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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:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
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 Blacks. 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 Blacks 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

Albert Einstein portrait collection

Donor:
Burndy Library  Search this
Burndy Library  Search this
Names:
Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955 -- Portraits  Search this
Extent:
6 Items (26 x 34 cm. or smaller.)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1920-195-
General note:
Includes individual and group portraits featuring Einstein, in b&w photographic prints or various artistic media.
Additional materials may be added to the collection when acquired.
Other physicists identified in the group portraits include Niels Bohr, James Franck, I.I. Rabi, Robert A. Millikan, and A.A. Michelson.
Some of the portraits have printed or handwritten captions, chiefly in German; some are autographed by the subjects.
Provenance of some items: Bern Dibner / Burndy Library.
Topic:
Physicists -- Portraits.  Search this
Identifier:
SIL-DL.MSS001766A
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sil-dl-mss001766a

Effigies Tychonis Brahe O.F. aedificii et instrumentorum astronomicorum structoris. A[nn]o Domini 1587, aetatis suae 40

Publisher:
Blaeu, Joan 1596-1673  Search this
Author:
Blaeu, Joan 1596-1673 Atlas maior  Search this
Brahe, Tycho 1546-1601  Search this
Subject:
Brahe, Tycho 1546-1601  Search this
Physical description:
1 print hand-colored on laid paper sheet 53 x 32 cm, plate mark 43 x 27 cm
Type:
Portraits
Early works to 1800
Pictorial works
Early works
Place:
Denmark
Date:
1662
Topic:
Astronomers  Search this
Quadrants (Astronomical instruments)  Search this
Call number:
QB36.B8 E34 1662
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1036634

Musaeum Regalis Societatis, or, A catalogue & description of the natural and artificial rarities belonging to the Royal Society and preserved at Gresham Colledge made by Nehemiah Grew ... ; whereunto is subjoyned The comparative anatomy of stomachs and guts / by the same author

Title:
Grew's Rarities DSI
Comparative anatomy of stomachs and guts begun
Catalogue & description of the natural and artificial rarities belonging to the Royal Society and preserved at Gresham Colledge
Musaeum Regalis Societatis
Author:
Royal Society (Great Britain) Museum  Search this
Grew, Nehemiah 1641-1712  Search this
Grew, Nehemiah 1641-1712 Comparative anatomy of stomachs and guts begun  Search this
Gresham College  Search this
Former owner:
Comerford, James DSI  Search this
Molineux, George DSI  Search this
Simon, James DSI  Search this
Printer:
Rawlins, William  Search this
Donor:
Burndy Library DSI  Search this
Subject:
Colwall, Daniel -1690  Search this
Royal Society (Great Britain) Museum  Search this
Royal Society (Great Britain) Museum  Search this
Physical description:
[12], 386, [6], 43, [3] pages, 31 [id est 32] leaves of plates (1 folded) illustrations (engravings), portrait 32 cm (folio)
Type:
Early works to 1800
Portraits
Catalogs
Pre-Linnean works
Catalog
Autographs (Provenance)
Blind tooled bindings (Binding)
Calf bindings (Binding)
Early works
Engravings
Fillet tools (Binding)
Folio format (Printing)
Panel-stamped bindings (Binding)
Place:
England
London
Date:
1681
17th century
Topic:
Anatomy, Comparative  Search this
Digestive organs--Anatomy  Search this
Natural history museums  Search this
Natural history  Search this
Stomach--Anatomy  Search this
Museums  Search this
Provenance--Pughe (Edward)  Search this
Call number:
QH41 .R88 1681
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1039190

Historia foetus extra uterum in abdomine geniti ibidemque per sex prope lustra detenti, ac tandem lapidescentis : consideratione physico-anatomica illustrata ab Antonio Deusingio

Title:
De gener. foetus extra uterum
Author:
Deusing, Anton 1612-1666  Search this
Donor:
Burndy Library DSI  Search this
Physical description:
166, [2] pages 14 cm. (12mo)
Type:
Early works to 1800
Early works
Date:
1661
Topic:
Abnormalities, Human  Search this
Ectopic pregnancy  Search this
Lithopedion  Search this
Obstetrics  Search this
Pregnancy, Ectopic  Search this
Call number:
QL955 .H34 1651
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1028918

