The collection includes leases, receipts, and correspondence from the Carpenter family, including William Carpenter (1787-1859), his mother Catherine Littel and brothers Samuel and Charles, as well as his children, particularly John. After his marriage in 1819 he journeyed from Ohio, through what is now Springfield and after crossing the Sangamon River, they built a cabin about two miles north. In 1828, their family moved to Springfield and he became a merchant. He was appointed Quartermaster of the 20th Regiment of the Illinois Militia in 1830, in 1834 he was elected to represent Sangamon County in the State Legislature. He was also on the Springfield City Council. He was the postmaster at Springfield from 1837 to 1840. He and his son-in-law built a saw and grist mill on the Sangamon River now known as Carpenter’s Mill.