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Frank H. Schofield collection, 1891-1935 (majority within 1913-1923)

0.5 linear feet

This collection is made up of correspondence and other items related to United States Navy Admiral Frank H. Schofield and his wife, Claribel. The bulk of the collection consists of personal letters that Frank and Claribel Schofield received from acquaintances, family, and each other between the mid-1910s and the early 1920s.

This collection is made up of correspondence and other items related to United States Navy Admiral Frank H. Schofield and his wife, Claribel.

The Correspondence series, which comprises the bulk of the collection, largely consists of personal letters that Frank and Claribel Schofield received from 1913-1923. Frank wrote to Claribel while stationed in Italy, Mexico, Washington, D.C., and other locations; in 1914 and 1915, he served on the Delaware along the East Coast and in Veracruz, Mexico. His letter of March 26, 1918, pertains to military developments during World War I. Frank Schofield's incoming correspondence includes many letters from personal and professional acquaintances, who discussed his career, navy personnel and affairs, the U.S. Naval War College, and nonmilitary subjects. Perry Schofield occasionally wrote to his father about his schooling and everyday life. In July 1923, Frank Schofield received several letters of congratulation after the announcement of his promotion to rear admiral. The series includes an early letter from Anna L. Peck to her cousin Mary (July 6, 1891) and a letter by E. L. Schofield about family genealogy (March 16, 1935). Some of the letters are in French.

The Receipts, Printed Program, and Cards series contains a group of receipts from the Army and Navy Club restaurant and barber, a list of lecture courses and conferences offered by the Institute of Politics in the summer of 1923, cards from friends, and an invitation to a reception at the U.S. Naval War College. One item includes pencil drawings of Frank H. Schofield's monogram.

The collection includes three Scrapbooks. The first volume (85 pages) contains newspaper clippings, with articles about science and medicine, horses, Shakespeare, Swedenborgianism, opium usage, and American history. A large number of clippings are poems about various subjects, sometimes related to religion. Manuscript quotations were written directly onto the first few pages. Visual materials include portraits of members of the Polk family, historic homes and churches, horses, and the stages of development for trilobites. Several items pertain to Frank H. Schofield, including an article about his travels with the navy, photographs from his trip to Guam in 1903, and informal portraits of his wife and son. M. H. P. Cox received the volume from "Miss McGill" in April 1887.

Two large scrapbooks, both with canvas colors, bear the titles "U.S. Fleet Visit to Melbourne, August 1925" and "U.S. Fleet Visit to Lyttelton and Christchurch, New Zealand, August 1925." Each contains programs, invitations, visiting cards, and other ephemera related to the voyage, commanded by Frank H. Schofield. The bulk of each volume is newspaper articles and entire newspapers concerning the fleet's destination. The clippings frequently include information about the sailors' relationships with local residents. The New Zealand volume includes clippings from The Star, The Press (Christchurch), The Sun, and The Lyttelton Times, as well as a full issue of The Weekly Press and N.Z. Referee. The Australia volume contains full issues of The Sun, Punch, Table Talk, The Leader, and The Australasian. The New Zealand album also contains images of native Maoris and others in Maori costume.


George Gardner papers, 1821-1900 (majority within 1854-1895)

0.5 linear feet

This collection contains correspondence, letter books, and additional material related to the career of George Clinton Gardner, a surveyor and railroad engineer who worked in the United States, Mexico, and Peru throughout the latter half of the 19th century. Correspondence includes several letters related to Gardner's attempt to join the Army Corps of Topographical Engineers during the Civil War. The letter books provide details of Gardner's work with nitroglycerin in Pennsylvania, his experiences and travels while supervising railroad construction throughout Mexico, and his work with the Pacific Company in Peru.

This collection contains correspondence, letter books, and additional material related to the career of George Clinton Gardner, a surveyor and railroad engineer who worked in the United States, Mexico, and Peru throughout the latter half of the 19th century. Included are 17 letters, 4 letter books, 2 financial documents, 10 photographs, 1 printed copy of a painting, and several calling cards.

