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Alvin Hoffa letters, 1918-1919

5 items

This collection is made up of letters that Jewish Sergeant Alvin Hoffa wrote to his uncle, Isaac Heidenheimer, and his cousin, Howard Heid, while stationed in France with the United States Army's 325th Infantry Regiment immediately after World War I.

This collection (5 items) is made up of letters that Jewish Sergeant Alvin Hoffa wrote to his uncle, Isaac Heidenheimer (4 items), and to his cousin, Howard Heid (1 item), between December 3, 1918, and March 5, 1919. At the time, Hoffa was stationed in Chambéry and Cerons, France, with the United States Army's 325th Infantry Regiment, Company A. Hoffa described his postwar time in France, where he and other American soldiers were "leading the life of Riley" (March 5, 1919). He mentioned activities such as YMCA-sponsored sightseeing trips, a vaudeville show, daily band concerts, and bike riding. He reported that the army provided soldiers with hotel rooms, free haircuts, and new, clean clothing for the journey home. Though he was "so use to hearing shells & bullets, that I am lost in this quiet little village" (January 18, 1919), Hoffa was content to remain in France while other troops embarked for home. Some of the letters are written on stationery of the Red Cross and the YMCA.


Arthur B. Silverman letters, 1944

5 items

This collection consists of 5 letters that Private Arthur B. Silverman wrote to his parents in Hartford, Connecticut, while training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California, in August and September 1944. He discussed the importance of training, the Jewish New Year, and guard duty, among other subjects.

This collection consists of 5 letters that Private Arthur B. Silverman wrote to his parents in Hartford, Connecticut, while training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California, in August and September 1944. He described the Browning Automatic Rifle, rifle training, and guard duties; commented on the uncertainty of getting a furlough and the difficulty of making a cross-country telephone call; mentioned a USO show that included a performance by African-American minstrels; and noted a recent forest fire. In letters postmarked September 18, 1944, and September 24, 1944, Silverman apologized for not properly observing Rosh Hashanah but explained the high value that he placed on training, arguing that poor preparation had caused military personnel to be killed in the theaters of war and explaining that he had to follow orders.


Bernard M. Baruch collection, 1920-1949

65 items

This collection is made up of letters by Bernard Baruch and Mark Sullivan regarding United States foreign policy, financial policy, national politics, and personal matters.

This collection is made up of 60 letters between Bernard M. Baruch and Mark Sullivan, a testimony and several pamphlets by Baruch, and a signed, dedicated portrait photograph of Baruch. The majority of the collection consists of Baruch's letters to Sullivan. The correspondence addresses United States politics, beginning in the early 1920s with foreign policy, farm policy, and the long term outcomes of the Paris Peace Conference. Later letters contain Baruch's critiques of U.S. fiscal policy, foreign policy, and military preparedness, as well as general thoughts about the U.S. economy and the political environment following the Wilson administration.

Baruch and Sullivan discussed their writings and other works, offering critiques, recommendations, and congratulations. They discussed Sullivan's journalism and historic works, and Baruch's political career and treatment in the media. In one letter, Baruch gave a narrative account of his early education in South Carolina (January 21, 1927). The letters also contain discussions of more personal matters, holiday greetings, and invitations for Sullivan to vacation at the Hobcaw House. At various points in the correspondence Baruch expressed his perception of anti-Semitism in U.S. politics and education. The collection includes one photograph portrait of Bernard M. Baruch, signed and dedicated to Duane Norman Diedrich. See the Detailed Box and Folder Listing for more information.


Emanuel Levy collection, 1941-2007

2 linear feet

This collection is made up of correspondence, soldiers' newsletters, and other items related to Emanuel Levy's service in the United States Army Signal Corps during World War II and his involvement in veterans' reunions. Levy corresponded with family members and friends in Brooklyn, New York, while serving in in the United States and the Pacific Theater from 1941-1943; he later received updates from fellow veterans. The collection also includes Levy's war reminiscences, and sheet music and manuscripts of Levy's musical comedy, Hey Mister Satan (1942).

This collection is made up of correspondence, soldiers' newsletters, and other items related to Emanuel Levy's service in the United States Army Signal Corps during World War II, and to his involvement in veterans' reunions.

