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Charles Spitzer Letters

Identifier: SC 0137
  • Not requestable

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

The Charles Spitzer Letters, 1833-1886, are comprised of 35 letters written between members of the Charles Spitzer family of New Market, Virginia. Selected letters of interest include eight letters (May 19-October 14, 1833) between Charles and fiancé Elizabeth Amiss discussing preparations for marriage; a December 2, 1838 letter from Thomas Amiss to sister Elizabeth in which he expresses his preference for life in St. Louis, Missouri, his business is good and life is cheaper than in New Market, mentions Moses Spitzer, who in A History of Shenandoah County by John Wayland (1927) is said to have died with the infamous Donner party in the California Sierras in 1846; and a July 25, 1849 letter from Thomas Amiss in which he describes a massive fire and cholera outbreak in St. Louis. Also included are two Sunday school certificates (1850, 1851) and two tax receipts (1849, 1852). Most letters deal with day to day matters including illness and birth and death of family members. Two letters (1861, 1886) concern Charles Spitzer's services as a gunsmith.


  • Creation: 1833-1886


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (

Bio/Historical Note

Charles Spitzer (1807-1865) was a gunsmith based out of New Market, Virginia who learned the trade under his father Henry Spitzer. Charles married Elizabeth Frances Amiss in 1833 and they went on to have four children.


0.08 cubic feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



The Charles Spitzer Letters, 1833-1886, are comprised of 35 letters written between members of the Charles Spitzer family of New Market, Virginia.


The letters are arranged in one folder.

Acquisition Information

Purchased by Friends of Carrier Library at Green Valley Auctions, Inc. on July 23, 1994.

Processing Information

In order to streamline the process of applying collection numbers, Special Collections staff completed a large-scale renumbering campaign in the spring of 2017. This collection was previously cataloged as SC 3065.



A Guide to the Charles Spitzer Letters, 1833-1886
Special Collections Staff, Kayla Payne
November 1994, July 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the James Madison University Libraries Special Collections Repository

820 Madison Drive
MSC 1706
Harrisonburg Virginia 22807
(540) 568-3612