Manuscript Group 416, Munn Family (Essex County, NJ) Papers, 1774-1910 (Bulk dates: 1820-1890)


Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs

Manuscript Group 416, Munn Family (Essex County, NJ)

Papers, 1774-1910 (Bulk dates: 1820-1890), 1.0 linear foot / 2 boxes

Call Number: MG 416



Correspondence, diaries, legal document, and financial accounts of various members of an Essex County family.  Includes papers relating to the estate of Amos Munn (1763-1805), documents retained by Silas Munn (1786-1873) as constable of Bloomfield Township and as justice of the peace for Essex County; diary kept by Henry Benson Munn between 1851 and 1910.

Gift of Mrs. Sidney F. Taliaferro, 1958.

Biographical Note:

Amos Munn, the son of Jemima Pierson (1734-1819) and Benjamin Munn (1731-1818), was born on December 10, 1763 in Essex County, New Jersey.  At the age of sixteen, he fought as a private for the Essex County Militia during the Revolution, and at the close of the war married Jane Dodd (b. 1766), with whom he had eight children.  The couple settled in Bloomfield, New Jersey where Amos was a produce and livestock farmer.  On October 28, 1803, Amos Munn was commissioned Captain of Grenadiers, Second Battalion, Fifth Regiment, Essex Brigade.  He died of typhoid fever on August 8, 1805.

Silas Munn, the second son of Jane and Amos Munn, was born on March 19, 1786, probably in Bloomfield, New Jersey.  He fought in the War of 1812 and was commissioned First Lieutenant on January 17, 1813 and then Captain on February 10, 1820.

In 1820, Silas Munn married Lydia Campbell (1800-1866), with whom he had five children.  In 1830, the family moved from Bloomfield to Belleville, New Jersey where, from 1833-1838, Silas owned a store that sold oysters, pies, cake, root beer, and ginger pop.  During this time period, the store ran into financial problems and Munn was forced to sell some of his possessions in order to pay the store’s rent.  From 1831-1832, Silas Munn also served as the Constable of Bloomfield Township, and in 1857 was the Justice of the Peace for Essex County.  Silas Munn died in 1873.

Henry Benson Munn, the third son of Lydia and Silas Munn, was born in Belleville, New Jersey on August 1, 1826.  He entered the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) as a junior in 1845 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1847, and with a Masters of Arts in 1850.  He became the Principal Teacher at Ashland Hall Collegiate School in Montclair, New Jersey where he worked from 1847-1852.  He left teaching in 1852 to work as a lawyer in Newark and later Portage, Wisconsin where he moved in 1854.  Once there, he entered into a partnership with D.P. Williams and focused on land cases.  He was elected the Mayor of Portage in 1858, a member of the Wisconsin Legislature in 1859, and the Superintendent of Schools in 1862.

In 1867, he moved to Washington, D.C. and practiced patent law with W.D. Dodge, his partner from 1867-1872.  Near the end of his affiliation with Dodge, Munn formed a partnership with ex-Governor L.G. Farwell and Charles F. Stansbury in the real estate and banking businesses in Grant City, Missouri.  After living in Grant City from 1881-1884, Munn returned to Washington, D.C., where he practiced law until his retirement in 1889.  He was admitted to the bar of the Supreme Court of D.C. in 1872 and to the bar of the United States Supreme Court in 1888.  In 1881, at the age of 55, he married his partner’s daughter, Cornelia Louisa Farwell, and with her had four children.  Henry Benson Munn died in Washington on September 1, 1910.

See Munn Family Tree.


-Shaw, William H. History of Essex and Hudson Counties, New Jersey (Everts & Peck: Philadelphia, 1884), Vol. II, pgs. 725-726.

-Whittemore, Henry. History of Montclair Township, State of New Jersey, Including the History of the Families who Have Been Identified with its Growth and Prosperity (The Suburban Publishing Co: New York, 1894), pg. 197.

Provenance Note:

These papers were the gift of Helen Munn Taliaferro, daughter of Cornelia Louisa Farwell and Henry Benson Munn, 1958.

Scope and Content Note:

These papers are made up of the diaries, correspondence, land deeds, legal and financial documents of the Munn Family, particularly Henry Benson Munn and Silas Munn (1786-1873), dating from 1774-1910, with bulk dates of 1820-1890.

