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UD Special Collections > Finding Aids
1773 - 1941
(bulk dates 1773 – 1858)
Manuscript Collection Number: 321
Accessioned: Multiple purchases, 1960-1985.
Extent: .3 linear ft. (62 items)
Content: Correspondence, journal entries, certificates, genealogy, will, passport, poetry, newspaper clippings, and essays.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: July 2001 by Sally W. Donatello, revised January 2004 by Theresa Hessey
Table of Contents
Rodney immigrated to
Rodney inherited his father’s entire estate and continued to increase the
family’s reputation through farming and other ventures. In 1727, he married Elizabeth Crawford,
daughter of an Episcopal missionary from
his father’s death when he was only seventeen, the younger Caesar Rodney was
appointed a guardian by the Orphan’s Court of Kent County until he reached the
age of majority. During this time, it is
believed that he remained at Byfield and assisted his mother in managing the
plantation and caring for his younger siblings, William, Mary, Elizabeth,
Daniel, and Thomas and later, for his step-sister and step-brother. In 1755, at the age of twenty-seven, Caesar
Rodney entered public life and was commissioned as High Sheriff of
was also active in the military, beginning his service in 1756 during the
French and Indian War. In that year, he
joined a regiment of
Rodney’s greatest accomplishment was his involvement in Revolutionary
activities. In 1765, he was selected as
his arrival back in
1778, Rodney was elected “president” of
Rodney was the youngest brother of Caesar.
He lived with his mother and step-father until the age of eighteen, when
he began to live with his brother Caesar and assist him with his many
farms. Following Caesar’s appointment to
the Stamp Act Congress in 1764, Thomas accompanied his brother to
Like his older
brother, Thomas held numerous appointed and elected offices including justice
of the peace, judge of
Rodney was the only son of Thomas and Elizabeth Rodney, and nephew of Caesar
Rodney. Born in 1772, he graduated from
Mary Rodney was
born in 1795 and was one of ten daughters born to Caesar Augustus and Susan
Rodney. Mary married Reverend Theophilus
Parvin, a Presbyterian missionary from
graduated from the
of American Biography. Vol.
Ryden, George H.
Introduction to Letters to and
from Caesar Rodney 1756-1784.
Note: Historical and biographical information obtained from the collection.
Scope and Content Note
The Rodney Family
Papers is a small collection (62 items) of genealogical notes and miscellaneous
personal papers from a
Series I consists of genealogical material related to the Rodney family. Included is a typescript, “History of the Rodney Family from A.D. MCXXXV (1135),” originally written by Edward Rodney in 1626 and later copied by Theophilus Parvin in 1892, a handwritten genealogy of the Rodney family from 1100-1824, a brief account of Rodney Stoke, and a partial journal entry of a Rodney descendant.
Series II contains
materials related to individual members of the Rodney family in
Series I. Rodney Family History
Series II. Members of the Rodney Family
A. Caesar Rodney (1728-1784)
B. Thomas Rodney (1744-1811)
C. Caesar Augustus Rodney (1772-1824)
D. Mary Rodney (1795-1829)
E. Theophilus Parvin
F. Dr. Theophilus Parvin (1829-1898)
G. Eliza Rodney Eschenberg
I Rachel Baker
William Rodney (1660-1708) m.1 Mary Hollyman (d.1692) (3 children)
m. 2 Sarah Jones (6 children)
Caesar Rodney (1707-1745) m. 1727 Elizabeth Crawford (7 children)
m. Thomas Wilson (2 children)
Caesar Rodney (1728-1784)
Thomas Rodney (1744-1811) m.
1. Caesar Augustus (1772-1824)
2. Lavinia (b.1775)
Caesar Augustus Rodney (1772-1824) m. 1793 Susan Hunn (15 children)
Mary Rodney (1795-1829) m. 1826 Rev. Theophilus Parvin
1. Mary Parvin
2. Theophilus Parvin
Theophilus Parvin (1829-1898) m. 1853
Folder -- Contents
Series I. Rodney Family History
F1 History of the Rodney Family, A.D. MCXXXV (1135)
A genealogy of the Rodney family
divided into three sections. The first
section contains the history of the Rodneys prior to their arrival in
F2 History of the Rodney Family, 1100-1824
Bound volume of the pedigree of the Rodney family. The pages have been laminated and consequently, are difficult to read.
F3 “Some Account of Rodney Stoke and the Family of the Rodneys”
Handwritten transcription from a copy found at the Rodney Stoke Rectory in 1888.
F4 Journal Entry
Partial entry from the journal of
Mr. Rodney King, a Rodney descendant, from a journey to
Series II. Members of the Rodney Family
Series II.A. Caesar Rodney (1728-1784)
F5 Correspondence, 1773-1776 (4 items)
One letter, probably to his brother Thomas, discussing the rental or purchase of property and other household matters. Fragment of a letter, also probably to his brother Thomas, regarding business and housekeeping matters. A final letter, addressed to Thomas Rodney discusses Thomas’s defeat in an election and his work with the Continental Congress. Includes a reply from Thomas on the original.
