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Guide to the Papers of David Edward Cronin
1861-1910
  MS 670.9

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on April 16, 2014
Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

 
Title: David E. Cronin Papers
Dates: 1861-1910
Abstract: This collection consists of material relating to and collected by the artist David E. Cronin, Civil War illustrator and member of the 1st N.Y. Mounted Rifles. Material includes memoirs, correspondence, and documents of Cronin and other Civil War soldiers, as well as Cronin's sketches of Civil War subjects, and a number of published volumes hand-illustrated by Cronin. The materials in this collection have been digitized and are available online to on-site researchers and to users affiliated with subscribing institutions via EBSCOhost.
Quantity: 3.5 Linear feet
Location note: Manuscript cage
Call Phrase: MS 670.9

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Biographical Note

1839 July 12 David Edward Cronin born, Greenwich, NY.
1855 Cronin moves to New York City after studying art with Alban Conant in Troy, NY. In New York, he works in a law firm, and opens a studio on Canal Street. Cronin becomes a clerk at the Bryan Gallery of Art, where he copies old masters.
[1857-1860] Cronin travels to London and France to study art.
1861-1865 During the Civil War, Cronin serves as Private, Captain, and Brevet Major in the 1st New York Mounted Rifles, a cavalry outfit stationed in eastern Virginia and North Carolina. He also serves as a staff artist for Harper's Weekly under the pseudonym Seth Eyland.
[1865]-1874 Cronin works as a journalist. In 1872, he establishes The Binghamton [N.Y.] Times, which he also edits and publishes until 1874.
1874-[late 1870s] Cronin returns to art in New York City, painting a number of works depicting army life. He also works as a lawyer in New York, then moves to Texas to become a railroad promoter.
[1879] After his railroad venture fails, Cronin returns to New York and begins his life as a professional illustrator.
1880s-1890s Cronin illustrates poems of Poe, Browning, Keats, Shelley, Byron, and Tennyson, as well as Pepys' Diary, General U.S. Grant's  Memoirs, Macaulay's  Lays of Ancient Rome.
1884 Cronin's autobiography, The Evolution of a Life, described in the Memoirs of Major Seth Eyland is published, containing numerous marginal illustrations. (Seth Eyland was Cronin's pseudonym during the Civil War when he worked as an illustrator for  Harper's Weekly.)
[c1887] Cronin meets Daniel Parish, Jr., who becomes his benefactor for nearly twenty-three years. The two cooperate on collecting and illustrating historical works, especially those relating to the Civil War.
1888-1893 He gathers material for an appendix to The Evolution of a Life, including correspondence, muster rolls, commissions, orders, and reports. This collection becomes the five bound volumes entitled War Relics and Reminiscences: An Appendix to Seth Eyland's Memoirs, by the Author.
1890 Cronin moves to Philadelphia, becoming a political cartoonist for the Philadelphia Record from 1892 to 1895.
1893-1902 The artist gathers material for the 'Cavalry Album,' his collection of correspondence, personal narratives, reports, and other items relating to cavalrymen in the Civil War.
1901-1902 Cronin illustrates the memoirs of Major W.W. Goldsborough, Confederate Army.
1902-1903 Cronin illustrates the poems of Joseph Rodman Drake, including The Culprit Fay.
1908-1910 Cronin writes and illustrates The Vest Mansion, its Historical and Romantic Associations as Confederate and Union Headquarters, 1862-1865.
1925 June 9 Cronin dies in Philadelphia.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of material relating to and collected by the artist David E. Cronin, Civil War illustrator and member of the 1st N.Y. Mounted Rifles. Material includes memoirs, correspondence, and documents of Cronin and other Civil War soldiers, as well as Cronin's sketches of Civil War subjects, and a number of published volumes hand-illustrated by Cronin.

The five-volume War Relics and Reminiscences, compiled by Cronin as an appendix to his published memoirs The Evolution of a Life, consist of illustrations by Cronin, post war-correspondence with veterans, and war-time correspondence, orders, and diary entries. The volumes detail the activities of the 1st N.Y. Mounted Rifles during the Civil War, in Virginia and North Carolina. The collection also contains material collected by Cronin related to Civil War cavalries (formerly titled the "Cavalry Album"), including correspondence, reminscences, portraits, histories, military documents, and newspaper clippings. Also included in the David E. Cronin Papers are the war reminscences of Confederate Major W.W. Goldsborough, one box of correspondence from Cronin, mostly to his patron Daniel Parish Jr., and a number of volumes hand illustrated by Cronin.

