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Alexander J. Rice papers, 1847-1851

31 items

The papers of Alexander J. Rice consist of letters written by Rice while service as a medical officer in the United States Navy during the Mexican War.

The papers of Alexander J. Rice consist of 31 letters, all but one of which were written by Rice to members of his family, and nearly all of which were written during his service in the Mexican War. These letters, addressed to his father, John (a cashier at the Bank of New Hampshire), sisters Lizzie (d. 1850) and Augusta, and a brother (who was eventually disowned as a wastrel) form a small, but nearly complete record of a little known facet of the war, the naval operations off the Gulf Coast, and they make for captivating reading. Rice's intelligence, his fascination with the country and people, and his aptitude for close description and a good story make the collection a particularly rich resource for study of the activities of an average naval ship in a distant theater, and for American attitudes toward the war, Mexico, and Mexicans.

Other than a constant concern for the unhealthy climate, the prevalence of chills, fevers, and pestering insects, there is very little specific information on Rice's duties as a medical officer. The group of 13 letters written from the Coatzacoalco River include fascinating discussions of the hardship of being the only medical officer aboard ship, and document Rice's frustration in attempting to get the Navy to alleviate the poor sanitary conditions aboard ship, and the problems with the ship's officers, poor provisions, and inadequate medical supplies. The letter of July 22-26, 1847, is a particularly long and extraordinary account of the effect of the harsh conditions and poor sanitation in tropical waters and its effects upon the crew. These letters, too, document the frustration and inactivity of blockade duty in a stagnant backwater, but at the same time, Rice's continuing fascination with the country and people.

A series of seven letters written from Ciudad del Carmen (Camp.), Campeche (Camp.) and Sisal (Yuc.) document Rice's experiences as witness to the Caste War in Yucatán. Before being sent to Campeche to protect white refugees, Rice's sympathies clearly lay with the white population, but he and his shipmates came to sympathize with the Indians, arguing that not only had the whites provoked the crisis, but they were lazy, selfish, and ungrateful even for the protection the Navy afforded. Rice's opinions were strengthened upon receiving news of atrocities committed by whites upon the Indian population, the first when an armed force slaughtered a group of women and children, the second when Indians were killed by poisoned food left in deserted villages.


Clement Abner Boughton papers, 1839-1906 (majority within 1861-1864)

145 items (0.5 linear feet)

The Clement Boughton papers consist of letters written home during Clement's service in the 12th Wisconsin Infantry as part of the occupying forces in Tennessee and Mississippi. The collection also contains other family correspondence and letters regarding Boughton's death.

The Clement Boughton papers include 86 letters from Clement Boughton to his mother, brothers and sister, 85 of which were written during his service in the 12th Wisconsin Infantry. The remaining 59 items in the collection include five documents relating to Boughton's service, four letters from a cousin, Mariette Bent, to Clement while he was in the service, a letter from an officer in the 12th Wisconsin relating news of Clement's death and several letters of bereavement from relatives and acquaintances. The balance of the collection is comprised of letters form other members of the Boughton family, both pre-War and post, most addressed to Clement's mother.

Boughton's Civil War letters form the heart of the collection and provide a complete account of the military service of an upright young farmer. While Boughton considered himself to be religious and while he held high standards of conduct for himself and his comrades, he was not prone to moralizing or quick condemnation. He was instead an avid, well-intentioned soldier doing his duty far from home, who felt pangs of guilt at being away during the harvest, and who continued to provide support, encouragement and advice to his mother, younger brother and sister on running the farm and leading their lives. His letters to his younger siblings Augustus and Anna are very affectionate and indicate how important he must have been in raising the children. His relationship with his twin, Clarence, is more difficult to ascertain. Clarence appears to have been an unusually poor correspondent and while Clement's tone in the one letter that survives between them seems strained, it is not clear whether there was actual tension between the two.

Among the more interesting letters in the Boughton are the series describing their duties in Kansas and Natchez. Devoid of any real action, they nevertheless paint an interesting portrait of military life away from the front, and include some good descriptions of Union-occupied territory. Boughton's letters written during the Vicksburg siege are also excellent, and include an interesting account of McPherson's attempt to tunnel under the Confederate fortifications as well as a fine sense of the tense, but at the same time boring life in the rifle pits awaiting the capitulation. Finally, Boughton's journal-like letter of the failed expedition from Memphis into northern Mississippi in December, 1862, to January, 1863, graphically details the hardships of field service in the deep south, the exhausting marches, mud, cold and hunger the soldiers faced, and the swings in morale that resulted when the objectives could not be attained.

Among the related materials, there is an interesting letter from members of the Baptist congregation at Chester, Conn., to Eliza Boughton, sending a small amount of money to help support her and her children after the death of her husband, Newell. A typescript of most of the Civil War letters was prepared by a descendant and is available upon request.


