Friends of the Maryland State Archives
dynamic ebook edition of 
The Outerbridge Horsey Collection of Lee, Horsey,
and Carroll Family Papers, MSA SC 1848
with the off line or on line indexed and hyperlinked calendar
Edward C. Papenfuse and Teresa M. Fountain

Lee family seal, from Thomas Sim Lee's signet ring
Courtesy of a private collector


The Outerbridge Horsey Collection of Lee, Horsey, and Carroll Family Papers, 1684-1890, MSA SC 1848, is the electronic on-line version of a collection of family papers, the originals of which for the most part are now owned by the Maryland Historical Society. They are in large measure the papers of Maryland Governor Thomas Sim Lee (1745-1819) , his son Congressman John Lee (1788-1871), his son-in-law Senator Outerbridge Horsey (1777-1842), and his grandson Outerbridge Horsey II (1819-1902), owners of a family estate, Needwood, in Frederick County, Maryland. Because of the connection of the Lees to the Carroll family, the collection also contains letters between Charles Carroll of Carrollton (1737-1832), the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, and his father, dating from the mid-eighteenth century when the signer was abroad in school. There are 1871 items in the collection, inventoried and indexed by the accompanying Guide, which is linked to an on-line exhibit relating to Governor Lee and his family prepared by the staff of the Maryland State Archives.


During the Watergate Hearings in 1973, I was invited into Ambassador Outerbridge Horsey's home in Georgetown to inspect a chest of Governor Thomas Sim Lee family papers he kept in the living room. I had just completed my dissertation on the merchants of Annapolis in the era of the American Revolution. Father Thomas Hanley, a friend of the family, had told me about Ambassador Horsey's collection and that he thought that it might contain correspondence of Maryland merchants, and about economic matters during the period of my studies. It proved to be a treasure trove. Some of the correspondence, particularly the letters of James McHenry, were transcribed and published, but the bulk of the collection remained as originally filed, unseen and unknown to scholars.  While Ambassador Horsey watched the hearings, I opened the manuscripts one by one, untying bundles that had not been opened in nearly 200 years. I numbered the letters in pencil (#2 lead) as I found them, filling out a simple inventory sheet as I did so.  Periodically I would disrupt the Ambassador's concentration on the hearings with exclamations about my discoveries.   He seemed not to mind, and would catch me up on anything important that I may have missed on the television, while I explained to him why I thought what I had found was of such historical importance. In the end, he permitted me to undertake an itemized  inventory, and to copy the collection, on condition that I would edit a microfilm edition.  In turn I convinced him that he should give the collection to the Maryland Historical Society, which he did, holding back only a few letters of particular interest and value to him, that ultimately the Ambassador's wife, Hamilton Lee Horsey,  in turn gave to the Maryland State Archives for our efforts to preserve and catalog the collection. The letters not included in the gift of originals to the Historical Society are included in the microfilm edition and ebooks here, but they are also on line as hyperlinked below, from MSA SC 5362, the Hamilton Lee Horsey Collection.

Later that summer of 1973, I was appointed assistant  State Archivist for Maryland, and followed through with my promise to Ambassador Horsey to provide an indexed inventory and microfilm edition of the collection.  It was my first effort at creating a published finding aid.   Together, Teresa Fountain of our then Photoduplication Department, and I carefully prepared the final text of the inventory, and she and her staff microfilmed the collection to archival standards.   We used a primitive word processing and composition program to sort my inventory into chronological order and numbered the items consecutively.  We then pulled the items from the order in which I found them into the chronological sequence of the calendar, microfilming as we did so.  The Maryland Historical Society was never able to find the money to print our finding aid, so we included the page proofs with the microfilm edition at the beginning of each of the four reels of film. In the intervening years the advent of on-line ebooks and high quality scanning of archival microfilm in which the Maryland State Archives has pioneered,  has made it possible for me to return to the collection and its inventory/index to produce this text searchable pdf of the finding aid and dynamic ebook edition of the microfilm images.  By dynamic I mean that now the images of the records can be transcribed and edited on line, adding value and usefulness to the collection. I hasten to add, that except for the scanning of the film which was contributed by the Maryland State Archives, this ebook edition was edited and produced on furlough days, and in my spare time as a contribution to the work of the Friends of the Maryland State Archives, and any gifts or income that may result from its sale or usefulness belong to the Friends.  A form for anyone wishing to make a donation to the Friends of the Maryland State Archives to help with the production of  ebooks like this one of Maryland records, and general information about the Friends is available here, along with a brochure about the mission of the Friends.

