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Special Collections

This area contains 182 manuscript collections, comprising nearly 1800 linear feet of material, plus a number of individual manuscript items. Each of these collections is described in brief on ODYsseus the Libraries’ online catalog. Additionally, many have detailed finding aids, searchable here. Others will be added to this list as they are completed. If you find you have questions about the collections after you have read the catalog entries or finding aids, please contact us.

Mark McMurray, Curator of Special Collections and University Archivist Voice: (315) 229-5476 e-mail: mcm@stlawu.edu

Paul Haggett, Assistant to the Archivist Voice: (315) 229-5956 e-mail: phaggett@stlawu.edu

  • Collection Number: 34
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period: 1793 to 1957

    Emigres by the tens of thousands, men and women of the court, noblemen, army and naval officers, priests, and loyalists were among the French who fled to this country when their lives were threatened by the Revolution and Napoleon. They settled in northern and central New York, Pennsylvania as well as various other parts of the United States. Azilum was the French Refugee Colony in Pennsylvania that was planned as a refuge for Queen Marie Antoinette and Royalist fugitives from Revolutionary Paris. Azilum was deserted when Napoleon offered the emigres full amnesty in 1803.

    Finding Aid: mss34fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 176
    Collection Length: 3.00ft
    Period: 1996 to 2011

    This collection contains selected records of the anti-hunger organization GardenShare. The records include administrative files spanning the years 1996-2011. These files include GardenShare’s bylaws, incorporation papers, records of fund raising, annual dinners, awards, workshops, newsletters, finances, recruitment, food pantries the organization worked with and various other information.

    Finding Aid: MSS176fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 111
    Collection Length: 1.00ft
    Period: 1886 to 1968

    1883-1964 Army General and native of Waddington, N.Y. Graduate of West Point and Harvard, had administrative positions during WW I and worked in the War Dept. in Washington D.C. during WW II. The collection consists of family & military photos, yearbook of West Point (1907) & twenty-year book of West Point (1927); West Point by John Crane & James F. Kieley, as well as flags, medals and his sword.

    Finding Aid: MSS111fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 23
    Collection Length: 17.00ft
    Period: 1825 to 1850

    George Redington, lawyer, land speculator and lumber entrepreneur was born November 23, 1798 in Vergennes, Vermont. His family moved to Madrid, New York in 1799. He was educated at the St. Lawrence Academy and taught school in Montreal from 1816-1819. He returned to Waddington to study law and was admitted into the bar in 1823.

    Finding Aid: MSS23fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 15
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period: 1899 to 1978

    George Roland Malby was born in Canton, St. Lawrence County, N.Y., September 16, 1857; attended Canton Union School and St. Lawrence University; studied law; was admitted to the bar in 1881 and commenced the practice of law in Ogdensburg, New York. He became a member of the State assembly from 1890-1895 and served in the State senate from 1895 until 1907. In 1907 he was elected as a Republican to the Sixtieth, Sixty-first, and Sixty-second Congresses and served until his death July 5, 1912 in New York City.

    Finding Aid: MSS15fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 66
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period: 1862 to 1864

    George O. Newbury was raised by the Pike family at their farm in Cornish, Maine. He was mortally wounded at Bermuda Head during the Civil War and died in June of 1864 at Hampton Hospital, Fort Munroe, Virginia. The letters were donated by William A. Hunt (Professor of History at St. Lawrence University) in memory of his mother Agnes Snow Hunt a direct descendant of the Pike family. The collection consists of letters written by George Newbury to the Pike family while he was serving with the 9th Regiment - Maine Volunteers during the Civil War.

    Finding Aid: MSS66fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 137
    Collection Length: 0.50ft
    Period: 1862 to 1923

    George S. Parsons (1843-1927) was a lifelong resident of Gouverneur, NY who served in the 1st U. S. Volunteer Calvary from 1861-1862. After his service in this company Mr. Parsons joined the 11th N. Y. Calvary as part of "Scott's 900" and served from 1863-1865. Mr. Parsons served his country until sometime between July 12, 1863 and Aug. 26, 1863 when he was injured during a training exercise. This collection contains 43 letters (original and two transcript copies). The letters date from Sept. 14,1862 to Feb.

    Finding Aid: MSS137fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 92
    Collection Length: 0.50ft
    Period: 1909 to 1949

    The Richardson family came to the Brick Chapel area of Canton, St. Lawrence County, New York in 1805 from Vermont. Gertrude Richardson was born October 27, 1855. Shirley Claus was also from Canton, birth date unknown. The collection consists of the diaries of Gertrude Richardson from 1909-1942 (missing are 1910, 1927, 1933 and 1935) and the diaries of Shirley Claus 1932-1940 and 1949. Also included are a few photographs and a short biography of the Richardson family.

    Finding Aid: MSS92fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 78
    Collection Length: 5.00ft
    Period: 1774 to 1992

    Genealogical collection on the Giffin family consisting of photos, diaries, correspondence, clippings, and publications (paper and microfilm) assembled by Florence Giffin Martin Johnson and Mary Giffin Strange. Includes material on Preston King, Doane family and Pemberton Johnson.