The Correspondence series has 17 items, including 15 directly related to George Clinton Gardner. These include 3 letters of recommendation that William H. Emory wrote in 1854 and 1856 regarding Gardner's work as a surveyor in the Pacific Northwest, with one addressed to President James Buchanan (August 13, 1856), as well as 5 letters related to Gardner's efforts to serve in the Union Cavalry and in the Army's Corps of Topographical Engineers during the Civil War (1861-1862). Postwar correspondence consists of 3 letters related to financial matters, 1 letter related to Gardner's surveying career, 2 personal letters addressed to Mary Gardner in 1889 and 1890, and a photographic Christmas card addressed to George Clinton Gardner from an acquaintance in Pacasmayo, Peru (1900).

The Letter Books series contains 4 letter books of Gardner's retained copies of his correspondence. The first letter book includes 27 pages of private letters to Messrs. Paul & Mooney and to James Mooney in Buffalo, New York, regarding property Gardner and his parents owned in Buffalo, as well as 2 related enclosed letters (3 pages). These are dated between September 27, 1862, and February 5, 1867, and primarily concern the finances associated with owning the land. Gardner frequently reported sending checks to pay for property taxes. One enclosed letter is dated January 11, 1868, and a second enclosed item is undated.

The second letter book is comprised of 42 loose pages from a single volume, dated between February 9, 1869, to February 14, 1874, with one letter dated October 28, 1879. The pages are numbered, though many are missing. Between 1869 and 1874, Gardner wrote to George M. Mowbray, a chemist involved in the development of nitroglycerin, and to other correspondents concerning Gardner's work overseeing submarine drilling for the Philadelphia & Erie Railroad Company. Many of the letters reflect Gardner's experiences with Mowbray's improved form of nitroglycerin, including a 5 1/2-page report Gardner wrote to General John G. Parke on August 2, 1869. Many letters from 1874 reflect the financial aspects of Gardner's property holdings in Buffalo, New York, and the single letter from 1879 relates to taxes he owed on property in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The third letter book (approximately 212 pages) consists of copies of letters Gardner wrote while working as the general manager of the Mexican National Construction Company, for which he supervised railroad construction on lines running west from Mexico City. The letters, written between September 9, 1881, and July 3, 1882, are addressed to both business and personal acquaintances, and cover Gardner's life, work, and travels throughout Mexico. He described recent developments in local railroad construction and often told his wife Fanny of his travels. The letter dated September 13, 1881, includes a diagram of a stateroom onboard the steamship Knickerbocker. He also discussed the local culture and economy, and provided details on contemporary Mexican life, particularly about the area west of Mexico City. Between January and July 1882, Gardner lived in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and Laredo, Texas. The letter book has been disbound, but the letters are in their original order.

The final letter book (approximately 84 pages) covers George C. Gardner's life in Peru between July 5, 1885, and November 9, 1895. The volume holds copies of personal and professional letters, including several lengthy ones to his wife Fanny, describing his travels around the country searching for and assessing coal deposits. He wrote a continuous letter "from the trail" during August and September 1895. Other topics he discussed are financial affairs and his work for the Pacific Company. Gardner returned to Washington by early October 1895, where he composed the volume's final letters.

The two Documents are financial accounts related to the settlement of the estate of General John McLean, Gardner's maternal grandfather (approximately 20 pages, May 8, 1821-December 27, 1828) and a list of "Charges against [an unidentified] Personal Estate" (1 page, undated).

The 8 card photographs in the Photographs series include one portraying a boy named Clinton Gardner Reed (May 22, 1884) and one taken at the Exhibition of Philadelphia in November 1876, as well as a carte-de-visite and a photographic portrait of Charles Kitchell Gardner. The final item is a black-and-white reproduction of a painting depicting a scene from Charles Le Brun's opera "La Famiglia di Dario ai Piedi di Alessandro," mounted on a thick card.

