This collection is made up of a letter book, stenographer's notes, and scrapbook pertaining to the trials of Clark W. Hatch of Boston, Massachusetts. Hatch was accused of murdering his uncle, Henry Hatch of Kit Carson County, Colorado, and, later, of defrauding his employer, the Travelers Insurance Company.
The letter book (102 pages) contains correspondence regarding Hatch's arrest and trial for the murder of his uncle, Henry Hatch. Most items are copies of letters by William J. Lewis, an acquaintance of Clark W. Hatch. Lewis requested information from officials involved in the case, including a local sheriff, and on at least one occasion provided information on Hatch's movements around the time of the murder (September 5, 1889). Lewis also affirmed his loyalty to Hatch and urged the accused to maintain a calm demeanor, lest he raise suspicions about the funding of his legal assistance (March 3, 1890). The letter book also includes letters from Hatch and other parties interested in the case; some of these are pasted onto the letter book's pages.
H. C. Hollister, the official stenographer for Clark W. Hatch's initial trial under Judge Lewis C. Greene in Burlington, Colorado, in May 1889, composed typed copies of witnesses' testimonies (189 pages). Witnesses included Henry Hatch's acquaintances, the boys who discovered his body, and several people who had seen Henry Hatch or Clark Hatch around the time of the murder. Clark W. Hatch and his father-in-law, Orrin Poppleton, also testified. The testimonies provide details about Henry Hatch's life, Clark W. Hatch's life and occupation, and their mutual histories.
A 70-page scrapbook contains newspaper clippings about Clark W. Hatch's murder trials and his later legal difficulties. Most clippings are from the Burlington Blade, the Burlington Boomerang, and the Rocky Mountain News. The editors of the Burlington papers wrote about the case and its background, and shared their stances regarding Hatch's guilt. The scrapbook also contains recapitulations of Hatch's arrests and trials. Later clippings detail a late investigation into the forgery charges against Clark W. Hatch. The final clipping, dated May 1891, pertains to Hatch's disappearance.
The S. Houldsworth letter book contains around 170 pages of letters that Houldsworth wrote to Norcross Brothers about construction projects from November 30, 1889-May 1, 1890. The letters are written in reverse chronological order on pages numbered 133-300; the first 132 pages are not present.
Writing from Stony Creek, Connecticut, Houldsworth addressed most of his correspondence to Norcross Brothers offices in Worcester, Massachusetts; Boston, Massachusetts; and New York, New York. Some letters are addressed to O. W. Norcross. Houldsworth discussed several aspects of the construction business, such as hiring workers, building materials, building plans, and alterations to specific projects. Some of the earlier letters mention quarrying and shipments of stone. A few letters have small diagrams of building layouts and similar subjects. A partially used alphabetical index appears at the front of the volume.
500 pages (1 volume)
The Walter Gibbs Beal Letter Book contains around 300 business letters from commission merchant W. G. Beal in Caibarién, Cuba, to recipients in Cuba, France, Spain, Boston, and London respecting administration of nearby sugar plantations Floridanos and Prudencia from December 10, 1877, to February 3, 1879. Working on behalf of Benjamin Burgess & Sons of Boston, Beal's letters provide detailed, day-to-day documentation of mechanical aspects of growing sugar cane, processing it, storing it, transporting it, securing buyers, shipping it, and financing of the efforts. Beal also wrote about slavery, contract labor, other labor issues, impending emancipation, the final days and conclusion of the Ten Years' War, and the beginnings of the Little War.
Sugar Plantation Oversight
Walter Beal's letters primarily take the form of reports to his employers, his uncle Nathan Bourne Gibbs (a retired merchant who had been a part of Burgess & Sons until 1876), and Santiago Innerarity of "Hendaya" [Hendaye, on the Franco-Spanish border]. The volume also includes correspondence with contractors, financial factors, nearby plantation owners, and the overseers of Floridanos and Prudencia. Beal visited both plantations regularly to assess the status of planting and harvesting, the volumes of "1st" sugar, "2nd" sugar, melado (sugar/molasses), and molasses produced, and the mood and disposition of the work force. With fine detail, he wrote about securing plantation machinery, planting and harvesting sugar cane, moving the cane on the plantation, grinding the cane, manufacturing molasses, transporting the products by cart and railroad, arranging for storage and insurance, securing contracts for the sale of the goods, chartering vessels for export, and handling any post-sale issues. The harvesting season of 1878-1879 was particularly poor because of unrelenting rain and thunderstorms that prevented the use of roads to cart cane or products on account of mud. The weather placed the plantation at a standstill.
