Search

Back to top

Search Constraints

Start Over You searched for: Place Massachusetts -- Politics and government 1865-1950 Remove constraint Place: Massachusetts -- Politics and government 1865-1950

Search Results

collection icon

Edward W. Kinsley correspondence, 1862-1889 0.5 Linear Feet — 1 box — approximately 136 items

Correspondence, chiefly incoming, concerns Edward W. Kinsley's activities on behalf of societies aiding emancipated slaves, in lobbying for Congressional action to grant equal pay to African American troops in the Union Army, and personally assisting former slaves. Civil War letters, sent from white and African American soldiers, aid workers, and notable political and military men, document the service of the 55th Massachusetts Regiment during its service in South Carolina and Georgia, with mention of the 54th Massachusetts, and the 35th Regiments of U.S. Colored Troops; life in New Bern, N.C. during its occupation; and engagements with Confederate troops. Reconstruction letters from a variety of sources comment on efforts to educate and provide for the freed slaves; citizen reaction to having an African American officer, James Monroe Trotter, in charge of enforcing peace and emancipation in Orangeburg, South Carolina; and politics in the 1870s, especially in Massachusetts.

This collection of correspondence belonging to Edward Wilkinson Kinsley chiefly concerns his efforts in soliciting funds for societies aiding freed slaves, in lobbying for Congressional action to grant equal pay to African American troops in the Union Army, and personally assisting former slaves. The correspondence includes many pieces written by others to Kinsley documenting these issues.

Civil War letters written to Kinsley by soldiers, many of them African Americans, aid society workers, and others describe the service of the 55th Massachusetts Regiment during its service in South Carolina and Georgia, with mention of the 54th Massachusetts, and the 35th Regiments of U.S. Colored Troops; life in New Bern, North Carolina during its occupation, written by soldier Thomas Kinsley (45th Mass. Volunteers); and skirmishes with Confederate troops.

The letters of James Monroe Trotter, African American officer and later U.S Post Office administrator, refer to the African American troops' attitudes toward salary and inequality. Trotter's letter of Nov. 21, l864, describes the celebration held by the 55th Massachusetts Regiment of Colored Troops when their salaries arrived at their camp on Folly Island, S.C. Letters from other black troops also express to Kinsley the desire for salaries as a recognition of equality as well as due payment for services rendered.

The letters from Trotter and other black soldiers also document the history of the 55th Regiment during its service in South Carolina and Georgia. Among the other regiments of the U.S.Army mentioned are the 54th Massachusetts and the 35th and 38th Regiments of U.S. Colored Troops. These last two units are referred to at times by their original names, the 1st and 2nd Regiments of North Carolina Volunteers (Colored).

Reconstruction letters comment on efforts to educate and provide for the freed slaves; citizen reaction to having an African American (James M. Trotter), in charge of enforcing peace and emancipation in Orangeburg, South Carolina; and Massachusetts politics in the 1870s.

Kinsley took a particular interest in Mrs. Mary Ann Starkey and her children, of New Bern, NC. Mrs. Starkey's letters to her benefactor Kinsley include comments on the activities of Kinsley's brother, who was an officer in the U.S. Army, and on the charitable work in New Bern. They also illustrate some of the problems confronting an African American family during the war years.

Among the notable correspondents in this collection are John Albion Andrew, governor of Massachusetts (1861-1866) and supporter of African American participation in the Union Army; William Claflin, industrialist, philanthropist, and governor of Massachusetts (1869-1872); Edward Everett, renowned orator and earlier governor of Massachusetts; Julia Ward Howe, author, poet, and abolitionist; Mary Tyler Peabody, education reformer and author; Carl Schurz, German reformer, statesman, Senator, and general in the Union Army; James Monroe Trotter, African American lieutenant in the Union Army (55th Massachusetts), teacher, and federal employee; Edward Augustus Wild, doctor and Brigadier General in the Union Army (35th Massachusetts), and officials of the N.Y. and New England Railroad Company.

