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Tallman family papers

Creation: 1799-1949
Accession: 0419


The collection consists of correspondence, legal papers, notebooks, and memorabilia relating to the Tallman family, although the bulk of materials pertain to Frank Gifford Tallman.


  • Creation: 1799-1949



6 Linear Feet

General Physical Description note

6 linear feet and 4 oversize items

Biographical Note

The Tallman family resided in Rhode Island, Maine, Pennsylvania, and later Wilmington, Delaware. Three generations are documented in this collection: Peleg Tallman (1764-1841), his grandson Peleg Tallman (1836-1863), and his son Frank Gifford Tallman (1860-1938), along with Frank’s first wife, Annie Dickie (1859-1922).

Peleg Tallman (1764-1841) was one of the preeminent men in Woolwich and Bath, Maine, in addition to have been an elected official and successful mercantile businessman. He was born July 24, 1764 in Tiverton, Rhode Island to Peleg Tallman (1736-1840) and Sarah Soule (1754-1784).

He served with the Continental Army during the American Revolution as a privateer on the ship Trumbull. In 1780, during a battle, he lost one of his arms, was captured by the British, and imprisoned in England and Ireland from 1781 to 1783. After making his way back to New England following peace, Tallman relocated to Bath, Maine and engaged in the mercantile business. He retired from the sea in 1801, after having been in command of several vessels and voyaging to various ports in the United States, West Indies, Europe, Cape Verde Islands, and to Madras, India, and the Island of Mauritius.

On June 15, 1790, Tallman married Eleanor Clarke (1774-1857). They had ten children: James Tallman (1791-1804), Scott Jenckes Tallman (1795-1853), Henry Tallman (1797-1801), Maria Theresa Tallman (1799-1881), Benjamin Franklin Tallman (1800-1893), Eliza Sophia Tallman (1802-1863), Caroline Tallman (1802-1810), James Peleg Tallman (1804-1853), Henry Clancy Tallman (1806-1885), and Caroline Ann Appleton Tallman (1809-1874). At different times, the family lived in Bath, Vassalboro, and Woolwich, Maine.

Tallman was elected to the U.S. Congress as a member of the Democratic-Republican Party from 1811 to 1813. He declined to be re-elected but did serve one term from 1821 to 1822 in the Maine State Senate. Additionally, he became an overseer of the Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, from 1802 to 1840.

Tallman died March 12, 1840 in Bath, Maine. He was buried in Maple Grove Cemetery, but was later reinterred in Forest Hills Cemetery, Roxbury, Massachusetts.

Peleg Tallman (1836-1863) was born April 18, 1836, in Bath, Maine to Henry Tallman (1806-1885) and Sarah Fitts (1808-1856), the grandson of Peleg and Eleanor (Clarke) Tallman. On September 29, 1857, he married Maria Hay Hudson (1837-1910), and had three children: Henry Paine Tallman (1858-1859), Frank Gifford Tallman (1860-1938), and Peleg C. Tallman (1861-1907).

Tallman moved to Dubuque, Iowa where he was an extensive dealer in lands in 1855 and 1856. Following the economic crisis of 1857, for a year he was the assistant superintendent of the construction of the Dubuque custom house and post office. Additionally, he managed the shot tower owned by George W. Rogers & Co. where lead shot for ammunition was produced by dropping molten lead through a copper sieve from a great height. In the spring of 1859, together with William Hyde Clark, leased the shot tower but ended the business after three months.

In 1862, Tallman became a war correspondent for the New York Times and died during the Civil War on April 15, 1863 in Columbus, Kentucky.

Frank Gifford Tallman (1860-1938) was a mechanical engineer and worked as an executive at several different companies before joining E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company in 1905. He was born January 26, 1860 in Dubuque, Iowa to Peleg Tallman and Maria Hay Hudson. Following his father’s death in 1863, Frank, his mother, and brother lived with family in Portland, Maine. His mother married William Avery Sweet (1830-1904) and the family moved to Syracuse, New York.

Tallman studied mechanical engineering at Cornell University before going to work at his stepfather’s steel rolling mills. By age 25, he had been a superintendent of a small rolling mill in Windsor Locks, Connecticut; assistant foreman in the machine shops of the Corliss Steam Engine Works in Providence, Rhode Island; assistant superintendent and superintendent of Sweet’s Manufacturing Company in Syracuse; and general superintendent of the steel mills of Carnegie, Phipps & Company in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

On February 16, 1881, Tallman married Annie May Dickie (1859-1922). Annie was the daughter of Henry Dickie (1819-1906) and Catharine Weeks Daffler (1826-1871). Together, they had five children: William Sweet Tallman (1881-1961), Marian Ellen Tallman (1883-1970; married Irving R. Warner, of the Warner Company), Katharine Marie Tallman (1886-1945; married Thomas Woodnutt Miller), Ethel Amoret Tallman (1890-1981; married Louis Garner Bissell), and Frank Gifford Tallman (1894-1952). Seven years after his first wife’s death, Tallman married Julia Hays (1881-1972) in 1929.

Tallman’s association with the E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company began in 1905 when he took a position as director of purchases. He later became director and vice president in charge of purchases. He also served as president of several du Pont interests, including the DuPont Building Corporation, the Hotel du Pont Company, and the DuPont Playhouse Company. Additionally, he was member of the Executive Committee and Finance Committee, as well as being one of five heads of departments included in a syndicate organized by Pierre S. du Pont (1870-1954) and associates which purchased the entire interest of General T. Coleman du Pont (1863-1930) in the DuPont Company. Tallman retired from the company after twenty years of service in 1925.

After retiring, Tallman turned his interests to philanthropy. He established the Tallman Foundation at Bowdoin College, contributed to the John Edison Sweet Memorial Professorship at Cornell, provided a cottage for girls at the Onondaga County Orphan’s Home in Syracuse, and donated a set of chimes to the Trinity Protestant Episcopal Church in Wilmington.

Tallman died April 1, 1938 in Wilmington, Delaware.


Materials are arranged by their creators and then grouped by type of material, e.g. correspondence, ledgers, diaries and printed matter.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of correspondence, legal papers, notebooks, and memorabilia relating to the Tallman family including Peleg Tallman (1764-1841), Peleg Tallman (1836-1863), Frank G.Tallman (1860-1938) and Annie Dickie Tallman. The bulk of the collection pertains to Frank Gifford Tallman.

Related Material

Frank Gifford Tallman papers (Accession 0381), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Frank G. Tallman photographs (Accession 1972.436), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Tallman family papers, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut.

Abraham Lincoln collection (MSS 0521), Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

Language of Materials


Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Tallman family papers
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
Script of description:

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA