Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Archives related to: Bancroft, Samuel, 1840-1915

titleSamuel Bancroft and Joseph Bancroft and Sons Records, 1869 - 1913
locationUniversity of Delaware Library
collection titleThe Samuel Bancroft and Joseph Bancroft and Sons Company Records, spanning the dates 1869-1913, provide a glimpse of financial records of the family-owned textile companies. The collection consists of five volumes of transactions. There are two of Samuel Bancroft’s cash books (1873-1884), a payable/receivable book (1869-1891), one ledger of goods purchased (1877-1883), and a letterpress book of internal company memorandums (1912-1913). Only the two cash books can be associated with the Bancroft’s company at the Todmorden Mills (around Media, Pennsylvania) in Nether Providence Township, Pennsylvania.

Samuel Bancroft’s set of leather-bound cash books are chronological and have the following spine titles: Cash Book (I), Cash Book (II) and each has the initials S.B. set in gold letters. The first volume is dated 1873-1881, and lists receivables and payables including deposits to Girard Bank, cash received from the Todmorden Mills, interest received, rent received, real estate expenses, receivables from farm, payments to Joseph Bancroft & Sons, and payments to Mrs. Bancroft. Laid into the book are a receipt from the Philadelphia, Wilmington, & Baltimore Railroad Company to Samuel Bancroft, which is dated 1887; small flowers; and two cigar wrappers.

The second cash book is dated 1881-1884. The verso of the flyleaf reads “Sam’l Bancroft, Media, Pa, will call.” Also laid into the book are an envelope to Mr. Sam’l (Samuel) Bancroft, Media, Pa from A. Klipstein, Aniline Colors, Dyestuffs, &c., New York; and two completed application cards for employment dating from 1920. A blotter was laid in between pages 119 and 120. The content of volume two is similar to volume one.

The payable/receivable book is a reversible volume. On one side are the payables (1869-1881), and when the volume is turned to the back cover, the receivables (1878-1895) begin. The payable side of the book consists of columns across the pages with the following information: no., to whom given, when given, drawn by, order of, where payable, date, time, when due (lists months), folio, amount (in dollars and cents), remarks. Many of the entries are “given” by Samuel Bancroft and “drawn by” Jos. Bancroft & Sons. Laid inside the receivable side of the book is a blotter advertising the Every Evening, a daily newspaper in Delaware (Samuel Bancroft, Jr. was president of the Every Evening Printing Company, located at Parkway near Rockford Road, Wilmington, Delaware).

The pages list the following on the receivable side of the volume: no., from who received, when received, drawer, to whom payable, place receivable, date, time when due, (lists months), folio, amount (in dollars and cents), and remarks. Many of the “drawers” are Samuel Bancroft, and many “to whom payable” are J. B. & Sons. Tipped into the receivable side is a note due to Joseph Bancroft & Sons from C. Carville (?) for $145, dated April 24,1878 from New York.

The next volume, goods purchased from 1877-1883, is a record of material purchased for the manufacture and dyeing of textiles. Many of the transactions were made in Philadelphia, Chester, Media, Cleveland, and New York.

Goods purchased included bags of raw wool, bags of carded stock, and products for dyeing material such as soda ash. Each entry included the city, date, company, description of the product purchased, amount and size of the order as well as cost. Some pencilled notations are made on the inside cover of the front and the back of the book.

The final volume is a letterpress book bearing the spine title of “Letter Book. Memorandum Orders #2 (1912- 1913).” It has 153 memorandums in a book with 748 pages. Generally, there are two short memorandums per leaf. Blotters used with the letterpress remain with the book. The memoranda, all from I.C. Philips, are addressed to H.C Hess, D.F. Many, W.H. Bannard, Jr., E. Mills, and Abner Overdeer. The memoranda provide instructions for orders and deliveries of textile products, inspection orders to be filled, and directives for inventory and quality control.

