Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Archives related to: Johnston, John Taylor, 1820-1893

titleEbenezer Alfred Johnson family papers, 1760-1969 (inclusive), 1830-1919 (bulk).
repositoryYale University Library
collection titlePapers of three related families: the Johnson and Gibbs families of New Haven, Connecticut, and the Van Cleve family of New Jersey. The principal figure is Ebenezer Alfred Johnson, professor of Greek and Latin Literature at the University of the City of New York (1839-1891). His papers consist of personal and professional correspondence and a small amount of printed matter and records relating to the University of the City of New York. Included in his personal correspondence are letters from Josiah W. Gibbs, his nephew, a lengthy series of courtship letters with Margaret Fox Van Cleve, whom he married in 1842, and additional letters on the birth of their children (1843-1849). Two friends who figure in the personal correspondence are Thomas A. Thacher and Louis Janin. Among his notable professional correspondents are: Ethan Allen Andrews, Theodore Frelinghuysen, Isaac Ferris, Elias Loomis, Taylor Lewis, and George S. Parker. On matters concerning Yale University, he corresponded with George E. Day, Edward C. Herrick, and James Luce Kingsley. The major part of the collection is made up of correspondence among various branches of the family and contains the letters of Johnson’s two wives and his children with intimate details of family life and relationships in the 19th century. Three members of the family who travelled to Europe (1866-1869) recorded their impressions in family letters. There is also a series of letters from Europe (1877-1879) by Alfred V. C. Johnson.

Letters from Louisa Van Cleve Daveiss, living in Lewis County, Missouri, discuss slavery in that region in the 1840s. Other members wrote of frontier life from Fort Winnebago, Wisconsin. Also in the collection are financial and legal papers, some relating to property owned by E. A. Johnson in New Haven, genealogical materials and photographs.

Biographical/Historical note:
Ebenezer Alfred Johnson: admitted to the Connecticut bar, 1837; appointed professor of Latin at the University of the City of New York, 1838, and taught there for the rest of his career.

Location: LSF-Request for Use at Manuscripts and Archives
Call Number: MS 1246
extent7.5 linear ft. (19 boxes, 1 folio)
formatsCorrespondence Financial Records Personal papers Photographs
accessRequest for Use at Manuscripts and Archives
record link
record source
finding aidFinding aid is available in repository and on Internet
updated02/07/2020 18:19:25

titleInternational Relief Committee Records, 1862-1863.
repositoryThe New-York Historical Society
collection titleRecords, 1862-1863, of the International Relief Committee, a New York City organization affiliated with the American International Relief Committee for the Suffering Operatives of Great Britain, organized in 1862 by New York merchants interested in delivering aid to the suffering operatives in Lancashire and other cotton districts in England, whose employment was stopped by the United States Civil War.

Records include minutes of meetings of the general and executive commitees of the International Relief Committee, Dec 1, 1862-July 9, 1863, (1 volume, 120 p.); letterbooks, 1862 Dec. 3-1863 Aug. 5, containing letters sent and received pertaining to reciept of support and donations and shipments of provisions to unemployed workers (2 v.); account book, 1862-1863, of Abiel Abbot Low, Committee treasurer, recording donations and names of contributors (1 v., 26 p.). Account book also contains a statement of accounts drawn up by Messrs. Phelps, James & Co., treasurers of the Liverpool Committee, an English relief organization concerned with facilitating United States relief efforts and distributing aid. Records additionally include a scrapbook, 1862, containing news clippings, illustrations, and printed ephemera pertaining to the activities of the International Relief Committee and the plight of the Lancashire mill operatives (1 v.). Principle correspondents and committee members include: John Taylor Johnston, William E. Dodge, George Griswold, Daniel James, Ezra Nye, et al.

Historical Notes:
Humanitarian organization formed in New York City 1862 with the aim of delivering relief to the textile workers of Great Britain left unemployed and destitute following the disruption in trade which halted shipments of cotton to England during the United States Civil War.

