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James W. Hawn diaries, 1862-1867

6 volumes

This collection is made up of six diaries kept between 1862 and 1867 by James W. Hawn, "First Telegrapher," clerk, and manager of the Corn Exchange bank office in the Western Union Telegraph Company building on 145 Broadway in New York City.

This collection is made up of six diaries kept between 1862 and 1867 by James W. Hawn, "First Telegrapher," clerk, and manager of the Corn Exchange bank office in the Western Union Telegraph Company building on 145 Broadway in New York City. One of the most frequent subject covered by Hawn was speculation in gold and railroad stocks (Fort Wayne, Rock Bland, Illinois Central, Erie, etc.). He recorded, for example, fluctuations in the markets related to his particular investments.

The Civil War is reflected in the diaries. Most prominent are his passages on the New York Draft Riots in July 1863. The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln led to multiple entries respecting the response and public mourning in New York City.

He also documented his leisure and social activities, such as skating, playing baseball, attending baseball games, and spending time at church (including Henry Ward Beecher's church in Brooklyn), theaters, concerts, and operas. His interest in opera was significant and he noted dozens of the performances he attended.


John M. O'Connor papers, 1810-1826

1 linear foot

The John M. O'Connor papers contain correspondence, documents, and miscellany relating to O'Connor's military career (including the War of 1812), translation work, and political involvement.

The John M. O'Connor papers contain 350 letters, 15 financial records, 7 legal documents, and several lists, clippings, and the lyrics to a song, spanning 1810-1826. The correspondence is almost entirely incoming and the majority dates to the period from 1815 to 1824. Approximately 20 of the letters relate to the War of 1812; some discuss official army matters, such as supplies and troops, while others concern popular opinion of the war (June 26, 1813: "The public do not appear to be satisfied with the military acquirements of the Commander in chief, and not a few are so daring as to stigmatize his operations as being tardy & imbecile"). A series of letters in September and October 1812 relate to the death of O'Connor's mother, Margaret.

Correspondence in 1815-1816 mentions and documents the chain of events arising from the feud between O'Connor and Major General George Izard, including O'Connor's court martial and subsequent leave of absence, and his attempts to regain his position and good standing in the army. Slightly later correspondence documents O'Connor's translation of Gay de Vernon's Treatise on the Science of War and Fortifications, and includes a letter from O'Connor to Secretary of War, John C. Calhoun, encouraging him to request more copies of the work in order to ensure the success of the project (March 4, 1818). Approximately 15 letters from this period were written in French.

The majority of the material, particularly later in the collection, relates to national politics and political factions in New York State. On October 12, 1818, William H. Crawford, whom O'Connor would later back in the presidential election of 1824, wrote to O'Connor concerning a visit to the South, including observations on the failure of crops, family news, and French politics. On February 18, 1820, James Taylor provided a long account of the Missouri Compromise to O'Connor, and commented that "I am constrained to believe that the spirit of intolerance & oppression towards the black man, and the determination to perpetuate his bondage…are daily gaining ground in the Southern & Southeastern United States." Letters of November 1823 concern the presidential election of 1824 and New York politics.

Also of interest are letters from O'Connor's sister, Eliza, who seems to have been a governess or lady's companion in Middletown, Pennsylvania, but left because of dissatisfaction with the position: "You say that I was placed with the most respectable family in Middletown and all my wants were provided for, and I was at once raised to a respectable and enviable situation, as to their respectability no one will dispute it, as to my situation being enviable, I do not know how excepting I was independent of them, the want of relations will never be compensated to me by strangers" (August 25, 1820). Many letters throughout the collection also document O'Connor's interest in trading stocks and bonds. Letters from his agent, Thomas Hutchison, show his interest in bank bonds and provide advice and information on securities trading.

Several of the documents in the collection relate to the military, including 1814 General Orders, several financial records, and two certificates. Also included are several bonds, a bill of lading, and lists relating to O'Connor's translation work.


Morley Brothers (firm: Saginaw, Mich.) Papers, Series 4, Oversized Volumes, 1835, 1967, and undated

111 cu.ft. (in 187 [mostly Oversized] Volumes, 1 Oversized folder, 1 box)

Morley Brothers Papers, Series 4. This series consists almost entirely of oversized financial volumes. It is organized into two major series: Morley Bros. Company Organizational Records and the Morley Family/ Personal Papers. Together they provide a detailed history of this Saginaw business family. Researchers and staff should exercise caution in lifting the large, heavy volumes!

Morley Brothers Series 4: Volumes, 1836, 1967, and undated, 187 [mostly oversized] volumes. The series consists only entirely of oversized volumes of various types of business financial records. The series is organized into two major subseries: 4-1 Morley Bros. Company Organizational Records and 4-2 Morley Family/ Personal Papers. Together they provide a detailed, although incomplete history of this Saginaw business family.

Overall the materials are in good condition, but a few volumes are dirty or have loose covers or pages. There are also eight locked volumes, likely gross entry journals that could not be unlocked due to the way the lock is attached to the volume. Many of the volumes are very large to huge in size, and weigh a lot, requiring two people to lift safely. A few are missing covers or have some loose pages and are in folders. There are also a few volumes consisting only of loose pages in folders. Researchers and staff should exercise caution in lifting the large, heavy volumes!