extent5 vols.
formatsAccount Books Ephemera
accessThe collection is open for research.
record linkhttp://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec/findaids/bancroft.htm
record sourcehttp://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec/findaids/
finding aidFinding aid on line.
updated08/07/2018 17:29:50
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titleThe correspondence between Samuel Bancroft, Jr. and Charles Fairfax Murray, 1892-1916
locationUniversity of Delaware Library
collection titleDelaware Art Museum Occasional papers; no. 1 and no.2.
The corresondences were edited by Rowland Elzea and published by the museum in 1980.
extent2 volumes
formatsCorrespondence
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
bibliography[Wilmington] : Delaware Art Museum, 1980.
record sourcehttp://www.lib.udel.edu/
finding aidIncludes indexes.
updated11/12/2014 11:29:50
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titleBancroft family papers, 1788-1962.
locationHagley Museum and Library
collection titleThe records consist of two collections of Bancroft family personal and business papers. They include many copies and transcripts of early family letters in the possession of the English branch of the family and brought to America by Samuel Bancroft, Jr., in 1913. The records also include newsclippings, brochures, and typescript histories of the Joseph Bancroft & Sons Company and the Eddystone Manufacturing Company (absorbed in 1929), and genealogical notes on the Bancroft family in Britain and America and on the Wood family of Delaware County, Pa.

The correspondence reveals the family's Quaker heritage, its relationship with the British reformer and statesman, John Bright, the details of its emigration, and the founding of the family firms in America. There are references to the Ackworth School in Yorkshire, operated by the Society of Friends, a letter of John Bancroft to his nephew David (1825) giving a descriptive account of a trip to Washington, D.C., and an 1841 letter of Martha Mellor describing her visit to Scotland. There is also an 1829 plat of a division of lands on the Brandywine among William Young, E. I. du Pont, and others.

There is also a small collection of research notes of Harvey Bounds, a Bancroft company official, on 18th century post offices and post routes in Delaware.

Photographs, serviced by the Pictorial Collections Dept., include portraits of members of the Bancroft and Simpson families and views of the Wilmington, Eddystone, and Reading plants and their surroundings.

Related materials in: Hagley Museum & Library, Accessions 1736 and 1745.
extentMss. 1.5 linear ft. Photographs 200 items.
formatsPersonal papers Business Records Transcript Correspondence Ephemera
accessNo restrictions on use.
record sourcehttp://www.hagley.lib.de.us/catalog.html
finding aidUnpublished finding aid available at the repository.
updated11/12/2014 11:29:50
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titleBancroft Family Business papers, 1815-1902.
locationHagley Museum and Library
collection titleThe records document the activities of two generations of the Bancroft family in England and America and consist primarily of account books from the various family businesses.

There is a small amount of documentation on the early career of John Bancroft (1774-1852) as a lumber merchant, furniture maker and woodworker in Manchester, England.

The bulk of the records concern the Upper Providence and Todmorden Mills. The account books include information on customers, raw materials and suppliers. Wage books include production records and tabulations of wages for weavers, time hands, spinners, shawl twisters and wool sorters. There is some information on store accounts.

There is a much smaller body of production records from the Rockford, Del., cotton mill in the 1840s, including a day book with workers' accounts. The successor Joseph Bancroft & Sons Company is represented by a rent book (1895-1900) and a rent roll (1902) for the company's Kentmere tenements.

There is also a body of over 200 personal letters of Joseph Bancroft, primarily developing his religious thought and his life in the Society of Friends. The bulk of this correspondence is with his brother-in-law, Abraham Lawton of Athens, N.Y., but there are also exchanges with relatives who remained in England, including William Darbyshire, Jr., John Bright and Thomas Bright. The letters discuss the cotton business, abolition and the Civil War from the Quaker perspective.

Organization:
Part I. Records of British woodworking business; Part II. Records of woolen mill near Brandywine Bridge, Del.; Part III. Records of Upper Providence and Todmorden Mills, Pa.; Part IV. Records of Rockford cotton mill, Del.; Part V. Joseph Bancroft personal and religious correspondence; Part VI. Joseph Bancroft & Sons Company rent book and rent rolls.
extent6 linear ft.
formatsFinancial Records Correspondence Business Papers
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record sourcehttp://www.hagley.lib.de.us/catalog.html
updated11/12/2014 11:29:50
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titleJoseph Bancroft & Sons Company.
locationHagley Museum and Library
collection titleThe Joseph Bancroft & Sons Company records trace the history of the firm from 1831 through 1969. However, the pre-1865 records are quite fragmentary, consisting largely of real estate records and day books.
Board of Directors and Executive Committee minute books and reports date from 1889, while records of the Operating, Advisory, and Real Estate Committees date from 1910. Managing Director's letter books are virtually complete from 1862 to 1917, and give a very detailed picture of the company's operations. The collection also includes sales, purchasing and receiving records. Production records include expense analyses, cost books for labor and supplies, time books, wage records and payroll sheets. There is considerable documentation on the company's paternalistic approach to labor relations, the operation of its company housing and store programs, as well as efforts by the Textile Workers Union of America to organize the mills in the 1930s and 1940s. The records also include legal department files which document Bancroft's efforts to license and defend the Banlon and Everglaze trademarks in the United States, the British Commonwealth, Europe, Japan, and Latin America. The Spunize lawsuits center around Nathan and Abraham J. Rosenstein of the Spunize Company of America, Unionville, Conn., concerning their apparatus and process for crimping natural and synthetic fibers.

