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Levi P. Morton Correspondence

An inventory of his correspondence at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Morton, Levi P. (Levi Parsons), 1824-1920.
Title: Levi P. Morton Correspondence
Inclusive Dates: 1860-1912
Quantity: 0.5 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the Congressman from New York, United States minister to France, Vice-President of the United States, and Republican governor of New York State. Collection contains mostly incoming correspondence from clergymen, educators, financiers, journalists, and politicians. Some letters are addressed to Morton's executive secretary, Ashley W. Cole.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
http://scrc.syr.edu

Biographical History

Levi P. Morton (1824-1920) was a Congressman from New York (1879-1881), United States minister to France (1881-1885), Republican governor of New York State (1895-1896), and Vice President of the United States (1889-1893) under President Benjamin Harrison.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Levi P. Morton Correspondence is a collection of mostly incoming letters dated between 1860 and 1912, the bulk of which were written during Morton's tenure as Governor of New York (1895-1896). Morton's correspondents include authors and journalists (Henry Abbey, Lyman Abbott, W.J. Arkell, George W. Childs, Edwin L. Godkin, Frances M. Harris (pseud. Hope Ledyard), St. Clair McKelway, Oswald Ottendorfer, Franz Sigel, William Allen White); as well as clergymen (Thomas K. Beecher, Arthur C. Coxe, Theodore L. Cuyler, William C. Doane, John Hall, F.D. Huntington, John Ireland, Abram N. Littlejohn, Charles H. Parkhurst, H.C. Potter); educators (Nicholas M. Butler, Henry M. MacCracken, Jacob Schurman, Booker T. Washington, Alexander S. Webb); and financiers (Collis P. Huntington, Russell Sage, William C. Whitney). The bulk of the correspondence is from fellow politicians (William B. Allison, Cornelius N. Bliss, George S. Boutwell, Simon Cameron, Chauncey M. Depew, Roswell P. Flower, Frank W. Higgins, Elihu Root), including a number of state governors: R.A. Alger (Michigan), James A. Beaver (Pennsylvania), Charles A. Culberson (Texas), Charles W. Lippitt (Rhode Island), W.J. Stone (Missouri), and H.M. Wells (Utah).

Many of the letters (W.S. Bissell, William A. Butler, Joseph Choate, John Hall, MacCracken, Sage, Sigel, Benjamin F. Tracy) relate to particular pieces of legislation before the then-Governor, the largest number in reference to the Greater New York bill, an effort to consolidate Brooklyn and New York into one large metropolitan area (Abbott, Cuyler, C.P. Huntington, Littlejohn, Parkhurst, Potter, William C. Redfield). Also among the letters are several lengthy opinions (James C. Carter, Choate, Joseph Larocque, Root) which Morton solicited regarding the selection of appellate judges for the State Supreme Court. Among other issues discussed in the correspondence are public school reform (N.M. Butler, Doane, Root); separation of church and state (John Ireland); protection of the State forests (Gifford Pinchot, Nathan Straus); establishment of the State Veterinary College at Cornell University (Schurman); and prison reform (Beecher, F.D. Huntington). One of the most interesting of the incoming letters is an item from the Navy Department secretary M.A. Herbert, who upon learning of the State's plans to widen the Erie Canal, Suggests (3 Jan. 1896):

The moderate depth of water in the Erie Canal would prevent the passage of most naval vessels now in service, but with the width of locks increased to 23 feet it would be possible that a class of ships built especially for the defense of the lakes could be kept in New York, ready for service on the lakes in case of hostilities with Great Britain. Our treaty with that country limits its naval force on the lakes to one gunboat, but should the Erie Canal be available, the present advantage of Great Britain, the possession of a waterway through its own territory, would be counterbalanced and the defense of our Northern frontier simplified.

In addition there are a few letters of introduction (0.E. Babcock, Lucius Fairchild, Ottendorfer, Edward Thornton, M.R. Waite) and numerous recommendations for various appointments (J.W. De Peyster, S.B. Elkins, John G. Evans, F.M. Finch, Hamilton Fish, Flower, William P. Frye, Higgins, Frank Hiscock, Horatio C. King, Warner Miller, Sage, James W. Wadsworth, George L. Wellington, Stewart L. Woodford).

