Scope and arrangement
About 75% of the papers reflect the professional career of Isaiah Thornton Williams, an attorney who began the practice of law in Buffalo (N.Y.) in 1844 before removing to New York City where he continued to practice law from 1854 until his death in 1886. Included are legal case files arranged alphabetically by case title, legal correspondence arranged chronologically, and miscellaneous legal papers reflecting the litigation of cases before various courts in Erie and Westchester Counties and in New York City. The remainder of the collection consists of Williams' personal papers including correspondence, speeches, writings, bills and receipts, canceled checks and personal miscellany; and family correspondence and papers including correspondence with his wife, his children, brothers and sisters; papers of his sons, Elliot Williams, also an attorney, and Kenneth Williams; and printed ephemera.
The Isaiah Thornton Williams papers are arranged in three series:
This series contains case files, legal correspondence, miscellaneous legal papers, personal correspondence, speeches and writings, personal miscellany; and financial papers
Series includes family correspondence; the papers of Elliot Williams, and the papers of Kenneth Williams, both sons of Isaiah Thornton Williams
The printed ephemera consists of a chronological file (1855-1908) of miscellaneous ephemera; a file of court calendars (1875-1909); miscellaneous trade and calling cards; and other miscellany including a pamphlet endorsed by Elliot Williams entitled Discipline of the Yearly Meeting of Friends, Held in New York; for the State of New York and Parts Adjacent (N.Y., Baker & Duyckinck's Steam Presses, 1856).
The oversized papers include shipping articles for the ships "Palestine" (1850, Henry C. Scott, Master), the Clipper Steam Schooner "Peytona" (1853, James S. Nash, Master); accounts (1854-56) of the Steamships "Peytona" and "Polynesian"; and wage receipts (1855) for the Steamship "Peytona". The shipping articles list names of members of the crew, their stations, birthplace, age, height, and monthly wages.