

Receipt: J. H. & W. Townsend 1803 

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 Folder M Thaddeus Burr Reeve Incoming Correspondence   2.0 items

Annabelle and David Burr 1826 

Copy of letter from Jeremiah Day, President of Yale College re: TBR's death 1829 

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 Folder N Transcripts of Some Items in Folders L-M   16.0 items

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 Folder O Amelia Ogden Correspondence 1827-1846   19.0 items

Certificate from Connecticut Historical Society re: donation of cane 1844 

Betsy Reeve n.d. 

Mr. Burgouyn 1843 

V. D. Bonesteel 1831 

M. Burgouyn 1846 

E. P. Corning 1833 

Edward H. Cumming 1828, 1829, 1830, 1831 

Mary Ann Delafield 1827 

W. Devereux 1829 

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 Folder P Amelia Ogden Incoming Correspondence 1829-1841   17.0 items

Henry B. Edwards 1832 

George Bourne Farnsworth n.d. 

Ward E. Hunt 1831 

Theodore Woolsey Porter 1831 

Benj. Price 1829, 1820, 1832, 1833 

C. W. Rogers 1833 

Julia Sherrill (includes poem) 1829 

Ann Elice 1832 

E. J. J. 1833 

Harriette 1836 

unidentified 1829 

N. S. n.d. 

unidentified 1849 

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 Folder Q Transcripts of Some Items in Folders O-P   34.0 items

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 Folder R Miscellaneous Items   8.0 items

Printing estimate n.d. 

Bill, Miss Brace 1812 

Bill, Alexander Catlin to Pierpont Edward 1776 

Letter to Mrs. Reeve from PWG n.d. 

Fragment of letter 1824 

John C. Smith vs. Ebenezer Plumb and James Johnson 1788 

James Johnston vs. Reuben Smith 1792 

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 Folder S Miscellaneous Items   30.0 items

Transcripts of some items in Folder R 

Copy of will and probate records of Amelia Ogden 

Sermon, Preached at the Funeral of the Hon. Tapping Reeve by Lyman Beecher, D.D., printed by S. S. Smith (photostat of original from Sterling Library, Yale University) 1827 

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