Overview of the Collection
Scope and Content
Overview of the Collection
Title: John A. Nye Papers
Dates (inclusive): 1841-1854
Collection Number: mssHM 78065-78096
Creator: Nye, John A.
52 items in 1 box
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
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San Marino, California 91108
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Abstract: Group of correspondence, business records, military records, and essays assembled by John A. Nye (1832-1906) of Unadilla,
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[Identification of item], John A. Nye Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
Gift of S.G. Starr on September 20, 1973.
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,
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:
- Records and essays
Within series, items are arranged chronologically.
Nye, John A.
Seymour, Horatio, 1810-1886.
Freemasons -- History.
Merchants -- New York (State).
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.