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Guide to the Edward Lee Plumb Papers, 1856-1912 M0149
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Collection Details
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  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Contents
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Conditions Governing Access

  • Language of Material: English
    Contributing Institution: Department of Special Collections and University Archives
    Title: Edward Lee Plumb Papers
    Creator: Plumb, Edward Lee
    Identifier/Call Number: M0149
    Identifier/Call Number: 1487
    Physical Description: 4 Linear Feet
    Date (inclusive): 1856-1912
    Abstract: The papers of Edward L. Plumb, diplomat, railroad promoter, and vice president of the Mexican International Railroad Company, contain correspondence, legal and business papers, governement documents, newspaper clippings, and other material

    Biographical Note

    Edward Lee Plumb


    1827, July 17 born in Gowanda, Erie Co., New York; son of Joseph and Caroline Robbins (Hale) Plumb; brother of Albert Hale Plumb, 1829 - 1907.
      received a business education and was apprenticed to a Hartford, Conn. mercantile house.
    1849 went to California for several years.
    1854 exploratory trip to Mexico, met Gen. Juan Alverez, obtained prospecting concession.
    1855 interested New York businessmen in founding Mexican Pacific Coal and Iron Mining and Land Co.
    1856 - 1857 surveying expedition across Central Mexico and returned to New York.
    1861 - 1865 Mexico City - translater and interpretor with American Legation, other positions in Mexico and Washington, D.C.
    1866 Secretary of Legation to Campbell Legation to Mexico.
    1867 - 1868 Charge d'Affaires at Mexico.
    1869, June - December Consul General at Havana, Cuba.
    1871 - 1881 railroad promotion in Mexico and U.S. for International and Great Northern Railroad.
    1881 sold rights in International concession.
    1881 - 1889 vice-president of Mexican International Railroad Co.
    1881, April 15 retired.
    1912, April 16 died.

    Scope and Contents

    The Plumb collection consists of correspondence, cables, notes, reports, articles, drafts, clippings, maps, and some printed material from 1856 - 1912. Most of it falls between 1865 and 1881 though there are several gaps of months: October - December 1870 and July 1877. There is no correspondence for 1858, 1859, 1860, 1882, 1884 - 1888, 1890 - 1895, 1900 and 1901.
    The papers are arranged chronologically showing the change and progression of Plumb's activities and interests. A partial index of correspondents and major subjects follows the list of contents. The most valuable and interesting subjects covered are: Mexican history from the French invasion to the beginning of Diaz's regime; United States diplomatic and commercial relations with Mexico, Cuba and Spain; history of the Cuban insurrection in the late 1860's to its culmination in the Spanish-American War; and American railroad and mining promotion in Mexico. It is rather strange that the preliminary steps for the construction of an International railroad are so well covered but there is almost no material on his eight year vice-presidency of the Mexican International Railroad.
    The correspondents include many national and international figures: Mexican presidents; Mexican and American cabinet members, legislators, military men, journalists, diplomats and businessmen; Spanish military officials in Cuba; and businessmen and diplomats of several other nations active in Cuba and Mexico. There is one letter signed by Benito Juarez; 12 by Blas Balcarcel, Mexican Minister of the Interior, plus some signed documents; and 13 by Mexican legislator, Estanislao Cañedo. There are 102 letters from Plumb's friend, George Earl Church, from 1867 - 1907. Church was promoting a railroad and steamship line on the Amazon River and raising money in England. There are letters also from William R. Day (14), Hamilton Fish (3), Richard C. McCormick (15), William H. Seward (7), Philip H. Sheridan (4), and William T. Sherman (2). Diplomat John Watson Foster is represented by 38 letters and Henry C. Hall by 40. There are 15 letters by William Hunter of the State Department and 23 by Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada, president of Mexico. Among the businessmen with whom Plumb corresponded James S. Mackie is represented by 15 letters and Henry G. Marquand by 22. There are 67 letters between 1862 and 1898 from Matias Romero, Mexican diplomat and Plumb's personal friend.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item] Edward Lee Plumb Papers , M0149, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Mrs. Ida Husted Harper, 1915, 1916.

    Conditions Governing Use

    These materials are believed to be in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use of public domain materials.

    Conditions Governing Access

    Open for research. Note that material must be requested at least 36 hours in advance of intended use.


