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Mott Hooton Correspondence

Identifier: Ms-1988-100

Scope and Content

This collection contains 15 letters from several relatives and friends in West Chester, Pennsylvana, to U. S. Army officer Mott Hooton, received while Hooton was serving at posts in Dakota Territory, Iowa, Kansas, and Minnesota. Eight of the letters are from a writer identified only as "Aunt Sue" (likely Susan Carpenter, living in the home of Mott Hooton's brother Frank in 1870). Also included are letters from "Sallie" (probably Hooton's half-sister, Sallie Rhodes), Hammond, and H. Hildeburn, all of Chester County, Pennsylvania, and all conveying news of relatives and mutual acquaintances. A letter from A. Hooton (probably Hooton's paternal grandfather, Andrew Hooton) relays news of a relative who had been caught in a snowstorm while prospecting for gold and also offers some opinions on the political climate of the day. ("I have well nigh out lived this government, some think it expired (constitutionally,) on the shedding of blud at Sumpter, and that we are now experimenting in governmental matters at Washington ... the governmental bungallers have well nigh addled my brain.")

Also included in the collection is a single 1879 letter from Mrs. S. N. Pettibone of Bakersville [Connecticut] to former pupil Vinnie Dowd, of Monterey [Massachusetts?]. The relationship, if any, to the Hooton letters is unknown.


  • 1866 - 1879

Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.

Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Biographical Note

Mott Hooton Jr., son of Mott and Anna Eliza Carpenter Hooton, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 16, 1838. Following the early death of her husband, Anna Hooton returned to her family home in West Chester, Pennsylvania, with her children and soon thereafter married Maris Rhoads of neighboring Delaware County. (Mott Hooton and his brother Francis ("Frank"), however, do not appear in the Rhoads family census record of 1850 or 1860.) On June 4, 1861, Mott Hooton enlisted in Company A, 1st Pennsylvania Reserves, mustering in as a first sergeant. He was soon commissioned a second lieutenant. With his regiment, he served through many of the major battles of the American Civil War and was twice wounded. He was mustered out at the end of his term of service but rejoined the U. S. Army on February 23, 1866, and was assigned to the 13th Regular Infantry. Six months later, he was transferred to the 31st Regular Infantry, then to the 22nd Regular Infantry on May 15, 1869. Promoted to captain on August 5, 1872, Hooton would serve most of his career in the West. on February 27, 1890, following a battle with the Sioux, Hooton was breveted a major. On May 1, 1896, he was promoted to full major and transferred to the 25th Regular Infantry. Promoted again, to lieutenant colonel, Hooton was given command of the 5th Regular Infantry and led the regiment in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. He was promoted to colonel of the 28th Regular Infantry on February 2, 1901, serving in the Philippines. On April 15, 1902, Hooton was promoted to brigadier general and was retired the following day. The 1910 census shows Hooton living in the West Chester, Pennsylvania, home of his widowed sister-in-law, Anna Hooton. By 1920, Hooton was living with his half-sister, Sally S. Rhodes, and a niece in Kennebec County, Maine. Mott Hooton died in Kennebec County on May 31, 1920, and was buried in Oaklands Cemetery, Chester County, Pennsylvania.


0.1 Cubic Feet (1 folder)


Letters written to Mott Hooton, Jr. (1838-1920), who served as an officer in the U. S. Army from the American Civil War through the Spanish-American War, by several relatives and friends in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Source of Acquisition

The Mott Hooton Correspondence was purchased by Special Collections and University Archives in 1988.

Related Archival Materials

The Chester County Historical Society, West Chester, PA, maintains the Mott Hooton Papers, Ms. Coll. 171.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Mott Hooton Correspondence by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Processing Information

The processing and description of the Mott Hooton Correspondence commenced and was completed in May, 2021.

Mott Hooton Correspondence, 1866-1879
John M. Jackson
2021 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020-08-26: Finding aid notes updated to new department standards. juliags
  • 2021-04-21: LM Rozema added missing notes for an unprocessed collection, added FA title, added FA date from EAD, and added component with instances previously attached to collection level.
  • 2021-04-23: LM Rozema changed creator/collection name to Hooton from Hooten; corrected dates from 1866-1867 to 1866-1867, 1879; added info on Vinnie Dowd letter; and added subject.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US