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John A. Nye Papers: Finding Aid
mssHM 78065-78096  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: John A. Nye Papers
    Dates (inclusive): 1841-1854
    Collection Number: mssHM 78065-78096
    Creator: Nye, John A.
    Extent: 52 items in 1 box
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: Group of correspondence, business records, military records, and essays assembled by John A. Nye (1832-1906) of Unadilla, New York.
    Language: English.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], John A. Nye Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Gift of S.G. Starr on September 20, 1973.

    Biographical Note

    John A. Nye (1832-1906) 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

    This collection contains 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 in two series:
    • Correspondence
    • Records and essays
    Within series, items are arranged chronologically.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Personal Names

    Nye, John A.
    Seymour, Horatio, 1810-1886.


    Freemasons -- History.
    Merchants -- New York (State).

    Geographic Areas

    Hainesville (Ill.).
    Illinois -- History -- 1778-1886.
    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.
    West (U.S.) -- History -- 1848-1860.


    Essays -- New York -- 19th century.
    Letters (correspondence) -- Illinois -- 19th century.
    Letters (correspondence) -- New York -- 19th century.
    Letters (correspondence) -- Pennsylvania -- 19th century.
    Military records -- New York -- 19th century.
    Receipts -- New York -- 19th century.