Collection inventory

Special Collections home page

David B. Hill Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: KM
Date: Oct 1988

Biographical History

David Bennett Hill (1843-1910) was an American politician from New York. He was mayor of Elmira, New York (1892) and shortly thereafter (1893-1895) became lieutenant governor of the state. He served as governor of New York from 1885-1891 and then was elected to the U. S. Senate where he served five years (1892-1897).

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The David B. Hill Papers consist of correspondence (chiefly political), legal material and memorabilia.

Correspondence, most of which is incoming, includes both business and personal letters from many people active in state and national politics at the turn of the century. Many of the letters register opinions concerning various pieces of legislation which were before Hill during his tenure as governor, including those of Richard Croker, William E. Chandler, A. J. Dittenhoefer, William Evarts, R. G. Ingersoll, Francis Kernan, Daniel S. Lamont, Paul Smith, S. J. Tilden, Benjamin F. Tracy. Numerous letters include suggestions for political appointments (John Griffin Carlisle, Charles A. Dana, John W. Daniel, Asa B. Gardiner, A. H. Green, Horatio Collins King, Daniel E. Sickles), while others are social or personal in nature (Thomas F. Bayard, Perry Belmont, Roscoe Conkling, Thomas W. Hotchkiss, A. K. McClure, Jacob Ruppert, Claude A. Swanson, James A. Thomas).

There are also a substantial number of letters concerning New York State Democratic Party politics (Henry Watson Cornell, S. S. Cox, Alton B. Parker, Roger Atkinson Pryor, Edward Morse Shepard, F. M. Simmons, C. E. Treman); a few items relating to insurance legislation (James W. Alexander, William W. Armstrong, Charles Evans Hughes); and two letters discussing the installation of a zoological garden in a section of Central Park (A. H. Green, Henry Codman Potter). There is also a lengthy letter (25 May 1895) from John Bigelow in which he discusses his difficulties in writing a Samuel J. Tilden biography which would "prove acceptable to his contemporaries, and yet stand the test to which it will be subjected by an impartial posterity." He goes on to defend his description of New York Governor William Marcy as "more of a politician than a statesman."

Legal material in the collection includes a contract for sale of the Elmira Gazette, documents relating to the trial of Albert T. Patrick for the murder of William Marsh Rice, and an official opinion of the Governor "in the matter of the removal of Alexander Shaler from the office of the Department of Health" of New York City. The material relating to the Patrick case includes correspondence (including a series of letters from Patrick to the Governor, requesting a pardon), official documents concerning the case and its subsequent appeal, and an item by Clark Bell about the trial, reprinted from the Medico-Legal Journal.

Memorabilia includes three miscellaneous clippings and a photograph of Hill.

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.


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.

Subject Headings


Armstrong, William W., b. 1833.
Bayard, Thomas F. (Thomas Francis), 1828-1898.
Belmont, Perry, 1850-1947.
Bigelow, John, 1817-1911.
Carlisle, John Griffin, 1835-1910.
Chandler, William E. (William Eaton), 1835-1917.
Clearwater, Alphonso Trumpbour, 1848-1933.
Conkling, Roscoe, 1829-1888.
Cox, Samuel Sullivan, 1824-1889.
Croker, Richard, 1841-1922.
Dana, Charles A. (Charles Anderson), 1819-1897.
Daniel, John W. (John Warwick), 1842-1910.
Dewey, Melvil, 1851-1931.
Dittenhoefer, Abram Jesse, 1836-1919.
Evarts, William Maxwell, 1818-1901.
Fairchild, Charles Stebbins, 1842-1924.
Farquhar, Arthur B., 1838-
Flower, Roswell Pettibone, 1835-1899.
Gardiner, Asa Bird, 1839-1919.
Glynn, Martin H., 1871-1924.
Green, A. H. (Andrew Haswell), 1820-1903.
Hill, David Bennett, 1843-1910.
Hughes, Charles Evans, 1862-1948.
Ingersoll, Robert Green, 1833-1899.
Kernan, Francis, 1816-1892.
King, Horatio Collins, 1837-1918.
Lamont, Daniel Scott, 1851-1905.
McClellan, George B. (George Brinton), 1865-1940.
McClure, Alexander K. (Alexander Kelly), 1828-1909.
McCurdy, Richard Aldrich, 1835-1916.
Murphy, Charles Francis, 1858-1924.
Oglesby, Richard J., 1824-1899.
Parker, Alton Brooks, 1852-1926.
Partington, Frederick E.
Patrick, Albert T.
Pillsbury, Albert Enoch, 1849-1930.
Potter, Henry Codman, 1834-1908.
Pryor, Roger Atkinson, 1828-1919.
Rice, William Marsh, 1816-1900.
Robinson, Lucius, 1810-1891.
Ruppert, Jacob, 1867-1939.
Schuyler, George Washington, 1810-1888.
Shaler, Alexander.
Shepard, Edward Morse, 1850-1911.
Sickles, Daniel Edgar, 1819-1914.
Simmons, Furnifold McLendel, 1854-1940.
Sulzer, William, 1863-1941.
Swanson, Claude Augustus, 1862-1939.
Tilden, Samuel J. (Samuel Jones), 1814-1886.
Tracy, Benjamin Franklin, 1830-1915.


Criminal justice, Administration of.
Governors -- New York (State)
Murder -- New York (State)
Murderers -- New York (State)
Patronage, Political -- New York (State)
Politicians -- United States.
Trials (Murder)


Central Park (New York, N.Y.) -- History -- Sources.
Legislators -- United States.
New York (State) -- Officials and employees -- Selection and appointment.
New York (State) -- Politics and government, 1865-1950 -- Sources.

Genres and Forms

Legal documents.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

David B. Hill Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Bulk unspecified, 1966.

Sickles letters, purchase, 1969, 1971.

Table of Contents


Legal material