New-York Historical Society

Mss Collection

Call Number
BV International Relief Committee
extent5 v.
formatsBusiness Papers Correspondence Financial Records
accessAccess: open to qualified researchers at The New-York Historical Society.
record source
updated11/12/2014 11:29:57

titleDelaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Company Records, 1849-1960.
repositoryHagley Museum and Library
collection titleThe Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad was one of the largest and most prosperous anthracite mining and transporting companies in Pennsylvania. The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad Company was incorporated in Pennsylvania on April 7, 1832, as the Liggetts Gap Railroad Company. Its name was changed to the Lackawanna & Western Railroad Company on April 14, 1851, and to the DL&W Railroad Company on March 11, 1853, at which time it absorbed the Delaware & Cobbs Gap Railroad Company.

The first section of railroad, from Scranton to Great Bend, opened in October, 1851. The Southern Division of the railroad was opened between Scranton and the Delaware River on May 27, 1856, forming a more direct route to New York City in connection with the Warren Railroad and the Central Railroad of New Jersey. The DL&W leased the Morris & Essex Railroad in 1868 and, after upgrading it to permit a heavy coal tonnage, secured its own line to New York Harbor.

Other extensions carried the Lackawanna to Utica, Syracuse, Ithaca, and Oswego in central New York State and to Buffalo in the early 1880s. The DL&W had a particular advantage in that it was allowed to directly operate coal mines. The DL&W began mining on its own account in 1851, when a Coal Department was organized. The Lackawanna was exceptionally well placed to supply both New York City and New England via the Southern Division and also upstate New York, the Great Lakes, and Canada via the Northern Division.

The DL&W was still bound by its 1856 traffic contract with the Central of New Jersey, and on March 16, 1872, the two companies agreed to consolidate, being managed by a joint committee of directors from the two companies. However, the two companies were actually now competitors, with roughly parallel lines between Scranton and New York. The consolidation broke up after about a year over arguments as to which company would be the dominant partner. All connection between the two companies was severed in 1875. During the long presidency of the conservative Samuel Sloan (1867-1899), the road became extremely prosperous as a coal hauler. Financial control was exercised by Moses Taylor and his National City Bank of New York, who had bought into the company at the time of the Panic of 1857.

In March 1876 the DL&W converted from 6-foot gauge to standard gauge.
In 1880 Jay Gould acquired an interest in the company and promoted its extension to Buffalo (1882), giving it a significant share of the truck line business for the first time. However, Taylor and his successors refused Gould any further voice in the management. In 1890 William Rockefeller became a director, reflecting the alliance between the Standard Oil group and the National City Bank.

William H. Truesdale replaced Sloan as president and began a massive modernization of both the company's management and the physical plant. The company began issuing full annual reports for the first time since 1857. Two major line relocations were built to the highest engineering standards, across western New Jersey and between Scranton and Binghamton, to improve grades and clearances. They featured massive cuts and fills and huge viaducts, the Tunkhannock Viaduct, 240 feet high, being the largest concrete arch bridge in the world. The DL&W was a pioneer in the adoption of reinforced concrete construction for all types of structures. Under Truesdale's successor, John M. Davis, the principal New Jersey commuter services were electrified in the early 1930s.

After successful government prosecution of the other anthracite railroads for antitrust violations, the DL&W voluntarily divested itself of its Coal Dept., which became the Glen Alden Coal Company in 1921.

After World War II the DL&W hoped to merge with its principal western connection, the Nickle Plate, but was unsuccessful. After continuing losses from commuter service and heavy storm damage to its main lines in 1955, the company began to explore the possibility of consolidation with the roughly parallel Erie Railroad. The merger, forming the Erie Lackawanna Railroad Company, took effect on October 17, 1960.

The records consist of minutes of the DL&W and its two direct predecessors. The records include the minutes of the board of managers, the stockholders' meetings, and the executive committee for the entire active life of the company. Minutes of the coal committee cover the entire period during which the firm operated its own mines. There are also minutes for the finance committee, which functioned during the early years of the company before its financial strength became assured, and for the joint committee that managed the abortive amalgamation with the Central of New Jersey. The minutes are one of the few sources on the activities of this important firm, particularly during the Sloan era, when no annual reports or publicity pieces were issued.

