This collection is composed entirely of xerographic and photographic reproductions made for the Robert Mills Papers Project. The copies include correspondence, plans, federal legislation regarding proposed government construction projects, construction records, and material regarding people with a relation to Mills or one of his projects.
The material is organized into three series. The first is information relating to Mills' various projects, such as payroll lists; it is organized by state. The second consists of subject files on 163 individuals, all of whom have some relation to Mills. The last series is composed of reference and research materials from the project, including correspondence with various libraries and archives seeking material on Mills, ten reels of microfilm, and 46 diskettes containing typed transcriptions of the illegible documents included in the microfilm publication.
The documents included in this collection relate to the construction of Mills's buildings, but do not mention him specifically. Of all the papers collected for this project, this collection consists of copies of those documents that were not selected for microfilming. They are, therefore, not included in the microfilm publication.
The collection is divided into four series.
Series 1: Projects by state
Series 2: Individuals
Series 3: Reference Materials
Series 4: Camera Ready Copy
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Mills (1781 1855) was born in August, 1781, in Charleston, South Carolina. After completing grammar school he took classes under architect James Hoban.
Hoban left in 1792 to supervise construction of the President's House in Washington (which he designed). About 1799 Mills moved to Washington and began work as a draftsman of plans for the Capitol under Hoban. For about a year, Mills presumably lived with Thomas Jefferson, studying architecture from his library.
In 1802 Mills entered his first professional design competition for the design of South Carolina College, but did not win. From 1802 1809, Mills worked (with sporadic interuptions from assorted commissions) with Benjamin Latrobe, who was at the time the acting federal engineer of the Chesapeake and Delaware region. Under Latrobe he worked as a draftsman on the design of the U.S. Capitol and the Baltimore Cathedral.
In 1814 Mills received national recognition when he won the competition for the design of Baltimore's Washington Monument. He supervised its construction until 1820, when he moved back to South Carolina to become the civil architect for the state, designing several courthouses and jails throughout the area.
Mills moved back to Washington in 1829. In 1836 he won the competition for the design of the Treasury and began a long career as an architect for the Federal Government. It was during this time that Mills designed the buildings he is most widely known for: the Post Office and the Washington National Monument. He also supervised construction of the Patent Office and submitted preliminary designs for the Capitol extension and the Smithsonian Institution. He served under seven Presidents, retiring in 1851.
The colletion was donated by Douglas Evelyn.
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-633-3270.
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.
These records are the official minutes of the Board. They are compiled at the direction of the Secretary of the Smithsonian, who is also secretary to the Board, after
approval by the Regents' Executive Committee and by the Regents themselves. The minutes are edited, not a verbatim account of proceedings. For reasons unknown, there are no
manuscript minutes for the period from 1857 through 1890; and researchers must rely on printed minutes published in the Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution instead.
Minutes are transferred regularly from the Secretary's Office to the Archives. Minutes less than 15 years old are closed to researchers. Indexes exist for the period from
1907 to 1946 and can be useful.
The Smithsonian Institution was created by authority of an Act of Congress approved August 10, 1846. The Act entrusted direction of the Smithsonian to a body called
the Establishment, composed of the President; the Vice President; the Chief Justice of the United States; the secretaries of State, War, Navy, Interior, and Agriculture; the
Attorney General; and the Postmaster General. In fact, however, the Establishment last met in 1877, and control of the Smithsonian has always been exercised by its Board of
Regents. The membership of the Regents consists of the Vice President and the Chief Justice of the United States; three members each of the Senate and House of Representatives;
two citizens of the District of Columbia; and seven citizens of the several states, no two from the same state. (Prior to 1970 the category of Citizen Regents not residents
of Washington consisted of four members). By custom the Chief Justice is Chancellor. The office was at first held by the Vice President. However, when Millard Fillmore succeeded
to the presidency on the death of Zachary Taylor in 1851, Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney was chosen in his stead. The office has always been filled by the Chief Justice
since that time.
The Regents of the Smithsonian have included distinguished Americans from many walks of life. Ex officio members (Vice President) have been: Spiro T. Agnew, Chester A.
Arthur, Allen W. Barkley, John C. Breckenridge, George Bush, Schuyler Colfax, Calvin Coolidge, Charles Curtis, George M. Dallas, Charles G. Dawes, Charles W. Fairbanks, Millard
Fillmore, Gerald R. Ford, John N. Garner, Hannibal Hamlin, Thomas A. Hendricks, Garret A. Hobart, Hubert H. Humphrey, Andrew Johnson, Lyndon B. Johnson, William R. King, Thomas
R. Marshall, Walter F. Mondale, Levi P. Morton, Richard M. Nixon, Nelson A. Rockefeller, Theodore Roosevelt, James S. Sherman, Adlai E. Stevenson, Harry S. Truman, Henry A.
Wallace, William A. Wheeler, Henry Wilson.
Ex officio members (Chief Justice) have been: Roger B. Taney, Salmon P. Chase, Nathan Clifford, Morrison R. Waite, Samuel F. Miller, Melville W. Fuller, Edward D. White,
William Howard Taft, Charles Evans Hughes, Harlan F. Stone, Fred M. Vinson, Earl Warren, Warren E. Burger.
