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William Pettit Correspondence

Collector:
Durrie, Paul, -1985  Search this
Gordon, Gertrude Durrie  Search this
Donor:
Dibner, Bern, Dr.  Search this
Author:
Pettit, William (civil servant)  Search this
Names:
Smithsonian Institution  Search this
United States. Congress  Search this
Grant, Ulysses S. (Ulysses Simpson), 1822-1885  Search this
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865  Search this
Lincoln, Mary Todd  Search this
Pettit, Agnes  Search this
Pettit, Hannah  Search this
Pettit, Lucy  Search this
Pettit, Mary  Search this
Extent:
0.15 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Correspondence
Letters (correspondence)
Place:
White House (Washington, D.C.)
Washington (D.C.) -- 1860-1920
Elkhorn (Wis.)
Date:
1864-1865
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of thirty-eight letters which William Pettit wrote to his wife from Washington, D.C.; a letter written soon after Lincoln's assassination by Pettit's wife; a letter from Lucy Pettit (Pettit's daughter) to her grandparents describing her birth on February 2, 1843; and a first draft of "my family reminiscences" - consisting of seventeen hand-written pages describing the family's genealogy from the middle 1600's when they first arrived in this country.

All 38 letters of the collection have been transcribed on typewriter. Pettit was concerned about how much wood his wife should order and what she should pay for it. He commented about his children's schooling and their penmanship. He discussed how much money he was sending home and how he was budgeting himself. His first letter describes New Year's Day when he went to the White House to see the ambassadors pay their respects to Uncle Sam. He got pushed with the crowd inside the White House and describes Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln and the types of people crowding in. He continued to go to the White House open houses because he was amused at the types of people who went there including those who put on airs, showed off their clothes, or thought they themselves were important.

Pettit had a subtle sense of humor as he describes well-known personages, church leaders, and people he worked with. He lived in a boarding house on 9th St., N.W. He has some interesting comments to make about the life and opinions of the time concerning the United States and war, bureaucracy and politics.

Pettit was strongly anti-slavery and had very positive views of Negroes. Some of these came from his religious convictions and others as a result of actual behavior of blacks during the War in incidents which he describes.

He wrote about the coming 1864 election and the competition against Lincoln. He mentioned that Grant had been to Washington. He reported about the troops in the Army of the Potomac and rumors of war activities. For example, he mentions that the Southern rebels planned to blow up prisoners of war in Richmond if the city was to be taken. There is a description of an escape from a Confederate camp by a Northern officer.

Pettit tells about meeting with a drunken soldier whom he helped to get food and housing; and who tried to save from being knocked in the head as was happening weekly in Washington. He went to concerts and commented on the performances. He particularly expressed his preference for Wisconsin performers. He described church services and decorations for Easter and Christmas.

Pettit mentioned a Negro victory in battle, and commented that talk of re-enslaving such men was "mean." He said that Negroes had helped many to escape from the Confederates.

In the letter from Hannah dated April 17, 1865, his wife comments about Lee's surrender and her thoughts on the President's assassination. She said it was like losing a family friend. At first, they had thought it was a mistake but was shocked when it was verified. She said that she had spent a gloomy Easter because of it although the day was beautiful. She asked the rhetorical question whether the vice president could do the job and concluded that this event would be a great trial for the Nation's good.
Biographical / Historical:
William Pettit came to Washington, D.C. from Elkhorn, Wisconsin in the summer of 1863 to work as a clerk in the War Department. He left his wife, Hannah, and three daughters, Mary, Agnes and Lucy, at home. His main duties as a clerk were to answer letters received by the Department. He lived very frugally since he earned only $93.50 per month, part of which sent home to pay for his family's expenses and life insurance. He wrote many letters to his wife describing his activities and his thoughts related to wartime Washington. He took advantage of many opportunities available to a civil servant of the period in the nation's capitol. He occasionally attended the fortnightly open house at the White House, lectures at the Smithsonian Institution, and sessions of the Congress and Supreme Court. Since the letters in this collection are from January 2 through March 30th and October 5th through December 30th, 1864, the six summer months activities are unknown.

