Scope and Content
Title: John A. Nye Papers
Collection Number: Consult
Nye, John A.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
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Abstract: Group of correspondence, business records, military records, and essays assembled by John A. Nye of Unadilla, New York.
Language of Material: The records are in English.
Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the
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permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances, the
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Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.
[Identification of item], John A. Nye papers, The Huntington Library, San
The collection was a gift of S.G. Starr on September 20, 1973.
John A. Nye was born in Unadilla, New York, in 1832. In 1856 he traveled west for Omaha, but ended up settling in Deadwood,
Dakota Territory, where he owned a hardware store. By 1900 he had moved to Minnesela, South Dakota, where he continued the
operation of his business. Nye was also an active Freemason, having joined the order while still in New York. He served as
a lodge master from 1858-1859, possibly in Nebraska. Nye died on June 1, 1906.
Scope and Content
Collection of correspondence, business records, military records, and essays assembled by John A. Nye of Unadilla, New York.
The personal correspondence includes that sent from Nye's friends Stephen W. Richardson, who had moved to Franklin, New York,
to work as a clerk but disliked the town because "they are all such damn Christians" (1853); John H. Adams, who wrote from
Pittsburgh that "I am here in the Smoky City among smoke and pretty women but I think I like the latter the best" (1854);
and a letter from an acquaintance in Hainesville, Illinois, who wrote "every thing here is new and full of life...villages
spring up in a year that make the natives eyes stick out...Chicago is the most enterprising place that I ever was in and is
bound to be a mighty City" (c.1854). Other personal correspondents include Nye's sisters Mary Nye Case and Fanny Nye. Business
correspondence and records include letters to Nye regarding his company Nye and Foster in Unadilla (1852-1853), a contract
of property and interests sold to Nye's business partner Talcott M. Foster (1852); correspondence regarding receipts and invoices
from Reeves Wilcox and Co. to McClair and McClaughy (1854); and miscellaneous receipts, invoices, and inventories. The military
records of the 151st New York Infantry under Captain Caleb Palmer, dating from 1841-1844, include a company roll and instructions
for alerting voters of forthcoming elections for military posts. One of the recipients was Thomas Nye, who was probably a
relative of John Nye. Also included are the texts of various essays or addresses apparently made by Nye to the Freemasons,
on topics such as procrastination, charity, beauty, and hope, as well as an essay explaining "Reasons Why Governor Seymour
Should Not Be Elected" (referring to Governor Horatio Seymour of New York). There are also two handwritten copies, made at
Unadilla, of proclamations from the United States Congress and House of Representatives creating "The Republic of the West"
(west of the Rocky Mountains), "forever released from allegiance to the country east of said division" but "similar to the
United States of America in its manner of government" (1855).
The collection is arranged chronologically.
A detailed container list is available through the Manuscripts Department.
Nye, John A.
Seymour, Horatio, 1810-1886.
Merchants--New York (State).
New York (State)--History--1775-1865.
New York (State)--History, Military.
Otsego County (N.Y.)--History.
Pittsburgh (Pa.)--Description and travel.
Pittsburgh (Pa.)--History--19th century.
Essays--New York--19th century.
Letters (correspondence)--Illinois--19th century.
(correspondence)--New York--19th century.
Letters (correspondence)--Pennsylvania--19th century.
Military records--New York--19th century.
Receipts--New York--19th century.