Regents on the part of the Senate have been: Clinton P. Anderson, Newton Booth, Sidney Breese, Lewis Cass, Robert Milledge Charlton, Bennet Champ Clark, Francis M. Cockrell,
Shelby Moore Cullom, Garrett Davis, Jefferson Davis, George Franklin Edmunds, George Evans, Edwin J. Garn, Walter F. George, Barry Goldwater, George Gray, Hannibal Hamlin,
Nathaniel Peter Hill, George Frisbie Hoar, Henry French Hollis, Henry M. Jackson, William Lindsay, Henry Cabot Lodge, Medill McCormick, James Murray Mason, Samuel Bell Maxey,
Robert B. Morgan, Frank E. Moss, Claiborne Pell, George Wharton Pepper, David A. Reed, Leverett Saltonstall, Hugh Scott, Alexander H. Smith, Robert A. Taft, Lyman Trumbull,
Wallace H. White, Jr., Robert Enoch Withers.
Regents on the part of the House of Representatives have included: Edward P. Boland, Frank T. Bow, William Campbell Breckenridge, Overton Brooks, Benjamin Butterworth,
Clarence Cannon, Lucius Cartrell, Hiester Clymer, William Colcock, William P. Cole, Jr., Maurice Connolly, Silvio O. Conte, Edward E. Cox, Edward H. Crump, John Dalzell, Nathaniel
Deering, Hugh A. Dinsmore, William English, John Farnsworth, Scott Ferris, Graham Fitch, James Garfield, Charles L. Gifford, T. Alan Goldsborough, Frank L. Greene, Gerry Hazleton,
Benjamin Hill, Henry Hilliard, Ebenezer Hoar, William Hough, William M. Howard, Albert Johnson, Leroy Johnson, Joseph Johnston, Michael Kirwan, James T. Lloyd, Robert Luce,
Robert McClelland, Samuel K. McConnell, Jr., George H. Mahon, George McCrary, Edward McPherson, James R. Mann, George Perkins Marsh, Norman Y. Mineta, A. J. Monteague, R.
Walton Moore, Walter H. Newton, Robert Dale Owen, James Patterson, William Phelps, Luke Poland, John Van Schaick Lansing Pruyn, B. Carroll Reece, Ernest W. Roberts, Otho Robards
Singleton, Frank Thompson, Jr., John M. Vorys, Hiram Warner, Joseph Wheeler.
Citizen Regents have been: David C. Acheson, Louis Agassiz, James B. Angell, Anne L. Armstrong, William Backhouse Astor, J. Paul Austin, Alexander Dallas Bache, George
Edmund Badger, George Bancroft, Alexander Graham Bell, James Gabriel Berrett, John McPherson Berrien, Robert W. Bingham, Sayles Jenks Bowen, William G. Bowen, Robert S. Brookings,
John Nicholas Brown, William A. M. Burden, Vannevar Bush, Charles F. Choate, Jr., Rufus Choate, Arthur H. Compton, Henry David Cooke, Henry Coppee, Samuel Sullivan Cox, Edward
H. Crump, James Dwight Dana, Harvey N. Davis, William Lewis Dayton, Everette Lee Degolyer, Richard Delafield, Frederic A. Delano, Charles Devens, Matthew Gault Emery, Cornelius
Conway Felton, Robert V. Fleming, Murray Gell-Mann, Robert F. Goheen, Asa Gray, George Gray, Crawford Hallock Greenwalt, Nancy Hanks, Caryl Parker Haskins, Gideon Hawley,
John B. Henderson, John B. Henderson, Jr., A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., Gardner Greene Hubbard, Charles Evans Hughes, Carlisle H. Humelsine, Jerome C. Hunsaker, William Preston
Johnston, Irwin B. Laughlin, Walter Lenox, Augustus P. Loring, John Maclean, William Beans Magruder, John Walker Maury, Montgomery Cunningham Meigs, John C. Merriam, R. Walton
Moore, Roland S. Morris, Dwight W. Morrow, Richard Olney, Peter Parker, Noah Porter, William Campbell Preston, Owen Josephus Roberts, Richard Rush, William Winston Seaton,
Alexander Roby Shepherd, William Tecumseh Sherman, Otho Robards Singleton, Joseph Gilbert Totten, John Thomas Towers, Frederic C. Walcott, Richard Wallach, Thomas J. Watson,
Jr., James E. Webb, James Clarke Welling, Andrew Dickson White, Henry White, Theodore Dwight Woolsey.
This collection measures 0.3 linear feet and consists of 19 items dated 1771-circa 1879, relating to expatriate painter Benjamin West. West, who settled in London and was renowned for his portraits and his paintings of historical events, was the first internationally known American painter. The collection provides scattered documentation of West's activities including during the time of his appointment as historical painter to King George III, and contains letters from West, artwork including 2 engravings of the artist, 2 pages of West's accounts, and a ticket to a lecture at the Royal Academy of Art.