Other items include correspondence from the Provost Marshal's Office, New Bern, N.C.; correspondence and five receipts from the New England Soldier's Relief Association; one letter from the office of the SATURDAY EVENING GAZETTE, Boston, with a reference to James Robert Gilmore's visit to Jefferson Davis; one letter from Samuel May, Jr., abolitionist and Unitarian minister; and one letter concerning Kinsley's friend Mrs. Wild.

collection icon

James T. Williams papers, 1836-1947 48 Linear Feet — 36,000 Items

The Williams Papers span the period 1836 to 1947 with the bulk dating from 1904 to 1942. The collection contains the following series: Diaries and Reminiscences; Correspondence; Subject Files; Legal Papers; Financial Papers; Writings and Speeches; Miscellaneous; Clippings; Printed Material; and Pictures. Correspondence comprises the majority of the collection and particularly focuses on Williams's professional career during the period from 1910 to 1925 when he was editor of the Tucson Citizen and the Boston Evening Transcript. While the collection documents aspects of Williams's personal and professional life from his college days through the early 1940s, the last twenty years of his life are not included. There is as well very little information about the Teapot Dome Affair in the correspondence, which occurred during the period covered by the collection.

Williams wrote, spoke, and accumulated material about a variety of topics and concerns which are represented in different parts of the collection. Among the most prominent are Aviation and the Presidential Elections of 1916, 1920, and 1924 which are found in the Correspondence, Subject Files, Writings and Speeches, Clippings, Printed Material and Pictures Series; Military preparedness before the entry of the United States into World War I in the Correspondence, Subject Files, Writings and Speeches, and Pictures Series; Arizona's efforts to achieve statehood in the Correspondence, Legal Papers, and Writings and Speeches Series; Massachusetts politics in the Diaries and Reminiscences, Correspondence, Writings and Speeches, Clippings, and Printed Material Series; and Peace and disarmament in the Correspondence, Subject Files, Clippings and Printed Material Series. Prominent politicians such as Warren G. Harding and Herbert Hoover are represented in the Correspondence, Writings and Speeches, and Clippings Series. The collection would be of interest to researchers studying the League of Nations, the Republican Party during the first quarter of the 20th century, and the political and social climate in Greenville, S.C..

The Correspondence Series illustrates that as a leading spokesman for the Republican Party, Williams corresponded with many public figures concerning the topics above. After moving to Tucson, Williams became involved in Arizona's efforts to become a state. He represented the positions taken by President Taft and expressed these viewpoints in numerous editorials related to political matters. Many letters criticize Woodrow Wilson and Josephus Daniels for their policies relating to military preparedness and foreign relations. Of particular note are Williams's strong opposition to the League of Nations and his correspondence in the collection with leading opponents of the League, including Henry Cabot Lodge (1850-1924), William Edgar Borah, Hiram Warren Johnson, and Frank Bosworth Brandegee.

Also included in the Correspondence Series is extensive family correspondence containing material about the social life and political affairs in Greenville, S.C., where Williams's father was mayor, and about his mother's family, the McBees of Lincolnton, N.C. Numerous letters were written by his uncles, Silas McBee, a noted Episcopal clergyman and editor in New York; William Ephraim Mikell, Dean of the Law School at the University of Pennsylvania; and William Alexander Guerry, an Episcopal bishop in South Carolina. There are also letters from cousins, Mary Vardrine McBee, who founded Ashley Hall, a school for girls in Charleston, South Carolina, and Alexander Guerry, who served in various positions at the University of Chatanooga and at The University of the South. Other correspondents in the series include William Howard Taft, Leonard Wood, Nicholas Murray Butler, Albert J. Beveridge, Calvin Coolidge, Frank H. Hitchcock, Charles Nagel, Theodore Roosevelt, and John Wingate Weeks.

Related collections include the Vardry Alexander McBee Papers at Duke University, the Silas McBee and the McBee Family collections at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the James Thomas Williams (1845-1936) Papers at the University of South Carolina, and an interview with Williams in the Biographical Oral History Collection at Columbia University.