The Correspondence series (244 items) contains Emanuel Levy's incoming and outgoing correspondence from January 1941 to June 1943, and a single letter written in September 1945. "Manny" received letters from family members and friends in Brooklyn, New York, who discussed the family news and, less frequently, politics and the war. His correspondents included women named Muriel, Evelyn, Alberta, and Frances. In his letters and postcards, Levy commented on his experiences at Camp Upton, New York; Camp Shelby, Mississippi; Camp Beale, California; Camp Butner, North Carolina; other bases; and in Hawaii and the Pacific Theater, where he was stationed for most of 1942. He described his life on base immediately prior to the Pearl Harbor attack, discussed finances and allotments, and responded to news from his family's letters to him. He occasionally used stationery from the Jewish Welfare Board, USO, and various military installations.

The Military Transmissions and Communications series (8 items) consists of official communications sent during World War II, primarily related to the signal corps and the Pacific Theater. The series includes Irving Strobing's transmission reporting the surrender of Corregidor (May 4, 1942) and a separate order to stop American vessels bound for Corregidor, a communication from Franklin D. Roosevelt to the United States Army forces in the Philippines (beginning "Personal from the President to Lt Gen Wainwright…"), and an undated notice of the German surrender.

The Reunions and Postwar Papers series (94 items) includes materials related to reunions of the 303rd Signal Operation Battalion, the history of the unit, and Emanuel Levy's involvement with veterans' organizations. The 303rd Signal Operation Battalion held reunions from 1947-1993. Items include Emanuel Levy's postwar correspondence with fellow veterans, invitations, address lists, newspaper clippings, and ephemeral materials. Several incoming letters to Levy inform him of fellow veterans' postwar lives and deaths.

The Writings series (8 items) pertains to Emanuel Levy's service in the United States Army Signal Corps during World War II. Three personal reminiscences, written sometime after the war, recount his work for the 101st Signal Operation Battalion and 303rd Signal Operation Battalion in the United States, the Pacific, and Europe during and just after the war, with details about military communications operations, his movements, and specific incidents. One item is a list of the posts where Levy served between April 1941 and September 1945. The series contains an article that Levy submitted to Harper's Magazine in 1957 ("Two Ugly Beasties") and typescripts and manuscript sheet music for Levy's musical, "Hey Mister Satan," written with George H. Johnston and C. W. Erdenbrecher.

The Printed Items series (20 unique items) contains multiple copies of soldiers' newsletters. The Burpee, by the 303rd Signal Operation Battalion, related news of the battalion's activities while at Camp Crowder, Missouri, and in Sunnyvale, California (August 5, 1943-November 18, 1943). The Taylor Maid chronicled events onboard the General Harry Taylor at the close of the war in the Pacific; the series holds a marquee "War Ends" issue (August 15, 1945) and a signed souvenir issue (August 18, 1945). Other items are a copy of The Message, a professional newspaper produced in Camp Crowder, Missouri (September 9, 1943), and a published volume, 303rd Signal Operation Battalion: An Informal Unofficial History, April 17, 1943-February 25, 1946. The publication is a unit history comprised of photographs and essays by several of its members and a unit roster.

Three World War II-era newspaper clippings pertain to Emanuel Levy's promotion to master sergeant, a Women's Army Corps member's visit to her dying soldier son, and the 303rd Signal Operation Battalion's service in Europe, including participation in the Battle of the Bulge.


Fenno-Hoffman family papers, 1780-1883 (majority within 1789-1845)

1.25 linear feet

The Fenno-Hoffman papers contain the personal correspondence of three generations of the Fenno and Hoffman families of New York City. Correspondence from, to, and between the family members of Maria Fenno Hoffman, daughter of John and Mary (Curtis) Fenno of Boston and Philadelphia, and wife of Josiah Ogden Hoffman of New York.

The Fenno-Hoffman papers contain the personal correspondence of three generations of the Fenno and Hoffman families of New York City. It appears that the collection was initially assembled by Maria Fenno Hoffman, who was the bridge linking the Fennos and Hoffmans, or one of her children. The majority of the letters in the collection are addressed to Maria, and those written following her death are mainly from her three children. As a whole, the collection forms a diverse and uniformly interesting resource for the study of family life, politics, and literary culture in the early Republic. The Fennos and Hoffmans seem all to have been blessed with literary talent and excellent educations, enjoying interests ranging from politics and commerce to publishing and writing, but cursed with short lives and disastrous fortune. Their correspondence creates a vivid impression of a once-wealthy family struggling with adversity and personal loss. Yet despite all of their connections to the centers of political and social power, and despite all the setbacks they encountered, the overriding impression gleaned from the Fenno-Hoffman correspondence is of the centrality of family in their emotional and social lives.