Enslaved and Contract Labor
Beal's letters provide regular information about the plantations' enslaved laborers, who he frequently referred to as "the people." More detailed accounts include costs for the purchase and hire of enslaved persons, including an instance where he arranged for the purchase of a man, woman, and two free children, Nicolas and José (Beal to Dodge, February 6, 1878). As harvesting season ended, more and more laborers took ill with fever and were exhausted to the point of needing to rest. While peace negotiations were underway in 1878, the subject of slavery became more prevalent. Enslaved persons who had fought in the Ten Years' War for the Spanish were granted their freedom while Beal (and other planters) became very concerned about their own enslaved work forces. Fearing that they would refuse to work or plan to emancipate themselves, Beal made efforts to pacify them with additional gifts--while also securing additional guards. Rumors spread that the enslaved laborers believed slavery would be abolished on January 1, 1879, and the Governor installed 100 men on an adjoining estate for even more security. Matters became more complicated when a nearby planter named Carbo arranged for the freedom of his 68 slaves. Carbo agreed to furnish these persons with agricultural implements and oxen--and then purchase the cane from them in the crop season. For this, Beal and other planters censured him, believing that this action would set in motion a wave of enslaved persons refusing to work.
Following the Ten Years' War, labor shortages increased and Beal wrote about attempts to hire Spaniards from the Canary Islands, but found them to be good at all work excepting fieldwork (see Beal to Gibbs, April 8, 1878, for example). He also wrote about difficulties hiring Chinese laborers on contract because of the poor treatment they received by plantation overseers in the 1860s. By the fall of 1878, a company out of Havana began importing Chinese labor and Beal estimated that his force would include 24 Chinese laborers and 56 hired hands for Prudencia, and 31 Chinese laborers and 15 hired hands for Floridanos.
The Ten Years' War, etc.
Early in the volume, W. G. Beal kept an eye on developments in the "Eastern Section" as General Martínez y Campos made efforts to round up surrendering revolutionaries, but regularly reported that matters remained calm in the country. In February 1878, however, a group of unidentified persons injured (hamstrung) or killed 80 oxen on Floridanos, prompting Beal to make inquiries for assistance in identifying the perpetrators and replacing the dead oxen. In March, after Major-General Carlos Roloff capitulated, Beal had the opportunity to interview him at Caibarién and discovered who had led the attacks on the oxen. Beal kept track of which revolutionary leaders had surrendered, General Campos' progress, and developments related to the peace negotiation process and its aftermath. Once the Pact of Zanjón was signed, he wrote about militants in the woods, still refusing to surrender, and especially about José Antonio de la Caridad Maceo, who would not accept the terms of the pact and maintained a force of men. Other revolutionaries mentioned include the Brothers Arcos, Miguel Ramos, Máximo Gómez, Francisco Carillo, and Francisco Jimenez.
This collection is made up of one letterbook containing 41 retained draft letters by Scottish immigrant Duncan MacKenzie in New York City between May and August 1886, and eight letters by Duncan's son Hugh MacKenzie while he served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during World War I. Duncan MacKenzie was a manager of the Argyle sugar plantation on St. Vincent for 19 years before the plantation sold and he was forced to seek work in New York in the spring and summer of 1886. While there, he wrote letters to siblings, cousins, business contacts, and his wife Amy MacKenzie, who remained on St. Vincent with their children. These letters inform his recipients of his efforts to find work, requests for financial assistance, and frustrations at being middle aged and unable to provide for his family. He could not find work and ultimately moved to St. Croix, where he worked as an overseer on the La Grande Princesse sugar plantation. Hugh K. MacKenzie wrote eight letters to his brother Colin F. MacKenzie while testing and training for the CEF Engineers, Signal Division at Toronto and Ottawa in 1917, from England and France in the fall of 1918, and from Germany and Belgium, December 1918-January 1919.
Please see the box and folder listing below for details about the contents of each letter.
This collection is comprised of 3 letter books containing copies of business and personal letters written by Daniel H. B. Davis, who owned a shipping firm that conducted business in New York City and in Lima, Peru. Davis's private correspondence relates to business affairs and, particularly in the later volumes, the politics of Peru, Bolivia, and Chile during the War of the Pacific.
