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.