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Julia Butler Newberry and Family Papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-NewberryJ

Scope and Content of the Collection

Small collection of letters relating to Julia B. Newberry and her relatives, 1832-1880 and also undated, plus letters of credit from Julia's bankers, 1872-1885. There is one letter from Julia's father, James Clapp, to Henry R. Mygatt in 1832, in which he discusses a conversation with President Jackson, the political climate in Washington, and his opinion on the threat of nullification in the south. A second letter from Clapp to Mygatt in 1852 contains Clapp's thoughts on the Wilmot Proviso and the future of the Union. The rest of the collection contains photocopies of a transcription of Mary Butler Devereux's diary of the mid-nineteenth century, a tiny scant diary kept by unknown persons (1876, 1903), a photocopy of genealogical research on the Butler, Devereux, Kernan families (1921), and a photocopy of Probate Court record in 1877 regarding Walter L. Newberry's estate.


  • Creation: 1800-1921



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Julia Butler Newberry and Family Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 5 folders at a time maximum (Priority II).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Julia Butler Newberry and Family Papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of Julia Butler Newberry

Julia Butler Newberry was born Julia Butler Clapp in 1818. She became Julia Butler Newberry when she married Walter Loomis Newberry, a prominent Chicago businessman.

The Newberrys had six children, but four sons died as infants and only two daughters, Julia Rosa and Mary Louisa survived to adulthood. The family was extremely wealthy and so they not only resided in lavish style in Chicago, but were able to travel and live intermittently in Europe. Walter Newberry died on shipboard in 1868, his daughters died in 1874 and 1876, and Julia Butler Newberry died in Paris in 1885. By the terms of his will, as there were no direct heirs, half of Walter Newberry's fortune went to establish a free reference library on the north side of Chicago, the Newberry Library.

Among Julia Butler Newberry's immediate family (other than her husband and daughters) were her father, James Clapp, brothers Benjamin C. Butler (his name changed from Benjamin C. Clapp), Nicholas Devereux Clapp and James Clapp, Jr., aunts Mary Butler Devereux and Elizabeth Butler, and uncle John Clapp. Her relatives and descendants also included members of the Kernan, Mygatt, and Slingluff families.


0.4 Linear Feet (1 box)


Miscellaneous material relating to Julia Butler Newberry and her family. Contains original letters of Julia B. Newberry and her immediate family, 1830-1880, and photocopies of correspondence of the Butler, Clapp and Devereux families. Also, financial correspondence, a diary of Mary B. Devereux (photocopy), a small unknown diary, genealogical research on the Butler, Devereux, Kernan families, a few receipts and a photocopy of an 1877 probate record for the estate of Walter L. Newberry.


Arranged alphabetically by type of material.

Collection Stack Location

1 31 2


Gift of Jesse Slingluff, a descendent of a cousin of Julia Butler Newberry, 1975

Processed by

Virginia H. Smith, 2003

Inventory of the Julia Butler Newberry and Family Papers, 1800-1921
Virginia H. Smith
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States