Reducing Lens

Measurements:
overall: 2.7 cm x 21 cm x 33.5 cm; 1 1/16 in x 8 1/4 in x 13 3/16 in
overall: 1 in x 8 1/4 in x 13 in; 2.54 cm x 20.955 cm x 33.02 cm
Object Name:
reducing lens
Subject:
Science & Scientific Instruments  Search this
Credit Line:
Burndy Library
ID Number:
2005.0182.3
Accession number:
2005.0182
Catalog number:
2005.0182.3
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ab-b65a-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1293809
Online Media:

Short Reflecting Telescope (Gregorian)

Maker:
Short, James  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 10 in x 13 1/4 in x 4 1/4 in; 25.4 cm x 33.655 cm x 10.795 cm
overall: 9 3/8 in x 13 1/8 in x 4 1/4 in; 23.8125 cm x 33.3375 cm x 10.795 cm
Object Name:
telescope
telescope, reflecting
Place made:
United Kingdom: England, London
Date made:
1744
Credit Line:
Burndy Library
ID Number:
2005.0182.4
Accession number:
2005.0182
Catalog number:
2005.0182.4
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Science & Mathematics
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ac-1ad6-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1293810
Online Media:

Verick Microscope

Associated person:
Pasteur, Louis  Search this
Maker:
Verick, Constant  Search this
Verick, Constant  Search this
Physical Description:
brass (overall material)
glass (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 4 1/2 in x 10 3/4 in x 6 in; 11.43 cm x 27.305 cm x 15.24 cm
Object Name:
microscope
Place made:
France: Île-de-France, Paris
Date made:
1870-1885
Subject:
Science & Scientific Instruments  Search this
Credit Line:
from the Burndy Library through Bern Dibner
ID Number:
2005.0182.9
Catalog number:
2005.0182.9
Accession number:
2005.0182
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Science & Mathematics
Microscopes
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ab-c2ac-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1294149
Online Media:

The miscellaneous papers of John Smeaton, civil engineer, &c. F.R.S. comprising his communications to the Royal Society, printed in the philosophical transactions, forming a fourth volume to his reports : illustrated with plates

Title:
Smeaton's Miscellaneous papers, with plates DSI
Author:
Smeaton, John 1724-1792,  Search this
Possible former owner:
Cottingham, Lewis Nockalls 1787-1847 DSI  Search this
Engraver:
Mynde, James 1702-1771  Search this
Donor:
Burndy Library DSI  Search this
Physical description:
viii, 208 pages, 12 leaves of plates (2 folded) illustrations (engravings) 29 cm
Type:
Early works to 1850
Date:
1814
Topic:
Astronomy  Search this
Civil engineering  Search this
Mechanics  Search this
Call number:
TA7 .S63 1814
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1028280

Specimen de gemmarum origine & virtutibus in quo proponuntur & historicè illustrantur quaedam Conjecturae circa consistentiam materiae Lapidum Pretiosorum, & subjecta, in quibus eorum praecipuae virtutes consistunt Ab Honoratissimo Roberto Boyle Nobili Anglo, è Societate Regia

Title:
Boyle De orig. gemmarum DSI
De gemmarum origine & virtutibus
Specimen de gemmarum origine et virtutibus
Specimen de gemmarvm origine & virtvtibvs
Specimen de gemmarvm origine et virtvtibvs
Author:
Boyle, Robert 1627-1691,  Search this
Author:
Boyle, Robert 1627-1691 Essay about the origine & virtves of gems Latin  Search this
Former owner:
Callander, George 1770-1824 DSI  Search this
Campbell, James 1666-1752 DSI  Search this
Printer:
Tournes, Samuel de  Search this
Donor:
Burndy Library DSI  Search this
Physical description:
[6], 58 pages 23 cm (4to)
Type:
Early works to 1800
Early works
Date:
1680
Topic:
Mineralogy  Search this
Precious stones  Search this
Call number:
QE392 .B79 L1680
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1016624