Related materials in:
Hagley Museum and Library, Accessions 1250, 1774 and 1891.
Related materials in: Syracuse University Libraries, 222 Waverly Avenue, Syracuse, N.Y. 13244-2010.
Related materials in: Lackawanna County Historical Society, 232 Monroe Avenue, Scranton, Pa. 18510.
extent10 linear ft.
formatsBusiness Papers Correspondence Administrative Records Ephemera
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record source
finding aidUnpublished finding aid available at the repository.
updated11/12/2014 11:29:57

titleCentral Railroad Company of New Jersey Records, 1839-1973.
repositoryHagley Museum and Library
collection title The surviving records of the Central Railroad Company of New Jersey are a series of fragments that had come into the possession of Conrail. The greater part of the company's records were destroyed during the 1967-1979 trusteeship. There are copies of many important CNJ documents in the records of the Reading Company at Hagley and in the records of the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company at the Pennsylvania State Archives.

Minutes of the parent company are incomplete. The oldest are minute books from the 1886-1888 receivership of John S. Kennedy and Joseph S. Harris which describe the rehabilitation of the property. The remaining minutes (1913-1917, 1933-1950) generally contain a perfunctory list of improvements, betterments, and retirements to property.

The miscellany includes a copy of the 1947 reorganization plan, a report to the state on the preservation of essential services (1972), a report on the obstruction to navigation posed by the company's Newark Bay Bridge (1971), and a 1965 employees' timetable.

The maps include a complete set of the original ICC valuation maps showing all railroad track, structures and property as of 1916. There are also a series of system schematic maps, key maps, and profiles prepared for the valuation, including a map showing the complex conflicting land claims on the Jersey City waterfront. There is also an incomplete set of track and property maps for the Lehigh & Susquehann Division ca. 1899-1900, along with town maps of Nesquehoning and South Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and a plan of the Ashley Shops.

Minutes are also available for most of the predecessor and subsidiary companies, although some of the oldest were lost at an early date. The oldest and perhaps most interesting minutes to survive are those of the Elizabethport & New York Ferry Company of 1839. These give some account of the activities of New Yorkers, including Cornelius Vanderbilt, to develop Elizabethport and aid the struggling Elizabethtown & Somerville Railroad. There is also a copy of Jay Gould's plan for the reorganization of the New Jersey Southern Railroad Company (1873).

Literary rights retained by depositors.

The Central Railroad Company of New Jersey operated a main line between New York and Scranton with numerous branches within the state of New Jersey. It was one of the more important anthracite-carrying railroads, with important commuter and terminal facilities in the New York area. It was an important ally of the Philadelphia & Reading and the Baltimore & Ohio, with which it formed serveral important through routes, particularly between New York and Philadelphia and New York and Harrisburg, Pa. The Reading operated it outright under lease in 1883-1886 and 1892 and controlled it by majority stock ownership after 1901. Coal mines acquired in 1872-1873 were surrendered under antitrust prosecution in 1923.

The Central Railroad Company of New Jersey was incorporated on February 26, 1847 as the Somerville and Easton Railroad Company. It was renamed on April 23, 1849 upon purchasing the property of the Elizabethtown and Somerville Railroad. The railroad was completed from Elizabethport to Easton on July 2, 1852. At first, the CNJ acted as the New York outlet for both the Lehigh Valley and the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroads, but they acquired their own outlets to tidewater in 1871 and 1868, respectively. To compensate for the loss of coal tonnage, the CNJ leased the Lehigh & Susquehanna Railroad from the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company in 1871. Like the other anthracite railroads, the CNJ also acquired coal mines, which were vested in the subsidiary Lehigh & Wilkes-Barre Coal Company in 1873.

The Central could not long survive the collapse of the anthracite industry or the burden of high taxes and terminal and commuter service costs in the inflationary post-Depression environment. It entered its fourth and final bankruptcy on March 22, 1967. State subsidies kept the most essential commuter services running, while the lease of the Pennsylvania lines was surrendered in 1972. The viable portions of the line, mostly trackage serving industries in the Newark-Perth Amboy area, were sold to Conrail in 1976, and the commuter main lines eventually passed into the hands of New Jersey Transit. The company then disposed of its remaining real estate and was reorganized as Central Jersey Industries, Inc. on September 14, 1979. Its successor was merged into the Pechiney Corporation on January 13, 1989.
extent27 linear ft.
formatsBusiness Papers Correspondence Administrative Records Ephemera
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record source
finding aidUnpublished finding aid available at the repository.
updated11/12/2014 11:29:57