It can't be stressed enough how essential direct public appropriations and cash contributions are to saving our cultural memory.  While this effort at cataloging the Horsey papers was largely undertaken and carried through to this on line edition with volunteer hours, to sustain it on line at the Archives as a permanent electronic resource takes public support in the form of appropriations to the Archives and gifts from the Friends.  The same is true for the cost of housing and caring for the originals.  I hope that as the word is spread and the educational value of the collection on line is more widely recognized, closer attention will be paid to making the care of our cultural heritage a higher priority for public funding.   Fortunately the value  of this particular collection and the need to properly care for it  permanently as an electronic archival resource and in the original  has been greatly assisted by at least one major editorial project which has shaped our understanding of the only Catholic signer of the Declaration of Independence, Charles Carroll of Carrollton.   The collection contains several letters of Carroll of Carrollton's father, Charles Carroll of Annapolis, to his son while he was at school abroad, and the signer's replies.  The letters are not only valuable for their content, but also they help tell the story of the perils of communication across the seas in the 18th century.  Take for example one of the letters of  Charles Carroll of Annapolis to Charles Carroll of Carrollton in 1759.  This letter is transcribed and all known copies (three copies were sent by different ships) were compared in volume I, pp. 91-94, of Carroll, Charles Dear Papa, Dear Charley, Chapel Hill: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia,, 2001. Sadly, no standard citation of this work (MLA, Turabian, etc.) properly acknowledges the editors (Ron Hoffman, Sallie Mason, and Eleanor Darcy) or all the publishers of this work, thus curtailing general knowledge about the role they played in reconstructing the world of father and son.  Significant intellectual and institutional subsidies for this superb editorial production were provided by the Maryland State Archives and the Maryland Historical Society, while this collection, one among many that contributed to this landmark publication, is lost to the footnotes, where for reasons of economy in publication, the microfilm edition of the Horsey papers and accompanying Calendar on the film,  which led to the acquisition of the bulk of the Horsey collection by the Maryland Historical Society, and provided easy access to the 203 Carroll references in the indexed calendar of the collection, is not cited at all.

The major problem facing institutions that care for historical records is the funding of proper housing and access. The community at large has little or no appreciation for what it costs to maintain and access our cultural memory, and as a result, public and private funding is shrinking.  If we are to continue to make available the rich documentary heritage of this country in any meaningful and accessible way, that mind set must be changed.  Perhaps readily accessible and transcribable web editions of collections like this one will contribute to that change, if those who use it and contribute to it, spread the word that cash contributions are necessary from both  the private and the public sectors to sustain and continue to make accessible our cultural heritage?  It is how well we know ourselves and our past that provides the key to a better future. The crass plea is "open your pocketbooks and write your legislators," which is especially easy  to ignore, particularly in times of economic crisis, but if ways to sustainable funding are not found for efforts such as this, learning from the economic and cultural traumas and triumphs of the past will become increasingly difficult, if not impossible. Not only will our cultural heritage be lost, our cultural and economic future will suffer irreparable damage.  

The images in this ebook are scanned from the Maryland State Archives microfilm edition of the papers, and the images of the collection are divided up according to the reel of microfilm on which they appeared:

MSA SC 1848 

Lee, Horsey, and Carroll Family Papers, 1684-1781. Items 1 - 459


Lee, Horsey, and Carroll Family Papers, 1781-1791. Items 460 - 961. 


Lee, Horsey, and Carroll Family Papers, 1791-1834. Items 962 - 1379


Lee, Horsey, and Carroll Family Papers, 1834-1890, n.d. Items 1380 - 1871. 


The items in the collection now owned by the Maryland State Archives are also accessible from the data DVDs, but only when the data DVDs are connected to the Internet or when accessing the on line version of The Outerbridge Horsey Collection of Lee, Horsey, and Carroll Family Papers, MSA SC 1848 directly.

