John A. Nye Papers: Finding Aid

Finding aid prepared by Katrina Denman.
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
©July 2013
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.


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.

Access

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.

Provenance

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).

Arrangement

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.

Subject

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.

Genre

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.


Collection Contents

Box 1

Correspondence, records, and essays.

 

Correspondence

 

1841 June 7. Foote, Charles. Letter to Thomas Nye [instructions for alerting residents of upcoming election]. Undadilla, N.Y. HM 78065. 

 

1841 June 7. Foote, Charles. Letter to Henry Woodruff [instructions for alerting residents of upcoming election]. Undadilla, N.Y. HM 78066. 

 

1841 June 8. Foote, Charles. Letter to Augustus Foote [instructions for alerting residents of upcoming election]. Undadilla, N.Y. HM 78067. 

 

1842 March 28. Palmer, Caleb. Letter to William H. Stiles [instructions for alerting residents of upcoming election]. Undadilla, N.Y. HM 78068. 

 

185[2] April 15. Shafer, C.B. Letter to [John A. Nye]. HM 78069. 

 

1852 November 8. [Farnsworth, T.M.]. Letter to John A. Nye. Albany, N.Y. HM 78070. 

 

18[5]2 December 14. [Madge], W.L. Letter to John A. Nye. Harpersville, N.Y. HM 78071. 

 

1853 March 1. Letter to John A. Nye. West Troy, N.Y. HM 78072. 

 

1853 March 26. Richardson, Stephen W. Letter to John [A. Nye]. Franklin, [N.Y.]. HM 78073. 

 

1853 March 26. Richardson, Stephen W. Letter to John [A. Nye]. Franklin, [N.Y.]. HM 78074. 

 

1853 April 21. Judson, H.M. [New York and Eerie Railroad]. Letter to John A. Nye. HM 78075. 

 

1853 July 11. Beardsley, Wilbur and [illegible]. Letter to John A. Nye. HM 78076. 

 

1853 September 26. Brown, Robert J. Letter to John A. Nye. Egremont, N.Y. HM 78077. 

 

1853 October 24. Davis, N. Letter to John A. Nye. HM 78078. 

 

1853 December 14. Case, Mary Nye. Letter to [John A. Nye]. HM 78079. 

 

1854 January 16. Adams, John H. Letter to John [A. Nye]. Pittsburgh, Pa. HM 78080. 

 

1854 March 15. Clarkes and Sands. Letter to A. McNair. HM 78081. 

 

1854 April 17-June 9. Reeves Wilcox and Co. 7 letters to McClair and McClaughy [re: receipts and invoices for dairy products]. New York, N.Y. HM 78082. 

 

185? December 10. Nye, Fanny. Letter to John [A. Nye]. Incomplete. HM 78083. 

 

Before 1856. Arm?, G.G. Letter to John [A. Nye]. Hainesville, Ill. HM 78084. 

 

Records and essays

 

1844. Unadilla Infantry Company Roll (151st Regiment, 25th Brigade, 6th Division), under the command of Caleb Palmer. Unadilla, N.Y. HM 78085. 

 

1852 March 10. Nye, John A. Contract of property and interests sold to Talcott M. Foster. HM 78094. 

 

1854 April 20. [Nye, John A.]. "Now, Fellows of the Society...": essay. 2 copies. HM 78086. 

 

1854 December 1. Nye, John A. "Charity": essay. HM 78087. 

 

1855 March 22. Act of "Congress assembled" creating The Republic of the West [west of the Mississippi]. HM 78088. 

 

1855 March 24. Act in the House of Representatives establishing The Republic of the West [on the Pacific]. HM 78089. 

 

Undated. [Nye, John A.]. "Beauty": essay. HM 78090. 

 

Undated. [Nye, John A.]. "Hope": essay. HM 78091. 

 

Undated. [Nye, John A.?]. Copy of "Maxims of Life, or How to be Happy". HM 78092. 

 

Undated. [Nye, John A.]. "Reasons Why Gov. Seymour Should Not Be Elected": essay. HM 78093. 

 

Undated. Bill ... of glassware ordered of Wyman Proctor [of] Boston for Ira C. French [with inventory]. HM 78095. 

 

Undated. Inventories of goods. 2 items. HM 78096. 

 

1852-1854. Receipts and invoices. 12 items. Unadilla and Albany, N.Y.