titleLetter, 1871 Jan. 17, N.Y., to James Lorimer Graham.
repositoryThe Getty Research Institute
collection titleDetailed letter on the stationery of the Central Railroad Co. of New Jersey concerning the initial acquisition policy and funding of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Biographical and Historical note
First president of the Metropolitan Museum of art; art collector.
extent1 item (4 p.)
accessOpen for use by qualified researchers.
record link
record source
updated11/12/2014 11:29:57

titleA university for its time -- the formative years: 1830-1870 (MC 43)
repositoryNew York University Archives
collection titleThe first lecture centers upon the founding of New York University in 1831 and the first forty years of the school's existence. Particular emphasis is on the original founders such as Albert Gallatin, John Delafield, Myndert Van Schaick, and James M. Mathews; early members of the University Council such as Charles Butler, John Taylor Johnston, and James Tallmadge; and early faculty and administrators such as Samuel F. B. Morse, John W. Draper, Issac Ferris.

Historical Note:
In 1982, the Humanties Council of New York University sponsored a series of lectures on the early history of the university in commemoration of NYU's 150th anniversary celebration. Bayrd Still, professor emeritus of history and director of the New York University Archives, presented three lectures on various aspects of NYU's history during the 19th century. Each lecture was later expanded, fully documented, and deposited in the NYU Archives.

Library Holdings:
NYU Bobst , Archives MC 43.1
extent1 v.
formatsAdministrative Records
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record link
record source
updated11/12/2014 11:29:57

titleNorth Pennsylvania Railroad Company Records, 1836-1982.
repositoryHagley Museum and Library
collection titleThe records of the North Pennsylvania Railroad Company consist of basic corporate records such as minute books, annual reports, account books and statements. They give a good overview of the company's planning, construction and operation down to the Reading lease of 1879, the dull middle period when the firm was a passive lessor (1879-1971), and the complex negotiations connected with the bankruptcy and conveyance to Conrail (1971-1981).

Among the more interesting series are the board papers, which consist of inbound letters and reports directed to the president and board. They include notes on earnings and finances, committee reports, reports of surveys and construction, lists of officers and petitions from patrons.

There are many letters from Tom Scott and A.J. Cassatt of the Pennsylvania Railroad regarding arrangements for direct service to the Centennial and use of the New Line. A circular includes a map of the Centennial grounds showing the temporary tracks used to deliver exhibits and construction materials.

The reorganization papers document the company's attempts to find a solvent merger partner, the plan for a Middle Atlantic Rail Corp. (MARC), disputes with SEPTA over the commuter service and subsidy, and the valuation of property conveyed to Conrail.

There are center-line maps of the entire railroad, and track and property maps of most important points. There are also profiles of all the bridges over the Delaware River between Easton and Taylorsville (1875) and of the company's own bridge at Yardley.

Records of other companies include a copy of the charter of the Kensington and Oxford Turnpike Road Company 1836) and records of the associated East Trenton and Delaware & Bound Brook Railroad companies. The latter includes a small selection of president's inbound letters and notices (1878) and a short history of the 1875 Hopewell, N.J., "Frog War" between the forces of the D&BB and Pennsylvania Railroad.

Historical Notes:
The Philadelphia, Easton and Water-Gap Railroad Company was incorporated in Pennsylvania on April 6, 1852, and renamed the North Pennsylvania Railroad Company on October 3, 1853.

The company's object was to link Philadelphia with northeastern Pennsylvania and central and western New York, but it was only able to construct a line as far as Bethlehem (1853-1857) with a branch to Doylestown (1856), relying on connections with the Lehigh Valley Railroad at Bethlehem. As it occupied a minor traffic corridor, the North Penn was a relatively weak road until 1874, when it built a branch from Jenkintown to the Delaware River at Yardley which became a link in a second route between New York and Philadelphia. The so-called "New Line" opened on May 1, 1876, in time for traffic to the Centennial.

The New Line made the North Penn a more attractive property. The Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company negotiated a long term lease on May 14, 1879, and the road was thereafter operated as part of the Reading system. This situtation lasted until the Reading entered bankruptcy in 1971. After several failed attempts to reorganize, the viable portions of the Reading lines were conveyed to Conrail on April 1, 1976. The North Penn then began selling off its remaining real estate and was finally liquidated between 1982 and 1990.