The collection can be roughly divided into two, interrelated series: the letters of the Fenno family, and the somewhat later letters of the Hoffmans. Within the Fenno series are 25 letters from John Fenno to his wife, Mary, and six from Mary to John, written primarily during two periods of separation, in the spring of 1789, and summer, 1798. This correspondence conveys a sense of the passionate attachment these two held for each other, expressed with their exceptional literary gifts. John discusses the founding of the United States Gazette in 1789, including a visit with Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia where he had gone to purchase type. His letters are full of political commentary relating to the establishment of the federal government in 1789 and the young nation's Quasi-War with France, 1798. Although Fenno's letters to his wife are filled with political opinions, he urged her not to get involved in political controversies herself, nor to form opinions of her own. Mary apparently felt free to express herself to her husband, but significantly, her letters tend to mirror his staunchly Federalist political sympathies. The collection also contains four letters from John Fenno to his children, in which he discusses the French Revolution (1794) and general political news (1797-98), while doling out some fairly standard fatherly advice.

All nine of the Fenno children who survived infancy are represented as writers in the Fenno-Hoffman Papers, each one of whom seems to have been blessed with literary talent. The most frequent correspondents among the Fennos -- Maria, Charles J., and Edward -- display an intense interest in the affairs of their family, and express a powerful attachment for one another.

The collection contains twenty letters from Maria Fenno Hoffman (1781-1823), wife of lawyer and judge Josiah Ogden Hoffman (1766-1837), and most of the other letters in the collection were addressed to her. The letters written by Maria were nearly all addressed to her children and contain information on the family, laden with large doses of motherly advice. Among her most notable letters is one addressed to Washington Irving, whose fiancée, Matilda Hoffman, Maria's step-daughter, had died shortly before their wedding day.

The young British Navy officer, Charles J. Fenno, wrote thirty-nine letters, all to his siblings, and the collection also includes one letter to Charles from British Navy officer Charles Williamson (1757-1808), advising him to take an appointment in the West Indies. Fenno's letters include detailed descriptions of his attempts to cope with the debts incurred by his brother, John Ward Fenno, his part in the Tripolitan War and the turmoil in Haiti in 1802-3, naval sparring between French and English on the high seas, and family matters. With the typical Fenno style, Charles' letters provide an excellent view of these conflicts from the perspective of a young junior officer. His last letter was written while on vacation at Coldenham, N.Y., five weeks before his death.

Charles' younger brother, Edward, wrote 69 letters to his sister and surrogate mother, Maria, and 31 to his brother, James, along with a few miscellaneous letters. As lengthy as they are literate, Edward's letters provide an engrossing, running commentary on all facets of life in New Orleans during the 1820s and 30s, when it was still more a French city than American. His interests range from politics to business, high society to love affairs (his own, as well as others'), the annual yellow fever season, death and dying, race relations, piracy, and military exploits. They offer an intimate and detailed view of Louisiana during the years in which it was undergoing a rapid Americanization, and Edward's membership in the American militia, and his keen observational abilities provide a memorable account of the changes. His last letter to Maria, written a month before her death, discusses the necessity of family loyalty.

Comparatively speaking, the other Fenno children are represented by only scattered letters. Only two letters survive from the shortest-lived of the adult Fennos, John Ward, both written in 1797. In these, Jack discusses the acute controversy between Benjamin Rush (1745-1813) and the Federalist Gazette of the United States. Three of Harriet Fenno Rodman's letters survive -- containing social news and observations -- along with seven poems, including love poetry to her husband. Harriet's daughter, Anne Eliza Rodman, is represented by 24 letters, mostly addressed to her aunt Maria Hoffman, that include excellent descriptions of politics, society, and race relations in St. Augustine. George Fenno's four letters, also to his sister Maria, reflect the tedium felt by an educated urbanite set down in the countryside. Mary Elizabeth Fenno Verplanck's nine letters describe social life in Philadelphia, Fishkill, and Ballston Springs, and her efforts to mend a serious rift between her fiancée (later husband) and her brother-in-law Josiah. The ill-fated Caroline Fenno apparently had little time to write before dying, leaving only two letters describing life in Albany in 1804. James Bowdoin Fenno's six letters concern the business climate in South Carolina and Georgia and, as with all other Fenno correspondence, underscore the importance of family ties.