The majority of the collection is made up of the diaries of Henry Benson Munn, consisting of 56 small volumes and dating from 1850 until September 1, 1910, the day of Munn’s death.  The entries, especially in the early to middle diaries, are scattered and often track financial transactions such as purchases or money received.  More extensive entries touch upon the daily routine and personal life of Munn and cover such topics as family news, trips, visits, deaths, and the weather.  A typical entry, such as the one for February 10, 1867, reads, “In the office all day – took tea at Leonards in the evng & went to church with Lousy in Evng – cig – 15.”  There are also often newspaper clippings glued into the pages consisting of wedding or birth notices and obituaries.

The papers also contain the diary of Silas Munn (1786-1873), dating from 1854-1872.  The entries in this volume depict everyday life, discussing farm work, prices, the weather, and family visits, yet also cover national topics such as the Presidential elections of 1854 and 1860 and the Civil War.

The correspondence in the collection is also mostly that of Henry Benson Munn and Silas Munn (1786-1873) and is arranged by recipient.  The letters to Henry B. Munn are mostly from family members and generally deal with his research into the Munn Family genealogy.  There is, however, one letter written in 1852 by Abijah Munn detailing his trip to Weaverville, Trinity County, California, the gold mining industry in the area, and attacks by American Indians there.

The correspondence to Silas Munn is more varied and includes such topics as sightseeing in Bremen and Hannover, Germany; farm life in Paris and straighton, New York and East Union and Wooster, Ohio; Jacksonian politics and the election of 1828; cholera sickness in 1825; a tornado in straighton, New York in 1826; a fire in Massillon, Ohio in 1851; and family news and updates.

The papers also contain a number of land deeds, transacted mostly by Amos Munn, Aaron Munn, and Silas Munn (1786-1873) for lands in Newark, Bloomfield, and Belleville in Essex County, New Jersey, and in Harrison County, Iowa.  There are also a number of other legal and financial documents including two bills of sale for slaves, powers of attorney, leases, bonds, mortgages, bills, receipts, promissory notes, account books, and court documents including, depositions, notices, warrants, summons, inventories, and decisions or executions.  Many of the last items were used by Silas Munn as Constable of Bloomfield Township or as Justice of the Peace for Essex County.  Lastly, the papers also contain a subscription to the Bloomfield Light Artillery Brass Cannon, auction announcements and inventories, and a list of the creditors of Smith, Mason & Co. and Abraham Vreeland.

Container List:

