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David Walbridge Kendall papers, 1862-1865, 1891-1924, 1932-1976 (majority within 1932-1971)

12 linear feet

Attorney, government official; general counsel, later assistant secretary of the treasury, 1955-1957; special counsel to President Eisenhower, 1958-1961; vice president for legal affairs of the Chrysler Corporation, 1962-1968; chairman of the board of incorporators of the National Railroad Passenger Corporation that led to Amtrak. Personal and autobiographical materials; correspondence, 1932-1976; copies of outgoing responses made as special counsel to the president; speeches, articles, scrapbooks, and clippings pertaining to his career and to his political and civic interests; Amtrak files, including memos and minutes of the board of incorporators, also copies of Civil War correspondence of his uncle Austin J. Kendall, 1862-1865, and papers of his father, educator Calvin Kendall, ca. 1890-ca. 1917; and photographs.

The David Kendall collection covers the period of 1932 to 1976. Included with the collection is a small group of earlier family material, principally copies of the Civil War letters of Austin Kendall, DWK's uncle, and papers of his father Calvin Kendall, a teacher and educator, from the turn of the century.

The Kendall papers (12 linear feet) have been arranged into 10 series: Personal, Correspondence, Chronological File (General Counsel to the President), Speech File, Articles, Topical Files, National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Scrapbooks and Newspaper Clippings, Student Papers, and Family Papers.


Henry A. S. Dearborn collection, 1801-1850 (majority within 1814-1850)

176 items

The Henry A. S. Dearborn collection (176 items) contains the correspondence of the Massachusetts politician and author Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn, son of the Revolutionary War General, Henry Dearborn. The papers largely document his career as the collector of the Boston Customs House and include letters from prominent government officials in Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. The papers also include 16 speeches, orations, and documents pertinent to Dearborn's horticultural interests, Grecian architecture, politics, and other subjects.

The Henry A. S. Dearborn collection contains correspondence (160 items) and speeches, reports, and documents (16 items) of the Massachusetts politician, and author, Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn. The bulk of the Correspondence Series documents Dearborn's career as the collector at the Boston Customs House. Dearborn corresponded with government officials in Boston, New York, and Washington D.C. These letters largely concern his management of the customs department and political matters. Of particular interest are 22 letters from the French émigré, Louis Dampus, which constitute a case history of customs problems (May to November 1814). Most of these are in French. Also of interest are 11 letters between Dearborn and Thomas Aspinwall, United States consul to London. They discussed exchanging political favors, purchasing books in London, and, in the July 11, 1817 letter, President James Monroe's tour of New England and the North West Territory.

Other notable letters to Dearborn include those written by the following people:
  • James Leander Cathcart, United States diplomat, on the state of commerce on the Black Sea and his career as a diplomat with the Ottomans (June 8 and 12, 1818).
  • Fiction writer and scholar William S. Cardell, regarding his election as member of American Academy of Language and Belles Lettres (October 30, 1821).
  • Colonel Nathan Towson, paymaster general of the United States, on John C. Calhoun's political fortunes as a presidential candidate and the political ramifications of raising taxes (December 22, 1821).
  • Harvard University Overseer and Massachusetts Senator, Harrison Gray Otis, on "St. Domingo's" (Hispaniola) terrain, agriculture, export potential, its white and black populations, and its importance, as a trade partner, to the French. Otis supported bolstering the United States' trade relationship with the island (January 17, 1823).
  • Nathaniel Austin, regarding an enclosed sketch of "Mr. Sullivan's land," located near Charlestown, Massachusetts (April 13, 1825).
  • Federalist pamphlet writer, John Lowell, about his illness that him unable to contribute to [Massachusetts Agricultural Society] meetings (June 5, 1825).
  • Massachusetts Senator, James Lloyd, concerning funding the building of light houses in the harbor at Ipswich, Massachusetts (April 11, 1826).
  • H. A. S. Dearborn to state senator and later Massachusetts governor, Emory Washburn, regarding the American aristocracy. He accused the Jackson administration of putting "the Union in jeopardy,” and dishonoring the Republic with an “unprincipled, ignorant and imbecile administration" (May 22, 1831). Dearborn also summarized many of his ideas on the political and social state of the Union.
  • Abraham Eustis, commander of the school for Artillery Practice at Fort Monroe, commenting that the "dissolution of the Union is almost inevitable. Unless you in Congress adopt some very decided measures to counteract the federal doctrines of the Proclamation, Virginia will array herself by the side of South Carolina, & then the other southern States join at once" (December 27, 1832).
  • The botanist John Lewis Russell, about a charity request for support of the Norfolk Agricultural Society (February 6, 1850).

The collection contains several personal letters from family members, including three from Dearborn's mother, Sarah Bowdoin Dearborn, while she was in Lisbon, Portugal (January 29 and 30, 1823, and January 27, 1824); two letters from his father, General Henry Dearborn (May 25, 1814, and undated); and one from his nephew William F. Hobart (November 8, 1822).

The collection's Speeches, Reports, and Documents Series includes 15 of Henry A. S. Dearborn's orations, city or society reports, and a copy of the Revolutionary War roll of Col. John Glover's 21st Regiment. Most of them were not published in Dearborn's lifetime. The topics of these works include the art of printing (1803), Independence Day (4th of July, 1808 and 1831), discussion about the establishment of Mount Auburn Cemetery (1830), education, religion, horticulture, Whig politics, and the state of the country. See the box and folder listing below for more details about each item in this series.


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.


Oliver Lyman Spaulding papers, 1861-1921

3 linear feet — 1 oversize folder — 1 oversize volume

Soldier from St. Johns, Michigan who served in Co. A, Twenty-third Michigan Infantry during the Civil War, later Regent of University of Michigan, teacher, lawyer, Republican member of Congress from Michigan, and U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury. Correspondence, letterpress books; scrapbooks; genealogy, speeches, memoirs, and miscellaneous items; also scattered papers of his wife's family (Mary Cecilia Swegles Spaulding).

The Oliver Lyman Spaulding papers consists of correspondence, letterpress books, scrapbooks, genealogy, speeches, memoirs, and miscellaneous items; also scattered papers of his wife's family (Mary Cecilia Swegles Spaulding). The collection has been arranged into the following series: Correspondence; Topical Files; Letterpress books, scrapbooks, diaries, etc.; Swegles Family papers; Photographs; and Masonic artifacts. Portions of the collection covering the years, 1861-1865, have been microfilmed and are available for inter-library loan.

Three diaries (1862-1865) tell of the everyday routine of army life, military operations in Kentucky, and comment on the weather, on the freeing of the slaves, and on other officers. Spaulding's "Military Memoirs" give a complete account of his army activities from the organization of his regiment through the Kentucky and Tennessee campaigns to his discharge. A testimonial (June 22, 1865) from officers of the 2nd Brigade, written at Salisbury, N.C., orders, official correspondence, and miscellanea regarding Morgan's Raid are also included. Also included in the collection are three letters from civilians in Charleston, S.C., describing the attack on Fort Sumter and other events of the beginning of the war. Two letters (Mar. 22 and Apr. 9, 1861) are from W. T. Adams, and the other (Oct. 24, 1861) is from Richard D. Tuttle.