Related materials in:
Hagley Museum and Library, Reading Company Records, Accession 1520.
Hagley Museum and Library, Delaware and Bound Brook Railroad Company Records, Accession 1776.
extent14 linear ft.
formatsBusiness Papers Correspondence Administrative Records Ephemera
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record sourcehttp://
finding aidUnpublished finding aid available at the repository.
updated11/12/2014 11:29:57

titleJohn Taylor Johnston Collection, 1832-1981
repositoryThe Metropolitan Museum of Art
collection titleThe collection consists of: travel journals, visitor books, correspondence, family histories, and other unpublished and published documents relating to the life, travels and family history of John Taylor Johnston. The bulk of this material relates to Johnston’s personal affairs and is not concerned with The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Biographical/historical note:
John Taylor Johnston was a founder of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and was elected its first President in 1870. He held this position until he retired in 1889; the institution’s Trustees subsequently voted him Honorary President for Life

[Title of item], [date], Box [number], Folder/Volume [number], John Taylor Johnston Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives

The collection is arranged into five series: I. Travel Journals; I.A. Originals; I.B. Transcripts; II. Visitor Books; III. Correspondence; IV. J. Herbert Johnston’s File Vol. I; V. Miscellaneous

See also John Taylor Johnston files, Office of the Secretary Records, Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives

Museum Archives - Restricted Access Bookcase 8, Shelf 5 Box 1 ---
Museum Archives - Restricted Access Bookcase 8, Shelf 5 Box 2 ---
Museum Archives - Restricted Access Bookcase 8, Shelf 5 Box 3 ---
Museum Archives - Restricted Access Bookcase 8, Shelf 5 Box 4 ---
Museum Archives - Restricted Access Bookcase 8, Shelf 5 Box 5 ---
Museum Archives - Restricted Access Bookcase 8, Shelf 5 Box 6 ---
Museum Archives - Restricted Access Bookcase 8, Shelf 5 Box 7 ---
Museum Archives - Restricted Access Bookcase 8, Shelf 5 Box 8 ---
Museum Archives - Restricted Access Bookcase 8, Shelf 5 Box 9 ---
Museum Archives - Restricted Access Bookcase 8, Shelf 5 Box 10
extent2.5 linear feet (2 boxes, 9 custom book boxes)
formatsPersonal Papers Correspondence Ephemera Diaries Business Papers
accessThe collection is open for research. Researchers are required to use transcripts when available for their initial access to travel journals. Requests for access to originals will be reviewed by Archives staff on a case by case basis. Material in Series I and II are in the public domain and may be freely quoted. Copyright restrictions may apply to items in Series III, IV and V; consult Archives staff regarding permission to quote or reproduce
record link
record source
finding aidFinding aid available in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives and on the Internet []
acquisition informationCreated by various sources including, but not limited to, John Taylor Johnston and other Johnston descendents. The bulk of the collection was received in 1978 and the early 1980’s through gifts and bequests of Noel Johnston King, John Johnston Appleton, and William W. Appleton. Other donors include Mrs. Richard N. Pierson and various unnamed sources.
updated11/08/2017 14:32:33

titleOffice of the Secretary records, 1870-[ongoing].
repositoryThe Metropolitan Museum of Art
collection titleRecords comprise correspondence and subject files created by the Secretary and General Counsel, Trustees and several past Directors of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This material relates to all aspects of Museum operations and administration including: acquisition of artworks through purchase, gift and bequest, exhibitions, building maintenance and construction, relations with City and State agencies, drafting and negotiating contracts, managing litigation, cultural property issues, legal and business affairs, grants and corporate donations. Files documenting the tenures of each Secretary of the Museum are included.

In addition, there is substantial original documentation created by: former Directors of the Museum, including Luigi Palma di Cesnola, Caspar Purdon Clarke, Edward Robinson, Herbert E. Winlock; past Trustees, including: John Taylor Johnston, Henry Gurdon Marquand, Robert W. De Forest, and J. Pierpont Morgan; and key curatorial and administrative staff.

