The Committee on Legislation for the International Exposition of 1892 compiled meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, and other material between September 1889 and April 1890. Under the leadership of Chauncey Depew, the committee worked with the New York-based Committee for the International Exposition of 1892 to attempt to persuade the United States Congress to award an upcoming world's fair exhibition to the city of New York.
The Committee on Legislation met periodically between September 19, 1889, and January 21, 1890, and discussed various cities' efforts to win congressional approval for the country's upcoming world's fair. At its first meeting, the group chose Senator Chauncey Depew as its chairman and millionaire William Earl Dodge Stokes as its secretary, among other officers. Throughout its existence, the committee regularly discussed the work of the larger Committee for the International Exposition of 1892, with whom they often coordinated their efforts, and reported developments from Washington, D. C., with respect to determining the fair's location. Among other actions, the committee suggested distributing pamphlets to damage Chicago's reputation and, therefore, its chances of winning the exposition (November 25, 1889, p. 35). The group also reacted to reports that the city of New York did not actually desire to host the event.
Correspondence, reports, a drafted legislative act, and a newspaper clipping are pasted into the volume. William McMurtrie Speer, journalist and secretary of the Committee for the International Exposition of 1892, frequently sent typed letters about cross-committee cooperation and recent developments. The legislative committee also received typed and manuscript letters from local supporters, such as Luigi Palma di Cesnola of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (November 19, 1889, p. 19), other related committees, and United States congressmen. Also included are reports that William Stokes composed a 14-page printed draft of a "Proposed act of Congress" that would award the fair to New York (October 4, 1889, p. 13). The newspaper clipping, from the New York Herald, urges the committee to send representatives to Washington, D. C., a tactic already employed by competing cities (December 7, 1889, p. 83). The final item is a 4-page report concerning the Committee on Legislation's financial expenditures (April 7, 1890, p. 117).