James and H. D. Smith Papers

Collection Summary

Title: James and H. D. Smith Papers
Call Number: MS 94-24
Size: 0.25 linear feet
Acquisition: Purchased from East Coast Books, 9-8-1992
Processed by: CC, 5-6-1994; JEF, 11-19-1998; MN, 11-26-2013
Restrictions: None

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

This collection of James M. and H. D. Smith’s correspondence contains 46 letters dating from August 19, 1852 to October 3, 1857. A majority of the letters were written from Gouverneur, New York and Buffalo, New York. James M. Smith is the son of H. D. Smith. James M. Smith wrote about his wife's health, family matters, homeopathic medicine, and business affairs. H. D. Smith wrote about railroad projects, California gold mining, mental illness, politics, business affairs, and family matters. Two letters in the collection are from the Kansas Territory pertaining to the pro-slavery party and free state people.

Detailed Description: Series Listing

Series 1 Box 1 FF 1-3 James M. Smith Correspondence. Contains letters from J.M. Smith. Several of the letters are addressed to his wife, Margaret. 1852, 1854, and 1855.
Series 2 Box 1 FF 4-10 H.D. Smith Correspondence. Contains letters from H.D. Smith, many of which are addressed to his son, James M. Smith. 1852-1857.
Series 3 Box 1 FF 11 Other Correspondence. Contains letters from other individuals. These letters contain details concerning business affairs, family matters, and politics, including two letters dated 1857 describing pro-slavery party and free state people in Kansas Territory. 1852-1857.

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Series 1 ‒ James M. Smith Correspondence

Box 1 FF 1 Contains one letter dated August 30, 1852 from J. M. Smith to his wife, Margaret. In this letter J. M. Smith discusses his wife's continued illness and states that there is an severe outbreak of cholera in Buffalo. He hopes his wife, who is under a physician's care, will be able to return home soon.
Box 1 FF 2 Contains 14 letters from J. M. Smith to his wife, Margaret. These letters, dated 1854, contain details on politics, business affairs, homeopathic medicine, and his wife's illness. 1 letter dated October 7, 1854 contains a drawing from Margaret's daughter, Maggie. One letter from Bower, J. M. Smith's brother, was dated October 14, 1854 and contained a letter from J. M. Smith.
Box 1 FF 3 Contains one letter dated January 14, 1855 from J. M. Smith to his wife, Margaret. The letter contains details on family matters and finances, and his wife's illness. Included are details of Margaret's possible return trip home from New York City where she has been under a physician's care.

Series 2 ‒ H. D. Smith Correspondence

Box 1 FF 4 Contains one letter, year unknown, from H. D. Smith to his son, J. M. Smith. The letter contains details of family matters.
Box 1 FF 5 Contains two letters from H. D. Smith to his son, J. M. Smith. These letters contain details on H. D. Smith's travel plans, business affairs, and family matters. The letter also talks about a rail road project in upper New York around Watertown, East Dodge, and Rome. One letter was dated August 2, 1852. Written on the back of a letter addressed to John B. Smith from "George." The letter was accidently opened by H. D. Smith. The sender of the letter refers to John B. Smith as "Doug" and marks on the back of the letter "Confidential." The letter gives details of a trip that "George" and a friend went on.
Box 1 FF 6 Contains one letter from H. D. Smith to his son, J. M. Smith. The letter was started on February 24, 1853 and was finished March 2, 1853. The letter contains details concerning a friend's mental illness, family matters, and the construction of farm house and a barn for a tenant.
Box 1 FF 7 Contains four letters from H. D. Smith to his son, J. M. Smith. One letter dated March 14, 1854 provides a good description of the rail road project and other business affairs. Furthermore, H. D. Smith reports that people are talking about J. M. Smith's increasing wealth. One letter dated April 28, 1854 contains details of gold mining in California, business affairs, family matters, and politics.
Box 1 FF 8 Contains five letters from H. D. Smith to his son, J. M. Smith. These letters contain details on rail road projects, business affairs, travel plans, and family matters. One letter dated January 18, 1855 contains details on the Watertown & Potsdam Railroad Co. and a new railroad at Erie, Pennsylvania. The letter indicates that the cattle need food and prices are given for hay, corn, oats, wheat, and flour. One letter dated March 11, 1855 contains a receipt for $17.50 that is signed by Esther M. Thrall. One letter dated July 5, 1855 contains details of one railroad project. Rome & Potsdam Rail Road Co. and Watertown & Potsdam Rail Road Co. are mentioned and four locations in upper New York state are referred to: Watertown, Potsdam, Antwerp, and Rome.
Box 1 FF 9 Contains four letters from H. D. Smith to his son, J. M. Smith. These contain details of gold and mineral mining in California, business affairs, politics, and the railroad project. One letter dated May 7, 1856 contains details of possible effects from a potential banking crisis on the national economy. One letter dated June 13, 1856 states that the railroad project has not reached Antwerp yet; however, the iron rails have arrived and will be laid within the next week.
Box 1 FF 10 Contains one letter dated May 9, 1857 from H. D Smith to his son, J. M. Smith. The letter contains details concerning the growth of dairying in the area surrounding Gouverneur, New York. Also, the letter states that supplies of cattle feed and hay are exhausted, and that $10,000 worth of new leather has been sent to market.

Series 2 ‒ Other Correspondence

Box 1 FF 11 Contains 13 letters from other individuals dated 1852 to 1857. These letters contain details concerning business affairs, family matters, and politics. Two letters are from the Kansas Territory. The two letters dated February 9, 1857 and February 10, 1857 contain details of the pro-slavery party and free state people. Sales of land stakes are also mentioned.