Skip to main content

Crisp family papers

Identifier: MS 3107


This collection consists of various financial documents relating to the Crisp Family Estate including, deeds, letters, licenses, and bills.


  • 1831 - 1856

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Biographical / Historical

In the mid 19th century, the Crisp family owned a large portion of land on what is now Wagner’s Point, just east of Fairfield, Maryland. In 1849, following the death of the family patriarch, Richard O. Crisp (?-1849), the estate was divided amongst his widow, Mary Ann, and their four sons, Richard Owen (1828-1881), Nicholas Ian (1828-?), Frederick Grafton (1836-?), and Robert Owen (1840-?). This property included the family farm outside of Fairfield, three town houses in Baltimore on the southwest corner of Broadway and Lombard St., and twenty-five slaves. According to the 1850 census, the Crisp farm was estimated at $16,000. In 1857, Richard Owen Crisp II was credited with funding and building the ‘Long Bridge’ over the mouth of the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River.

Son of Frederick Grafton Crisp, Rear Admiral Richard Owen Crisp (1861- 1951) served for 40 years in the Coast Guard. He was a veteran of the Spanish-American War where he saw action as an ensign aboard the Wisdom. He also received national merit for his actions saving the members of the shipwrecked U.S. Tacoma in 1914.


0.42 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Series I: Deeds, Leases, Etc

Folders I-II

Series II: Letters

Folder III

Series III: Licenses, Bills, Etc.

Folders IV-VII

Series IV: Miscellaneous and Conservation

Folders VIII-X

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mrs. Ottillie Crisp Habercam, 2012.

Scope and Contents

The collection is broken into 3 series based on grouping of similar content. Series 1: Deeds, Leases, Etc. consists of deeds regarding the family property, court petitions, inventories of family assets, and guardian’s accounts (1831 – 1856). Series II: Letters contains letters between the Crisp family members mostly in reference to family business (1852 – 1856). Series III: Licenses, Bills, Etc. contains both official and non official bills and receipts for purchases made by various family members (1848 – 1855). Series IV: Miscellaneous contains all papers added to the collection by subsequent family generations as well as items in need of conservation (1863 – 1992). All items within Series I – III are arranged base upon importance assigned by Rear Admiral Crisp’s personal inventory of the collection. Items within Series IV are arranged chronologically.

Guide to the Crisp family papers
Under Revision
Ben Koshland
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2020-04-02: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Mallory Herberger.

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States