    Finding Aid: MSS78fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 125
    Collection Length: 0.50ft
    Period: 1862 to 1870

    George K. and Fayette D. Graves, brothers from Rensselaer Falls NY, were the sons of James and Catherine Graves. George, born in 1842, served as a private in company G of the 142nd infantry division NYS volunteers. He was wounded in 1864, yet he continued to serve until the war was over in 1865. He died in 1916.

    Finding Aid: MSS125fa_2.pdf
  • Collection Number: 190
    Collection Length: 0.50ft
    Period:

    This collection contains signatures, letter and images of several notable Americans of the 19th and early 20th century.  Many of the items are marked “presented by H. B. Taylor”, although we have no information on who Mr. Taylor was.  The collection also includes a document signed by Louis XVI, king of France.

    Finding Aid: mss190fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 160
    Collection Length: 0.75ft
    Period:

    This collection consists of photographs, photo albums and diaries belonging to a Mrs. H.J. Phelps from Newton Center, MA. The diary entries chronicle the every day happenings in Mrs. Phleps' life. The majority of the photos are both dated and described. One of the photograph albums consists entirely of formal portrait photos while the other album is of candid and landscape shots. An undated, but quite old, copy of the King James Bible is also part of the collection.

    Finding Aid: MSS160fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 174
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period:

    Dr. Henry D. Payne was born in Deapuville, New York, July 15, 1837. Dr. Payne served as a lieutenant in the Tenth New York Heavy Artillery during the Civil War and received an honorable discharge. Following his military service, Payne secured an apprenticeship with a local dentist in Watertown, later establishing his own successful practice.
    Dr. Payne died in 1916.

    Finding Aid: MSS174fa_0.pdf
  • Collection Number: 20
    Collection Length: 0.50ft
    Period: 1776 to 1918

    Henry Hunn Thompson was born in Pompey, NY in 1824 and died in Passaic, NJ in 1918. He was educated at Hamilton College in New York. In 1863 he was appointed chief clerk in the office of the U.S. Treasury, while serving in this office he witnessed the shooting of Abraham Lincoln. At the close of the Civil War, Thompson resigned his treasury office and organized a National Bank in N.C. In 1877 he became cashier of the Erie Railroad and later became a cashier at the People's Bank and Trust Company of Passaic, NJ where he remained until his death.

    Finding Aid: MSS20fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 72
    Collection Length: 1.00ft
    Period: 1880 to 1978

    A. Barton Hepburn was born July 24, 1846 in Colton, New York and died January 25, 1922 in New York City after being struck by a bus. He was educated in Colton, St. Lawrence Academy in Potsdam, and Middlebury College in Vermont. He was a lawyer, legislator, head of the Railway Committee of 1879, served as Superintendent to the Banking Department of the State of New York, US Bank Examiner, Comptroller of Currency, and with Chase National. He was benefactor to Hepburn Hospital in Ogdensburg, New York and six libraries in St. Lawrence County, New York all which are named for him.

    Finding Aid: MSS72fa_0.pdf
  • Collection Number: 145
    Collection Length: 2.00ft
    Period: 1830 to 1910

    Charles (Carlos) Hernández was the head of a large family that emigrated from Cuba to New York in the early to mid 1800's. After living for a time in New York City, they settled in Grand View-on-Hudson, in Rockland County, NY. Hernandez was a merchant for several decades and much of the correspondence consists of letters from his agent in Havana, Antonio Gonzalez de Mendoza, regarding financial matters.

    Finding Aid: MSS145fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 110
    Collection Length: 1.25ft
    Period: 1881 to 1910

    Hezekiah and Corintha Hall were residents of Norwood, New York. H.B. Hall died in 1895 at the age of 80. Corintha Hall died in 1940 at the age of 93. Corintha Yale Hall was H.B. Hall’s 4th wife. This collection contains two diaries, an expense book and an account book kept by Hezekiah B. Hall and three diaries and an expense book kept by Corintha Hall. H.B Hall’s diaries contain entries running consecutively from April 1881 through November 1894, while Corintha Hall’s diaries contain daily entries between February 1897 and March 1904. Both Mr. and Mrs.

    Finding Aid: MSS110fa_1.pdf
  • Collection Number: 116
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period: 1843 to 1860

    Diary/journal kept by Hiram Herring in Rodman, Jefferson County, N.Y. from 1843-1860.

  • Collection Number: 71
    Collection Length: 1.20ft
    Period: 1897 to 1898

    Howard Burt was a prosperous farmer, who lived in Hannawa Falls, N.Y. He was tried and convicted of murdering his father-in-law Asa Briggs in 1897, in an attempt to murder his wife Rhoda. The collection consists of materials relating to the murder and subsequent trial in Hannawa Falls, N.Y. that formed the basis for Irving Bacheller's book The House of Three Ganders. Included are newspaper clippings, transcripts of the trial and appeal, bullets, affidavits and photographs.

    Finding Aid: MSS71fa_0.pdf
  • Collection Number: 80
    Collection Length:
    Period: 1300 to 1500

    A collection consisting of 6 vellum leaves and 3 folded vellum sheets of 14th and 15th century illuminated manuscripts. Includes portrait of St. Lawrence.

