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Van Valkenburgh, Franklin Butler (1835-1924) to Emmeline Wells Pratt

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC06253.09 Author/Creator: Van Valkenburgh, Franklin Butler (1835-1924) Place Written: Milwaukee, Wisconsin Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 11 January 1860 Pagination: 4 p. ; 24.7 x 19.6 cm.

A letter written to Emmeline Wells Pratt by Franklin Butler Van Valkenburgh. Van Valkenburgh professes his love and reminisces on their time spent together. In pencil at the top of the letter it is written that Pratt is the fiance of Van Valkenburgh. This letter is believed to have been written in Milwaukee, Wisconsin due to the date and location in relation to other letters in the collection.

Franklin Butler Van Valkenburgh was born February 21, 1835 in Prattsburgh, Steuben County, New York and died May 9, 1924 in Milwaukee, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. He is the son of Jacob Van Valkenburgh and Mary Bethiah Van Valkenburgh. Franklin Van Valkenburgh had a twin brother, Gerrit Smith, and was one of eleven children. Van Valkenburgh's great grandfather, Jacob Van Valkenburgh immigrated to the United States in 1746 from Holland and settled in Claverback, New York. His grandfather, Bartholomew Jacob, served in Lieutenant Colonel Cornelius Van Duyck's Company in New York's 1st Battalion during the Revolutionary War and was married to Catherine Pruyn. Van Valkenburgh's father, Jacob, was the third oldest of ten children and was drafted into the army during the War of 1812. Van Valkenburgh's mother was a direct decedent of Mathew Gilbert, one of the original colonists in New Haven, Connecticut. Her baptismal name was Polly Bethiah Higgins, but she always wrote her name as Mary. Franklin Butler Van Valkenburgh was a lawyer in Milwaukee who married Emmeline Wells Pratt and had three children.

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