Box Folder Title Dates
1 1 Correspondence to Henry Benson Munn from:
– E.A. Boyden (4 letters + 1 letter from Munn to Boyden) 1893
– Jonathan H. Condit 1900
– Bethuel L. Dodd (2 letters) 1900
– Jemima M. Gould 1893
– Abijah Munn 1852
– Alfred F. Munn (4 letters) 1883-1890
– Bethuel Munn (b.1823) (2 letters) 1893-1897
– Cyrus Munn 1877
– Mortimer Munn (2 letters) 1873, n.d.
– Moses Munn (3 letters) 1861-1866
– Reuben S. Munn 1883
– Silas Munn (1786-1873) 1861
– Silas Munn (b.1833) 1877
– E.V. Shepard (from the U.S. Patent Office) 1899
– Henry Whittemon 1895
1 2 Correspondence to Reuben S. Munn from:
– H.J. Roberts 1882
Correspondence to Silas Munn (1786-1873)
– Jeannie L. Campbell 1870
– Peter Hawes 1826
– Abijah Munn 1853
– Bethuel Munn (1784-1791) (9 letters) 1824-1851
– Mortimer Munn (3 letters) 1866-1868
– Reuben S. Munn 1866
1 3 Land Deeds – Aaron Munn:
– John P. and Maricha Sanford to Aaron Munn, David Munn, and Jane Munn April 13, 1809
– John P. and Maricha Sanford to Aaron Munn, David Munn, and Jane Munn April 13, 1809
Land Deeds – Amos Munn
– Caleb Camp, Sheriff to Amos Munn, land of Uriah James December 29, 1792
– Jehial and Betsey James to Amos Munn October 31, 1791
– Thomas and Mary James to Amos Munn May 16, 1791
– Captain Ezekiel Wade to Captain Amos Munn August 20, 1804
– Abraham Ward and James Hedden, executors of Isaac Plum, to Amos Munn June 6, 1801
Land Deeds – Henry B. Munn
– Henry B. Munn to A.J. Gilmore June 7, 1871
Land Deeds – Silas Munn (1786-1873)
– John Dodd to Silas Munn March 1, 1820
– John and Abigail Dodd to Silas Munn March 1, 1820
– Silas and Lydia Munn to William Hamilton March 29, 1832
– Bethuel Munn to Silas Munn March 12, 1823
– Jane Munn to Silas Munn March 12, 1832
– David H. and Joanna Riker to Silas Munn April 15, 1811
Land Deeds – Other:
– Mary Bush to Abraham Cadmus April 17, 1822
– Stephen Dod to Silas Dod 1774
– Thomas James to Jehial James June 1, 1790
1 4 Contracts:
– Bill of Sale: Thomas Bermetto to Amos Munn, “one black wench named Eve, with her female child named Margaret” September 12, 1803
– Bill of Sale: Jabez Camfield to Jacob Plum, “a certain negro boy named Jack, aged about five years and six months” November 2, 1807
– Deed for Pew: Trustees of the First Presbyterian Church in Bloomfield to Silas Munn February 1, 1814
– Estate Settlement: Division of the Real Estate of Amos Munn, deceased 1823
– Lease: B. Newhouse to William A. Munn 1848
– Lease: Joseph Port to William A. Munn 184?
– Patent: to Denison C. Pierce for improved Railroad-Frogs 1874
– Power of Attorney: Andrew Gray to Silas Munn 1832
– Power of Attorney: Thos. Roylance to Silas Munn 1831
– Power of Attorney: Amos Ward to Ezekiel Corby 1806
– Will (copy): Silas Dodd 1819
1 5 Bonds and Mortgages:
– Bond: Robert Anderson to Silas Munn April 30, 1822
– Mortgage: Robert Anderson to Silas Munn April 30, 1822
– Loan: Elija Brittain to John Brittain September 1832
– Mortgage: John Bush to Robert Rutgers June 12, 1812
– Bond: Anthony King, Bethuel Ward, Jr., and John Worth to Nicholas N. Poralman June 29, 1832
– Bond: William Haring (?) to John R. Laing October 20, 1832
– Bond: William Mason and Garret VanRiper to William Whitfield, Jr. August 6, 1832
– Endorsement of Bond and Mortgage of Silas Munn to John Dodd, by Amzi Dodd March 15, 1831
1 6 Financial Records: Bills, Receipts, and Promissory Notes 1812-1863
1 7 Account Books 1814-1820, n.d.
1 8 Court Documents: Depositions
– William H. Brant in case of William H. Brant vs. Willam Haines 1832
– Silas Munn in case of Silas Munn vs. Aaron E. Ballard 1833
– Charles Sanford in case of Charles Sanford vs. William H. Tupper 1857
– Samuel L. Ward 1827
Court Documents: Notices
– To John Conner: Demand immediate possession of the premises 1831
– To Mrs. Purdey: Leave the premises 1832
– To John Sutton: Date of Court Appointment 1832
Court Documents: Plaintiff’s Demands
– Charles Sanford vs. William H. Tupper 1857
– Theodore Sanford vs. William H. Tupper 1857
Court Documents: Summons
– Jurors, in the case of William R. Hodg vs. William P. Miller 1857
– Silas Munn, administrator of Henry Cook 1813
– Silas Munn, administrator of Harry Cook 1816
– Silas Munn, for trespassing charges against him by Robert H. Cuming 1827
Court Documents: Warrants
– Peter Bakeman, “a collour’d man” for disturbing religious worship 1833
– William Best and Anthony Garrison, debtors to John Pow 1832
– Duty Howe, debtor against John C. Lloyd 1833
1 9 Court Documents: Court decisions/executions
– William H. Brant vs. William Haines 1832
– Abraham H. Cadmus, assignee of Thos. S. Uffington (?) vs. John Moore (with 2 notes of instruction) 1831, 1832
– Caleb Duxbury vs. Andrew Gray 1832
– Isaac Jacobus vs. Aaron M. Jacobus 1833
– John C. Lloyd vs. John Winans 1832
– James R. Mills vs. John Raby 1833
– David Pierson and Silas Munn, administrators of Harry Cook 1809
– Thomas Roylance vs. John Raby 1832
– Charles Sanford vs. William H. Tupper 1857
– Edward J. Sanford vs. William H. Tupper 1857
– William Sanford and John Dow, Jr. vs. Samuel Green 1832
– M.H.W. Ward vs. Hugh Collins 1831
Court Documents: Inventories of Goods
– Jabez S. Brundage, in case against Henry Williams 1832
– Hugh Colling, in case against P.R. Mills 1831
– Thos. Holt, in case against John Raby 1832
– Anthony Jones 1833
– Phillip Kearny 1832
– Anthony King, in case against Caleb Negles 1832
– John Raby, in case against Thos. Roylance 1832
– John Raby, in case against Thos. Roylance 1832
– James Swin, in case against Abm. B. Swin 1833
– William S. Whitfield, in case against ( ) Lewis 1832
– John Winans, in case against John C. Lloyd 1832
1 10 Subscription, Bloomfield Light Artillery Brass Cannon 1813
1 11 Miscellaneous:
– Auction Announcement for the sale of the real estate of Robert Anderson, deceased 1823
– Articles of Vendue for the sale of the house and lot of Robert Anderson, deceased 1823
– Articles sold at ( ) Thompson vendue 1824
– Letter to A. Parsons from John Dod, regarding L. Ogilby’s debt to Paterson Bank 1827
– Photograph of Henry B. Munn ca.1878
– A list of the creditors of Smith, Mason & Co. and Abraham Vreeland n.d.
– Sign-up sheet for penmanship lessons n.d.
1 12 Silas Munn (1786-1873) diary 1854-1872
1 13 Henry Benson Munn diaries (4 volumes) 1850-1893, 1851, 1853, 1854
1 14 Henry Benson Munn diaries (4 volumes) 1855, 1856, 1858, 1860
1 15 Henry Benson Munn diaries (4 volumes) 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865
1 16 Henry Benson Munn diaries (4 volumes) 1866, 1867, 1868, 1872-1873
1 17 Henry Benson Munn diaries (7 volumes) June-October 1874, November 1874-
January 1875, May-August 1875, August-December 1875, 1876, 1877, 1878
1 18 Henry Benson Munn diaries (4 volumes) 1879, 1880, 1881, 1882
2 1 Henry Benson Munn diaries (4 volumes) 1883, 1884, 1885, 1885
2 2 Henry Benson Munn diaries (4 volumes) 1886, 1887, 1888, 1889
2 3 Henry Benson Munn diaries (4 volumes 1890, 1891, 1892, 1893
2 4 Henry Benson Munn diaries (4 volumes) 1894, 1895, 1896, 1897
2 5 Henry Benson Munn diaries (4 volumes) 1898, 1899, 1900, 1901
2 6 Henry Benson Munn diaries (4 volumes) 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905
2 7 Henry Benson Munn diaries (5 volumes) 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910