Scope and Content Note:
This collection measures 0.3 linear feet and consists of 19 items dated 1771-circa 1879, relating to expatriate painter Benjamin West. West, who settled in London and was renowned for his portraits and his paintings of historical events, was the first internationally known American painter. The collection provides scattered documentation of West's activities including during the time of his appointment as historical painter to King George III, and contains scattered letters from West, two engravings of the artist, prints, and ephemera.
Twelve letters are written to prominent politicians such as John Adams and Robert R. Livingston, Jr., the U.S. Minsister in Paris, close friend and portraitist John Green, and others. There are two pages of accounts documenting West's association with John Boydell. In 1786, Boydell, an alderman for the City of London and a publisher of books, illustrations and engravings, launched an ambitious project to commission the best artists in England, including West, to provide illustrations for an edition of Shakespeare's plays. Also found is a ticket to a lecture at the Royal Academy of Art.
Artwork includes two engravings of West, a print of his birthplace, a print of a late 18th century portrait of West by Jonathan Spilsbury, and an ink drawing after Benjamin West of John Singleton Copley's son and daughter, circa 1879.
The collection is arranged as one series.
Expatriate painter Benjamin West (1738-1829) was born in Springfield, Pennsylvania and worked in Pennsylvania and New York before settling in London as a portrait painter and historical painter to King George III. West initially studied with local artist William Williams in Pennsylvania and began painting portraits in Pennsylvania and New York in the 1750s. Around 1760 he traveled to Italy to study art and then settled in London as a portrait painter and remained in Europe for the rest of his life. He received many commissions under the patronage of George III and in 1772 was appointed historical painter to the King.
A leader in neoclassicism and a mentor to many young English and American artists including John Constable, Charles Willson Peale, Gilbert Stuart, and John Singleton Copley, West became the first American artist to receive international recognition. Among his best-known works are Death of General Wolfe (1770) and Penn's Treaty with the Indians (1772). In these, and other historical paintings, he maintained the compositional elements of neoclassicism but departed from tradition by painting historical figures in the clothing of their period, rather than in classical attire.
West was a co-founder of the Royal Academy of Arts with Sir Joshua Reynolds, and served as the Academy's president from 1792-1815.
Benjamin West died in London in 1820.
The Benjamin West collection was acquired through gifts and purchases from various sources between 1955 and 1981. Nine letters and 2 engravings were donated by Charles Feinberg, 1955-1958; 2 additional letters were lent by Feinberg for microfilming in 1967 and subsequently purchased by AAA in 1968. Account book pages were purchased from Walter R. Benjamin Autographs, circa 1960, and one letter was purchased from Charles Hamilton Autographs, Inc., in 1963. A wood engraving was transferred from the National Portrait Gallery Library in 1981; the sources of an ink drawing and a print are unknown.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
The microfilmed American Philosophical Society selected records contain art related letters; committee reports; registrar's and curators' records; pamphlets; and exhibition catalogs from the archives of the American Philosophical Society. Many of the letters are to the Society's secretary and librarian John Vaughan; a few are to the Society's presidents Thomas Jefferson and Peter S. Du Ponceau, and officials John K. Kane and J. Peter Lesley. Among the correspondents are Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin West, Charles Willson Peale, Jacob Perkins, Philip Tidyman, Charles B. Lawrence, John Trumbull, Thomas Sully, Joseph Delaplaine, Robert Patterson, John Quincy Adams, Titian Ramsay Peale, Rembrandt Peale, Joel Roberts Poinsett, Victor G. Audubon, and Robert Fulton.
Also included are copies of the registrar's cards for portraits and busts owned by the Society, arranged alphabetically by sitter; "Preliminary Notes, Biographical Sketches, and Memoranda chronologically arranged, for insertion in the Curator's Catalog of Portraits, Busts, and Bas-Reliefs in the Collection of the American Philosophical Society. Illustrated by photographs taken from the originals by Mrs. Julius A. Sachese, member APS"; circa 25 exhibition catalogs and pamphlets (1811-1840) for exhibitions of the Society of Artists of the United States, Columbian Society of Artists, Artists' Fund Society, Artists' and Amateurs' Association, and for works by Thomas Sully, Gilbert Stuart, Benjamin Robert Haydon, Joseph Delaplaine, and others; and newspaper clippings (1917) about the controversy surrounding portraits by Albert Rosenthal hung in Independence Hall (reel P36, frames 372-401).
Biographical / Historical:
The American Philosophical Society (founded 1743) is a scholarly organization in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Founded by Benjamin Franklin, the American Philosophical Society "promotes useful knowledge" through research, professional meetings, publications, library resources, and community outreach.
The American Philosophical Society holds the American Philosophical Society archives, 1743-1984.
Microfilmed for the Archives of American Art, 1955. The letters are mainly American Philosophical Society records, but many were pulled from ASP's Misc. Mss. and various other collections, and microfilmed in no apparent order. Descriptive cards microfilmed with each letter indicate location of originals.
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Portraits -- Private collections -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia Search this