Cogitationes de S. Scripturae stylo ab honoratissimo Roberto Boyle nobili Anglo, & Societatis Regiae membro dignissimo

Title:
Boyle De orig. gemmarum DSI
De stylo S. Scripturae
Cogitationes de S. Scriptvrae stylo
Cogitationes de Sacrae Scripturae stylo
Cogitationes de Sacrae Scriptvrae stylo
Author:
Boyle, Robert 1627-1691,  Search this
Former owner:
Callander, George 1770-1824 DSI  Search this
Campbell, James 1666-1752 DSI  Search this
Printer:
Tournes, Samuel de  Search this
Donor:
Burndy Library DSI  Search this
Physical description:
[16], 87, [1] pages (last page blank) 23 cm (4to)
Type:
Books
Criticism, interpretation, etc
Early works
Date:
1680
Call number:
QE392 .B79 L1680
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1016627

Apparatus ad historiam naturalem sanguinis humani, ac spiritus praecipue ejusdem liquoris authore Roberto Boyle Nobili Anglo, Societatis Regiae Socio

Title:
Boyle De orig. gemmarum DSI
Historiae humani sanguinis
Apparatvs ad historiam naturalem sangvinis hvmani, ac spiritvs præcipve eivsdem liqvoris
Author:
Boyle, Robert 1627-1691,  Search this
Translator:
D. A. M.D.  Search this
Attributed translator:
Abercromby, David -1701 or 1702  Search this
Author:
Boyle, Robert 1627-1691 Memoirs for the natural history of human blood  Search this
Former owner:
Callander, George 1770-1824 DSI  Search this
Campbell, James 1666-1752 DSI  Search this
Printer:
Tournes, Samuel de  Search this
Donor:
Burndy Library DSI  Search this
Physical description:
[8], 91, [1] pages 23 cm (4to)
Type:
Early works to 1800
Early works
Date:
1686
Topic:
Blood  Search this
Medicine  Search this
Call number:
QE392 .B79 L1680
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1016648

Nova experimenta pneumatica respirationem spectantia authore Roberto Boyle Nobili Anglo, Societatis Regiae Membro Dignissimo

Title:
Boyle De orig. gemmarum DSI
Nova experimenta pneumatica de respiratione
Author:
Boyle, Robert 1627-1691,  Search this
Former owner:
Callander, George 1770-1824 DSI  Search this
Campbell, James 1666-1752 DSI  Search this
Printer:
Tournes, Samuel de  Search this
Donor:
Burndy Library DSI  Search this
Physical description:
47, [1] pages 23 cm. (4to)
Type:
Early works to 1800
Comparative Study
Early works
Date:
1686
Topic:
Respiration  Search this
Science  Search this
Respiratory Physiological Phenomena  Search this
Call number:
QE392 .B79 L1680
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1016653

Observationes de salsedine maris authore Roberto Boyle Nobili Anglo, Societatis Regiae Membro Dignissimo

Title:
Boyle De orig. gemmarum DSI
Author:
Boyle, Robert 1627-1691,  Search this
Former owner:
Callander, George 1770-1824 DSI  Search this
Campbell, James 1666-1752 DSI  Search this
Printer:
Tournes, Samuel de  Search this
Donor:
Burndy Library DSI  Search this
Physical description:
23, [1] pages (last page blank) 23 cm. (4to)
Type:
Early works to 1800
Early works
Date:
1686
Topic:
Chemistry  Search this
Drinking water  Search this
Oceanography  Search this
Physics  Search this
Seawater  Search this
Seawater--Analysis  Search this
Drinking Water  Search this
Sodium Chloride  Search this
Call number:
QE392 .B79 L1680
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1016654

Tentamen porologicum, sive ad porositatem corporum tum animalium, tum solidorum detegendam authore Roberto Boyle Nobili Anglo, Societatis Regiae Socio