The materials in this collection have been digitized and are available online to on-site researchers and to users affiliated with subscribing institutions via EBSCOhost.

Arrangement

This collection has been organized into the following five series:

  1. Series I. War Relics and Reminiscences
  2. Series II. Cavalry Album
  3. Series III. Memoirs of W.W. Goldsborough
  4. Series IV. Correspondence
  5. Series V. Illustrated Volumes

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Budd, Francis
  • Budd, Samuel
  • Cronin, David Edward, 1839-1925. Evolution of a life
  • Drake, Joseph Rodman, 1795-1820
  • Goldsborough, W. W. (William Worthington), 1831-1901
  • Parish, Daniel
  • Parker, Edwin
  • Turner, Thomas
  • Wagner, John

Document Type

  • Correspondence
  • Diaries
  • Military records
  • Photographs
  • Portraits
  • Sketches

Subject Organizations

  • New Jersey. Cavalry
  • New York (State). Militia. Regiment, 12th.
  • United States. Army. Cavalry, 6th
  • United States. Army. New York Infantry Regiment, 56th (1861-1865)
  • United States. Army. Pennslyvania Cavalry Regiment, 15th (1862-1865)

Subject Topics

  • Harper's weekly
  • Soldiers' writings
  • Soldiers--Conduct of life
  • Soldiers--Recreation
  • Veterans' writings, American--New York (State)

Subject Places

  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Biography
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Cavalry operations
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Medical care
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Portraits
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Regimental histories
  • United States--Politics and government--1861-1865

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Administrative Information

Provenance

Donation, Daniel Parish, Jr.

War Relics and Reminiscences: An Appendix to Seth Eyland's Memoirs, by the Author donated by the Association of Veterans of the First New York Mounted Rifles, 1893.

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers.

Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to twenty exposures of stable, unbound material per day. (Researchers may not accrue unused copy amounts from previous days.)

Use Restrictions

Permission to quote from this collection in a publication must be requested and granted in writing. Send permission requests, citing the name of the collection from which you wish to quote, to

Library Director
The New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West/>
New York, NY 10024

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as David E. Cronin Papers, The New-York Historical Society.

Related Material at The New-York Historical Society

Material relating to the 1st N.Y. Mounted Rifles can be found in the Regiments collection. The collection War 1861-1865 contains a number of letters written by Cronin. See Manuscript Department card catalog for details.

The Library holds copies of Bibliography Relating to the Works Hand Illustrated by David Edward Cronin;  The Evolution of a Life, described in the Memoirs of Major Seth Eyland, and a typewritten copy of Cronin's article "When Union Square Was Away Uptown." It also has a copy of  Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant illustrated by Cronin.

The Library also holds two copies of History of the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry which was Recruited and Known as the Anderson Cavalry in the Rebellion of 1861-1865, the published version of the draft found in Series II.

In addition, the Library has W.W. Goldsborough's The Maryland Line in the Confederate States Army.

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Container List

Series I. War Relics and Reminiscences

Scope and Contents note

"War Relics and Reminiscences: An Appendix to Seth Eyland's Memoirs, by the Author" are five scrapbook volumes containing illustrations (black & white and color); post-war correspondence; and war-time orders, diary entries (transcriptions of), and correspondence, compiled by Cronin c 1888-1893 as an appendix to his The Evolution of a Life, Described in the Memoirs of Major Seth Eyland. The five scrapbook volumes contain numerous references to the published memoirs. An item-level calendar exists for War Relics and Reminiscences, see Manuscript Department staff.

The volumes detail the activities of the 1st New York Mounted Rifles during the Civil War, in Virginia along the York and James Rivers, and in North Carolina. This cavalry unit participated in the following campaigns: Deserted House (Jan. 1863), Longstreet's seige of Suffolk (May 1863), Bottom's Bridge (Feb. 1864), Drewry's Bluff or Fort Darlington (May 1864), and The Darbytown Road (Oct. 1864). Material also describes daily routines such as picket duty, orderly and courier duty, and scouting patrols on the Peninsula. Some skirmishes with Confederate bushwhackers and the looting activities of the Mounted Rifles are also described.