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Arrangement of the Collection

Letters are arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

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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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Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has many manuscript collections relating to New York State politics and history. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

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Subject Headings

Persons

Abbey, Henry, 1842-1911.
Abbott, Lyman, 1835-1922.
Alger, R. A. (Russell Alexander), 1836-1907.
Allison, William B. (William Boyd), 1829-1908.
Arkell, W. J. (William J.), 1856-1930.
Babcock, Orville Elias, 1835-1884.
Baird, Absalom, 1824-1905.
Beaver, James A. (James Addams), 1837-1914.
Beecher, Thomas Kinnicut, 1824-1900.
Bissell, Wilson Shannon, 1847-1903.
Bliss, Cornelius Newton, 1833-1911.
Boutwell, George S. (George Sewall), 1818-1905.
Butler, Matthew Calbraith, 1836-1909.
Butler, Nicholas Murray, 1862-1947.
Butler, William Allen, 1825-1902.
Cameron, Simon, 1799-1889.
Carter, James C. (James Coolidge), 1827-1905.
Carter, Thomas Henry, 1854-1911.
Chandler, William E. (William Eaton), 1835-1917.
Childs, George William, 1829-1894.
Choate, Joseph Hodges, 1832-1917.
Clay, Cassius Marcellus, 1810-1903.
Cole, Ashley W., 1841-1920.
Coxe, A. Cleveland (Arthur Cleveland), 1818-1896.
Croes, J. J. R. (John James Robertson), 1834-1906.
Culberson, Charles A. (Charles Allen), 1855-1925.
Cuyler, Theodore L. (Theodore Ledyard), 1822-1909.
Davis, Cushman Kellogg, 1838-1900.
De Peyster, J. Watts (John Watts), 1821-1907.
Depew, Chauncey M. (Chauncey Mitchell), 1834-1928.
Doane, William Croswell, 1832-1913.
Doremus, Robert Ogden, 1824-1906.
Egan, Patrick, 1841-
Elkins, Stephen B. (Stephen Benton), 1841-1911.
Evans, John Gary, 1863-1942.
Fairchild, Lucius, 1831-1896.
Finch, Francis M. (Francis Miles), 1827-1907.
Flint, Austin, 1836-1915.
Flower, Roswell Pettibone, 1835-1899.
Frye, William P. (William Pierce), 1831-1911.
Godkin, Edwin Lawrence, 1831-1902.
Hale, Eugene, 1836-1918.
Hall, John, 1829-1898.
Harris, F. McCready (Frances McCready)
Herbert, Hilary A. (Hilary Abner), 1834-1919.
Higgins, Frank Wayland, 1856-1907.
Hunt, Richard Morris, 1828-1895.
Huntington, Collis P. (Collis Potter), 1821-1900.
Huntington, F. D. (Frederic Dan), 1819-1904.
Ireland, John, 1838-1918.
King, Horatio C. (Horatio Collins), 1837-1918.
Lamont, Daniel Scott, 1851-1905.
Lippitt, Charles Warren, 1846-1924.
Littlejohn, Abram Newkirk, 1824-1901.
MacCracken, Henry Mitchell, 1840-1918.
McKelway, St. Clair, 1905-1980.
Metcalf, Lorettus Sutton, 1837-1920.
Miller, Warner, 1838-1918.
Olney, Richard, 1835-1917.
Ottendorfer, Oswald, 1826-1900.
Parkhurst, Charles H. (Charles Henry), 1831-1889.
Pinchot, Gifford, 1865-1946.
Porter, Horace, 1837-1921.
Potter, Henry Codman, 1835-1908.
Redfield, William Cox, 1858-1932.
Reed, Thomas B. (Thomas Brackett), 1839-1902.
Rhodes, James Ford, 1848-1927.
Root, Elihu, 1845-1937.
Ruger, Thomas Howard, 1833-1907.
Sage, Russell, 1816-1906.
Schurman, Jacob Gould, 1854-1942.
Scribner, G. Hilton (Gilbert Hilton), 1831-1910.
Seward, Clarence A. (Clarence Armstrong), 1828-1897.
Seward, Frederick William, 1830-1915.
Sigel, Franz, 1824-1902.
Stone, William Joel, 1848-1918.
Straus, Nathan, 1848-1931.
Tracy, Benjamin F. (Benjamin Franklin), 1830-1915.
Waite, Morrison R. (Morrison Remick), 1816-1888.
Walcott, Charles D. (Charles Doolittle), 1850-1927.
Wanamaker, John, 1838-1922.
Waring, George E. (George Edwin), 1833-1898.
Washington, Booker T., 1856-1915.
Webb, Alexander S. (Alexander Stewart), 1835-1911.
Wellman, Francis L. (Francis Lewis), 1854-1942.
Weston, Edward Payson, 1839-1929.
Whitney, William C. (William Collins), 1841-1904.
Williams, Henry Shaler, 1847-1918.
Woodford, Stewart L. (Stewart Lyndon), 1835-1913.

