Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Archives related to: Garrett, John W. (John Work), 1820-1884

titleJohn W. Garrett Collection, 1850-1880.
repositoryNational Museum of American History
collection titleIncludes lists of rail accidents, production and distribution of locomotives, and engine repair costs; reports on locomotive power, cost and performance, and purchases of locomotives and cars; and correspondence relating to these and other matters, all 1850-1880. Most correspondence is to Garrett from railroad supervisory staff. Includes a history of the operation of the railroad during the Civil War and additional correspondence concerning Ohio River bridges, trestles, and tunnels.
extent0.6 cubic feet: 2 boxes.
formatsBusiness Papers Correspondence
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record source
finding aidRegister with Container list, available in repository and on the World Wide Web
acquisition informationGift of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co., then transferred from the Division of Transportation.
updated02/07/2020 18:20:03

titleBaltimore and Ohio Railroad Records, ca. 1826-1943, 1951.
repositoryNational Museum of American History
collection titleThese records deal with the engineering, construction, and maintenance operations of the railroad: correspondence and other material on routes, land surveys, and construction, circa 1826-1861; specifications, cost statements, bids, drawings, tracings, and blueprints concerning construction, repair, and upkeep of bridges, trestles, shops, depots, and other structures, ca. 1858-1943; maps and profiles, 1850, 1853, 1890, 1899-1900, 1911; and negatives and prints of construction, buildings, structures, and track, 1913-1914, 1921-1930. Also, correspondence of John W. Garrett (1820-1884), president of B&O, 1858-1884, concerning Ohio River bridges, requests for employment, and bridges, trestles, and tunnels, 1858-1880; and correspondence of Benjamin H. Latrobe as president of the Pittsburgh and Connelsville Railroad, 1861-1865.
extent6.2 cu. ft.; 0.0742 cu. meters.
formatsAdministrative Records Business Papers Correspondence
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record source
finding aidDetailed listing available from curatorial unit.
acquisition informationDetailed listing available from curatorial unit.
updated11/12/2014 11:29:55

titleJohn Work Garrett Letterbooks, 1867-82 (MS 2719)
repositoryMaryland Historical Society, Library
collection titleThis collection contains copies of letters, 1867-82, written by John W. Garrett during his tenure as president of the B & O RR, 1858-82. While most letters express appreciation for receipt of payment, there are also letters to staff members expressing dissatisfaction with their performance as well as new company policies. Among those clients of the B & O mentioned are Jay Gould, J. P. Morgan, Cornelius and William Vanderbilt, Andrew Carnegie, Gen. Robert E. Lee and Johns Hopkins.

This collection consists of handwritten copies of letters sent by John W. Garrett to his business associates. Some of the letters are in bound volumes, others are loose. The whereabouts of the actual letters is unknown.

Biog./Historical Note:
John W. Garrett, president of the B&O RR, 1858-82; Robert Garrett, father of John W., Baltimore commissioned merchant and bank president, 1820-47.

extent5 vols.
record source
acquisition informationGift; James E.Sunderland; Dec. 12, 1986.
updated02/02/2015 12:22:36

titleJohn Work Garrett (1820-1884) Papers
repositoryJohn Work Garrett Library, Johns Hopkins University
collection titleAccording publications the library holds a variety of archival materials on the Garrett family.

The repository is updating and processing collection.
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies
record source
finding aidUnprocessed/in the process of being updated (10/2008).
updated11/12/2014 11:30:02

titleJohn Work Garrett papers: 1895-1942
repositoryJohns Hopkins University
collection titleCollection consists largely of correspondence and professional papers of American banker and diplomat, John Work Garrett. Included are items from Garrett's foreign service in Venezuela, Argentina, the Netherlands, and Italy. Other materials relate to political events, locally and internationally (1920-1940).

Also in the collection is extensive personal correspondence of Garrett and his wife, Alice, that describes personal friendships, travels, entertainments, and cultural interests. A small group of personal items includes financial records and materials related to relief for victims of the war in Europe, 1940-1945.

Historical information:

The following information was taken from John Work Garrett and His Library at Evergreen House, privately printed in Baltimore, MD, 1944: John Work Garrett, banker and diplomat, was born in 1872, the descendent of a prominent Baltimore family.

His great grandfather, Robert Garrett (1783-1857) had emigrated from Ireland and, after moving to Baltimore in 1820, founded the Robert Garrett & Sons business house. His grandfather, the original John Work Garrett (1820-1884), was President of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and played an important role in the financial development of Baltimore.

His father, Thomas Harrison Garrett (1850-1888) ran the family business, and was an avid collector of books, coins, prints and Oriental rugs until his death in 1888 at the age of 38. Throughout his childhood, John Work Garrett lived in Baltimore at either Montibello (his grandfather's country home), or Evergreen, where his family had lived since 1876. Early on, he developed a passion for languages, books, and the arts, and became fascinated by ornithology and natural history. He also enjoyed outdoor activities and athletics.

Following his father's death, his mother, Alice Dickinson Whitridge Garrett, took him and his two brothers, Horatio and Robert, on a tour of Europe and the Near East. They traveled for nearly two years, and it was during this period that John Work Garrett began to develop the deep understanding of different peoples and cultures that was so influential in his later diplomatic career. Entering Princeton University in 1891, John Work Garrett was active in the Triangle Club, Glee Club and Mandolin Club. He was also a member of the Whig society and managed several sport teams. He graduated in 1895 with a B.S. degree.