F6 Note, c. 1777
Photocopy of note addressed to Brigadier General Rodney discussing the movement of troops. Location of original is unknown.
F7 Will, 1784
Undated typed copy of the will of Caesar Rodney including codicil.
Series II.B. Thomas Rodney (1744-1811)
1 F8 Correspondence, 1787-1804 (4 items)
Includes a list of public service appointments held by Thomas Rodney between 1770 and 1803 and a photocopy of a letter to Thomas from Samuel Magaw regarding the education and boarding of his son, Caesar Augustus Rodney and a letter written to an unknown recipient describing his travels. Also included is a letter dated 1804, from Thomas to his son, Caesar Augustus, with a transcription of the letter.
F9 Manuscript, 1810
Photocopy of “The Original Autograph Manuscript of Thomas Rodney (of the Continental Congress & Mississippi Judge) on the Exploration of and Title to East and West Florida, and Louisiana, the Spanish & French Colonies in America, the Louisiana Purchase, and the Right of Deposit, etc.”
F10 Notes, 1787
Photocopy of Thomas Rodney’s response to an article that appeared in the Delaware Gazette or the Faithful Centinel entitled “Timoleon’s Biographical History of Dionysius, Tyrant of Delaware.” Original located at Brown University Library.
Series II.C. Caesar Augustus Rodney (1772-1824)
F11 Correspondence, 1802-1819 (5 items)
Includes an 1802 letter to his father, Thomas Rodney, announcing his return from Washington and his meeting with President James Madison and a letter to an unknown recipient regarding the proposed publication of a history of General Washington. Also included is a letter to his cousin, Stephen Pleasonton of Washington regarding the search for a home in Washington, a letter dated 1818 from Carmen Ramos de Alvares of Buenos Aires, Argentina, regarding a medal of honor given to Rodney, and a 1819 letter of introduction for Lieutenant Springer. Attached to the 1819 letter is a printed biographical note for both Caesar Rodney and Caesar Augustus Rodney.
F12 Extracts from “Recollections of Miss Vining, the Revolutionary Belle and her Family”
Various extracts including information related to the will of Caesar Rodney, a letter from Caesar Augustus Rodney to Lord George Brydges Rodney of England regarding the will of Caesar Rodney, information about the personal life of Caesar Rodney, including a portion of a love letter allegedly written to Miss Mary Vining, daughter of Captain Benjamin Vining and Mary Middleton, and information related to the relationship between Caesar Rodney and the niece of Miss Vining, also named Mary and known as the “Belle of the Revolution”.
Series II.C. Caesar Augustus Rodney (1772-1824) (cont’d)
1 F13 Original Poems, 1790-1793
Bound volume of love poems written
from “Amander” to “Amanda.” It is likely
that these poems were written by Caesar Augustus Rodney to his future wife,
Susan Hunn. Locations include
Contains one engraving of Caesar
Rodney and three small engravings of Caesar Augustus Rodney. Also includes a card announcing Caesar
Augustus as Minister Plenipotentiary to
Series II.D. Mary Rodney (1795-1829)
F15 Correspondence, 1811-1892
Includes two letters written to her
mother from boarding school in 1811 and two undated letters to her father,
Caesar Augustus Rodney. Also included is a letter to Louisa V. Worrell from
attorney Benjamin Nields with an attached note verifying the birth date of Mary
Rodney and a certificate dated 1826, verifying Mary Rodney’s membership in a
Presbyterian Church in
Series II.E. Theophilus Parvin
F16 Correspondence and Legal Documents, 1826-1893
Includes a note to Mary Rodney requesting her company, a marriage certificate, passport for the Reverend Theophilus Parvin and his family, letters to Susan Rodney and other family friends relating the news of Mary Rodney’s death, and a letter to Susan Rodney describing the activities of her grandchildren.
Series II.F. Dr. Theophilus Parvin (1829-1898)
F17 Correspondence, 1858-1893
Letter from T.M. Rodney dated 1858,
letter from I.M.C. Rodney dated 1869 requesting information on hunting
Series II.F. Dr. Theophilus Parvin (1829-1898) (cont’d)
1 F18 News clipping
Announcement of a meeting of the Sons of Delaware mentioning Parvin.
Series II.G. Eliza Rodney Eschenberg
F19 Correspondence, 1824-1873
Contains a letter written to her mother, Susan Rodney, in 1824 and Emily Banning’s copy of an extract from a letter written by her mother, Eliza Rodney Eschenberg, in 1873.
Eliza Rodney Eschenberg’s recollections of her grandparents, John and Mary Hunn, copied by Dr. Theophilus Parvin in 1891.
F21 “My Letter”, 1891
Copy of “My Letter” written by
Rodney regarding the history of the Rodney family, published in
Series II.I. Rachel Baker
F22 Correspondence, 1912-1941
Letter from E.L. Banning regarding the history of the Rodney family mentioning Dr. Theophilus Parvin, Rachel Baker’s grandfather, and a letter from Abbie B. Leavitt also regarding family history.
UD Special Collections > Finding Aids > Rodney Family Papers Index