War Relics and Reminiscences contain four large collections of war-time correspondence from soldiers to their friends and family, which detail camp life, field duties, recreation, diet, medical care, desertions and prisoners, bounties and enlistments, politics, slavery, and skirmishes. These collections are the Samuel and Francis Budd Letters, the Edwin Parker Letters, the Thomas Turner Letters, and the John Wagner Letters. See calendar for locations and indexes for these collections.

Material in the five volumes is arranged alphabetically by commissioned officers, then alphabetically by non-commissioned officers and soldiers.

Container 1     Title Date
Volume: I War Relics and Reminiscences
1861-1892
Volume: II War Relics and Reminiscences
1861-1892
Volume: III War Relics and Reminiscences
1861-1892
Volume: IV War Relics and Reminiscences
1861-1892
Volume: V War Relics and Reminiscences
1861-1892

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Series II. Cavalry Album

Scope and Contents note

This series contains mostly items related to Civil War cavalry units collected by Cronin, then inlaid and bound together as the "Cavalry Album." The pages were, at some point, disbound and foldered. The folder level arrangement of the album has been retained, though the original order of the items within the volume is unclear.

Some material in the Cavalry Album is arranged alphabetically by soldier, and includes correspondence, reminiscences, addresses, military documents, and published items. See container list for names. Cronin's folder contains a portrait and military documents. Some post-war correspondence (both Union and Confederate) has been filed separately.

Further material relating to soldiers, mostly portraits, is arranged by cavalry. Units from New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey are represented, as well as U.S. Cavalry. In addition, the Cavalry Album contains several portraits of army nurses, images of army camps, inventory reports, muster rolls, dispatches, orders, and newspaper clippings, especially those related to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

This series also contains an incomplete draft manuscript of the "History of the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry."

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Balmer, B.F.
"My Escape from Andersonville"

1904, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Barnett, G.A.
Letters from Camp Butler, Newport News

1861
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Cronin, David E.
1861-1906
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Dean, William
Orders (bulk)

1858-1868
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Hunterson, John C.
Includes address at Gettysburg (1890)

1890, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Kleinz, Christian
Military documents

1863-1866
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Lyon, Arthur P.
Article about Lyon, 15th Penn.

1905
Box: 2 Folder : 1 McMullan, Joseph A.
Letters

1862
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Murray, George
Letters to Cronin

1861-1862
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Pauli, Henry A.
1862-1864, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Platt, George C.
Reminiscences, portrait

1899, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Richardson, G.W.
Passes

1862-1863
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Smith, Edwin J.
Portrait, reminiscences, scattered wartime diary pages

1861-1864, 1894
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Spang, William
"Search for Jefferson Davis and the capture of General Braxton Bragg"

1865, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 1 Speese, A.J.
Letters, address given at Gettysburg (1901)

1895-1901
Box: 3 Folder : 2 Strang, E.B.
 Sunshine and Shadows of the Late Civil War (1898)

1898, 1902
Box: 3 Folder : 3 Tailof, [Iban]
Letters to Cronin

1861-1862
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Thomas, Hampton S.
"Some Personal Reminscences of Service in the Cavalry of the Army of the Potomac"

