Collection inventory

Finding Aids

Philander N. Cowan Notebook

An inventory of the item at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: --
Date: 1970?

Revision history:
17 Sep 2008 converted to EAD (LDC)

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Cowan, Philander N.
Title: Philander N. Cowan Notebook
Dates: circa 1828-1829
Quantity: 1 volume, 224 pages (SC)
Abstract: Workbook used by the young Cowan of Oswego, New York, to practice mathematical exercises; also contains miscellaneous personal financial data.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Philander N. Cowan (1811-?) was an American businessman who lived in Oswego, New York.

He was born in 1811 in Hancock, Massachusetts. His mother died when he was 8 years old and he was put to work for a church deacon. The deacon was cruel, making Cowan sleep in the attic where the bed was often covered with snow that had fallen through holes in the roof. Cowan worked hard to teach himself and eventually became a fine businessman and gentleman. He would go on to become a "pillar" of the West Baptist Church in Oswego, New York.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Philander N. Cowan Notebook consists of 224 pages of closely written mathematical work, from simple addition to more complicated business work. In the back he has recorded examples of the following legal forms: obligatory bond, bill of sale, short will, lease of a house, payable note, inland bill of exchange, receipts, checks, and lastly, an "Ode to Content":


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Subject Headings


Cowan, Philander N.


Mathematics -- Study and teaching.

Genres and Forms


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Philander N. Cowan Philander Notebook
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Charles H. Kal, 1970.

Table of Contents



SC 61 Notebook circa 1828-1829 (1 volume, 224 pages)