The Ephemera series contains several calling cards for Mrs. George H. Brodhea. Among several envelopes is one from the White House to Fanny Gardner .


George William Taylor papers, 1823-1862

103 items

The George William Taylor papers contain correspondence, documents, photographs, and a journal related to the life of Civil War general George W. Taylor. The collection mainly consists of letters Taylor wrote during his periods in military service and travels abroad.

The George William Taylor papers contain 103 items, ranging in date from 1823 to 1862. The collection includes 92 letters, 1 diary, 4 legal documents, 2 photographs, several sheets of obituary clippings, and some miscellaneous items.

Taylor wrote most of the letters to his family during his periods abroad. The first major section of letters contains letters he wrote home to his parents and family during his time in the Navy while sailing the Mediterranean from 1828 to 1831 on the U.S.S. Fairfield. In these letters, Taylor gave descriptions of naval life, as well as observations of the ports he visited around the Mediterranean, including Gibraltar, Smyrna, Minorca, Venice (July 23, 1829: ". . . that most supurb city so appropriately stiled the 'Ocean Queen' at once spread out before us and free to feast our eyes on her unequaled singularity of beauty."), Palermo, and Marseilles (January 10, 1831: "The French are indeed a very warlike people you see it everywhere, every body is a soldier and there is no doubt that the military science is more generally diffused in France than in any other country.").

The next section of letters contains correspondence written during his time in the army in the Mexican War, from 1847 to 1848, and over the course of his trip to California during the Gold Rush, from 1849 to 1851. Though he saw little action during the Mexican War, his letters give some rich descriptions of a traveler’s view of the country (in particular, see July 21, 1847). Taylor’s California letters detail life in a California mining town, as well as his struggles to make money. After a fire destroyed part of San Francisco, Taylor wrote, "Confidence is destroyed and many will gather together what little they can and go home tired of the struggle . . . Thank God I owe nobody here I have never compromised my honour or self respect and if I carry home nothing it will be with some satisfaction to come out of the ordeal of Ca. untarnished" (May 5, 1851). A large portion of the letters during this period are from Taylor to his wife Mary, who remained in New Jersey during his travels. The collection also contains occasional responses from her, in which she gave news from home and expressed her loneliness over Taylor’s absence.

In the final section are several documents and letters from 1862, during Taylor’s brief time in the Union Army before his death. Several letters are addressed to Taylor from Union General Philip Kearny (1815-1862). Included are Taylor’s will (March 2, 1862) and an October 1862 letter of condolence, addressed to his daughter Mary.

Also in the collection are a 144-page journal from Taylor’s time in the Mediterranean, in which he wrote daily observations about his travels and life in the Navy; two photos of Taylor in Civil War uniform; and a collection of obituary clippings.


H. O. Comstock journal, 1849

1 volume

This volume is an account of thirteen '49ers traveling from New England to California during the gold rush. Comstock describes their journey from New York, on the brig Empire, to Vera Cruz, Mexico, and from there overland through Mexico City to San Blas on the Pacific; for the last leg, they sailed to San Francisco. When they arrived in California, they went up the San Joaquin River to Stockton and Merced.

This volume records the daily experiences of Comstock's group as they travelled to California, styling themselves the G. M. Speculating Club. The group went by stage to Troy, then by railroad to New York. There they elected officers and purchased equipment (at inflated prices), which they shipped on a schooner headed around the Cape. On February 18, 1849, they left on the Brig Empire, along with 53 others, 30 men to a cabin, to sail for 22 days to Vera Cruz. Along the way they experienced storms and sea-sickness. On February 27, he wrote, “No tongue can express, no language can portray the awful sublimity of a Thunder storm at sea[;] none but those who have witnessed can realize or even imagine its grandeur.”