1889
Box: 3 Folder : 5 Uber, George W.
Letters to Cronin, portrait

1899
Box: 3 Folder : 6 Wilkeson
Letters to Cronin

Undated
Box: 3 Folder : 7 War-time correspondence, Misc.
1861-1865, undated
Box: 4 Folder : 1 Post-war Correspondence and Reminiscences
1892-1905, undated
Box: 4 Folder : 2 Post-war Correspondence and Reminscences
1892-1905, undated
Box: 4 Folder : 3 Confederate Post-war Correspondence
1901
Box: 5 Folder : 1 "History of the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry"--p. 2-98
[1905]
Box: 5 Folder : 2 "History of the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry"--p. 100-200
[1905]
Box: 6 Folder : 1 "History of the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry"--p. 206-300
[1905]
Box: 6 Folder : 2 "History of the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry"--p. 301-399
[1905]
Box: 6 Folder : 3 "History of the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry"--p. 400-499
[1905]
Box: 7 Folder : 1 "History of the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry"--p. 500-599
[1905]
Box: 7 Folder : 2 "History of the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry"--p. 600-700
[1905]
Box: 8 Folder : 1 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry--Reminiscences
1904
Box: 8 Folder : 2 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry--Reminscences
[1904]
Box: 9 Folder : 1 1st N.Y. Mounted Rifles--Portraits
1890, undated
Box: 9 Folder : 2 10th N.Y. Cavalry--Portraits, Proceedings of 36th Reunion
1890, 1897, undated
Box: 9 Folder : 3 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry--Portraits
1890, 1898, undated
Box: 9 Folder : 4 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry--"Constitution and By-Laws of Company H, Third Pennsylvania Cavalry with A Brief History and Muster Roll." Annotated by A.J. Speese
1907
Box: 10 Folder : 1 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry--Portraits
Undated
Box: 10 Folder : 2 5th Pennsylvania Cavalry--Portraits (by company)
1895, undated
Box: 10 Folder : 3 6th, 8th, 11th, 13th, 15th, 20th Pennyslvania Cavalry--Portraits
Undated
Box: 10 Folder : 4 6th U.S. Cavalry--History
Undated
Box: 11 Folder : 1 U.S. Cavalry--Portraits
Undated
Box: 11 Folder : 2 N.J. Cavalry--Portraits
Undated
Box: 11 Folder : 3 Misc. Regiments--Portraits
Undated
Box: 11 Folder : 4 Confederates--Portraits
Undated
Box: 11 Folder : 5 Portraits--Misc.
1899, undated
Box: 11 Folder : 6 Photographic Portraits--Misc.
Undated
Box: 11 Folder : 7 Nurses--Portraits (bulk)
1905, undated
Box: 11 Folder : 8 Camp Scenes--Photographs
1864-1866
Box: 11 Folder : 9 Camp Scenes
1861-1865
Box: 12 Folder : 1 Inventory Reports and Muster Rolls
1864-1866
Box: 12 Folder : 2 Dispatches
1863
Box: 12 Folder : 3 Orders
1862-1865
Box: 12 Folder : 4 Newspaper Clippings
1882-1900, undated
Box: 13 Folder : 1 Newspaper Clippings--Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
1896, 1902, undated
Box: 13 Folder : 2 Map--Capt. Wallen's Exploration, 1859 (Or, Ut, Id)
[1859]
Box: 13 Folder : 3 Misc. Items
1863-1907

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Series III. Memoirs of W.W. Goldsborough

Scope and Contents note

This series contains handwritten memoirs entitled "War Reminiscences" by Major W.W. [William Worthington] Goldsborough of the Confederate Army, 2nd Maryland Infantry. The original pages have been inlaid, and Goldsborough added to his narrative in the margins of the oversized pages, often creating two separate narratives on one page.

Goldsborough's memoirs discuss John Brown's raid, an aborted trip to Baltimore by Lincoln, unrest in Baltimore at the start of the war, Confederate army camp life, activities in MD and VA, truce meetings, and the battle of Gettysburg.

Also included are numerous newspaper clippings of Civil War reminiscences written by Goldsborough for the Philadelphia Record [1899-1900], which detail his experiences in 2nd Bull Run, Malvern, Antietam, Gettysburg, and Harper's Ferry, as well as his capture and life as a prisoner at Fort Delaware, Fort Pulaski, and Morris Island. The articles are mounted and annotated by Goldsborough.

This series also contains portraits of Goldsborough, both sketches and photographs, a photograph of a 2nd Maryland Infantry C.S.A. memorial, and several obituaries of Goldsborough.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 14 Folder : 1 W.W. Goldsborough
[1901]
Box: 14 Folder : 2 W.W. Goldsborough
[1901]

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Series IV. Correspondence

Scope and Contents note

The bulk of correspondence is letters from Cronin to his patron and friend, Daniel Parish, Jr., 1887-1909. Letters discuss Cronin's work on Evolution of a Life, the Cavalry Album,  The Culprit Fay, his bibliography, Goldsborough's memoirs, and other endeavors, sometimes detailing the lives of particular personages found in his works and reminiscing about his service in the Civil War. A number of letters deal with his relationship with Parish, illuminating aspects of their occasionally contentious patron-artist relationship, especially financial ones. Cronin also muses on the life of the artist in his correspondence.