Subsidiary companies include the Joseph Bancroft & Sons Company of Pennsylvania and the Kepton Housing Company, operating cotton mills and company housing at Reading, Pa., and the Arrestox Company, formed to manufacture and market new products developed by Bancroft's Research Dept. The Joseph Bancroft & Sons Company of New York, Joseph Bancroft & Sons Company of Canada, Banco, Inc., Rockford Company, and Albert D. Smith & Company, Inc., were sales companies.

Organization:
Series I. Administrative records; Series II. General accounts; Series III. Purchase and receiving records; Series IV. Production records, including payroll sheets and time books; Series V. Sales and shipping records; Series VI. Correspondence; Series VII. Licensing and trademark records; Series VIII. Spunize court case records; Series IX. Records of subsidiary companies.
formatsAdministrative Records Financial Records Correspondence Legal Papers Business Papers
accessLiterary rights retained by the depositor. Described in: John Beverley Riggs, A GUIDE TO THE MANUSCRIPTS IN THE ELEUTHERIAN MILLS HISTORICAL LIBRARY, ACCESSIONS THROUGH THE YEAR 1965, and SUPPLEMENT CONTAINING ACCESSIONS RECEIVED FOR THE YEARS 1966 THROUGH 1970
record sourcehttp://www.hagley.lib.de.us/catalog.html
finding aidA GUIDE TO THE MANUSCRIPTS IN THE ELEUTHERIAN MILLS HISTORICAL LIBRARY
updated11/12/2014 11:29:50
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titleSamuel and Mary R. Bancroft Pre-Raphaelite Manuscript Collection
locationDelaware Art Museum
collection titleCorrespondence and records relating to his collection of English Pre-Raphaelite art now owned by DAM. Collection of correspondence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Holographic manuscripts of Rossetti poems, annoted proof sheets of poems, photographs and memorabilia. Rare collection of large photographs of Pre-Raphaelite works by Hollyer and Mansall. Clippings, exhibition material, catalogues relating to the Pre-Raphaelites 1915-present.

Biography Of Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft, Jr.
The Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Collection of Pre-Raphaelite art at the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington, Delaware, is unique. No other art collection is devoted specifically to this important nineteenth century movement, and it is doubtful that there are many other collections so thoroughly documented.

The collection came about through the personal taste and enthusiasm of Samuel Bancroft Jr. (1840-1915), a Wilmington Quaker industrialist, and his family and business connection with Manchester, England.

Bancroft was the son of Joseph Bancroft (1803-1874) of Rockford (now part of the city of Wilmington), who emigrated from Lancashire to the U.S.A. in 1824. Joseph was following his brother John, who had emigrated in 1821, and his parents, John and Elizabeth (Wood) Bancroft who, with their other eleven children had emigrated in 1822. John and Elizabeth settled on the Brandywine Creek near Wilmington and John took a partnership in a small flannel mill on a site on the north bank of the Brandywine just west of the present Market Street bridge. That lasted until 1826 when John with Elizabeth and the younger children moved to Providence near what is now Media, Pennsylvania, and there started another woolen textile mill. About the same time, 1826, John the oldest child opened a business as a soap boiler and tallow chandler in Philadelphia, and Joseph moved to Rockland, Delaware, to be superintendent of William Young's cotton mill there. He had served his apprenticeship in Lancashire in an uncle's cotton spinning and weaving mill.

In 1831, Joseph Bancroft moved to Rockford, 3 miles downstream on the Brandywine, and established his own mill in some buildings which had earlier been used for a grist mill. His development of this mill and his command of good Lancashire practice in spinning and weaving (he returned in 1854 to learn of the latest processes not only in spinning and weaving but in finishing), laid the foundation of the family's wealth. In 1865, Joseph took his two sons, William P. and Samuel Jr. into partnership, the business thereafter being known as Joseph Bancroft and Sons .