James B. Pond papers, 1863-ca. 1940s

1 linear foot and 5 volume

This collection is made up of autobiographical manuscripts, correspondence, documents, and family photograph albums related to James B. Pond, Sr. and Jr. Some of the items pertain to Pond's service during the Civil War and both father and son's lecture business.

This collection is made up of autobiographical manuscripts, correspondence, documents, and family photograph albums related to James B. Pond, Sr. and Jr. Some of the items pertain to Pond Sr.'s service during the Civil War and both father and son's lecture business.

The Pond Family Papers series includes one box containing miscellaneous correspondence ranging in date from 1896-1932, Civil War related material, autobiographical sketches, family photographs, and personal photograph albums.

The Civil War related material includes a few items relating to James Pond's Civil War service in the 3rd Wisconsin Cavalry, among which are a typescript of official reports relating to the massacre at Baxter Springs, Kansas, a printed poem on the massacre, and a printed notice of the death in the 1880s of William T. Brayton of the 3rd Cavalry. Pond also collected other reminiscences of the war, including an autobiographical account of Mrs. Horn, wife of a Missouri surgeon, which includes a description of Quantrill's raiders pillaging town and taking her husband prisoner, and a memoir of Edward P. Bridgman, a soldier in the 37th Massachusetts Infantry who served with John Brown in 1856, and may have known Pond.

More than half of this series consists of autobiographical manuscripts, parts of which, at least, were published as magazine articles. Most of these focus on his early years (prior to 1861) when he and his family were living a marginal existence in frontier Wisconsin and when he was a young man in search of a livelihood. The collection includes three major manuscripts, each present in several copies or versions, all of which are related to each other - "A Pioneer Boyhood," "The American Pioneer: My Life as a Boy," and "Pioneer Days" - plus there are less polished manuscripts of childhood and Civil War reminiscences. All appear to have been written initially in 1890, though some copies were apparently made several years later. In addition, there is an autobiographical sketch "How I got started in the Lecture Business" in which he describes his part in Anna Eliza Young's "apostatizing" and entering onto the lecture circuit.

The collection also contains 5 photograph albums. These volumes contain over 800 personal photographs taken between 1896 and 1902, including many pictures of family members at leisure both indoors and outdoors and Pond's business acquaintances from his lecture agency. Travel photographs include views of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Winnipeg, Manitoba, as well as a group of pictures taken during a visit to England, Switzerland, and Germany in 1901. European items include a series of colored prints, located in Volume 4. The albums contain images of locomotives, railroad cars, and steamships. Volume 1 contains images of the inauguration of William McKinley and Volume 2 contains images of crowds gathered for a GAR parade in Buffalo, New York. Throughout the albums are glimpses of various lecture tours and clients including John Watson (Ian Maclaren) and Anthony Hope in Volume 2 and Francis Marion Crawford in Volume 3. Other notable figures include Sam Walter Foss and William Dean Howells in Volume 1, Charles W. Blair and Edward William Bok in Volume 3, and Sir Henry Morton Stanley, Charles William Stubbs, Robert Stawell Ball, Horace Porter, Frank Thomas Bullen, and Israel Zangwill in Volume 4. In addition to the albums, there are loose photographs of family, James B. Pond Jr., and the Adventurers' Club of New York. Oversized photographs are housed in Box 3.

The Pond Lecture Bureau Papers series consists of one box containing client files (arranged chronologically), loose photographs, and ephemera. Much of the content consists of correspondence between clients/prospective clients and photographs of clients (likely for promotional material). This series spans from 1877 to the 1940s covering periods of ownership from both James B. Pond, Sr. and Jr. Some of these clients are as follows: Henry Ward Beecher, Reverend Joseph Parker, Thomas DeWitt Talmage, Leon Pierre Blouet, Reverend John Watson (Ian Maclaren), William Winter, Edward Rickenbacker, Harry A. Franck, Gunnar Horn, Maurice Brown, and Major Radclyffe Dugmore. Unidentified oversized photographs and a scrapbook are housed in Box 3.


Stanley M. Swinton papers, 1935-1985

5 linear feet

Journalist, foreign correspondent; correspondence, material accumulated as a journalist, articles, clippings, and other writings; and photographs.

The Stanley Swinton papers include correspondence; dispatch files; notebooks relating to the death of Mussolini, the Malayan insurgency in the late 1940s, and the Indonesian revolutions; notes of interviews with Seni Premot of Thailand, Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia, Ho Chi-Minh of Vietnam, Konrad Adenauer of West Germany, Joao Goulart of Brazil, Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines, and Kim Jong Pil of South Korea. The bulk of Swinton's writings will be found in the collection, either in draft or in clippings of his articles. The series in the collection are Correspondence; Newspaper career; Writings, speeches, etc.; Personal and miscellaneous; Photographs; and Printed Material.