MSA SC 5362

(Color images of  letters in MSA SC 1848, the originals of which 

are owned by the Maryland State Archives.  

Note that hyperlinks only work when connected to the Internet) 





Letter, George Washington, (Mount Vernon) to Thomas Sim Lee.

Microfilm: msa_sc1848_m2361_154-512
Accession No.: msa_sc5362_1-1
Location: Vault

Original, microfilm, image


Letter, Marquis de Lafayette to Thomas Sim Lee.

Microfilm: msa_sc1848_m2361_374-518
Accession No.: msa_sc5362_1-2
Location: Vault

Original, microfilm, image


Letter, George Washington (New Windsor) to Thomas Sim Lee.

Microfilm: msa_sc1848_m2361_380-1264
Accession No.: msa_sc5362_1-3
Location: Vault

Original, microfilm, image


Letter, John Marshall (Richmond) to John Marshall, Jr.

Microfilm: msa_sc1848_m2363_1297-1220
Accession No.: msa_sc5362_1-4
Location: Vault

Original, microfilm, image


Letter, Robert E. Lee to Mrs. M. C. Lee.

Microfilm: msa_sc1848_m2364_1753-1208
Accession No.: msa_sc5362_1-5
Location: Vault

Original, microfilm, image


Letter, Jefferson Davis (Fortress Monroe, Virginia) to Miss Horsey.

Microfilm: msa_sc1848_m2364_1773-1204
Accession No.: msa_sc5362_1-6
Location: Vault

Original, microfilm, image

n. d.

Letter, D. P. [Dolley] Madison to Miss Lee.

Microfilm: msa_sc1848_m2364_1827-1253
Accession No.: msa_sc5362_1-7
Location: Vault

Original, microfilm, image

Except for those hyperlinked to images above, the originals included in this ebook edition of MSA SC 1848 are at the Maryland Historical Society, MS 1974, and are referenced as such in the accompanying Guide.

When the files of this ebook edition are accessed by a computer connected to the Internet, all hyperlinks in the on line version of the indexed version of the calendar link to the on line version of the ebooks. Also the jump script to move from page to page in the ebook is active and transcriptions of the items can be made on line.  Be sure to have the most recent versions of a browser and Adobe's pdf viewer working well wherever the files are accessed, on or off line.  I recommend Firefox and the Adobe plug in.  I also recommend that Zotero be used with Firefox for note taking and local drafting of transcriptions and editing.  Further instructions in that regard can be obtained by writing

When in an off line mode, use the pdf text search engine of the off line indexed and hyperlinked calendar to find the items you wish to view, and then go to the volume and page that contains the first image of the item by activating the local hyperlink. The box  at the top of the page of the ebook htmls will work within a volume on the local version of the ebooks when using the DVD edition if it is connected to the Internet.

The on line edition is also available through the on line catalog of the Maryland State Archives, Special Collections, msa_sc1848, and all items in the collection can be transcribed, when on line, as part of the Maryland State Archives transcription project,  For example, see the first image for the first volume (msa_sc1348_m2361) ready for transcription at In order to transcribe and edit, you must have a user name and password which is given on request according to the instructions given when you access the transcription site.  Just click on the transcribe hyperlink at the top or the bottom of the page, follow the instructions with regard to entering your user name and password, and begin transcribing or editing an existing transcription.  

Without Teresa Fountain's painstaking efforts at accurately filming this collection and helping me prepare and edit the inventory, neither the microfilm nor the ebook edition of MSA SC 1848 would have been possible.  It is the Teresa's of this world, through their high standards of service and quality of product, that are the heart of  a successful archives and the unsung champions of  scholarship.  Without their efforts much of our archival heritage would be obscured, if not lost, and we the poorer for it.

Edward C. Papenfuse
Maryland State Archivist and Commissioner of Land Patents
September 5, 2009

Note:  See the on line user's guide for assistance in working with the collection..
The on line version of The Outerbridge Horsey Collection of Lee, Horsey,
and Carroll Family Papers, MSA SC 1848 may contain corrections and edits not on the DVD publication.  In particular there were a very small number of items that escaped the cataloger and the microfilm camera operator. They are detailed in the errata sheet and will  be corrected in the on-line edition as time permits.

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