After their father's death in 1874, the brothers became sole owners of the mill, which prospered and expanded in the 1880s, owing mainly to the excellence of the finishing and dyeing processes that Joseph and Samuel had added to the spinning and weaving. In 1889 the brothers incorporated the business, having brought in younger men to undertake the day-to-day management. Samuel, who had been closely involved with the technical development, became president of the company, and it was from this time that he began seriously to collect pictures.

Bancroft's first major purchase was made in 1890, and was a painting by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) called Water Willow (1871), an important work by arguably the most interesting artist of the movement. Rossetti was a poet as well as an artist and his poetry was an important part of his particular appeal to Bancroft.

Bancroft was barely a generation younger than the Pre-Raphaelites and was able to meet some of them, their families, dependents, and others who had known them personally, during his frequent visits to England. He was a sympathetic supporter, on occasion, of several who were in financial difficulties. His correspondence with their survivors was preserved with characteristic foresight.

Although the strength of the collection was established by the end of the century, Bancroft continued to add to it until his death, and the collection eventually comprised over one hundred paintings and drawings, many prints, over two hundred and fifty early photographic reproductions, a valuable literary manuscript collection, a library on Pre-Raphaelite art and the associated literature of the period , and complete records concerning his acquisitions.

After his death in 1915, Samuel's widow and two children, Joseph and Elizabeth (Mrs. John Bird) decided to keep the collection intact as a memorial to him, and to add to it as the opportunity occurred. It was the only art collection of international quality in the Wilmington area, as Jessie Rockwell (Mrs. Henry Rockwell) the family-appointed first curator of the collection (from 1929-1941) was to point out. Before his death in 1936, Joseph and his sister made arrangements for the gift of the collection, library, and archive, to the Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts (which had already been founded in 1912). The gift included land for a future museum building, and subsequently, an endowment for its maintenance, in memory of both their parents. The museum building was completed in 1938 and the collections moved into it from Samuel Bancroft's house "Rockford," which was soon afterwards demolished.

It is evident from his collecting of autograph manuscripts that Bancroft appreciated the historic value of documentary material. This understanding and his business-like instincts no doubt led him to preserve his own correspondence connected with art matters and the papers concerned with his acquisitions. These were meticulously kept in order by his secretary Miss Deborah J. Peacock, who also made the first catalog of the collection (from 1909-1911) under his supervision (this became known as "The Debbie Book").

Amongst the collection of correspondence, perhaps the greatest treasure is that from D. G. Rossetti to his model and companion Fanny (Conforth)Schott, which Bancroft purchased from her in her old age in 1898.

Pride of place, amongst his own correspondence, should be given to his correspondence with Charles Fairfax Murray, his friend and art adviser . Notable also are the correspondence and business papers exchanged with the London and Manchester firm of art dealers, Thomas Agnew & Sons. These two groups of papers together are central to the history of the collection.

On a more personal level, extensive and revealing are Bancroft's correspondence with his relative Alfred Darbyshire, a Manchester architect specializing in the design of theatres, his correspondence with John Partington, a Manchester artist friend who emigrated to California, his correspondence with the artist Marie Spartali Stillman and her daughter Effie, a sculptress, his correspondence with the family of the artist Frederick Sandys, and his correspondence with Philip Burne-Jones, the son of Edward Burne-Jones.

Amongst the literary manuscripts which Bancroft collected are a considerable number of trial drafts for poetry by D. G. Rossetti, purchased from several sources, including Fanny Schott. Besides these are the historically interesting set of manuscript revisions by Rossetti made on unbound pages of an earlier publication of his poetry, the so-called "Tauchnitz Edition Proofs". These were also bought from Fanny Schott.

In January 1988 a project was initiated to rehouse the Bancroft papers in new storage conditions which would meet today's standards of archival preservation. At the same time the papers were to a large extent reorganized and, for the first time, catalogued to improve their accessibility to scholars. The funding for this work, which has taken approximately four years of part-time work to complete, was a joint gift of the Roger and Sarah Bancroft Clark Charitable Trust and Stephen Clark, the grandson of William P. Bancroft. Completion was made possible by funds from the John Sloan Memorial Foundation.