According to a note from his great granddaughter, Pettit was riding horseback in Washington, the day after the last letter was written, and was killed. Since there is a letter written April 17, 1865 from his wife, it is impossible to know exactly when he died.
Provenance:
These letters and other material were donated to the Smithsonian Institution in August 1985 by Dr. Bern Dibner of the Burndy Library, Norwalk, Connecticut. He received the materials from Gertrude Durrie Gordon who inherited them from her brother Paul Durrie who died in 1985. His wife was a descendant of the Pettit family of Wisconsin.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865  Search this
Civil service  Search this
Slavery -- United States  Search this
Supreme Court  Search this
Genealogy  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence -- 1840-1930
Letters (correspondence) -- 1860-1870
Citation:
William Pettit Correspondence, 1864-1865, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0177
See more items in:
William Pettit Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0177

Samuel Morse Felton Family Papers

Source:
Transportation, Division of, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Creator:
Felton, Samuel Morse, (civil engineer), 1809-1889  Search this
Felton, Samuel Morse, (son), 1853-1930  Search this
Names:
American Locomotive Sales Corporation.  Search this
Louisville Southern Railway Co.  Search this
Philadelphia RR.  Search this
Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore RR.  Search this
Southern Railway and Steamship Association.  Search this
United States War Department  Search this
United States. Army  Search this
Ames, Oliver  Search this
Atterbury, W.W.  Search this
Cooke, Jay  Search this
Davis, Robert C.  Search this
Fletcher, Andrew  Search this
Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865  Search this
Lomonossoff, G.  Search this
McAdoo, W.G.  Search this
Milliken, J.  Search this
Scott, Thomas A.  Search this
Smith, M.H.  Search this
Former owner:
Transportation, Division of, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Extent:
0.3 Cubic feet (2 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Correspondence
Reports
Clippings
Place:
Pennsylvania
Date:
1841-1930
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains biographical material on both Feltons; a handwritten bound report by Felton on the construction of the Norfolk Co. Railroad, 1847 1849; correspondence, 1861 1927, to and from both Feltons; various reports on military railroads during the World War years; and news clippings and articles on the Feltons, 1889-1930.
Arrangement:
Collection divided into five series.

Series 1: Biographical, 1841-1921

Series 2: Correspondence, 1861-1927

Series 3: Reports, 1847-1919

Series 4:History of Transportation Department, undated

Series 5: News clippings, 1889-1930
Biographical / Historical:
Samuel Morse Felton (1809 1889), civil engineer, became Superintendent and engineer of the Fitchburg Railroad in 1843 and left in 1851 to become President of the Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore Railroad (PWBRR). Under Felton's able management this unsuccessful and financially failing railroad was rebuilt, restored and prospered. The road was of great strategic importance during the Civil War and performed a great service by transporting troops and supplies for the Union. In 1857, he installed the locomotive engine "Daniel Webster" in service on the PWBRR. It was probably the first really successful coal burning passenger engine in regular service upon any RR in the U.S. In 1865 he left the PWBRR to become President of the Pennsylvania Steel Company. This was the first attempt in the United States to manufacture steel rails as a commercial enterprise. During this period he also served as director of many railroads including the Philadelphia, Wilmington & BRR, the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Co., the Northern Pacific, the Ogdensburg & Lake Champlain and several others. He was director for ten years of the Pennsylvania RR. In 1869 he was appointed by President Grant as a Commissioner to inspect Pacific Railroads.

His son, Samuel Morse Felton (1853 1930), followed in this father's footsteps. He graduated from MIT in 1873 and began a life long career in American railroading. In 1889 he became President of the Chicago and Alton Railroad, later assumed the Presidency of the Mexican Central Railroad, and became President of the Chicago Great Western Railroad in 1909. During WWI he was appointed Director General of Military Railways and in that capacity had charge of the organization and dispatch to France of all American railway forces and supplies. He continued in that position during the World War years. By 1928 he was Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Great Western Railroad, President of the Western Railroad Association, and Chairman of the Western Association of Railway Executives, to name only a few of his positions. At his death he was an advisor and associate of the Central Trust Company of Illinois.
Provenance:
Immediate source of acquisition unknown.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Railroads  Search this
Business records -- 1840-1930  Search this
Civil engineers  Search this
Transportation  Search this
Slavery -- United States  Search this
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence -- 1840-1930
Reports
Clippings -- 1840-1940
Citation:
Samuel Morse Felton Family Papers, 1841-1930, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0170
See more items in:
Samuel Morse Felton Family Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0170
Additional Online Media:

