Collection inventory

Finding Aids
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Mordecai Family papers

An inventory of their papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Mordecai Family.
Title: Mordecai Family papers
Inclusive Dates: 1822-1899
Quantity: 0.3 linear feet
Abstract: Letters and memorabilia of a North Carolina family. Correspondents include Sara Hays Mordecai, Alfred Mordecai, Miriam Gratz, Mary C. Longstreet, Sara Miley, and George C. Richards.
Language: Bulk in English, one item in French
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
http://scrc.syr.edu

Biographical History

The Mordecais were a prominent North Carolina family. Alfred Mordecai, the family's most well-known member, was a distinguished engineer and soldier in the U.S. Army. After graduating first in his class at West Point, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1823. In 1825 he became assistant engineer in charge of construction at Fort Monroe, Virginia, and he went on to become assistant to the chief of engineers. He was commissioned captain in the ordnance department upon its creation in 1832. Mordecai commanded two arsenals and became a member of the ordnance board. In 1854 he was commissioned major in the ordnance department. He visited Mexico and the Crimea, and authored numerous technical papers.

On the outbreak of the Civil War, Mordecai decided that he could not fight for either side so he resigned from the Army in May of 1861 and became a teacher of mathematics in Philadelphia. In 1863 he became assistant engineer of the Mexico and Pacific Railroad, and from 1867-1887 was treasurer and secretary of canal and coal companies controlled by the Pennsylvania Railroad Company.

Alfred Mordecai married Sara Hays in 1836. They had six children, one of whom (Alfred Mordecai, Jr.) fought for the Union during the Civil War.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Mordecai Family Papers consist of approximately forty items of correspondence and a few pieces of memorabilia. These papers date from 1822-1899.

Correspondence contains only two letters from Alfred; his wife Sara is the most frequent correspondent. Other members of the Mordecai family are also represented. An index to the correspondence appears at the end of this finding aid.

Memorabilia includes newspaper clippings on Alfred Mordecai's death, a marriage certificate, and a photograph of Sara Hays Mordecai. Also present is a legend of a map of St. Petersburg, Russia, autographed by Alfred Mordecai.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged chronologically. An index to the correspondence appears at the end of this finding aid.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings

Genres and Forms

Correspondence.
Photoprints.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Mordecai Family Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Some material purchased, 1963; some transferred from Kohen Collection, 1969.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: --
Date: circa 1980
Revision history: 10 Oct 2008 - converted to EAD (MRC); 5 Jan 2017 - index code fixed (MRC); 9 Aug 2017 - rehoused (MS)

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Inventory

Correspondence
Box 1 [General] 1822
Box 1 [General] 1829
Box 1 [General] 1835
Box 1 [General] 1837
Box 1 [General] 1840
Box 1 [General] 1846
Box 1 [General] 1847
Box 1 [General] 1865
Box 1 [General] 1883
Box 1 [General] 1886
Box 1 [General] 1891
Box 1 [General] 1896-1899 (4 folders)
Box 1 [General] undated (2 folders)
Box 1 Envelopes
Memorabilia
Box 1 Miscellaneous undated
Box 1 Explication du Plan de St. Petersbourg 1853
Box 1 Marriage certificate, Sarah H. Mordecai 1892
Box 1 Newspaper clippings 1886-1887
Box 1 Photograph, Sarah H. Mordecai undated

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Selected index to correspondence

Index is alphabetical by sender.

  • Mordecai, Sally : undated, West Point, New York, to Sara Hays Mordecai
  • Whention, J.O. : 1865 Mar 7, ----, to Alfred Mordecai
  • ---, --- : undated, Philadelphia, to Sarah Hays Mordecai; undated, ---, ---
  • ---, Ellen : 1837 Jun 11, Peterburg, Virginia, to Alfred Mordecai
  • ---, Julia : 1837 Jan 22, Richmond, to Sarah Hays Mordecai
  • ---, Rosa : 1837 Sep 23, Philadelphia, to Sarah Hays Mordecai
  • ----, Sally : undated, Leavenworth, to Sara Hays Mordecai
  • B---, S--- : 1846 Mar 10, Copenhagen (Denmark), to Sarah Hays Mordecai
  • E---, Ellen Hays : 1829 Mar 3, ---, to Sarah Hays Mordecai; 1835 Sep 22, Philadelphia, to Sarah Hays Mordecai
  • Edwards, J.L. : 1847 Sep 18, Washington, D.C., to Mordecai P. Hunnicutt
  • Gratz, Miriam : undated, Philadelphia, to Sarah Hays Mordecai; undated, Saratoga, New York, to Sarah Hays Mordecai; undated, Georgetown, S.C., to Sarah Hays Mordecai; undated, New York, to Sarah Hays Mordecai; undated, New York, to Sarah Hays Mordecai; undated, New York, to Sarah Hays Mordecai; undated, ---, to Sarah Hays Mordecai; undated, ---, to Sarah Hays Mordecai; undated, ---, to Sarah Hays Mordecai
  • Lazarus, M.E. : 1837 Jun 30, Raleigh, North Carolina, to Alfred Mordecai
  • Lee, I.F. : 1865 Mar 10, Maryland, to Alfred Mordecai
  • Longstreet, Mary : 1886 Jan 3, Summerville, to Alfred Mordecai; 1886 Jan 14, Summerville, to Alfred Mordecai; 1886 Jan 4, Summerville, to "Young Friends"; 1891 Mar 30, "Hillside," Augusta, Georgia, to "Young Ladies"
  • Miley, J.D. : 1897 Feb 9, Presidio, California, to Rosa Mordecai; 1899 Feb 5, ----, to Rosa Mordecai
  • Miley, Sara : 1898 Apr 28, Ft. Mason, California, to Rosa Mordecai
  • Mordecai, Alfred : 1822 Jul 30, Spring Farm, Richmond, Virginia, to George C. Richards; 1840 Jun 16, Birmingham, to "Madam"
  • Mordecai, E. : 1837 Jun 11, Raleigh, North Carolina, to Alfred Mordecai
  • Mordecai, Laura : 1837 Jun 11, Raleigh, North Carolina, to Alfred Mordecai
  • Mordecai, Rebecca : 1837 Jun 12, Richmond, Virginia, to Alfred Mordecai
  • Mordecai, Rosa : 1896 Feb 17, Presidio, California, to Laura Mordecai [?]
  • Mordecai, S. : 1837 Jun 11, Peterburg, Virginia, to Alfred Mordecai
  • Mordecai, Sara Hays : undated, West Point, New York, to Sally Mordecai; 1883, Watervliet Arsenal, West Troy, New York, to "My Dear Daughter"

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