Scope and arrangement
Theodore Tilton was an American abolitionist, newspaper editor, poet, and supporter of women's rights, who brought suit against Henry Ward Beecher in 1874 for adultery with his wife Elizabeth R. Tilton. Collection consists of miscellaneous correspondence concerning personal, business and political matters; a few writing fragments; a clipped autograph; checks and a receipt signed by Tilton; and his voting proxy for New York Tribune Association director elections. Most letters, some in draft, are written by Tilton during his editorship of The Independent newspaper. Several items from 1866 concern Independent publisher Henry C. Bowen's loss of a political appointment due to Tilton's editorial stance against President Andrew Johnson. An 1869 letter from American diplomat E.D. (Ebenezer D.) Bassett to Tilton concerns Frederick Douglass and the Haitian mission. Letters to Gordon L. Ford of the New York Tribune are also present. Personal items include an 1865 invitation to celebrate the Tilton's tin wedding anniversary; a poem dated June 20, 1869, not by Tilton, celebrating the birth of the Tiltons' son Theodore; a letter dated August 6 from Tilton to Ford advising of the birth of a son; and an undated affectionate letter from Tilton to his wife. Correspondence also includes two letters by Elizabeth R. Tilton concerning a theater engagement and the address of her husband's lecture agent, as well as two letters to the Editor of the Tribune from subscribers expressing opinions on the Beecher-Tilton trial, 1875.