Following graduation he was a member of the Princeton Geological Expedition to the Yellowstone Valley in which he served as the expedition's ornithologist. He spent the next four years traveling primarily in the western United States, while managing a cattle ranch in New Mexico. In addition to the cattle ranch, Garrett and some of his friends from Princeton founded the Hoadley, Turnbull and Company insurance firm in Phoenix, Arizona. Upon returning to Baltimore, Garrett was a member of the 1899 Johns Hopkins Medical School Mission to the Philippines. Later, he traveled through India, Java and the Far East.

Although a member of the Robert Garrett & Sons firm since 1896, John Work Garrett did not play an active role in the family business. He did however run the firm's banking connection until 1934. In 1901, John Work Garrett received his first appointment in the Diplomatic Service as Secretary to the American Legation at The Hague. This began a 32-year career in the Foreign Service during which John Work Garrett served in numerous important posts and Commissions.

The following is a brief synopsis of his career: Secretary, American Legation at the Hague, 1901-1903; Secretary, Netherlands and Luxembourg, 1903-1905; Second Secretary, American Embassy in Berlin, 1905-1908; First Secretary, American Embassy in Rome, 1908-1911; Envoy to Venezuela, December 15,1910 - November 1911; Envoy to Argentina, 1911-1914; Special Agent, Department of State, to assist American Ambassador in Paris, August 6, 1914- August 23, 1917; Special Agent in charge of German and Austro-Hungarian Civilian Prisoners of War, 1914-1917; Representative at Bordeaux, September 3 - December 9, 1914; Envoy to the Netherlands and Luxembourg, August 23, 1917 - August 1919; Chairman, Berne Commission on Prisoners of War, (Treaty signed November 11, 1918); Secretary-General, Conference on Limitation of Armaments, 1921-1922.

Garrett returned to Baltimore where he was interested in domestic politics. After an unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination to the United States Senate in 1922, he retired to private life at Evergreen until President Herbert Hoover selected him to be Ambassador to Italy in 1929. Following his retirement from the Diplomatic Service in 1933, John Work Garrett returned to Baltimore and his estate at Evergreen.

Together with his wife Alice Warder Garrett, whom he had married in 1908, John Work Garrett made Evergreen a center of musical and intellectual gatherings. During this period, Garrett devoted his time to broadening his collections, especially his extensive library. John Work Garrett died in Baltimore in 1942.

Cite as:
[Name of folder or item], [Date], [Box number], [Folder number], John Work Garrett Papers, MS.GAR.019, The Evergreen Foundation (on deposit at the Johns Hopkins University).

extent40.0 Cubic feet 12 document boxes, 25 record center boxes, 5 half record center boxes, 3 oversized document boxes, 2 photo shoe boxes
formatsCorrespondence Personal papers Financial Records
accessPermission to access this collection must be requested in writing from the Sheridan Libraries' Special Collections Research Center and the Evergreen Foundation. This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Contact for more information.
record link
record source
finding aidUnpublished register available in the repository. Also available electronically.
acquisition informationThe papers of the owner of Evergreen House are part of the manuscript collections of The John Work Garrett Library at Evergreen.
updated01/29/2015 13:23:27

titleAlice Warder Garrett Papers, 1875-1951
repositorySpecial Collections, The Milton S. Eisenhower Library
collection titleAlice Warder Garrett was born Alice Warder in 1877. She was married to John Work Garrett in 1908. For much of their marriage, John worked as a United States diplomat, and he and Alice lived in Rome and other European cities.

The collection includes personal papers, art-related material, and other items from Alice's life in Baltimore and Europe. The collection contains correspondence, travel documents and postcards, architecture notes and photographs, theater bills, scrapbooks, datebooks, address books, checkbooks, and miscellaneous.

Historical information:

Alice Warder Garrett was born Alice Warder, the daughter of Benjamin H. Warder, a successful business man from Springfield, Ohio. She was born in Washington DC in 1877. She was married to John Work Garrett in 1908. For much of their marriage, John worked as a United States diplomat, and he and Alice lived in Rome and other European cities. In September of 1914 she and her husband were living in Paris when word came of an imminent German attack on the city. They managed to get out of Paris and went to the American Embassy in Bordeaux. During the First World War, Alice volunteered at several field hospitals and saw first hand the brutalities of war. In 1929, President Herbert Hoover selected Alice's husband to be Ambassador to Italy.

Alice's involvement in the arts began at an early age and continued throughout her life. She took voice lessons, and gave formal vocal performances throughout her life. She was also actively interested in painting and drawing, music, theater, architecture, and writing.

During her life she was acquainted with many of the leading artists of the time including Ignacio Zuloaga, Leon Bakst, Edith Wharton, Ezra Pound, Marcel Proust, and Frank Lloyd Wright. Evergreen Mansion in Baltimore, where she and her husband lived, is decorated with an extensive collection of paintings that Alice collected, including works by Pablo Picasso, Raoul Dufy, and Amedeo Modigliani. Alice was involved in philanthropic works that strove for a greater presence and accessibility to the arts in America.

Alice sat on the board for the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Baltimore Society of the Friends of Art. She was heavily involved in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and she frequently gave lectures on art and history.

Cite as:
[Name of folder or item], [Date], [Box number], [Folder number], Alice Warder Garrett Papers, MS.GAR.035, The Evergreen Foundation (on deposit at the Johns Hopkins University).
extent20.375 Cubic feet
accessPermission to access this collection must be requested in writing from the Sheridan Libraries' Special Collections Research Center and the Evergreen Foundation. This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Contact for more information.
record link
record source
finding aidFinding aid is available on site and over the reposisory's web site.
acquisition informationA portion of the papers were donated to the University by John W. Garrett; materials added in 2009 were physically transfered from Evergreen Museum by the Evergreen Foundation; however, ownership of these papers remains with the Foundation.
updated02/02/2015 16:36:29