Title:
Boyle De orig. gemmarum DSI
Tentamen ad porositatem corporum animalium detegendam
De corporum animalium porositate
De corporum solidorum porositate
Tentamen porologicum
Author:
Boyle, Robert 1627-1691,  Search this
Translator:
D. A. M.D.  Search this
Attributed translator:
Abercromby, David -1701 or 1702  Search this
Former owner:
Callander, George 1770-1824 DSI  Search this
Campbell, James 1666-1752 DSI  Search this
Printer:
Tournes, Samuel de  Search this
Donor:
Burndy Library DSI  Search this
Physical description:
[8], 46, [2] pages 23 cm. (4to)
Type:
Early works to 1800
Early works
Date:
1686
Topic:
Chemistry  Search this
Physics  Search this
Physiology  Search this
Porosity  Search this
Membranes  Search this
Osmosis  Search this
Call number:
QE392 .B79 L1680
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1016662

Pantograph

Maker:
Davis, Gabriel  Search this
Physical Description:
brass (instrument material)
wood (case material)
metal (hooks material)
felt (case material)
Measurements:
overall: 10.7 cm x 81.5 cm x 15 cm; 4 3/16 in x 32 1/16 in x 5 7/8 in
overall in case: 4 3/8 in x 32 1/8 in x 5 3/4 in; 11.1125 cm x 81.5975 cm x 14.605 cm
Object Name:
pantograph
Place made:
United Kingdom: England, Leeds, Leeds
Date made:
1822-1847
Subject:
Mathematics  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of the Burndy Library
ID Number:
2005.0182.8
Accession number:
2005.0182
Catalog number:
2005.0182.8
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Science & Mathematics
Pantographs
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ab-d335-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1294148

Wheatstone 5-needle telegraph unit

Associated person:
Logeman, M.  Search this
Maker:
Wheatstone, Charles  Search this
Logeman, M.  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 24 in x 17 in x 4 in; 60.96 cm x 43.18 cm x 10.16 cm
Object Name:
Telegraph receiver
Other Terms:
Telegraph receiver; Telegraphy
Place made:
United Kingdom
Date made:
about 1837
Credit Line:
from the Burndy Library
ID Number:
2005.0181.01
Catalog number:
2005.0181.01
Accession number:
2005.0181
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Electricity
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a5-3856-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_708625
Online Media:

Reis telephone transmitter

Associated person:
Reis, Philip  Search this
Maker:
Reis, Philip  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 6 1/2 in x 3 1/2 in x 7 1/2 in; 16.51 cm x 8.89 cm x 19.05 cm
Object Name:
experimental telephone
Telephone
Other Terms:
Telephone; Telephones
Date made:
about 1861
Date made:
ca 1861
Credit Line:
from the Burndy Library
ID Number:
2005.0181.08
Collector/donor number:
5L-3
Accession number:
2005.0181
Catalog number:
2005.0181.08
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Electricity
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a5-3857-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_708626
Online Media:

Emden coil and rotator

Associated person:
Emden, Alvan  Search this
Maker:
van Emden, A.  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 5 1/4 in x 12 in x 7 1/2 in; 13.335 cm x 30.48 cm x 19.05 cm
Object Name:
Motor
electric motor
Other Terms:
Motor; Magnetic Devices; Electromagnetic Devices; Electromagnetic Device
Place made:
Netherlands: North Holland, Amsterdam
Credit Line:
from the Burndy Library
ID Number:
2005.0181.05
Accession number:
2005.0181
Catalog number:
2005.0181.05
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Electricity
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a5-42ff-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_710421

Schokking telegraph register

Associated person:
Schokking, Jr., A. J.  Search this
Maker:
A. J. Schokking, Jr.  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 23.5 cm x 10.9 cm x 25.9 cm; 9 1/4 in x 4 5/16 in x 10 3/16 in
Object Name:
Telegraph
Other Terms:
Telegraph; Telegraphy
Credit Line:
from the Burndy Library
ID Number:
2005.0181.18
Collector/donor number:
5k-13
Accession number:
2005.0181
Catalog number:
2005.0181.18
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Electricity
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a5-4300-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_710422
Online Media:

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