Upon arrival in Mexico on March 12, they purchased a wagon, horses, and mules for their trek. Parties of as many as 47 men were departing almost daily. Along the route they encountered cemeteries and battlefields of the Mexican War, which had ended the previous year. They encountered resentful, larcenous people and endured sand fleas and hunger on their 46-day trek. Comstock estimates their distance at 469 miles.

After selling their few remaining horses and mules for a quarter of the purchase price, they embarked for San Francisco on April 29, on the schooner Jacklin, along with 30 or 40 others. Once at sea, they discovered that the Captain had overloaded his ship, and that the food and sleeping accommodations were not sufficient; Comstock remarked that the cooks were terrible. Beset by headwinds and calms, the brig took 32 days to reach San Francisco, by which time the passengers were limited to a pint of water per day and nothing to eat but bread, beans, and rice. At one point the captain so feared mutiny that he tried, unsuccessfully, to sequester all of the passengers’ arms.

San Francisco was teeming with men from all over the world, who arrived daily by the hundreds. The group changed their original plans to sail up the Sacramento River, and instead went up the San Joaquin on a schooner of the same name. On board were several deserters from the Navy. "Deserters are frequent, the Gold Mania having spread among the sailors & causing many of them to leave their $16 per month on Gov vessels and seek their fortunes at mines among scores of other adventurers” (June 11, 1849). The ship had to be “warped,” by placing the anchor forward in a small boat and pulling the ship up to it for miles, but on June 14 they arrived at Stockton, a town of several hundred people, most of whom slept in tents. From there they proceeded in three groups by stage and on horseback for 80 miles to get to the “diggings,” where they worked in two shifts, but only placer-mined a disappointing $10 a day in gold flakes.

They soon dissolved the organization, when one member decided to return to San Francisco. Comstock and a few others were exploring the Merced River when Sherman took an early-morning bath in the stream, slipped on moss-covered rocks into deeper water, and drowned. They buried him near the camp.


John H. Parsell journal, 1876

1 volume

This journal contains a narrative account of John H. Parsell's journey from New York to California, via Panama and Mexico, in late 1875, including a description of San Francisco, California. Parsell wrote the account for his "Uncle Peter" in August 1876.

This journal (57 pages) contains a narrative account of John H. Parsell's journey from New York to California, via Panama and Mexico, in late 1875, including a description of San Francisco, California. He wrote the manuscript on pages numbered 33-89; the remaining pages have been torn out of the volume.

The first section (pages 33-61) is comprised of Parsell's travel recollections, which he composed for his uncle beginning on August 19, 1876. On November 30, 1875, Parsell boarded the steamer Colon, bound for Panama. After reaching Panama on December 10, 1875, he took a train across the isthmus to Panama City, where he boarded the steamer Grenada, bound for Mexico and California. On December 24, 1875, he arrived in San Francisco. Parsell commented on ocean travel and life at sea, such as the religious thoughts that ocean travel inspired in him, the racial composition of the ships' crews, the night sky and navigation, and the flora and fauna of the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. He remarked on scenery along the coasts of the United States, Bahamas, Cuba, Panama, Nicaragua, and Mexico, and described the following cities where his ships docked: Aspinwall (now Colón) and Panama City, Panama; and Acapulco, Manzanillo, and Mazatlan, Mexico. In Acapulco, he mentioned the merchants who sailed alongside departing ships selling goods to passengers (p. 54), and he later shared his distaste for Catholic priests and countries that embraced Catholicism (p. 57).

On pages 61-89, Parsell described life in San Francisco, discussing the prevalence of divorce, popular leisure activities, restaurants and saloons, the city's public squares and churches, and the cable cars. He provided a description Chinatown and the city's Chinese population, commenting on relationships between Chinese immigrants and other segments of the population, religious customs in Chinatown, and ethnic theater performances. The final pages concern Parsell's visit to a friend in Santa Rosa, California.