Corporate Bodies

Republican Party (N.Y.)

Subjects

Governors -- New York (State)
Patronage, Political -- New York (State)

Places

New York (N.Y.) -- Politics and government -- To 1898.
New York (State) -- History -- 1865-
New York (State) -- Officials and employees -- Selection and appointment.
New York (State) -- Politics and government -- 1865-1950.

Genres and Forms

Correspondence.

Occupations

Governors.
Politicians.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Levi P. Morton Correspondence
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: KM
Date: Feb 1989
Revision history: 27 Jul 2009 - converted to EAD (MRC)

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Inventory

Correspondence
Box 1 Abbey, Henry 1895 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Abbott, Lyman 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Alger, Russell Alexander 1895, 1896 - 2 incoming letters
Box 1 Allison, William Boyd 1895 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Arkell, William J. undated - 1 outgoing letter
Box 1 Babcock, Orville Elias 1873 - 1 outgoing letter
Box 1 Baird, Absalom 1894 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Beach, L. H. 1886? - 1 outgoing letter
Box 1 Beaver, James A. 1894 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Beecher, Thomas Kinnicut 1895 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Bissell, Wilson Shannon 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Bliss, Cornelius Newton 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Boutwell, George Sewall 1894 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Burney, Hiram 1860 - 1 outgoing letter
Box 1 Butler, Matthew Galbraith 1894 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Butler, Nicholas Murray 1894, 1896 - 2 incoming letters
Box 1 Butler, William Allen 1895, 1896 - 2 incoming letters
Box 1 Cameron, Simon 1883 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Carter, James Coolidge 1895 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Carter, Thomas Henry 1894 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Chandler, William Eaton 1895 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Childs, George William 1892 - 1 outgoing letter
Box 1 Choate, Joseph Hodges 1895, 1896 - 3 incoming letters
Box 1 Clay, Cassius Marcellus 1862 - 1 outgoing letter
Box 1 Cornwell, George 1887, 1896 - 2 outgoing letters
Box 1 Coxe, Arthur Cleveland undated - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Croes, John James Robertson 1895 - 1 outgoing letter
Box 1 Culberson, Charles Allen 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Cuyler, Theodore Ledyard 1895, 1896 - 2 incoming letters
Box 1 Davis, Cushman Kellogg 1895 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Depew, Chauncey Mitchell 1894, 1895 - 2 incoming letters
Box 1 De Peyster, John Watts 1895 - 2 incoming letters
Box 1 Doane, William Croswell 1894, 1896, 1898, undated - 5 incoming letters
Box 1 Doremus, Robert Ogden 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Egan, Patrick 1894 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Elkins, Stephen Benton 1895, 1896 - 2 incoming letters
Box 1 Evans, John Gary 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Fairchild, Lucius 1881 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Finch, Francis Miles 1895 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Fish, Hamilton 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Flint, Austin 1894 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Flower, Roswell Pettibone 1894, 1896 - 2 incoming letters
Box 1 Frye, William Pierce undated - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Godkin, Edwin Lawrence 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Hale, Eugene undated - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Hall, John 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Harris, Frances McCready 1895 - 3 incoming letters, 4 related letters and a clipping
