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Russell Family Papers

Russell Family Papers

Collection Number: 
43
Collection Length: 
0.40ft
Period: 
1829 to 1914
Finding Aid: 

The Russell family originated in England with the first ancestor settling in Massachusetts. John Leslie Russell was born at Fairfax, Vt., February 11, 1805 and moved to Malone, N.Y. in 1807 with his family. He was educated at the University of Vermont graduating in 1826. In 1829 he moved to Canton, N.Y. and practiced law there until 1844. He was also a postmaster. He married Mary S. Wead of Malone in 1832 and they had four children, Adeline, Mary J., Sibyl and one son, Leslie W. who became a lawyer in Canton. Leslie's daughter married Clifford Hartridge, a lawyer who extorted money from a client, Harry K. Thaw, who was on trial for murder. Mrs. Hartridge disappeared at the time her husband was being prosecuted for extortion. The collection consists mainly of correspondence of John L. Russell and Mary S. Wead during their courtship years. Also included are photographs, several newspapers, and newspaper clippings that contain information about the Harry K. Thaw trial, the extortion, the disappearance of Hartridge's wife, and the attempts made by her family to find her, as well as several other clippings about members of the Russell family.