Abraham Eltinge Crispell Papers (1815-1881)

Finding Aid Completed by Eric Roth, September 27, 1999
Last revised August 10, 2004
Volume: 0.25 cu. ft.
Acquisition: The papers were probably donated to the Huguenot Historical Society by Lawrence Stearns Crispell or the estate of Reuben Bernard Crispell from 1965 to 1973. An accretion of seven photographs and two calling cards was donated by Mrs. Lawrence Stearns Crispell in 2004.
Access: Unrestricted.
Copyright: Request for permission to publish materials from these records should be discussed with the Archivist and Director of the Huguenot Historical Society.

Biographical Note

Abraham Eltinge Crispell F-115, [1] physician, was born on June 22, 1823 to Peter J. Crispell and Catherine Eltinge in the town of Hurley in Ulster County, New York. He first married Adaline M. Barber of Roxbury, by whom he had two children. After her death in 1854, he married Jane Ann Catlin (1830-1904), daughter of Pierce Catlin and Ann Winegar on May 31, 1830. Dr. Crispell had three children from this second marriage. Abraham Crispell attended medical school at the Berkshire Medical College at Pittsfield, Massachusetts and New York University. In 1849 he moved to Rondout (Kingston), NY to practice medicine there. [2] He was appointed to Surgeon of the 20th Regiment in the 8th Brigade in the 2nd Division of the New York State Militia in 1853, and according to his obituaries, served as a health officer at Hilton Head, South Carolina during the Civil War. He was appointed Brigade Surgeon of Volunteers in 1862. Dr. Crispell also briefly worked for the Buffalo General Hospital. He died at Kingston, NY, on November 4, 1881. [3]

Collection Description

The collection chiefly relates to the medical career of Dr. Crispell. Records include medical appointments of Cr. Crispell's father Peter Crispell to Surgeon's Mate and Surgeon in the New York State 131 st Regiment of Infantry (1816, 1818); a letter of recommendation on the behalf of Dr. Abraham Crispell (1849); an appointment to Surgeon of the 20th Regiment in the 8th Brigade in the 2nd Division of the New York State Militia (1853); a statement by the Trustees of the Buffalo General Hospital commemorating the late Dr. Crispell for his services (1865); and an essay on the causes, symptoms and treatments of dysentery (undated) and a report entitled State of the New York Hospital (1815). Of particular interest are two letters written by Dr. Crispell to a Dr. Smith Knapp while serving duty in and near Hilton Head, South Carolina during the Civil War. The collection also includes the marriage certificate of Abraham Crispell and Jane Ann Crispell (1854), and Dr. Crispell's will (1862) and two obituaries (1881). An accretion to the collection made in 2004 adds two calling cards of Dr. Crispell and his wife and seven photographs showing Dr. Crispell in Civil War uniform (1862) and other family members.

The papers are weak but otherwise in good condition. Overall, the handwriting is quite legible, but the essay on dysentery is somewhat difficult to decipher. The papers are filed chronologically.

These papers were originally donated as part of an aggregation of papers of the Crispell, Catlin, and Bernard families known invariably as the Crispell Collection or Reuben Crispell Collection. The three other collections formed out of this aggregation are the Bernard/Crispell Family Papers (1837-1922), David and Pierce Catlin Family Papers (1767-ca. 1890), and the Crispell Family Papers (1704-ca. 1823). In 2003 and 2004, the Society acquired two more collections of papers and photographs relating to Dr. Abraham E. Crispell.

Folder/Item List

Miscellaneous Papers (1842-1881)

Oversize Documents (1815-1855)

Photographs (1862-ca. 1900)


[1] Hasbrouck, Kenneth E. The Crispell Family in America: Descendants of Antoine Crispell, Patentee of New Paltz, New York. Crispell Family Association, Huguenot Historical Society, New Paltz, NY (1976).

[2] Obituaries of Abraham Crispell, Kingston Daily Freeman, and Morning Cousin, Rondout, NY (November 5, 1881).

[3] More information about Dr. Crispell's education and career is available upon request.