In 1830, Stephen Girard, a merchant, financier, and philanthropist, purchased 67 tracts of land in Pennsylvania that had been held by trustees of the first Bank of the United States. A large portion of the land passed into the Girard Trusts, bequeathed by Girard to the city of Philadelphia. Beginning in 1862, leases for the mining of coal on these lands were granted by the Estate.
Records include voluminous correspondence, much of it to or from W.P. Millington, Secretary of the Estate; with the Lehigh Valley Coal Company and Lehigh Valley Railroad Company; and with the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company. Also reports, including annual reports, reports by the Mining Engineer, and reports on visits by trustees; applications for permits; leases, including the lease for the City of Philadelphia as trustee under the will of Stephen Girard to Lehigh Valley Coal Company, 1884-1899; deeds; original agreements regarding the land, 1785 and 1793; licenses to mine coal; photographs, including photographs taken as part of surveys; blueprints; maps; patents; and daily journals for the years 1872, 1873, and 1879, kept by E.C. Wagner, Assistant Superintendent for the Girard Estate, detailing such things as inspections, meetings, etc.
Girard Estate Records, 1870-1965, Archives Center, National Museum of American History