Finding aid created by: --
Date: circa 1980
|10 Oct 2008||converted to EAD (MRC)|
|5 Jan 2017||index code fixed (MRC)|
|9 Aug 2017||rehoused (MS)|
Overview of the Collection
|Title:||Mordecai Family papers|
|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
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.
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.
Correspondence is arranged chronologically. An index to the correspondence appears at the end of this finding aid.
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Genres and Forms
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Mordecai Family Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
Some material purchased, 1963; some transferred from Kohen Collection, 1969.
Selected index to 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||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|
Index is alphabetical by sender.