To make a distinction between the papers of Samuel Bancroft and his family and those specific to his collection, and those accumulated later on the subject of Pre-Raphaelitism, it was decided to divide the archive broadly into two parts, the Bancroft Archive and the Pre-Raphaelite Archive. The Bancroft Archive encompasses the papers generated by Bancroft and his son Joseph until the gift by the family of the collection, library, and papers, to the Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts in 1935. The Bancroft Archive also includes subsequent papers which relate specifically to the Bancroft Collection or items within it.

After becoming part of the collection of the Wilmington Society of the Fine Arts (now the Delaware Art Museum), much more material on the subject of Pre-Raphaelite art has accumulated, and will probably continue to do so. This has been arranged under the title, The Pre-Raphaelite Archive.
extent74 boxes (27 linear feet), 12 flat files
formatsCorrespondence Cartes de visite Clippings Manuscript Printed Materials
accessUnrestricted
record linkhttp://www.delart.org/HFS_library/finding_aids/Bancroft%20Collection.htm
record sourcehttp://www.delart.org
finding aidPrint and Web finding aids available. Box and Drawer Description available upon request.
acquisition informationGift of Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft, 1935.
updated11/12/2014 11:29:54
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titleIllustration for the Journal Every-Evening [graphic]
locationDelaware Art Museum
collection titleTitle of illustration: "Lose Them? Unthinkable." Caricature of Frank Schoonover standing by wrapped packages with inscription: Bancroft collection of Rossetti, Hunt and Millais paintings. Caption: We must have a gallery for these or we will lose them!
extent1 item
formatsIllustrations
accessUnrestricted. No known restrictions on publication.
record linkhttp://www.delartsales.org/athena/37014.htm
record sourcehttp://www.delart.org
updated11/12/2014 11:30:00
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titlePyle student Sketch Club correspondence and sketches, 1903-1905
locationDelaware Art Museum
collection titleSamuel Bancroft, Jr. rented his Broom Street Studio to artists Herman A. Wall, Arthur E. Becher and William J. Aylward. The 1607 studio was originally a stable at the rear of 1608 Rodney Street, and connected with 1609 Broom Street, where Howard Pyle worked.

During 1903, students of Pyle gathered for a weekly pen and ink class in which they took turns assigning a subject for everyone to sketch. At Pyle's suggestion, Wall, Becher and Aylward invited Bancroft to join them for the first pen and ink class to be hosted at their Broom Street Studio. On the evening of March 25, 1903, the members of the class created sketches of their personal interpretation of "The End." They later presented these sketches to Bancroft. The three artists acquired a piece of book cloth from the Bancroft Mill, which they used to fashion a portfolio to house the sketches. Included is the letter of invitation from Aylward to Bancroft, the letters of appreciation from each Aylward and Wall to Bancroft, newspaper clippings, 17 sketches (accessioned in DAM permanent collection) and original portfolio.
extent23 leaves
formatsClippings Correspondence Sketches
accessUnrestricted
record sourcehttp://www.delart.org
acquisition informationAccessioned to permanent collection prior to 2003 (year unknown). Transferred from DAM permanent collection to manuscripts 2002. Sketches returned to DAM permanent collection 2003. Corresp. and clippings remain in manuscripts.
updated11/12/2014 11:30:00
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titleBird-Bancroft Collection, 1800-1962.
repositoryHistorical Society of Delaware
collection titleThe collection contains papers on several generations of the Bancroft family of Wilmington, Delaware, who were in the textile milling business. The complete collection spans 1800-mid 1900s.

Samuel Bancroft, Jr. is one of the main figures in the collection. Correspondence, 1862-1914; diaries, scattered year 1862-1871; art and literary interests, 1877-1911; financial/business/real estate, 1860s-1918; genealogy, 1872-1915; community involvement, 1890-1907; politics, 1860s-1904; estate of Samuel Bancroft, 1915-1939. His papers cover 18 linear feet

*The above information was taken directly from an e-mail with the Director of Library at the Delaware Historical Society, Constance Cooper.
extent36 linear feet
formatsCorrespondence Diaries Financial Records Business Papers Legal Papers
accessNo access restrictions
record sourcehttp://www.hsd.org/Library_Manuscript_Collection.htm
finding aidFinding aid in library
updated11/12/2014 11:30:00
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