Munn Family Tree:

John Munn


Samuel Munn

Joseph Munn (1721-1815) = Sarah Williams

Benjamin Munn (1731-1818) = Jemima Pierson (1734-1819)


Phebe Munn (1755-1821) = Jonas Crane (1750-1806)

Bethuel Munn (1757-1779) = Rachel Dodd (1757-1827)

Abigail Munn (1758-1834) = Zadoc Baldwin (b.1756)

David Munn (1761-1843) = Abigail Baldwin (1759-1833)

*Amos Munn (1763-1805) = Jane Dodd (b.1766)*

Aaron Munn (1765-1829) == Sarah Baldwin (1766-1840)

Elizabeth Munn (1767-1818) = James Harrison (1765-1807)

Rachael Munn (b.1767) = Peter Dean

Lydia Munn (1769-young)

Jemima Munn (1772-1864) = Cyrus Jones (1770-1870)

Hepzibah Munn (b.1778) = Jotham Condit

*Amos Munn (1763-1805) = Jane Dodd (b.1766)*


Bethuel Munn (1784-1791)

**Silas Munn (1786-1873) = Lydia Campbell (1800-1866)**

Phebe Munn (1788-1857) = Jeptha Dodd

***Bethuel Munn (1792-1856) = Averill Jones***

Hannah Munn (b.1798) = Richard Ward

Reuben S. Munn (b.1800) = Mary Cook

Jemima Munn (b.1803) = Elijah Roberts

Amos Munn (1806-ca.1867)

**Silas Munn (1786-1873) = Lydia Campbell (1800-1866)**


William Alonzo Munn (1821-1876) = 1) Jane Boyd 2) Hannah Wilson

Bethuel Munn (b.1823) = Sarah Dodd

****Henry Benson Munn (1826-1910) = Cornelia Louisa Farwell****

Henry Farwell Munn = Charlotte Lee

Helen Cornelia Munn = 1) Robert Everett Wayland 2) Sidney F. Taliaferro

Marguerite Campbell Munn, unmarried

Harvey Timlow Munn = Blanche Elizabeth Lask

***Bethuel Munn (1792-1856) = Averill Jones***


Abijah Munn

Arvilla Munn

Jane Munn

Eugene Munn

Wallace Munn (twin)

William Munn (twin)

****Henry Benson Munn (1826-1910) = Cornelia Louisa Farwell****


Emeline Munn (1828-1830)

Silas Munn (b.1833) = 1) Florence Strop (d.1877)

2) Maggie Stonehouse

Processed by Kim Charlton, February 2000 as part of the “Farm to City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.



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