Levi Wade collection, 1866-1902

3 volumes

This collection consists of a diary (108 pages), a school notebook (111 pages), and a scrapbook (approximately 15 pages) related to Levi C. Wade, a Massachusetts lawyer and director of the Mexican Central Railway Company in the late-19th century. The diary is an account of Wade's visit to Mexico City in the late months of 1879 to win governmental support for his proposed railway, and a record of his observations on contemporary Mexican politics. The school notebook contains Wade's lecture notes from the Newton Theological Institute and from his law studies. The scrapbook holds material related to Wade's death and to his sons, among other subjects.

This collection contains a diary (108 pages), a school notebook (111 pages), and a scrapbook (approximately 15 pages) related to Levi C. Wade, a Massachusetts lawyer and director of the Mexican Central Railway Company in the late 19th century.

Levi Wade kept a Diary while traveling to and living in Mexico City between October 3, 1879, and December 11, 1879 (108 pages). After leaving Boston for New York City on October 3, he embarked for Veracruz, Mexico, onboard the steamer City of Alexandria. He discussed several aspects of his life onboard, such as his leisure activities, other passengers, the weather, and stops at Havana, Cuba (October 9-10), and Campeche, Mexico (October 14), before reaching Veracruz on October 16. While on shore at Havana, Wade described the city's architecture and people, which he later compared to Veracruz, a city that had experienced recent political upheaval and executions. The day of his arrival, he and his traveling companion boarded a train for Mexico City, arriving on October 17. Wade remained in Mexico City until at least December 11, devoting most of his time to political maneuvering and attempts to secure the government's approval for his proposed central Mexican railway. He often remarked about the structure of Mexican politics and about specific events that occurred during his stay in the country, often providing his own commentary. Wade frequently reported on his efforts to secure government support, and met or corresponded with several prominent politicians, including President Porfirio Diaz and members of the Mexican Cabinet. Along with his observations about the country's political system, Wade also wrote about the country's people, food, and customs, as well as the foreigners he met during his travels. Though he often mentioned his frustration with the lack of progress regarding his proposal, by December 11 he seemed optimistic about eventual success, having received the president's support and that of other high-ranking officials.

The School Notebook (111 pages) holds 94 pages of notes from lectures Wade attended while studying at the Newton Theological Institute (1866) and approximately 16 pages of legal forms and similar notes pertaining to his legal studies (1871-1872). Wade studied the Biblical Gospels with Horatio B. Hackett (pp. 1-56), Christian ethics with Alvah Hovey (pp. 57-90), and symbology and Christian doctrines with an unnamed instructor (pp. 91-94). The section on the Gospels contains lectures on the differences and similarities between the four books, as well as on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. "Events in Galilee Till the Second Passover," (pp. 32-41) speculates on the locations of various Biblical events, and includes verses clipped from a King James Version of the Bible. Other lectures are about Christ's final days, crucifixion, and resurrection. Alvah Hovey's lectures focused on Christian ethics, and its practical applications. The final section of religious lecture notes concerns Christian creeds, symbolism, and doctrinal sources. The final portion of the book (pp. 96-111) contains copied examples of legal forms and similar information about legal practice, notes on real estate, and a list of books Levi Wade had read (p. 97).

A Scrapbook (approximately 15 pages), complied by an unknown creator, consists of programs, reports, and newspaper clippings from 1879 to 1902. The first page shows clippings from the Westminster Review related to Levi's sons, Levi, Jr., and Robert, and many of the following pages contain programs for concerts or other events. The two printed reports are the "9th Annual Report of the Board of Directors of the Mexican Central Railway Co." (December 31, 1888), and a report from the president of Bowdoin College (1898-1899). Additional newspaper clippings are about a variety of topics, such as poetry and the development of transportation. Many relate to the death of Levi C. Wade, including an obituary from the Newton Graphic (March 27, 1891), a report on his funeral, and tributes.


