University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

David T. Marvel
Family Correspondence

1876 - 1905


Manuscript Collection Number: 139
Accessioned: Gift of Harold W. T. Purnell, 1962
Extent: 65 items (.3 linear ft.)
Content: Letters
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: 1962, revised August 1993 by Anita A. Wellner

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Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
(302) 831-2229

Table of Contents

Biographical Note

David T. Marvel, born November 2, 1851, in Nanticoke Hundred, Delaware, was a graduate of Princeton College in 1873. Following college, Marvel studied law with Thomas F. Bayard for two years and passed two years of study at Harvard Law School before being admitted to the bar in Delaware in April 1879. He began his practice in Georgetown, Delaware. He was listed as a solicitor for the Court of Chancery of Sussex County.

David T. Marvel married Mary Robinson Wootten, daughter of Judge Alfred P. R. and Mrs. Rhoda Wootten. Judge Wootten was the Attorney General of Delaware at the time of his death in 1864. The Marvels had one daughter, Ann Burton Marvel.

Marvel was also editor of the Sussex Journal from February 7, 1880 until January 27, 1883. He purchased the newspaper in 1880 with McKendree Downham. In 1882 J. B. Clark became editor with Marvel, and Clark continued as editor after Marvel's retirement in 1883.


Scharf, J. Thomas. History of Delaware 1609-1888. Philadelphia: L. J. Richards & Co., 1888. pp. 461, 565-566, 592, 607.

Further Information:

Jones, Daisy (Marvel). "A Brief History of the Marvel Family." Unpublished, 1960. 13 pp. Available at the Delaware State Archives in Dover.

Scope and Content Note

The sixty-five letters in the David T. Marvel Family Correspondence span the dates 1876-1905. In addition to letters from David Marvel to his wife Mary and his daughter Ann, the collection includes letters from Mrs. Rhoda B. Rondebush to Mrs. Marvel, several letters from different individuals to Judge E. Wootten (Marvel’s father-in-law), and a letter from Thomas F. Bayard to David Marvel. The collection also includes a variety of notes responding to the various dinner or wedding invitations from the Marvel family.

The following are names of other correspondents in this collection: Mary D. Budlong, Helen T. Scott, Mr. Baldasseroni, Florence Curtis Cullen, John J. Turlto, Mame Riondas, Mrs. Lofland, Dr. Martindale, George Collins, Louise W. Kidder, J. P. Comegys, Willis and Hiesler Harrington, Dail Coulbourn, Phyllis Ridgely, Dorman Robinson, Alfreda Wootten, Willie S. Van Leuman, Ruth Maples Day, and Lloyd P. Rayner.

Most of the family correspondence deals with the marital and family concerns of David T. Marvel and his wife Mary Robinson Marvel, as well as the education of their daughter, Ann Burton Marvel. The letter from Thomas F. Bayard discusses Delaware politics in 1880, and several letters to Judge Wootten regard legal questions. The collection is arranged in chronological order.

Contents List

Folder -- Contents

     Letters, 1876-1905

F1   1876-1892
     Includes the letter to David Marvel from T. F. Bayard

F2   1895

F3   1897-1898 Aug

F4   1898 Aug-Sep

F5   1898 Oct-1899

F6   1901-1905

F7   [n.d.]

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