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Guide to the Buckingham Smith papers and collected materials, 1529-1941, n.d. MS 2413

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


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Julia Lipkins

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on June 16, 2016 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Contents Note

The bulk of the collection consists of Smith's own notes and correspondence, in addition to his collection of manuscripts and maps, mostly related to the history of Florida.

Topics discussed in Smith's correspondence include the acquisition of manuscripts and rare books; his service as a diplomat in Mexico and Spain; and the history of St. Augustine, Florida. Correspondents include Joseph Henry, scientist and secretary of the Smithsonian Institution; George Henry Moore, historian and librarian at N-YHS; and Francis Parkman, Jr., historian and trustee of the Boston Athenæum.

Smith's interest in Spanish colonization and Native American history is found throughout the collection. The collection includes original documents and transcriptions of the Timucuan language; dictionaries of Native American languages; and correspondence from Spanish Catholic missionaries about Native Americans. In addition, the collection includes hand-drawn replications of 17th-18th century maps of Florida and Mexico. Evidence of slavery and the slave trade can be found in correspondence from the mercantile firm Panton, Leslie & Company, and the "The Story of Uncle Jack," which is an account of one of Smith's slaves.