Finding Aid for Benjamin F. H. Witherell papers papers 1791-1924.

Summary Information

Detroit Public Library. Burton Historical Collection.
Witherell, Benjamin Franklin Hawkins,1797-1867
Benjamin F. H. Witherell papers,
2.5 linear ft.
General Physical Description note
(2 boxes, 4 volumes, 3 large manuscripts)
Materials contain legal papers of Judge B.F.H. Witherell, including circuit court docket books, 18575-1861, for Wayne County, correspondence, military and business records.

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Biographical/Historical note

B.F.H. Witherell was born in Fair Haven, Vt. on Aug. 4, 1797. Educated in a private school in Troy, N.Y., he studied law and was admitted to the Michigan Bar in Detroit in 1819. Witherell became a prosecuting attorney and probate judge of Wayne County; in 1843 he was judge of the district judge of the criminal court of Wayne, Washtenaw and Jackson counties. He was also historiographer of Detroit in 1855. From 1857 until his death ten years later, Witherell was Circuit Court judge of Wayne County. He was a member of the Michigan legislature, serving several terms, including a member of the State Constitutional Convention in 1850. Judge Witherell was president of the Michigan Historical Society. He died in Detroit, Mich. on Jun. 26, 1867

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Biographical/Historical note

James Witherell (1759-1838) was the father of B.F.H. Witherell, and served as commandant in the Michigan Territorial Militia during the war of 1812. He owned a medical practice in Vermont.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Detroit Public Library. Burton Historical Collection. Jan 06, 2010

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open for research use.

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Benjamin F. H. Witherell papers,, 1791-1924. (OCLC record)


Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Michigan -- Territorial Militia.
  • Michigan Historical Society.
  • Michigan. -- Circuit Court (Wayne County)
  • Michigan. -- Constitutional Convention -- (1850)
  • Michigan. -- Legislature.

Family Name(s)

  • Witherell, Benjamin Franklin Hawkins, -- 1797-1867 -- Archives.
  • Witherell, James, -- 1759-1838.


  • Business records. -- aat
  • Correspondence. -- aat
  • Judicial records. -- aat
  • Military records. -- aat

Geographic Name(s)

  • United States -- History -- War of 1812.


  • Judges -- Michigan.
  • Lawyers -- Michigan.
  • Legislators -- Michigan.
  • Physicians -- Vermont -- 19th century.

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Other Finding Aids note

Finding aid and white index cards available in the Burton Historical Collection and on the World Wide Web.

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General note

See finding aid for complete listing.

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Collection Inventory

BOX 1: 1796-1924 

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BOX 2 

L2: Ledger, 1809-1869 



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L4: Ledger, 1812-1817 

ZW3C: Wayne County, Michigan Circuit Court Docket Book Vol. 1, September 1857 

-- Vol. 2, November 1857 

-- Vol. 3, 1861 

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Folder 1: Land Records 

Folder 2: Census, Detroit, 1810; Wayne County, 1820 

Folder 3: Deed April 25, 1836 

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