    Finding Aid: MSS80fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 81
    Collection Length:
    Period: 1450 to 1500

    A collection consisting of 75 incunabula leaves, chiefly Gothic type, originally brought together by the Leamington Book Shop, Washington, D.C. and acquired by the University in 1953. Includes 3 additional leaves acquired by the library. Includes bibliographical references.

    Finding Aid: MSS81fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 1
    Collection Length: 4.00ft
    Period: 1890 to 1947

    Born in Pierrepont, NY, and a graduate of St. Lawrence University, Bacheller was a best-selling turn-of-the-century author who later founded the Bacheller Syndicate which introduced several major authors, e.g. Stephen Crane, to American readers. His final career was that of circuit lecturer for the J. B. Pond Lyceum Bureau. Bacheller spent his final years in Winter Park, FL, home of Rollins College. The collection consists of business and personal letters, photographs, newspaper clippings, and manuscripts of published and unpublished works by Bacheller.

    Finding Aid: MSS1fa_0.pdf
  • Collection Number: 186
    Collection Length: 0.25ft
    Period: 1930 to 1932

    Dr. James M. Payson was a founding faculty member of the State School of Agriculture, which was founded in 1907 at St. Lawrence University.  He was born in South Freedom, Maine in 1848.  He was educated in Maine and began a teaching career there until coming to Canton to enroll in the Universalist Theological School here.  He married Flora Bassett just before graduating in 1874.  He then spent 19 years as a minister in Sherman, New York, Minnesota and Wisconsin until returning to Canton to serve as pastor of the Universalist Church.  Upon the founding of the Ag school, Dr.

    Finding Aid: MSS 186fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 181
    Collection Length: 7.25ft
    Period: 1969 to 1977

    J. Moreau Brown was a member of the Executive Committee of the New York State American Revolution Bicentennial Commission and a vice chairman of the Bicentennial Council of the Thirteen Original States; two of the dozens of organizations formed to plan and implement appropriate events for the celebration of the nations 200th birthday in 1976.  He had served earlier in his career as Director of Admissions for St. Lawrence University, as well as in positions at New York University and General Electric.

    Finding Aid: View Finding Aid
  • Collection Number: 146
    Collection Length: 10.00ft
    Period: 1891 to 1915

    James Ricalton was born about 1844, in Waddington, NY, and died in Waddington in 1929. He was a school teacher, traveler, inventor, and photographer. After briefly attending St. Lawrence University (class of 1871) Ricalton left before taking a degree and moved to Maplewood, New Jersey in 1871 where he worked as a school teacher. By all accounts, he was an extraordinary teacher, and his legacy is celebrated in the South Orange-Maplewood School District.

    Finding Aid: MSS146fa_0.pdf
  • Collection Number: 106
    Collection Length: 0.50ft
    Period: 1807

    Jefferson County became a county on March 28, 1805. It is bordered on the north by the St. Lawrence River, the south by Lewis County, the east by St. Lawrence County and the west by Oswego County and Lake Ontario. The county has approximately 44 villages and towns and 1 city with the county seat in Watertown. The collection consists of high school yearbooks, almanacs, programs and flyers from various functions in the county and information on Watertown including a photo book.

    Finding Aid: MSS106fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 19
    Collection Length: 1.66ft
    Period: 1947 to 1993

    Born in 1913 in Greenwich Village, NY, John DePol taught himself to draw while still a teenager. During World War II he was stationed in Ireland, where he took time to study lithography at the Belfast College of Art. However, it was not until 1947 that he began to teach himself the art for which he was to become famous--that of wood-engraving.

    Finding Aid: MSS19fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 131
    Collection Length: 1.50ft
    Period: 1864 to 1920

    John Reckard was born on January 13, 1842 in Leeds, Ontario, Canada. He lived for most of his life in Brier Hill, a small village outside of Morristown, New York. During his life John worked as a Wheelwright in Brier Hill. He joined the United States Army on August 3, 1863 and served in the 14th Regiment of the New York State Heavy Artillery Division. John was married twice. John died on February 18, 1915 at the age of seventy-three years old; he is buried in the Morristown cemetery in Morristown, NY. The majority of this collection is made up of the diaries of John Reckard.

    Finding Aid: MSS131fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 149
    Collection Length: 0.50ft
    Period: 1832 to 1877

    John Van Vechten (1822-1869) was the son of John Van Vechten (? - ?) and Letita Sebring (1790- 1854). Van Vechten's ancestors were among the early residents of New York City. It was through the extensive holdings of lumber interests in northern New York that he became a resident of Chateaugay when he came here to look after these interests.

    Finding Aid: MSS149fa.pdf
  • Collection Number: 38
    Collection Length: 2.00ft
    Period: 1826 to 1866

    Jonathan Wallace, (1784-1873) was a Universalist minister in Potsdam, New York until he was asked to leave the ministry due to an inappropriate relationship with a parishioner. The collection consists of Wallace's sermon's (most of which are referenced to biblical verses) and long poems. Also included is a framed portrait of Rev. Wallace.

    Finding Aid: MSS38fa_0.pdf

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