The second major series of correspondence in the Fenno-Hoffman Papers is centered on the children of Josiah Ogden Hoffman and his second wife Maria Fenno, Charles Fenno, George Edward, and Julia Hoffman. This series also includes eight letters from Josiah to his wife and sons, consisting principally of advice to his wife on how to run the household and, to his sons, on how to study industriously and become a credit to their "indulgent father." The letters he received in his old age from his children are particularly revealing of Josiah's personality. In these, Josiah appears as a hypochondriac and as a literal-minded businessman obsessed with commerce who had difficulty understanding any mindset other than his own.

As a poet and writer, Charles never ceased to perplex and irritate his father. Charles was a sensitive, observant man and an exceptional literary talent whose ability to express his thoughts and feelings grew as he grew older. His 62 letters to his brother (1826-1834, 1845) and sister (1833-1845) include discussions of many issues close to his heart, from his literary career to the "place" of the artist in society, from the continual rack and ruin of his personal finances to his family relationships, pastimes, politics, and general reflections on life. His letters to George are pun-filled and witty, even when he was in the throes of adversity. Charles wrote nine letters during his famous western trip, 1833-34, some of which were rough drafts intended for publication in the American after his sister Julia edited them. His letter of July 22, 1829 offers a marvelous description of an all-night party, and the single extant letter to his father (April 26, 1834) exhibits an uncharacteristic interest in politics, perhaps to please the elder Hoffman. There are also five excellent letters from a classmate of Charles, written while Charles was recuperating from the loss of his leg in New York. These are enjoyable, but otherwise typical schoolboy letters describing the typical assortment of schoolboy pranks.

The largest run of correspondence in the series of Hoffman letters, and the core of the collection, consists of the 63 letters from Julia to George. Julia's letters (1834-45) relate her experiences in several residences, particularly in the Philadelphia home of Jewish philanthropist, Rebecca Gratz (1781-1869). Julia comments frequently on Charles's literary activities and George's checkered career as a civil engineer. Much of what she writes is commonplace yet her style makes each episode intrinsically interesting. There are no letters from George. Considering that George was Julia's executor in 1861 and was responsible for Charles's well being after being committed to an asylum in 1849, suggests that George may have assembled the collection. The only item in the collection written by George is a love poem written for Phoebe on their first wedding anniversary. He was the recipient of letters from his brother and sister, but also his cousin William J. Verplanck, niece Matilda Whitman, sister-in-law Virginia Hoffman, and nephew Ogden Hoffman, Jr.

There is a single letter from Ogden Hoffman (1794-1856), Josiah's son by his first marriage to Mary Colden, in which he gives friendly advice to his young half-brother Charles. Ogden appears to have been a valued friend to his half-siblings. He was considered the outstanding criminal lawyer of his generation. There are no letters from the servant, Caty, but there are several excellent discussions of her, particularly in Julia Hoffman's letter of February 18, 1837 and James Fenno's letter of December 1, 1821.

Among the few miscellaneous pieces written by non-members of the family are four letters from Rebecca Gratz, a close friend of the family whose name runs throughout the entire collection, particularly in Julia Hoffman's correspondence.


Henry M. Phillips collection, 1857-1875

4 items

The Henry M. Phillips collection contains materials related to Phillips's life and legal career in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the mid-19th century, and to the Citizens of the Fifth Ward for the Relief and Employment of the Poor.

The Henry M. Phillips collection contains materials related to Phillips's life and legal career in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the mid-19th century, and to the Citizens of the Fifth Ward for the Relief and Employment of the Poor.

A bound group of minutes and financial records (102 pages) pertains to the work of the executive committee of the Citizens of the Fifth Ward for the Relief and Employment of the Poor. The society met regularly between November 1857 and March 1858 and contributed coal and other assistance to needy Philadelphians. Henry M. Phillips's brother, J. Altamont Phillips, served on the organization's executive committee.

The collection contains a brief biography of Henry M. Phillips, written after his death; a letter to Phillips about a lot in Philadelphia; and a document permitting a visitor to see the grounds of Girard College. See the Detailed Box and Folder Listing for additional information.


Hugo Walter Blumenthal diary, 1918

1 volume

H. W. Blumenthal, a Jewish sailor in the United States Navy, kept this diary in November and December 1918. He wrote several times each day about many aspects of his military service and the politics of the Balkan Peninsula at the end of World War I.