Phillip Amberg letters, 1872-1899

7 items

This collection is made up of 7 letters that Phillip Amberg wrote to Samuel Chapin and Samuel Chapin, Jr., of Oneida, New York, between 1872 and 1899. Amberg discussed aspects of his life in Chihuahua and Guadalajara, Mexico, including local customs, political tensions, and his finances and business concerns.

This collection is made up of 7 letters that Phillip Amberg wrote to Samuel Chapin and Samuel Chapin, Jr., of Oneida, New York, between 1872 and 1899. From March 25, 1872-June 25, 1879 (3 items), he discussed the difficulty of his journey to Chihuahua, Mexico; his life in Chihuahua; cultural differences between the United States and Mexico; and his isolation from the United States and Europe. He mentioned political tensions in his letter of July 8, 1877, but reported that Chihuahua, which had had only two recent politically motivated murders, remained relatively calm.

Amberg's letters from Guadalajara, Mexico (March 14, 1886-January 15, 1892, 3 items), pertain to his business and financial affairs. His letter of June 14, 1886, contains medical advice for Samuel Chapin, Sr.; Amberg encouraged his friend to avoid specific medicines, to consult a homeopathic physician, and to travel to Europe for treatment rather than to Hot Springs, Arkansas. Amberg's final letter, written from an unknown location, contains expressions of appreciation to Samuel Chapin, Jr.


Richard Coulter journal, 1847-1848

100 pages

The Richard Coulter journal is a lengthy, detailed account of the experiences of a private soldier participating in the American invasion of Mexico, 1846-1848.

The Richard Coulter journal is a lengthy, detailed account of the experiences of a private soldier participating in the American invasion of Mexico, 1846-1848. Educated, observant and possessing a biting wit, Coulter has left an unusually insightful document, which he attempted to make as comprehensive as possible. He took great pains to describe all aspects of a soldier's life during the war, from mustering in to life in the camps, interactions with Mexican civilians, descriptions of the cities and countryside, the battles and their aftermath, strategy, morale, and attitudes. His particular disdain for Generals John W. Geary and Thomas Childs reaches a level of vitriol seldom seen, and often borders on the comic.

The original of the Coulter journal is now lost. It appears likely that this typescript was prepared in the 1930s or 40s for Richard Coulter, Jr.


Sarah and Edward Ogden travel diaries, 1886-1908

9 volumes

The Ogden collection consists of diaries written by Sarah and Edward Ogden detailing trips to places in Europe, Russia, the United States and Mexico from the years 1886 to 1908.

The Sarah and Edward Ogden diaries consist of seven diaries written by Sarah Ogden, one expense book kept by Edward Ogden, and one other diary, possibly written by Edward Ogden. The diaries span the years from 1886 to 1908.

A trip taken from 1886-1887 was to Europe, and the destinations were as follows: England (June 1886); Germany (July 1886); Austria and Switzerland (August 1886); France (September 1886); Spain (October 1886); France (the end of 1886, and early 1887); Italy (March 1887); Denmark (June 1887); St. Petersburg and Moscow (July and August, 1887); England (September and October, 1887); and then back to the United States. The trip taken from 1889-1890 was from New Jersey to Seattle, then south to Vera Cruz, Mexico, and back north again to New Jersey. The trip in 1891 was south to Florida. The final trip in 1908 was also to Europe -- Amsterdam, Coblenz, and Bologne.


Thomas J. Barclay journal, 1846-1848

70 pages

This journal transcript details Thomas J. Barclay's service in the Mexican American War.

Thomas Barclay's Mexican War journal covers the entire period of his service in the 2nd Pennsylvania Infantry. This journal gives an intimate, common soldiers' view of the Mexican War, opinions of his superior officers, camp life, the Mexican citizenry (referred to as "greasers"), and the Mexican landscape.

The original manuscript of the journal has been lost, and it is known to exist only in the form of a typescript, prepared some time early in the twentieth century.