Biography or History
The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in 1870 in New York City by a group of businessmen, financiers, artists and collectors. On April 13 of that year the New York State Legislature granted an Act of Incorporation "for the purpose of establishing and maintaining in said City a Museum and Library of Art, of encouraging and developing the Study of the Fine Arts, and the application of Art to manufacture and natural life, of advancing the general knowledge of kindred subjects, and to that end of furnishing popular instruction and recreations." Railroad executive John Taylor Johnston served as the institution’s first President. Luigi Palma di Cesnola was appointed the first Director in 1879.

The Office of the Secretary was established concurrently with the founding of the Museum, and is the central repository for official Trustee records, administrative correspondence and legal files of the Museum’s General Counsel. The Secretary is a member of the Museum staff who performs administrative duties under the general direction of the President or as may be assigned by the Chairman or Board of Trustees.

The Secretary is responsible for coordinating and recording the proceedings of meetings the Board of Trustees and Trustee committees. The Secretary attends to official correspondence, has custody of and preserves the corporate seal and the archives, and oversees the legal affairs of the Museum.

The following have served as Secretary of the Museum: William J. Hoppin (1874-1877), Luigi Palma di Cesnola (1877-1904), Robert W. DeForest (1904-1913), Henry W. Kent (1913-1940), George Lauder Greenway (1941-1942), Dudley T. Easby, Jr. (1945-1969), Ashton Hawkins (1969-1987), Linden Havemeyer Wise (1987-1992), Sharon H. Cott (1992-present).

[Title of item], [date], [folder title], Office of the Secretary Records, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Archives.

Most materials in English; French, Italian, German and other languages are represented as well.
extent2500 linear feet.
formatsCorrespondence Subject Files Administrative Records Financial Records Legal Papers
accessConsult Archives staff regarding permission to quote or reproduce.
record link
record source
finding aidnpublished index and folder level database; access restricted to Archives staff only.
acquisition informationTransferred from Office of the Secretary.
updated11/12/2014 11:30:08

titleColles family papers, 1801-1957.
repositoryNew York Public Library, Manuscripts and Archives Division
collection titleThe Colles family papers, 1801-1957, contain extensive correspondence, diaries, legal and financial records, photographs, and personal miscellany documenting the lives of three generations of the Colles family of New York City and Morristown, New Jersey.

Over half of the collection is devoted to the papers of prominent New York City and New Orleans merchant James Colles (1788-1883) and his granddaughter, artist Gertrude Colles (1869-1957).

The James Colles papers, 1801-1883, contain correspondence, travel diaries, and legal and financial documents documenting his personal life, travels, and business affairs, including his mercantile activities in Canada during the War of 1812; his dry-goods partnership with David I. Rogers of New Orleans; his position as a Director of the New Orleans branch of the Bank of the United States; and his later engagement in private business and return to New York.

Personal topics include his children's upbringing; the family's tour of Europe, 1842-1844; and construction of the family residence in Morristown, N.J. The bulk of the Gertrude Colles papers, 1871-1957, consists of correspondence from friends, family, and clients, as well as from organizations associated with the single tax movement, the women's suffrage movement, and Christian Science. Her schooling and career as an artist are also reflected in the Julia Keese Colles papers.
Materials across the collection document the personal and family life, schooling, social activities, and professional concerns of family members.

European travels are recorded in correspondence, travel diaries and drawings, notably James Colles, Jr.'s sketchbook of a tour of Italy in 1882, and a journal kept in Belgium at the outbreak of World War I by Mary A. Colles, whose papers also contain letters from Logan R. Hudson, a serviceman stationed at a military hospital in France during the war. Julia Keese Colles' papers include letters from Juliet Corson, a household management expert; Presbyterian minister Rev. Theodore L. Cuyler of Brooklyn; Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes; and Rev. Samuel Francis Smith, author of the patriotic hymn "America."

The collection also contains letters and miscellany of other members of the Colles and related Keese, Nelson, Metcalfe, Johnston, De Forest, and Farragut families; genealogical notes; family photographs; and blueprints for George W. Colles, Jr.'s ranch and waterworks in Rosharon, Texas.