H. W. Blumenthal, a Jewish sailor in the United States Navy, kept this diary (approximately 70 pages) from November 7, 1918-December 17, 1918. He wrote several times each day about many aspects of his military service and the politics of the Balkan Peninsula at the end of World War I. The front cover has a United States Navy seal stamped on the front, as well as the title "Cattaro," the date November 7, 1918, and the initials "H. W. B." A printed sheet containing information about five captured Austrian vessels is laid into the front cover.

Blumenthal commented in depth about his assignments, meetings (with American naval officers and others), his desire to obtain information about naval operations, and other aspects of his military service. He wrote briefly about the navies of Austria-Hungary, Great Britain, and France, as well as the Austrian and Italian armies. Much of the diary focuses on the politics of the Balkan Peninsula during and just after the end of World War I, particularly with regard to attempts to establish what would become the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.


Jacob Mordecai collection, 1804-1835

7 items

This collection contains letters and drafts pertaining to Jacob Mordecai of Warrenton, North Carolina, and Richmond, Virginia. The materials concern topics such as education, the Richmond Academy, biblical prophecy.

This collection (7 items) contains letters and drafts pertaining to Jacob Mordecai of Warrenton, North Carolina, and Richmond, Virginia. The materials concern topics such as education, the Richmond Academy, and biblical prophecy. The first item is a partial personal letter from Jewish merchant Moses Myers of Norfolk, Virginia, to "Monsr. Burrell" of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The remaining items pertain to Jacob Mordecai, including 2 letters from Episcopal preacher A[dam] Empie, who discussed Old Testament prophecies about the messiah. Four items relate to the Richmond Academy, including 2 reports containing suggestions for the school's curriculum and administrative affairs. See the Detailed Box and Folder listing for more information about each item.


Jonas P. Levy papers, 1823-1907 (majority within 1855-1860, 1868-1882)

0.5 linear feet

The Jonas P. Levy papers are made up of manuscript and printed items primarily related to merchant and ship captain Levy's claims against the United States government for property losses sustained during the Mexican War. The letters are professional, and provide insight into legal proceedings surrounding claims in the mid-nineteenth century.

This collection is made up of a 106-page memoir and approximately 290 letters, documents, and printed items related to businessman and ship captain Jonas P. Levy's claims against the United States government for property losses sustained during the Mexican War. The collection consists primarily of Levy's retained copies of written requests and petitions to and from various Mexican and American government officials, as well as printed reports on his various claims against the United States government. The materials encompass Levy's personal losses while in business with his brother Morton, as well as losses sustained by the Pedrigal Mining Company after its expulsion from Mexico. The letters are overwhelmingly professional in nature, and provide insight into legal proceedings surrounding claims in the mid-nineteenth century.

Correspondence and documents series (approximately 245 items, 1823-1907). The content of Levy's correspondence and documents outlines the specifics of his five legal claims and his involvement in the claims of the Pedrigal Mining Company. His first claim was for $6,000 for duties on shipped goods aboard the Sea Bird, illegally imposed by Laguna port collector Lewis Vargas. The second claim was for $1,600 worth of commissions commandeered by the Mexican Army in Laguna, as well as a $200 unpaid bond for additional goods owed to him. Third, Levy claimed that the Mexican government collected $3,000 worth of forced contributions during his residence in Laguna. Levy also claimed that the Mexican army sank $30,000.00 worth of iron houses and machinery, left in San Juan in care of Lobach & Co., in the river Tabasco. The iron houses had remained unassembled in a lot in Tabasco, brought from New Orleans. After the war between the U.S. and Mexico began, Mexican authorities required Americans in Mexico to move inland or leave the country, and Levy was unable to take these items with him. The Mexican military used the iron house materials to construct a dyke in the Tabasco River to hold off Commodore Perry. The final claim against the United States totaled $50,000 for personal wrongs, injuries, and losses of business by illegal expulsion from his house at the outbreak of the United States war with Mexico. The courts rejected the entirety of Levy's memorial, with the exception of $3,690 for repayment of the loss of his iron frames. The claims commission primarily rejected each claim because of Levy's inability to sufficiently provide evidence that his claimed losses matched what he originally listed on ship manifests and bills of lading; the iron frames were valued at only $690 when leaving port in New Orleans, and the Sea Bird's logs listed Levy's items at a value much less than the $6,000 he claimed.

