Dimock family papers, circa 1827-1918

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322



Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8z74g

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Dimock family.
Title: Dimock family papers, circa 1827-1918
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 587
Extent: 1.75 linear feet (4 boxes) and 1 oversized papers box (OP)
Abstract:Papers of the Dimock, DeWolf and Knight families including correspondence, photographs, personal items, original writings and printed material from 1827 to 1918.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


Gift, 1979.


[after identification of item(s)], Dimock family papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Appraisal Note

In 2019, some medals in this collection were reappraised and deaccessioned. Appraisal decisions were made by Interim Head of Manuscript Processing Sarah Quigley.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Joseph Judson Dimock (Sr.), was born in Petersburg, Virginia, January 25, 1827, son of Joseph Warner Dimock (1801-1892). Other children in the family were Jeanette (1833-1881), William ( 1837 1873), and Sarah (1835-1890). Joseph Judson Dimock, called "Jud" by his friends and family, was educated in Connecticut. Upon completion of his education, he was employed as a merchant and worked in stores in Boston, New York, New Haven, Springfield and other cities of the northeastern United States. After his marriage to Isadora ("Dora," 1823-1902) DeWolf in 1851, he settled in Brooklyn, New York. The couple had five children, two of whom lived to adulthood: sons Joseph DeWolf Dimock (born 1853) and Pat Judson DeWolf Dimock (1860-1885).

Joseph Judson Dimock traveled to Cuba in 1859 and 1861. Both trips were at the request of the DeWolf family who had once lived in Cuba and had continued business interests there. Dimock worked as a clerk in the office of the New York Secretary of State and was a brigade major and inspector of the state militia. He was mustered into the United States Army as a major on May 21, 1861 and received his commission January 23, 1862. As an officer of the 2nd Regiment, New York State Militia and the 82nd New York Infantry Regiment, he participated in the First Battle of Bull Run, July 1861. It was during the Peninsular Campaign that Dimock contracted typhoid fever and died on June 22, 1862. He is buried in Spring Grove in Hartford, Connecticut.

Joseph DeWolf Dimock changed his name to Joseph Judson Dimock (Jr.) in 1881. He attended schools in Hartford and Chester, Connecticut, and married Amy Trowbridge Knight, daughter of Nehemiah Knight, in 1879. Their children were named Joseph Judson (III), (1880-1951), Ernest Knight (1884-1949) and Marjorie (1889-19??). He died March 8, 1902 in Brooklyn, New York, where he is buried in Greenwood Cemetery. Sources include the Dimock family papers and New York in the War by Frederick Pfisterer, (Albany, N.Y., 1909).

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the papers of the Joseph Judson Dimock family including correspondence, photographs, personal items, original writings and printed material from circa 1827-1918, with the bulk within the period 1850-1890. The letters of Joseph Judson Dimock (Sr.) form a fairly complete run of correspondence from 1839 until 1862, when Dimock died. A strength of the collection lies in those letters written by Dimock to his family after he had entered the U.S. Army in 1861. Although the time period covered by these 35 letters (1861-May 1862) is not long and the First Battle of Bull Run is the only battle described in which Dimock was an active participant, the letters are interesting and informative.

Other parts of the collection are also significant. These are the travel diaries and letters of Joseph Judson Dimock (Sr.) and Henry H. Knight. Each was written during the mid-nineteenth century and include descriptions of Cuba, Europe, and the Near East. The meticulous inventories and illustrated catalogs kept by Joseph Judson Dimock (Jr.) to document his collection of antique pistols are unusual. That collection, once believed to be among the best in the United States, was divided and sold upon Dimock's death.

The material in this collection is arranged in three series. Papers of Joseph Judson (Sr.) and (Jr.) each comprise a series while the third series is a gathering of other family members' papers. Five letters from Jennie Dimock to her nephew Joseph Judson (Jr.) and a partial letter to Gertrude DeWolf from another female family member are included here. A major weakness of the collection may be that it fails to present an adequate picture of the lives of the female members of the Dimock family, although it was Jennie Dimock, sister of Joseph Judson Dimock, who preserved her brother's letters for his son. The series also includes letters from Harry and Nehemiah Knight, in-laws to Joseph Judson (Jr.).

Arrangement Note

Organized into three series (1) Joseph Judson Dimock (Sr.) papers, (2) Joseph Judson Dimock (Jr.) papers, and (3) DeWolf, Dimock, and Knight families papers.

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