    Alaska boundary line,
    Allen, George F. (pres., Mexican Pacific Coal, etc.), 1-3.
    Allen, Thomas (1813-1882),
    Altamirano, Ignacio Manuel (1834-1893),
    Alvarez, Juan (1790?-1867), 2 (mentioned).
    Amazon River, 41-43.
    Arbitration Treaty - 1897, 50.
    Audenreid, Joseph Crain (d. 1880),
    Babcock, Orville E.,
    Badeau, Adam,
    Balcárcel, Blas,
    Ballon, George William,
    Baranda, José M.,
    Baranda, P. de,
    Barnes, John Sanford (pres., International RR), 29.
    Barron, William or Guillermo (Barron, Forbes & Co.),
    Barron, Forbes & Co.,
    Bates, Henry Walter, 42.
    Belize see British Honduras.
    Belknap, William Worth, 19.
    Benecke, Esteban,
    Berriozabal, Felipe B., 9.
    Biddle, Thomas, 17.
    Blake, William Phipps,
    Bond, Frank S.,
    Bond, William,
    Brackenridge, George W., 42.
    Brazil, 41-43.
    Bristed, Charles Astor, 20.
    Bristed, Grace [S. or B.?],
    British Honduras,
    Brown, Charles Kearney,
    Brown, [L.?] A.,
    Burnside, Ambrose Everett, 43.
    Caballero y Fernandez de Rodas, Antonio,
    Canada, 44.
    Cañedo, Estanislao,
    Castillo Velasco, José del, 19.
    Chew, R. S.,
    Chilton, R. S.,
    Church, George Earl,
    Church and state, 56.
    Clarke, Hyde,
    Coleman, William Tell, 15.
    Comonfort, Ignacio,
    Corbiere, W. A.,
    Cornwell, Timothy,
    Corwin, Thomas, 4.
    Courcillon, E. de, 6.
    Cowlitz Pass, Washington, 42.
    Crawley, George B.,
    Cross-Buchanan, William,
    Curran, Alexander L., 28.
    Curtin, Andrew Gregg, 16.
    Cushing, Caleb,
    Daly, Charles Patrick,
    Davidson, Nathaniel,
    Davis, Charles W.,
    Davis, John Chandler Bancroft,
    Day, William Rufus, 51-54.
    Delano, Warren H.,
    Dewey, George, 45.
    Diaz, Antonio C.,
    Diaz, Porfirio (José de la Cruz), mentioned only,
    Diaz, Ramon S., 10.
    Dillon, John Forrest, 45.
    Doubleday, Abner, 23.
    Downey, Edward,
    Dreyfus case, 52.
    Dunbar, Edward E.,
    Duncan, Alexander, 7.
    Dwight, Theodore F., 44.
    Enzenberg, Conde d', 21-24.
    Escobedo, Mariano,
    Evans, Walton W., 23-28.
    Fergusson, D., 19.
    Fesser, Francis,
    Fesser, José Antonio, 17.
    Fish, Hamilton,
    Flagg, John H., 42-44.
    Forbin-Janson, _______,
    Forney, John W., 17.
    Forrest, George J., 30.
    Foster, John Watson,
    Foster, William, 50.
    French invasion of Mexico,
    Gadsden, J. A., 12.
    Garay, Francisco de,
    Garrett, Thomas C.,
    Gates, J. E., 42.
    Geiger, John L.,
    Gerolt, F. von, 9-13.
    Gibbs, C. C.,
    Gobright, L. A., 24.
    Goodwin, John Noble,
    Gorsuch, Robert B. (railroad promoter), 9.
    Graham-Dunlop, A.,
    Granados, M. G., 25.
    Grandison, Thomas, 22.
    Grant, J. A., 44 (copies).
    Grant, Ulysses Simpson, mentioned in -
    Grow, Galusha Aaron,
    Guatamala, 9.
    Gutiérrez, Luis,
    Guzman, Ramon G.,
    Hall, Henry C.,
    Hall, Robert L., 33.
    Hanson, William R., 3.
    Harris, Ira, 10.
    Havana, Cuba,
    Hayes, R. S.,
    Hayes, Rutherford Birchard, mentioned in - 38.
    Herrereo de Tejada, Feliciano, 19.
    Hill, John,
    Hoadley, David,
    Hoff, Henry K.,
    Hogan, George W., 10.
    Hoxie, H. M.,
    Hubbard, Gardiner Greene, 50.
    Hunter, William,
    Huntington, Collis Potter, 47.
    Hurlbert, William Henry,
    Hurlbut, George C., 51-53.
    Iglesial, Ramon, 12.
    Iglesias, José María,
    International Railroad Co. of Texas see International and Great Northern Railroad Co.
    International and Great Northern Railroad Co.,
    Isthmian canal,
    Johnsen, Henry, 44.
    Johnson, Andrew - Impeachment, 10-12.
    Johnson, Lorenzo M.,