The earliest document in the collection is a certificate rendered by the Port of Philadelphia in 1823 proclaiming Levy's American citizenship. The earliest document related to his claims is Levy's personal copy of a letter to Secretary of State John Spencer, 1845; Spencer may never have received this letter as he retired from federal politics in 1844. Other early items (approximately 25 items) include affidavits, character testimonies, and letters of appreciation from such persons as General W. Worth, F. M. Dimond (Consulate at Veracruz), and Col. J. H. Wright. The collection also contains a full copy of Rebecca P. Levy's testimony to her family's treatment in Mexico, dated 1851. Jonas saved a deposition signed by the passengers and crewmembers of the American schooner Bonita, which the Mexican government stopped on June 25, 1851. The deposition attests that the Mexicans took Jonas P. Levy on shore and detained him under the false pretense of owing them money.

Correspondence and documents from the 1850s to the 1870s illustrate disagreements between Levy and comptroller of the Treasury, Elisha Whittlesey. Levy accused Whittlesey of willfully suppressing documents that would prove his claims to be truthful and just, and called for a full investigation into his conduct. The correspondence of Levy and Whittlesey contains requests for duplicate copies of evidential documents used in Levy's claims, and updates on the claims' standings. Levy's later correspondence with the Secretary of State and the Treasury Department often addresses his displeasure at the apparent loss of primary evidential documents that he wanted to use as evidence in the retrials of his claims. The collection holds correspondence between Levy and the State Department requesting the re-opening of his failed claim and the return of documents originally surrendered to the Mexican Mixed Claims Commission. The State Department reportedly refused to relinquish control of documents submitted to them, claiming that they were not allowed to release primary documents used in Levy's cases. Jonas's claims ended in May 1873, at which point the legal documents primarily consist of inquiries into the status of the Pedrigal Mining Company case.

The collection includes a small number of letters between George Edward Burr and John A. Davenport discussing the Pedrigal Mining Company, beginning with a letter from Davenport in 1832, condemning Burr for his wasteful use of monetary resources -- including his overinflated salary, the hire of a costly and ineffective superintendent, and the failed implementation of a mining procedure. Materials related to Burr include a document attesting to the sale of shares in the mine in Taxco, Mexico, to purchase a steam engine and other mining equipment (November 21, 1850), and John Davenport's appointment of Burr as power of attorney, especially related to his Pedrigal Mine interests (June 11, 1851). Levy kept various letters between himself and Matilda and Nicholas Rappleye, owners of the Pedrigal Mining Company; requests for information from the U.S. government; and various newspaper clippings and reports regarding the Pedrigal mines. In a document dated March 3, 1872, Matilda Rappleye officially transferred her power of attorney in regards to the Pedrigal Mines to Levy, who had been looking into their case since the mid-1850s. In this same correspondence, Matilda Rappleye accused George Burr of illegally stealing the official ownership papers of the Pedrigal mines from her husband. In another letter dated April 22, 1872, she told Levy that she had no papers to give him to help with the claim because Burr stole them all. The Pedrigal Mining Company claimed that the Mexican government forced them off their rightful land, which led to the loss of expensive machinery and the ownership of the silver mines. Ultimately, the United States rejected the Pedrigal claim due to insufficient evidence showing the Rappleyes as the rightful owners.

The collection contains a small number of additional letters, petitions, and accounting items related to Levy's store in Wilmington, North Carolina, at the end of the Civil War. Levy claimed that a group of New York Volunteers entered his store and took cordage as well as other provisions without paying. Included among the documents are leases between Levy and the U.S. Army for the use of Levy's store as headquarters of the Camp Jackson Hospital at the end of the war. Letters from 1879 and 1880 illustrate Jonas’s attempts to petition for an act of Congress to grant a pension and three months extra pay for seamen that served on transport ships during the Mexican War. However, the proposed bill was unsuccessful.

The collection includes Levy's 106-page, handwritten memoir beginning with his birth in 1807 and concluding in 1877, the year of its writing. In this memoir, Levy principally concerns himself with his life as a sailor. He gave a detailed account of an attack on his ship by Tierra Del Fuego Indians, and described driving them away with cannons, which Levy believed was the Indian's first experience with such technology. The memoir also contains an extensive description of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello estate, then owned by Levy's brother Uriah. The author provided a brief history of the house and how it came to be in his family's possession. The memoir also provides a description of the surrender of San Juan Ulca and Veracruz to the United States military. Levy wrote about his experiences working as a ship captain in Peru during the mid-1830s, and about the honor of receiving Peruvian citizenship without having to relinquish his American citizenship. Levy rarely mentioned his court cases; his account of his experiences during the Civil War is brief.