Davis wrote the earliest letters in Volume 1 (January 10, 1871-May 10, 1875, 482 pages) from Lima, Peru, regarding the local affairs of Davis Brothers. After his return to New York, Davis wrote about his social life and commented on business. Volume 2 (June 9, 1879-April 19, 1881, 301 pages) also relates to business affairs, and contains letters to James B. Davis and to B. H. Kaufmann ("Harry"), a business associate in Lima. Davis discussed South American politics as conflicts between Peru, Chile, and Bolivia escalated into the War of the Pacific. This volume also contains several letters inserted between its front cover and first page, which were written by James B. Davis and B. H. Kaufmann between 1880 and 1881 and concentrate on South American politics. Davis lived in Lima, Peru, while composing Volume 3 (May 25, 1881-April 2, 1884, 493 pages) and continued to discuss politics and business; he occasionally described other aspects of life in Peru and commented on news from New York.
1 linear foot
This collection (1 linear foot) consists of condolence letters, newspaper scrapbooks, a letter book, and a published memorial volume related to John M. Francis of Troy, New York, and to his son Charles.
The Condolence Letters series contains 211 items addressed to Charles S. Francis between June 5, 1897, and January 18, 1898. One letter from Hallie M. Brown concerns her regret about missing an opportunity to visit, and the remaining correspondence is made up of letters expressing the authors' condolences after the death of John M. Francis on June 18, 1897. Writers included Charles Francis's friends and family members and John Francis's personal and professional acquaintances. Many writers reminisced about their relationships with John M. Francis and shared stories about their experiences at the Troy Daily Times.
The Letter Book, Scrapbooks, and Published Memorial series (6 volumes) pertains to John M. Francis's travels around the United States, Europe, and Asia in the 1870s and to Charles S. Francis's career and business affairs. Four scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings of letters that John M. Francis sent to the Troy Daily Times while traveling abroad. Each contains lengthy descriptions of local people, customs, politics, architecture, geography, and history, and some also have accounts of transoceanic and transcontinental travel.
- Western Europe, June 12, 1869-October 15, 1869, including England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and France (21 letters; 38 pages)
- Western and Southern Europe, July 18, 1871-December 28, 1871 (published August 2, 1871-January 3, 1872), including England, Wales, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria-Hungary (now the Czech Republic and Austria), Italy, and Greece (20 letters; 28 pages)
- Around the world, July 5, 1875-June 6, 1876, including the western United States, Japan, China, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), India, Egypt, Greece, Italy, and France (2 volumes containing duplicate clippings, 115 pages and 71 pages)
The letter book (282 pages), which belonged to Charles S. Francis, has retained copies of his outgoing correspondence from October 25, 1897-July 29, 1901. The letters pertain to personal and business affairs, such as Francis's editorial work for the Troy Daily Times and land he owned in Mississippi. Several newspaper clippings relate to Francis's appointment as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Greece, Romania, and "Servia."
The published memorial (125 pages), entitled In Memoriam: John M. Francis, March 6, 1823-June 18, 1897, contains an engraved portrait, a brief biographical sketch, reminiscences, essays, poetry, and reprinted newspaper obituaries commemorating the life and death of John M. Francis.
The Photograph Album (ca. 1905?) contains 14 images of a new automobile, family members, and pets (possibly in New York state); and 144 vacation photographs showing landscapes, buildings, and persons in Europe. The photos are not labeled or identified, but appear to show Switzerland or Austrian lake districts, as well as urban environments. The photographer captured many of these images with a panoramic camera.
0.25 linear feet
This collection (0.25 linear feet) contains correspondence, financial records, patient visiting records, poetry, and other items related to the medical career of George A. Taber, a homeopathic physician, who attended and taught at the University of Michigan and practiced in New York and Virginia in the late 19th century.
The Correspondence series (36 items) contains 33 letters to George A. Taber, as well as 3 personal and professional letters written by Taber. Taber's grandfather, Gamaliel Taber, provided family news from New Bedford, Massachusetts, and occasionally discussed his work as a coffin maker. Many letters pertain to Taber's assistant professorship at the University of Michigan Homeopathic Medical School, to Taber's private practices, and to 19th-century homeopathic medicine. One correspondent commented on an article that Taber had contributed to a medical journal, and another wrote a case report on a patient treated with picric acid. Samuel A. Jones discussed clinical cases in Ann Arbor, Michigan, developments at the university's medical school, and the economics of medical practice. George A. Taber also wrote 2 brief personal letters to his future wife, Caroline L. Crowell, and 1 draft letter to a professional acquaintance.
The Letter Book (approximately 85 pages) includes personal and professional letters that George A. Taber wrote from March 1875-December 1895, in which he discussed his experiences in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and his private practices in New York and Virginia.
The collection's 3 Account and Cash Books belonged to George A. Taber and pertain to his medical practices and to his personal finances. Taber kept Patient Visiting Records in 2 volumes, each of which contains printed reference information for homeopathic physicians. Taber's manuscript notes record the names of his patients, dates and types of patients' visits, fees charged, and remedies prescribed.