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Schools

Creator:
Warshaw, Isadore, d. 1969  Search this
Extent:
11.39 Cubic feet (consisting of 25 boxes, 2 folders, 4 oversize folders, 1 map case folder, plus digital images of some collection material.)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Examinations (documents)
Speeches
Catalogs
Trade catalogs
Reports
Sales records
Trade literature
Print advertising
Business cards
Programs
Training manuals
Invoices
Publications
Business records
Advertising cards
Advertising mail
Certificates
Business ephemera
Manuals
Sales letters
Awards
Dance cards
Business letters
Commercial correspondence
Ephemera
Illustrations
Photographs
Sermons
Letterheads
Advertising
Printed ephemera
Catalogues
Theater programs
Report cards
Receipts
Advertising fliers
Legal documents
Scrapbooks
Correspondence
Lesson books
Periodicals
School records
Date:
1745-1973
bulk 1840-1930
Summary:
A New York bookseller, Warshaw assembled this collection over nearly fifty years. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana: Accounting and Bookkeeping forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Subseries 1.1: Subject Categories. The Subject Categories subseries is divided into 470 subject categories based on those created by Mr. Warshaw. These subject categories include topical subjects, types or forms of material, people, organizations, historical events, and other categories. An overview to the entire Warshaw collection is available here: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana
Scope and Contents note:
Most materials present are records and information related to specific schools and institutions and their operations. There are no complete records for any single organization. K-12 public, private schools are represented, as well as colleges, universities, vocational training, plus home study, correspondence courses, Sunday Schools and some religious instruction. HBCUs are not represented, though there may be a general item or two related to one or more of the HBCU schools. There is a sampling of teaching and learning tools such as workbooks, textbooks, and curriculum guides, plus publications for educators. A portion of the material focuses on administration and the profession of education. Student Services and Engagement covers the social aspects of higher education.
Arrangement note:
Schools is arranged in two subseries.

Institutions

By Name

Administration and Records

Genre

Advertisements

Images

Instruction and Learning: Tools and Resources

Post Family Education Records

Serial Publications for Educators and Administrators
Forms Part Of:
Forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana.

Series 1: Business Ephemera

Series 2: Other Collection Divisions

Series 3: Isadore Warshaw Personal Papers

Series 4: Photographic Reference Material
Provenance:
Schools is a portion of the Business Ephemera Series of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Accession AC0060 purchased from Isadore Warshaw in 1967. Warshaw continued to accumulate similar material until his death, which was donated in 1971 by his widow, Augusta. For a period after acquisition, related materials from other sources (of mixed provenance) were added to the collection so there may be content produced or published after Warshaw's death in 1969. This practice has since ceased.
Restrictions:
Some items may be restricted due to fragile condition.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Occupation:
Educators  Search this
Topic:
Student activities  Search this
Education, Higher  Search this
Colleges  Search this
College teachers  Search this
Teachers -- 1940-1950  Search this
Fraternal organizations  Search this
Musical productions  Search this
Students  Search this
College administrators  Search this
Education  Search this
Home economics -- Study and teaching  Search this
Dance  Search this
College graduates -- 1840-1860  Search this
Education, Elementary  Search this
High schools -- Alumni and alumnae  Search this
College students -- 1900-1910  Search this
Art  Search this
Music  Search this
Primers  Search this
Vocational education  Search this
Schools  Search this
Teachers  Search this
Mathematics  Search this
Education -- 19th century  Search this
Kindergarten  Search this
Art teachers  Search this
Dances  Search this
Classrooms  Search this
Theater  Search this
High school student activities  Search this
Women -- Education  Search this
Universities and colleges  Search this
Lesson plans  Search this
Students -- 1940-1950  Search this
Universities and colleges -- Administration  Search this
Musical performances  Search this
Education -- school buildings  Search this
State universities and colleges  Search this
Students -- 19th century  Search this
Medical colleges -- Faculty  Search this
Commencement ceremonies  Search this
High school athletes  Search this
Cooking  Search this
Medical colleges  Search this
Musicals  Search this
Elementary schools  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Genre/Form:
Examinations (documents)
Speeches
Catalogs
Trade catalogs
Reports
Sales records
Trade literature
Print advertising
Business cards
Programs -- Graduation ceremonies -- 1930-1940
Training manuals -- 20th century
Invoices
Publications
Business records
Advertising cards
Advertising mail
Certificates
Business ephemera
Manuals
Sales letters
Awards
Dance cards
Business letters
Commercial correspondence
Certificates -- School attendance -- 1930-1940 -- Illinois
Ephemera
Illustrations
Photographs
Sermons
Letterheads
Publications -- Business
Advertising
Printed ephemera
Catalogues
Theater programs
Report cards
Receipts
Advertising fliers
Legal documents
Scrapbooks
Correspondence
Lesson books
Periodicals
School records
Citation:
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Schools, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0060.S01.01.Schools
See more items in:
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Schools
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0060-s01-01-schools
Additional Online Media:

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