Printed items and ephemera series (46 items, 1846-1882). This series is made up of printed reports, memorials, congressional acts, claims, public letters, newspaper clippings, and advertising cards directly related to Jonas P. Levy's claims against the U.S. and Mexican governments.


Leopold Mayer family collection, 1864-1970 (majority within 1885-1909)

0.25 linear feet

This collection is made up of letters, documents, genealogical research, and other items pertaining to Leopold Mayer of Chicago, Illinois, and his descendants. The materials concern family news, courtship, and the history of Chicago's Jewish community.

This collection is made up of over 25 items pertaining to Leopold Mayer of Chicago, Illinois, and his descendants. Items in the Correspondence series (17 items) concern Leopold Mayer and his family members, particularly his daughter Amelia and her husband, Jacob Henry Mahler. In a letter dated November 10, 1864, Leopold expressed condolences to Mrs. M. M. Spiegel after learning of the death of her husband, a colonel, during the Civil War. The series also has 2 manuscript letters, 1 manuscript postcard, and 2 typescripts of letters that he wrote to his daughters, son-in-law, and grandchildren from 1885-1902. Most of these contain Mayer's moral advice on topics such as marriage (July 10, 1885) and his later reflections on his life and his wife (February 27, 1902; December 24, 1902).

Most of the remaining items in the series pertain to Amelia Mayer and Jacob Mahler. These include 2 personal letters from Mahler to Mayer (July 14, 1885, and August 26, 1896); 2 German-language letters by members of Mahler's family (January 13, 1892, and August 29, 1896); and 2 personal letters to Amelia from "Jennie," a friend in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (March 15, 1885), and from Ida, her sister, then traveling in Europe (August 27, 1906). Jacob Mahler received a letter about hotel rates in Wisconsin (May 24, 1896) and a birthday greeting from his son Felix in 1898, and wrote 2 friendly notes to Felix (September 22, 1903, and undated). The final item in the series is a typed letter that Arthur M. Oppenheimer wrote to Leopold Mayer's descendants in 1962, with an excerpt about Mayer from Deborah Pessin's History of the Jews in America.

Leopold Mayer's Journal, "From Land to Land, From Port to Port," concerns his visit to Germany and Switzerland in the summer of 1895. Included are a typed journal transcript (35 pages, June 1, 1895-August 3, 1895) and manuscript journal (29 pages, [August 1, 1895]-August 24, 1895, and 1 page, undated). Mayer and his daughter Flora traveled to various cities and towns, saw several Alpine mountains, and met with acquaintances.

The Speech transcript (5 pages) records Leopold Mayer's address to the Council of Jewish Women in November 1899, marking the 25th anniversary of Chicago's Sinai Congregation. Mayer recounted some of his personal history in Chicago, and remarked on the development of the city's Jewish community and institutions.

Financial and Legal Documents relate to Leopold Mayer's estate and to his son-in-law, Jacob Henry Mahler. Mahler received a bill from a laborer dated July 23, 1901, and completed a partially-printed income tax form for himself and his wife on February 19, 1917. Three printed legal documents (December 28, 1903; June 1, 1909; and [1927]) pertain to the settlement of Leopold Mayer's estate and to legal disputes among his heirs. The latter item includes copies of 2 versions of Mayer's will.

The Poetry, Printed Items, and Genealogy series concerns several generations of the Mayer family. The programs document confirmation services held by the North Chicago Hebrew Congregation on May 26, 1901, and a production of the 3-act play The Mayer Saga, presented in Glencoe, Illinois, on December 31, 1925. The extended Mayer family published a newsletter, Unter Uns, on December 25, 1902, with poetry, news articles, and advice columns by Leopold Mayer's children and their spouses. A small packet of typed poems dedicated to Amelia Mayer Mahler accompanies a printed invitation to Mahler's 90th birthday celebration, hosted by her grandchildren on April 18, 1953. The final 2 items are genealogies and a memorial dedicated to Leopold Mayer and his descendants. The memorial was initially issued on March 3, 1927, with genealogical revisions made in 1941. One copy has manuscript genealogical notes dated as late as 1970.