Letters to Parish also cover a 1901 journey by Cronin to Virginia, which include observations on the South and racial issues. In addition, a number of letters mention The New-York Historical Society, and its new building on Central Park West.

This series also contains one folder of correspondence to Cronin from others regarding his work, as well as a few letters from Cronin to others, including one to his sister written from Virginia in August, 1865, and a few letters between others.

Also included is a number of postcards and photos, mostly of Williamsburg, Va. and some notes of Cronin's (sent to Parish) entitled "Phila. May 13th 1897 Notes of a conversation held between F.A. Whitehead (Lincoln, Del.) And D.E. Cronin at the Reading Terminal Station, between trains, yesterday, May 12th. Submitted to Mr. Parish for his information and guidance in the matter of the regimental history, while reminding him that my motives are personal vindication and self defense."

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 15 Folder : 1 Letters to Daniel Parish, Jr.
1887-1889
Box: 15 Folder : 2 Letters to Daniel Parish, Jr.
1890-1891
Box: 15 Folder : 3 Letters to Daniel Parish, Jr.
1892-1895
Box: 15 Folder : 4 Letters to Daniel Parish, Jr.
1896-1900
Box: 15 Folder : 5 Letters to Daniel Parish, Jr.
1901
Box: 15 Folder : 6 Letters to Daniel Parish, Jr.
1902 Jan.-June
Box: 15 Folder : 7 Letters to Daniel Parish, Jr.
1902 July-Dec.
Box: 15 Folder : 8 Letters to Daniel Parish, Jr.
1903
Box: 15 Folder : 9 Letters to Daniel Parish, Jr.
1904
Box: 15 Folder : 10 Letters to Daniel Parish, Jr.
1905
Box: 15 Folder : 11 Letters to Daniel Parish, Jr.
1906
Box: 15 Folder : 12 Letters to Daniel Parish, Jr.
1907
Box: 15 Folder : 13 Letters to Daniel Parish, Jr.
1909
Box: 15 Folder : 14 Other Correspondence
1865, 1881-1909, undated
Box: 15 Folder : 15 Correspondence--fragments
Undated
Box: 15 Folder : 16 Notes (sent to Parish)
1897
Box: 15 Folder : 17 Postcards and Photographs
1910, undated

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Series V. Illustrated Volumes

Scope and Contents note

This series contains volumes illustrated by Cronin, including two copies of Joseph Rodman Drakes's poem The Culprit Fay, a copy of a limited edition  Bibliography Relating to the Works Hand Illustrated by David Edward Cronin, and  The Vest Mansion: Its Historical and Romantic Associations As Confederate and Union Headquarters, 1862-1865, written and illustrated by Cronin.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 16 Folder : 1 Cronin's illustrations for The Culprit Fay, by Joseph Rodman Drake (1902 edition)
Unbound
Also manuscript copy of poem

1902, undated
Box: 16 Folder : 2 The Culprit Fay, by Joseph Rodman Drake (1835 edition), illustrated by Cronin
1835, undated
Box: 16 Folder : 3 Bibliography Relating to the Works Hand Illustrated by David Edward Cronin
Illustrated by Cronin

1903
Box: 16 Folder : 4 Illustrated title page for Vol. 6 of The Evolution of a Life
Loose page titled "Chapter XXII"

Undated
Box: 17 The Vest Mansion: Its Historical and Romantic Associations As Confederate and Union Headquarters, 1862-1865 by Cronin
Unbound

1908-1910
Volume: The Evolution of a Life, Described in the Memoirs of Major Seth Eyland
Cronin's autobiography, hand illustrated

1884 (published)
Volume: The Evolution of a Life, Described in the Memoirs of Major Seth Eyland
Cronin's autobiography, hand illustrated

1884 (published)

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N-YHS Exhibit Labels

Scope and Contents note

Labels for an exhibit of Cronin's work, possibly Jan.-Mar., 1941

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 13 Folder : 4 N-YHS Exhibit Labels
Undated

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