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James M. Curtin collection, 1919, 1961

7 items

This collection is made up of materials related to James M. Curtin, including his brother Will's letters about his travels in France in the spring of 1919, photographs taken in France in 1919, a narrative of the Curtin siblings' visit to Europe in 1961, and drafts of a short story.

This collection is made up of 7 items related to James M. Curtin of Marcellus, New York, and his siblings. His brother Will wrote letters to his mother and siblings from Paris, France, on March 13 and May 18, 1919; one is written on stationery of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace. Will Curtin described life and leisure activities in Paris, and recounted his travels around France, including a trip to Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Two photographs taken on May 11, 1919, show "Mr. Curtin" and three women posing with soldiers near Reims Cathedral. The collection contains 2 undated drafts of a short story by James M. Curtin, entitled "A Misadventure on a Spring Holiday" (27 pages and 32 pages, respectively).

The final item is an unsigned manuscript (96 pages) regarding a "European Trip Taken in 1961 by Genevieve, Mary and James Curtin" (August 7, 1961-October 5, 1961). The narrative consists of daily entries about the family's travels in Ireland, France, and Italy, including extensive travel within the Republic of Ireland and visits to Lourdes, Nice, Rome, and Paris. The author recorded many details about the family's Irish ancestors, particularly those who settled in New York and Iowa, and discussed their sightseeing activities in Cork, Galway, the Aran Islands, Connemara, Dublin, and other locations. While in southern France and Rome, the family visited several churches; on one occasion, they witnessed a private speech by the Pope. The Curtins saw many ancient landmarks while in Rome and then flew over the Alps to Paris. While there, they took a trip to the Palace of Versailles. The account ends mid-sentence with the family's return to New York after a transatlantic journey on a Holland-American Line steamer.


John and Charles Francis collection, 1869-ca. 1905

1 linear foot

This collection consists of condolence letters, newspaper scrapbooks, a letter book, a published memorial volume, and a photograph album related to John M. Francis of Troy, New York, and to his son Charles. The letters, which are addressed to Charles Francis, express sympathy following his father's death in June 1897; the memorial volume contains biographical sketches and published tributes to John M. Francis; and the newspaper scrapbooks chronicle John M. Francis's travels around Europe and the world between 1869 and 1876.

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.


Sophia L. Boardman diary, 1865-1866

1 volume

The Sophia L. Boardman diary chronicles Boardman's travels in Europe between May 1865 and January 1866. Sophia and an unnamed companion, possibly her husband, visited England, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Switzerland, and Italy; her journal records her impressions of the various towns and attractions she visited.

The Sophia L. Boardman diary (164 pages) chronicles Boardman's travels throughout Europe between May 29, 1865, and January 4, 1866. Sophia and an unnamed companion visited England, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Switzerland, and Italy.

Boardman began the diary after arriving in London, England, onboard the steamer Cornelius Grinnell, and commented extensively upon her experiences in the city. She visited the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London, parks, gardens, and museums. She remained in London until late June, when she set off for a journey through northern England and the British Isles, including stops at Dublin and Belfast, Ireland, where she mused briefly about the history of Scots-Irish Presbyterianism. After traveling in Scotland, she returned to England and soon embarked for the Continent, arriving in Antwerp in late July. As she continued through western and central Europe, she frequently toured cathedrals and castles, attended church services on Sundays, and recorded her impressions of cities and towns seen along the route.

Upon her arrival in Rome on November 11, she continued sightseeing and attended the Pope's Christmas service at the Vatican (December 25, 1865). She ended her journal while in the region around Rome on January 4, 1866. Three printed illustrations are pasted onto the inside of the journal's covers, as well as a caption for a single missing picture: "Schweizenhof - Lucerne," "Bex Suine," "Hôtel Baur au Lac à Zürich," and "Stresa - Lake Maggiore."