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Guide to the Scrapbooks of Charles Simpson
1864-1904
  MS 2405

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


@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Gabrielle Sanchez

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 04, 2011
Description is in English.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of two scrapbooks. The first, titled "Ancestral Records of the Simpson Family and of their Kindred by Marriage, from the Seventeenth Century to the Present Time," consists primarily of autobiographical accounts written by Charles, Julia, and Edward Simpson. Charles describes his childhood in Sweden, his arduous trip to the United States, his brief service in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War, and his successful career as a real estate agent. He also explains his decision to have his son educated in Europe, and describes his numerous trips overseas. Finally, he provides a great deal of detail about some of the illnesses he suffered later in life. Julia's brief account focuses on her childhood and young adulthood in Utica, New York and New York City. Edward's autobiography, written at the age of twenty-eight, describes his childhood in New York City, his schooling in Europe and at Packard's Business College, and his employment subsequent to his graduation. The autobiographies are accompanied by a few maps and a great many photographs of New York City, the family, their trips abroad, and their home. This volume also contains a detailed family tree, tracing the Simpson family to seventeenth-century Sweden, and the Wolff family to eighteenth-century France and Germany.

The second volume, titled "Miscellaneous Records of the Simpson Family and of their Kindred by Marriage. Book Number One." contains letters, photographs, legal documents, receipts, sketches, and other materials collected by the members of the Simpson family. Charles Simpson was an amateur photographer, and the scrapbook contains a great many photographs of New York City, including Coney Island and the Statue of Liberty, as well as photographs of Italy, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Egypt, Turkey, and other destinations the family visited in the 1890s. In addition, Charles was a member of the Society of Amateur Photographers. A few articles which he published in The American Amateur Photographer are inserted in the scrapbook. Also included are ticket stubs, currency, travel itineraries, maps, and postcards from various foreign countries. Materials relating to Charles' business as a real estate agent include some photographs of his shop, business cards, and some financial papers. Among the official documents are Charles' passports, his U.S. citizenship papers, and Edward's birth certificate. There are also many items related to Edward's schooling, including his report cards from his grammar school in New York, assignments he completed for his German school in New York, report cards from his school in Dresden, and assignments and report cards from Packard's Business College.