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Guide to the Papers of Aaron Vanderbilt
1835-1979 (bulk 1863-1913)
  MS 654

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

@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Jan Hilley

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

Scope and Content Note

Materials contained in the scrapbook include correspondence, both personal and official; military orders and reports; descriptions of battles; accounts and tables; drawings; maps; certificates and commissions; receipts; illustrations; a wide variety of newspaper clippings (more than fifty); and miscellaneous items such as invitations, menus and programs. The scrapbook contents are not consistently arranged chronologically or topically. A typewritten transcript describes the material on each page although there is a discrepancy in the page numbering. The transcript also describes most of the loose material within the scrapbook. There are a few items near the back (receipts, portions of a hand drawn map, several illustrations) that are not included in the transcript. Many of the letters and clippings are in poor condition.

Items similar to those in the scrapbook are contained in the folders of Box 1 (e.g., letters, military orders, and sections of newspapers). Quite a few photocopies of letters and orders are also included. The correspondence and orders are arranged chronologically.

Some of the collection's highlights include:

  1. Civil War battle descriptions and materials that provide details from a Union navy perspective.
  2. A significant amount of Confederate material such as official correspondence regarding potential strategies, food for prisoners, and a copy of a letter from Robert E. Lee to the General Command of the U.S. Army concerning a prisoner transfer; a "rewritten" journal describing one day's activity (April 27,1863) in the House of Representatives; a number or orders and printed messages from the president (Jefferson Davis); a tax assessment table by state; signed petitions from the Tunker and Mennonite Churches requesting exemption from military service; and 1864 Proceedings of the Congress of the Confederacy.
  3. A number of political cartoons in the form of tour cards.
  4. A copy of an 1854 Treaty between the United States and the Ottoe and Missouria Indians.
  5. Wide variety of newspaper clippings related to such topics as the Civil War, revolution in France (1870), the 1867 Fenian uprising, loss of the ship Mary A. Boardman in 1866, leading rich men in New York City, plans for making docks and wet basins in the East River (1868), physiology of the earth (1867) and Vanderbilt's obituaries.
  6. A description of Vanderbilt in a handwritten leaflet - "Know Thyself PHRENOLOGICAL CHARACTER of Aaron Vanderbilt given at Fowler and Wells' Phrenological Cabinet, No. 389 Broadway, New York by Nelson Sizer, Practical Phrenologist. May 22, 1866." Printed on the back of the document are the Principles of Phrenology.


Folders arranged by material type.