Also of note is the beautiful penmanship exhibited in some of the volumes, notably General Gross Entry Book [end of the month, which includes lists of employees], 1900-1903. These volumes all have lovely penmanship. It is obvious that clerks with good penmanship were successfully employed by the company. Eight of these volumes are locked closed.

Some volumes do not have titles. If titles have been added by the archivist, they are in square brackets []. Description, notes, and the contents of the volumes are also described in square brackets [].

Morley Brothers Company Organizational Records, 1836, 1967, and undated, includes 163 [mostly oversized] volumes organized into Companies Morley Bought Out, and then alphabetical by title/ type of volumes Morley generated concerning its own business transactions. Each type of volume documenting functions are then organized chronological, numerically, and/or alphabetical, depending on original order. The company records provide a very complete view of the company’s history, financial practices and business connections. There are three volumes which may be of particular interest to researchers. Scrapbooks of Invoices, 1867-1893, includes the earliest extant company receipts pasted into scrapbooks. The earliest Saginaw Michigan, history, is found in the Day Book and Journal, 1836-1843, which documents a trading store of dry goods, July 1842-1843, and 1836 land sales Saginaw, Michigan, of Day, Little and Company, and the Saginaw City Company, 1836. The Employee Records subseries documents the human aspect of the company and includes employee pay rolls and traveling salesmen records, documenting who worked what job, at what wage, for how long, in what years, in which unit of the business and in which location.

The organizational records are organized into: Companies Morley Bought Out, 6 volumes, 1836, 1917; Accounts, 5 volumes, 1868, 1950; Bank Books, 4 volumes, 1886, 1940; Business Correspondence, 2 volumes, 1890s; Cash Books, 13 volumes, 1879, 1939; Delinquent/ Suspended Accounts, 2 volumes, 1892-1902; Employee Records, 11 volumes, 1876, 1948; Gross Entry Books/ Journals, 8 volumes, 1866, 1926; Locked Volumes [Gross Entry Books/ Journals [end of the month]], 8 volumes, 1883, undated; Indexes, 10 volumes, 1882, after 1886, undated; Inventories, 13 volumes, 1886, 1900; Journal Entries [General Profits, Losses, Accounts Only], 11 volumes, 1882, 1965; Ledgers, Business, Alphabetical, 16 volumes, 1883, 1892; Ledgers, Business General, Numbered, 6 volumes, 1882, 1912; Ledgers, City, 5 volumes, 1889, 1902, undated; Ledgers, Country, 8 volumes, 1893, 1902, undated; Morning Business Meetings, 2 folders, 1948-1950; Notes and Bills Receivable, 2 volumes, 1870-1886; Oil [Purchased], 1 volume, 1886-1949; Purchases, 5 volumes, 1888, 1901; Visitors Register, 1 volume, 1904-1967; Saddlery Company Statistics, 1 volume, 1901-1903; Sales, Daily/ Monthly, 11 volumes, 1876, 1936; Scrapbooks of Invoices, 3 volumes, 1863, 1867; Stocks and Bonds, 2 volumes, 1901, 1917; Taxes, 1 volume, 1885-1913; Trial Balances, 5 volumes, 1 folder 1886, 1952

The Morley Family/ Personal Papers, 1886, 1953, and undated, includes 24 [mostly oversized] volumes, 1 oversized folder, 1 box (.5 cubic ft.), and are organized alphabetically by the name of Morley family members documented in the collection including: Edward W., George B., Helen Wells, Lucy B., Paul F. H., and Ralph. The family members each either created their materials or someone created the material specifically for them. Materials for each family member are organized by type of material, mostly accounts or legal documents, and chronologically. Material general to all of them or unidentified is in Morley Family (General) Papers. Most of this series is financial, insurance, taxes, or estates related. There is one address book, undated. The box (.5 cu.ft.), 1891, 1934, undated, includes miscellaneous financials or estate records, as well as obituaries of George W. Morley, Sr. (1914) and P.F. H. Morley (1931), an article on their store fire (1934), and a name card and Christmas calling card, both undated.

Edward W. Morley, 5 volumes, 1886, 1919; George B. Morley, 1 Ov. folder, 1935; Helen Wells Morley, 4 volumes, 1906, 1963; Lucy B. (Mrs. R.C.) Morley, 4 volumes, 1917, 1940, undated; Paul F. H. Morley, 2 volumes, 1920, 1950; Ralph (R.C.) Morley, 1 volume, 1928-1939; Morley Family Papers, 1 box (.5 cu.ft.), 8 volumes, 1886, 1953

The Morley Brothers is now completely processed. See also the finding aids for Morley Brothers Series 1-3. Other Morley related collections in the Clarke include: Paul F. H. Morley’s Log of the Lodge collection, the Wells family papers, and the Mershon and Morley Company books of plans for portable buildings.

Processing Note: During processing, any loose, acidic materials, mostly relevant newspaper clippings, were photocopied and the copies retained. The original clippings and any peripheral materials were withdrawn during processing. Materials withdrawn totaled less than .25 cubic foot.

Printed catalogs were separately cataloged.

Also in the collection were catalog pages in large, red, hard plastic loose leaf binders were sent to Morley product distributors. Each distributor kept updating the pages with new products of interest to their customers. As a result, most of the distributors’ were very similar with pages inserted in various orders. A sample of distributors’ volumes were retained and separately cataloged. 20 distributor volumes were withdrawn from the collection during processing.