The Colles family represented in this collection includes James Colles (1788-1883), a prominent New York City and New Orleans merchant who married Harriet Wetmore (1795-1868); their sons James Colles, Jr., a New York City merchant, and George W. Colles (1836-1911), attorney, of New York City and Morristown, New Jersey; George's wife, Julia Keese Nelson Colles (1840-1913), a writer and lecturer; and their three children: artist Gertrude Colles (1869-1957) of New York City and Morristown, N.J., engineer George W. Colles, Jr. (1871-1951), who settled in Texas, and Julia Nelson Colles (1876-1903), who taught physics at Barnard College, New York City.

Related collections include the Colles Family Papers and Julia Keese Colles Papers, Morristown and Morris Township Library, Morristown, N.J.; Julia Keese Nelson Colles Papers, New Jersey Historical Society, Newark, N.J.; and the Gertrude Colles Papers, New York State Library, Albany, N.Y.

Research Call Number MssCol 17772
extent14 linear feet ( 33 boxes, 3 v.)
formatsCorrespondence Diaries Legal Papers Financial Records Photographs
accessRestricted access; Manuscripts and Archives Division; Permit must be requested at the division indicated.
record link
record source
finding aidIn repository and on repository's Web site.
acquisition informationPapers of James Colles, Jr., his wife, and children were originally in the possession of Mary A. Colles. Papers of other family members were in the custody of Gertrude Colles.
updated11/12/2014 11:30:14

titleDaniel Huntington Study Portrait Collection, ca. 1870-1890
repositoryThe New-York Historical Society
collection titleTwo years after Daniel Huntington's death, his son Charles Richards Huntington (1847-1915) presented the New-York Historical Society with a collection of 141 portrait photographs used by his father "for his study of the subjects painted by him."

Each of the men (and the single woman, Mary McCrea Stuart) in the collection is represented by one or more portrait photographs which had been blown-up to life-size dimensions, sometimes made from a previously existing negative or one made of an earlier photograph. In the case of sitters who died before the advent of paper photography, images were taken from daguerreotypes. The enlargements were mounted on a stiff paperboard and roughly trimmed almost to the shape of the subject's head.

Each of the portraits has the sitter's surname in pencil on the verso; some have a shorthand clue to an occupation, profession, title, or institutional affiliation. These annotations, if contemporary to Huntington or his son, have been transcribed in the box and folder list that follows.

Many of the photographs have a puncture at their top, most likely from the nail Huntington used to tack them up in view of his easel.

The sitters are familiar to students of nineteenth-century New York: they include prominent bankers, merchants, industrialists, educators, financiers, generals, lawyers, judges, politicians, government officials, and men of the cloth.

The photographs are generally not dated. Several note that they were made from daguerreotypes and a few mention particular photographers, or are mounted on the backs of printed boards from photographers' studios.

The images that are dated range from the 1870s (Henry Potter) to the 1890s (Kelly, Gracie, Schurz, and Sheldon). Photographers mentioned are Bogardus (Adams, Arthur) and Sarony (Tilden), with one annotated by Huntington as having been taken in his studio (Sherman). Eight of the portraits are mounted on the verso of stamped boards from the Rockwood Studio (Brown, Gracie, Johnston, Henry Potter, Taft, and Weir) or Kurtz (Dodge Sr. and Hostetter) in New York.

In addition, the portrait of Henry Codman Potter is mounted on the verso of a large photograph of Calvary Baptist Church, on West Twenty-third Street.

Oil portraits of these sitters are now in the New York Chamber of Commerce Collection at the New York State Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, New York Public Library, Harvard University, Vassar College, and West Point Museum, among other institutions.

The New-York Historical Society owns more than twenty portraits painted by Huntington. Other portraits remain in private collections, including those of social clubs, hospitals, corporations, and the families who commissioned them from the artist.

Biographical Note
Daniel Huntington (1814-1906) was educated at Hamilton College. He studied panting with Samuel Morse and Henry Inman in New York City. He primarily painted portraits and landscapes. Huntington was president of the National Academy of Design, and Vice-President of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Preferred Citation
This collection should be cited as: Daniel Huntington Study Portrait Photographs, PR 256, Department of Prints, Photogaphs, and Architectural Collections, The New-York Historical Society.

Call Phrase: PR 256
extent0.42 Linear feet (141 photographs, 12 folders)
accessOpen to qualified researchers
record source
acquisition informationGift of Charles R. Huntington, April 9, 1908.
updated11/12/2014 11:30:14