The material in this collection is a random selection of correspondence (1813-1919), financial papers (1838-1843), legal records (1761-1900), shipping records (1835-1845), and miscellaneous items covering a variety of topics.
The correspondence contains several items of particular interest. In a letter (August 10, 1844), Janice Wheeler of Albany, New York, complains that public education is grossly neglected except by a few people, and that few teachers or school board members read scholastic journals. A second letter (July 19, 1850) reports on opposition in Pennsylvania to a proposed constitutional amendment which would provide for the popular election of judges. A letter (February 9, 1867) reflects upon the scarcity of labor in Mississippi. It is reported that the Negroes were moving away and that many planters could not hire a single field hand.
A copy of a letter (October 1, 1884) by Henry Ward Beecher is also in the collection. Beecher discusses the Blaine-Cleveland presidential campaign of 1884 and opposes Blaine on the grounds that he is much more immoral than Cleveland. He also denies that Carl Schurz took bribes while a member of the cabinet. Politics is also discussed in a letter (July 4, 1895) from Daniel Hastings of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in which he attempts to assure delegate support at the Republican state convention for his candidacy as permanent convention chairman. Hastings also endorses B. F. Gilkeson as state chairman of the Republican Party.
Other items of interest in the correspondence include the listing of advantages of belts manufactured by T. K. Earle and Company (February 23, 1858); a reference (February 27, 1830) to the "Mechanicks Institute," an organization for the promotion of literature and science in Palmyra, New York; and references (May 6, 1857) to the subdividing of land in Peru, Illinois. A final letter of note (July 26, 1863) includes references to an unnamed school which is constantly under guard to prevent anti-war riots. This letter also refers to an unnamed town which is to hold a meeting in order to pay the men drafted into the Union Army.
Financial records (1838-1843) primarily consist of receipts, cotton accounts at Mobile, Ala. (1845) and Petersburg, Va. (1870), and prices for household goods. Also included are legal and shipping records.The legal records (1761-1900) consist of N. C. land grants to Nathaniel Drake in Edgecombe County (1761) and Thomas Mann in Nash County (1779), a grant for western lands signed by President John Adams (1800), a deed for land in Vermont, a document pertaining to the dissolution of C. Stetson and Company (1847), and a few insurance policies. Shipping records (1835-1845) include a list of ships inspected by a customs inspector in Philadelphia (1836); the annual circular (1836) for Daniel Buchanon and Sons of Liverpool, England, giving prices of goods in the foreign trade; a photograph of the
Manhattan of the United States Line; and several bills of lading.
Miscellaneous items include the December 30, 1911 copy of
AERO: America's Aviation Weekly; a list (1867) of rules and regulations for the Grand Army of the Republic; a program (1966) for the 18th Barnum Festival in Bridgeport, Connecticut; an American Legion charter for Enfield, N. C. chapter (1921); a picturebook entitled
Glimpses of Stockbridge (Massachusetts); a copy of the Gettysburg Address; a patent (1854) for Perry's Parallel Shuttle Motion machine; a patent (N.J.) for Thomas D. Simpson's Drop Table; a program for the 18th Anniversary (1889) of the Webster Literary Society; and a proclamation (November 20, 1900) by the Governor of Minnesota setting aside a day of mourning upon the death of U. S. Senator Cushman Davis. Also included are autographs of such people as Joseph S. Fowler, Gove Saulsbury, Francis Nicholls, John M. Read, John William Wallace, Frederick W. Pitkin, Gerrit Smith, Edgar Cowan, A. H. Reeder, and Luke Poland.