The Poetry series (8 items) consists of brief verses, including a poem about South Carolina around the time of secession. Samuel A. Jones wrote a poem entitled "The Yankee," and George A. Taber dedicated one poem to Carrie L. Crowell.
Four Pamphlets concerning homeopathy and physicians are housed in the Book Division.
The Ephemera series contains 3 items: a photographic identity card for George A. Taber, a blank invoice from "Drs. Jones & Taber" with manuscript notes on the back, and a card with statistics comparing the use of allopathy and homeopathy at an almshouse in Denver, Colorado.
1.75 linear feet
The Frank J. Hecker papers are primarily made up of official letters and documents pertaining to his service during and following the Spanish-American War (1898-1899) as Chief of the Division of Transportation, Quartermaster's Department, and as a member of the Isthmian Canal Commission (1904). The collection also contains newspaper clippings related to his work in these capacities and miscellaneous photographs, printed items, and ephemera.
Frank Hecker's correspondence and documents begin in June 1898, as he began to manage the purchase of transport ships. Correspondents include Hecker, Russell Alexander Alger (Secretary of War), Charles Patrick Eagan (Commissary General of Subsistence), George D. Meiklejohn, Nelson A. Miles (Commander, U.S. Army), William Giles Harding Carter, and many representatives of companies in business with the government. The letters are all official, mostly regarding the purchase and charter of ships; the inspection of ships; and the procurement of laborers, construction materials, and equipment throughout the campaigns in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and elsewhere.
The letters and documents include Frank Hecker's appointment as Chief of the Division of Transportation within the Quartermaster Department; J. M. Ceballas and Company's report of expenses for the transportation of prisoners of war from Santiago de Cuba to Spanish ports, September 1898; correspondence regarding proposed stations for U.S. troops in Cuba and the construction of railways and piers; and other communications respecting transportation, supplies, and storage.
Frank Hecker's two letter books consist of retained copies of his official War Department letters to governmental and military personnel and various businesses. This correspondence contains additional detailed information on the purchase, charter, and maintenance of transport ships and equipment, as well as administrative and financial decisions related to them.
From 1899 to 1903, the collection's correspondence and documents follow up on Hecker's work during the Spanish-American War. Among these are legal documents regarding the John C. Calhoun v. Atlantic Transport Company case (including Hecker's testimony before the Supreme Court, New York County). John Calhoun brought suit with the transport company for commission related to the sale of several vessels to the U.S. government during the war. The correspondence and documents also include one small, undated, Spanish-American War-era notebook, marked "Col. F.J. Hecker. U.S. Vols." Each of approximately 50 pages in this volume contains a ship's name, owning company, tonnage, size, speed, claimed capacity, and cost of charter.
The correspondence and documents dated 1904ff. begin with President Theodore Roosevelt's appointment of Col. Hecker to the (second) Isthmian Canal Commission and a letter specifying the responsibilities of the Commission. The bulk of this material is made up of the proceedings of the Isthmian Canal Commission. The proceedings (meetings 1-49, 53-55, 60) consist of minutes and resolutions, awarded contracts, financial distributions, subcommittee appointments, and other administrative paperwork. Hecker's letter of resignation to Theodore Roosevelt (November 11, 1904) is present, as is the President's letter of acceptance and a series of letters to Hecker, lamenting his decision to leave the commission. Several of them (particularly Russell Alger's of December 1, 1904, and George W. Davis' of January 17, 1905) suggest that Hecker's resignation was in part the result of confusion and turmoil caused by the allegations made against him by the newspapers.
The collection also includes two scrapbooks with content largely related to Frank Hecker's unsuccessful run for Congress (Detroit, Michigan) in 1892, his service on the Isthmian Canal Commission (1904ff.), and the World War I service of his son Christian Henry Hecker, in the 338th Infantry. Other materials include loose clippings from Detroit and New York newspapers with content concerning Hecker's resignation from the Isthmian Canal board. Please see the detailed box and folder listing for a complete list of photographs, printed items, and ephemera.
The letterbook kept by Sidney Brooks represents a portion of the correspondence of a businessman and financier through the Civil War and in the late 1860s. The letterbook consists entirely of outgoing correspondence written to various associates.
There is a vague topical coherence to the letters retained by Brooks. Most are of a personal nature, and many concern Brooks' business and personal relationship with the great sculptor, Hiram Powers. Even the few letters that strictly concern business matter have a personal cast to them, suggesting that this was a private copybook used for private matters.