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.