    Jones, J. O., 56.
    Jones, Joseph Russell,
    Juarez, Benito Pablo,
    Kautz, August V.,
    Kennedy, John S., 29.
    Kneass, Strickland,
    Knight, Sarah N.,
    Kurass, Strickland d', 46.
    Labastida y Davalos, Pelagio Antonio (archbishop of Mexico), 24.
    Lancaster, Jones, Alfonso, 22.
    La Remitrie, H. R. de,
    Lastra y Bonillé, Luis N. de la, 11.
    Lee, Albert Lindley, 19.
    Lerdo de Tejada, Sebastián,
    Lizardi, M. J. de, 12.
    Lodge, Henry Cabot, 52.
    Lopez, Felipe, 37.
    Lord, C. H. 43.
    McCook, Alexander, McDowell, 43.
    McCook, Edward Moody, 23.
    McCormick, Richard Cunningham,
    McKinley, William, 50 (formal invitation, handwritten).
    McLane, Allen, 9.
    McLane, Robert Milligan, 33.
    MacVeagh, (Isaac) Wayne,
    Macin, F. D.,
    Mackie, Charles Paul,
    Mackie, James S.,
    Mackie, James Steuart,
    Madrid, Manuel I.,
    Magnus, R. von (Baron, Prussian minister to Mexico), 10.
    Mancera, Gabriel,
    Mariscal, Ignacio,
    Marquand, Henry Gurdon,
    Marshall, M. B.,
    Martinez, Guillermo, 42.
    Mata, J. M.,
    Maximilian (Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph, archduke of Austria & emperor of Mexico) mentioned in
    Mayoso, Martin, 11.
    Mejia, Ignacio,
    Mexican Central Railroad, 44.
    Mexican International Railroad,
    Mexican Pacific Coal and Iron Mining and Land Co., 1-4.
    Mexican Southern Railroad, 47.
    Mexico, Archbishop of, see Labastida.
    Mexico - Commerce,
    Mexico - Description and travel, 1-4.
    Mexico - Finances and foreign debt,
    Mexico - History - Foreign invasion,
    Mexico - Mines and mining,
    Mexico - Politics and government,
    Mexico - Railroads,
    Middleton, H. T. C., 10.
    Mitchell, Addison, 55.
    Morgan, John Tyler, 56.
    Moses, Isaac, 8.
    Navarro, Juan N., 45.
    Nelson, Thomas H.,
    New Almaden Quicksilver Mine,
    Newbold, R. S., 9.
    Newbold, William,
    New Orleans, 12.
    New Orleans - Vera Cruz steamers,
    Nicaragua canal,
    Northern Pacific Railroad,
    Nuestra Senora mine, 44.
    Ocampo de Mata, Josefa, 26.
    Ord, Edward O. C.,
    Pacific Railroad,
    Paige, Nath., 43.
    Palmer, Edward F., 9.
    Palmer, William Jackson,
    Panama canal,
    Paris (France) Exposition, 41.
    Pearsall, Thomas M.,
    Pelleschi, Giovanni, 53.
    Phelps, William Walter,
    Pierce, Thomas W.,
    Plumb, Albert Hale,
    Poe, Orlando Metcalfe, 43.
    Poole, Henry Ward,
    Poor, Charles H., 16.
    Poore, Benjamin Perley, 35.
    Porter, Horace, 16.
    Poston, Charles Debrille,
    Pothonier, Charles Sligo de,
    Puerto Rico, 54.
    Queretaro, siege of, 1867,
    Ramiro, Luis,
    Raphel, Joseph A., 13.
    Reed, Samuel C., 22.
    Richardson, D. S.,
    Riley, Henry Chauncey, 21.
    Roberts, Dionisio Lopez,
    Roberts, William Milnor,
    Roelofson, William F., 19.
    Romero, José M.,
    Romero, Matías,
    Romero Rubio, Manuel, 37.
    Rosecrans, William Starke,
    Ruthven, G. R.,
    Salm-Salm, Felix Nepomuk, Prince, mentioned, 10.
    Santacilia y Palacios, Pedro,
    Saulnier, E. H.,
    Savage, Thomas S., 10.
    Schleicher Gustave,
    Scott, Thomas A.,
    Sagura, Luis G.
    Seward, Frederick William,
    Seward, William Henry,
    Sewell, William Joyce,
    Shafter, William Rufus, mentioned,
    Sheridan, Philip Henry,
    Sherman, William Tecumseh,
    Silliman, Benjamin, 44.
    Skilton, Julius A.,
    Slavery - Cuba,
    Sloan, Samuel,
    Smith, Jaspar, 13-15.
    Sonora, Mexico,
    Soto, Mariano B., 23.
    Southern Pacific Railroad,
    Spanish-American War, 1898,
    Spofford, Ainsworth Rand, 43.
    Spofford, