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Guide to the Osborn Family Papers
1832-1936
 MS 474

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


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Susan Kriete

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on December 11, 2015

Container List

Series I: Family papers

Scope and Contents Note

This series consists primarily of correspondence spanning several generations of families related to Henry Fairfield Osborn.

Materials are organized into five subseries. Subseries I.1, Correspondence of Sturges, Cady, Perry and Osborn family members, includes correspondence of HFO's maternal grandparents, Jonathan Sturges and Mary (Cady) Sturges; his parents, William Osborn and Virginia (Sturges) Osborn; and various other members of the Cady family. Henry Fairfield Osborn's personal correspondence with his wife, Lucretia ("Lulu") Perry Osborn, is also included, along with other Perry family correspondence, primarily between Lulu and her mother, Josephine Perry.

Early correspondence between Jonathan and Mary Sturges describes transportation and travel, food, health and medical care in the 1830's.

Cady family correspondence includes letters between Mary (Cady) Sturges and her mother Elizabeth Cady, her aunt Olive Cady, and her sister Elizabeth Cady (later Mrs. Hamilton Murray). Letters span the period from 1832 to 1888, and discuss family news, health and events of daily life.

Correspondence of the children of Jonathan and Mary Sturges includes letters by and between Virginia Osborn's siblings and their families, including a letter from J.P. Morgan, who married Virginia's sister Amelia Sturges. Amelia died of tuberculosis shortly after their marriage, and Morgan's letter to Jonathan Sturges, written December 28, 1861, describes her critical condition.

Of particular interest is a folder of letters between Mary Sturges and her Fredericksburg friend Jane Beale, who remained in Virginia during the Civil War. The letters were written after the war, and describe the difficulties the confederate Beale family endured during and after the conflict.

Subseries I.2, Correspondence of Osborn family children, contains correspondence of HFO's four surviving children (Virginia, Perry, Fairfield Jr., and Josephine) from early childhood, when they were away at boarding school, to adulthood, and includes many letters from their travels abroad.

Subseries I.3, Other family papers and photographs, includes genealogical and biographical information about the various families; a small number of business, and legal papers, including wills and deeds and leases for family property; several folders of ephemera and photographs, including a few of HFO on an expedition in Egypt; and passports and visas issued to Henry and Lulu Osborn in the 1920's and 1930's. This subseries also includes a poignant memorial album for HFO's sister Virginia Reed Osborn, who died when she was only 20 years old.

Subseries I.4, Correspondence and clippings of Lucretia Perry Osborn, includes materials relating to Lulu Osborn's activities outside the family circle, including several boxes of correspondence and clippings, primarily concerning her 1927 monograph Washington in His Own Words.

Subseries I.5, Journals, consists of bound journals, including an 1868 datebook of William Osborn (from Europe), several diaries and "common place books" of Virginia Osborn (1850-1851, 1871, 1875), and an 1883 journal of Lulu Perry.

Subseries I.1: Correspondence of Sturges, Cady, Perry and Osborn family members

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Letters between Jonathan Sturges and Mary (Cady) Sturges
1832-1837, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Cady family correspondence

Scope and Contents Note

Includes letters to and from Elizabeth Cady (mother of Mary Cady Sturges') and between her daughters

1832-1883, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Correspondence of Mary (Cady) Sturges
1851-1882, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Letters from Jane Beale to Mary (Cady) Sturges
1865-1882
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Sturges' family correspondence

Scope and Contents Note

Includes letters to and from the children of Jonathan and Mary Sturges, and their spouses (including J.P. Morgan, who married Amelia Sturges).

1854-1883, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Other family correspondence; unidentified correspondents
1858-1885, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Family correspondence of Virginia Osborn
1860-1884, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 1 General correspondence of Virginia and William Osborn

Scope and Contents Note

Includes letters from Frederic Church (one illustrated), his wife Isabel, and Worthington Wittredge

1869-1899, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Letters from Virginia Osborn to Henry Fairfield Osborn
1873-1883
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Letters from Virginia Osborn to Henry Fairfield Osborn
1884-1901
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Letters from Virginia Osborn to Henry Fairfield Osborn
undated
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Correspondence of William Osborn and Henry Fairfield Osborn
1863-1900, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 1 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to William Henry Osborn and Virginia Osborn

Related Archival Materials Note

For transcriptions of some of Henry Fairfield Osborn's letters to his parents, see Box 30, Folder 1.

1875-1896, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 2 Correspondence of Henry Fairfield Osborn and other family members; other early letters of Henry Fairfield Osborn

Related Archival Materials Note

For transcriptions of some of Henry Fairfield Osborn's letters to his brother William Church Osborn, see Box 30, Folder 2.

1871-1911, undated
Box: 3 Folder : 3 Letters from Virginia Osborn to Lulu (Perry) Osborn
1879-1891
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Letters from Virginia Osborn to Lulu (Perry) Osborn
1893-1901
Box: 3 Folder : 5-6 Letters from Virginia Osborn to Lulu (Perry) Osborn

Scope and Contents Note

Some letters refer to Frederic Church and Olana.

Also includes one letter from Jonathan Sturges to Lulu Perry.

undated
Box: 4 Folder : 1 Letters from Josephine Adams Perry to Lulu (Perry) Osborn
1883-1887
Box: 4 Folder : 3 Letters from Josephine Adams Perry to Lulu (Perry) Osborn
1888-1919
Box: 4 Folder : 3 Letters from Josephine Adams Perry to Lulu (Perry) Osborn
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 4 Letters from Josephine Adams Perry to Lulu (Perry) Osborn
undated
Box: 4 Folder : 3 Letters from Alexander James Perry to Lulu (Perry) Osborn
1876-1888, undated
Box: 4 Folder : 5 Letters from Josephine Adams Perry to Henry Fairfield Osborn; other Perry family correspondence
1881-1887, undated
Box: 4 Folder : 6 Letters from Lulu (Perry) Osborn to Josephine Adams Perry and Virginia Osborn
1857, 1896, undated
Box: 5 Folder : 1 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1881 January - April
Box: 5 Folder : 2 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1881 May
Box: 5 Folder : 3 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1881 July - December
Box: 5 Folder : 4 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1882 - 1885
Box: 5 Folder : 5 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1886-1889
Box: 5 Folder : 6 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1890-1893
Box: 5 Folder : 7 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
Box: 6 Folder : 1 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1894-1901
Box: 6 Folder : 2 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1902-1904
Box: 6 Folder : 3 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1906-1907
Box: 6 Folder : 4 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1908-1912
Box: 6 Folder : 5 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
1913-1916, 1920-1927
Box: 6 Folder : 6-7 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
undated
Box: 7 Folder : 1-3 Letters from Henry Fairfield Osborn to Lulu Osborn
undated
Box: 7 Folder : 4 Letters from Lulu Osborn to Henry Fairfield Osborn
1881
Box: 7 Folder : 5 Letters from Lulu Osborn to Henry Fairfield Osborn
1882-1889
Box: 7 Folder : 6 Letters from Lulu Osborn to Henry Fairfield Osborn
1890-1893
Box: 7 Folder : 7 Letters from Lulu Osborn to Henry Fairfield Osborn
1894-1918
Box: 8 Folder : 1-7 Letters from Lulu Osborn to Henry Fairfield Osborn
undated
Box: 8A Folder : 1 General correspondence of Lulu Osborn
1875-1922
Box: 8A Folder : 2 General correspondence of Lulu Osborn
1923-1929
Box: 8A Folder : 3 General correspondence of Lulu Osborn
undated

Subseries I.2: Correspondence of Osborn family children

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 9 Folder : 1 Correspondence of Virginia Osborn (daughter)
1885-1900
Box: 9 Folder : 2 Correspondence of Virginia Osborn (daughter)
1901-1904
Box: 9 Folder : 3 Correspondence of Virginia Osborn (daughter)
1905=1926
Box: 9 Folder : 4-5 Correspondence of Virginia Osborn (daughter)
undated
Box: 10 Folder : 1-3 Correspondence of Virginia Osborn (daughter)
undated
Box: 10 Folder : 4 Correspondence of A. Perry Osborn (son)
1897-1932, undated
Box: 10 Folder : 5 Correspondence, Henry Fairfield Osborn, Jr. (son)
1890-1903
Box: 10 Folder : 6 Correspondence, Henry Fairfield Osborn, Jr. (son)
1905-1928
Box: 11 Folder : 1-3 Correspondence, Henry Fairfield Osborn, Jr. (son)
undated
Box: 11 Folder : 4 Correspondence, Josephine Osborn (daughter)
1896-1907
Box: 11 Folder : 5 Correspondence, Josephine Osborn (daughter)
1907-1908
Box: 12 Folder : 1 Correspondence, Josephine Osborn (daughter)
1908-1921
Box: 12 Folder : 2 Correspondence, Josephine Osborn (daughter)
1926-1932
Box: 12 Folder : 5 Correspondence, Josephine Osborn (daughter)
undated
Box: 12 Folder : 6 Correspondence "P.W." (friend of family?)
undated
Box: 12 Folder : 7 Correspondence and ephemera relating to education of Henry Fairfield Osborn's grandchildren
1932-1935

Subseries I.3: Other family papers and photographs

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 13 Folder : 1 Deeds and mortgages
1818-1897
Box: 13 Folder : 2 Business papers, William Henry Osborn
1870's
Box: 13 Folder : 2 Checks, American Exchange National Bank
1880's
Box: 13 Folder : 3 Estate and wills, William Henry Osborn and Virginia Osborn
1868-1895
Box: 13 Folder : 4 Biographical materials, William Henry Osborn
1920's-1930's, undated
Box: 30 Folder : 7 Biographical materials, William Henry Osborn
Box: 13 Folder : 5 Biographical materials and tributes, Virginia Osborn
1910-1914
Box: 13 Folder : 6 Memberships and charitable work, Virginia Osborn

Scope and Contents Note

Includes material relating to the Training School for Nurses, Army Relief Society, New York Cooking School, and New York Philharmonic

1903-1928
Box: 13 Folder : 7 Genealogical and biographical materials, Sturges family
1894-1922
Box: 14 Folder : 1 Program for dinner in honor of Jonathan Sturges; Poem dedicated to Mary (Cady) Sturges
1868, 1886
Box: 14 Folder : 2 Genealogical and biographical materials, Perry family
Box: 14 Folder : 3-4 Genealogical and biographical materials, Osborn family
Box: 14 Folder : 5 Histories of Fairfield, Connecticut, by Henry Fairfield Osborn and Henry Sturges
1910, 1935
Box: 14 Folder : 6 Passports and visas, Henry Fairfield Osborn and Lulu Osborn
1920's-1930's
Box: 14 Folder : 7-8 Assorted ephemera (includes calling cards, baptism cards, Christmas cards, programs, and other materials)
Box: 31 Folder : 3 Memorial scrapbook of materials relating to HFO's sister Virginia Sturges Osborn (1854-1874)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes condolence letters, reminescences, a lock of hair and a childhood photograph.

circa 1875
Box: 15 Folder : Lantern slides from lecture on Fairfield, Connecticut
undated
Box: 15 Folder : Film reel labeled "Garrison 1932"
1932
Box: 15 Folder : 1 Photographs of Henry Fairfield Osborn and associates

Scope and Contents Note

Includes lock of hair and baby photo of HFO, as well as photos from various trips and expeditions.

1877, 1907, 1913, 1921, undated
Box: 15 Folder : 2 Photographs of family members and others; unidentified photographs
undated
Box: 15 Folder : 3-4 Requests for photographs and related correspondence
1920's-1930's

Subseries I.4: Correspondence and clippings of Lucretia Perry Osborn

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 16 Folder : 1 Correspondence with Charles Scribner's Sons Publishers
1927-1928
Box: 16 Folder : 2 Correspondence regarding book research
1922-1929
Box: 16 Folder : 3 Letters acknowledging receipt of book
1928
Box: 16 Folder : 4-6 Ephemera relating to book research (publications, pamphlets, event flyers)
Box: 16 Folder : 7 Research notes
Box: 16 Folder : 8 Articles and other writings of Lulu Perry
undated
Box: 17 Folder : 1 News clippings: reviews
1928
Box: 17 Folder : 2-3 News clippings: research
Box: 17 Folder : 4 Miscellaneous news clippings and poetry
Box: 18 Folder : 1 Miscellaneous news clippings and poetry
Box: 18 Folder : 2 Clippings and pamphlets relating to Great Britain/WWI
1910's-1920's

Subseries I.5: Journals

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 18 Volume : 1 Date book, William Osborn
1868
Box: 18 Volume : 2 Journal, Virginia Osborn
1851
Box: 18 Volume : 3 Journal, Virginia Osborn
1871
Box: 18 Volume : 4 Journal, Virginia Osborn
1875
Box: 18 Volume : 5 Commonplace book (school), Virginia Osborn
1844
Box: 18 Volume : 6 Commonplace book (school), Virginia Osborn
undated
Box: 18 Volume : 7 Religious journal, Virginia Osborn (notes for Bible School?)
1876
Box: 17 Volume : 8 Journal, Lulu Perry
1883
Box: 18 Volume : 9 "Recollections of a Happy Life" by Elizabeth Christophers Hobson

Scope and Contents Note

Includes references to Virginia Osborn, a friend of the author

1916
Box: 18 Folder : 3 Extra pages of "Recollections of a Happy Life"

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