Box 1 Herbert, Hilary Abner 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Higgins, Frank Wayland 1896 - 2 incoming letters
Box 1 Hiscock, Frank 1895 - 2 incoming letters
Box 1 Hunt, Richard Morris 1895 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Huntington, Collis Potter 1895 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Huntington, Frederic Dan 1895, 1896 - 2 incoming letters and 1 enclosure
Box 1 Ireland, John 1895, 1896 - 2 incoming letters
Box 1 Jackson, W. E. 1888 - 1 outgoing letter
Box 1 King, E. S. 1890 - 1 outgoing letter
Box 1 King, Horatio Collins 1896 - 2 incoming letters
Box 1 Knapp, J. N. 1888 - 2 outgoing letters
Box 1 Lamont, Daniel Scott 1896 - 2 incoming letters
Box 1 Larocque, Joseph 1895 - 1 incoming letter
Ledyard, Hope
See Harris, Frances McCready.
Box 1 Lippitt, Charles Warren 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Littlejohn, Abram Newkirk 1895 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 MacCracken, Henry Mitchell 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 McKelway, St. Clair 1895, 1896 - 2 incoming letters
Box 1 Metcalf, Lorettus Sutton 1887 - 1 outgoing letter
Box 1 Miller, Warner 1895, 1896 - 3 incoming letters
Box 1 Nordhoff, Mr. 1873? - 1 outgoing letter
Box 1 Olney, Richard 1895, 1896 - 8 incoming letters
Box 1 Ottendorfer, Oswald 1895 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Parkhurst, Charles Henry 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Patten, Mary undated - 1 outgoing letter
Box 1 Pinchot, Gifford 1894 - 2 incoming letters
Box 1 Ponsonby, Arthur C. 1894 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Porter, Horace 1895 - 2 incoming letters
Box 1 Potter, Henry Codman 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Redfield, William C. 1896 - 1 incoming letter and 2 related documents
Box 1 Reed, Thomas Brackett 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Rhodes, James Ford undated - 1 outgoing letter
Box 1 Root, Elihu 1895, 1896 - 3 incoming letters
Box 1 Ruger, Thomas Howard 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Sage, Russell 1894 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Sargent, Mr. undated - 1 outgoing letter
Box 1 Schurman, Jacob Gould 1894, 1895, 1896 - 4 incoming letters
Box 1 Scribner, Gilbert Hilton undated - 1 outgoing letter
Box 1 Seward, Clarence Armstrong 1887 - 1 outgoing letter
Box 1 Seward, Frederick William 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Sigel, Franz 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Stewart, John R. 1911, 1912 - 2 outgoing letters
Box 1 Stone, William Joel 1895 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Straus, Nathan 1895 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Thornton, Edward 1894 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Townsend, [ ] 1895 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Tracy, Benjamin Franklin 1894, 1896 - 2 incoming letters
Box 1 Wadsworth, James W. 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Waite, Morrison Remick 1882 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Walcott, Charles Doolittle 1895 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Wanamaker, John 1892 - 1 outgoing letter
Box 1 Waring, George Edwin 1895 - 1 incoming letter and 1 related document
Box 1 Washington, Booker T. 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Webb, Alexander Stewart 1895 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Wellington, George L. 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Wells, Heber Manning 1896 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Weston, Edward Payson 1894, 1896 - 2 incoming letters and 1 clipping
Box 1 Whitney, William Collins 1894 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Williams, Henry Shaler 1895 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Woodford, Stewart Lyndon 1895 - 1 incoming letter
Box 1 Unidentified 1901, 1896, undated - 2 outgoing letters and 1 fragment addressed to Griswold

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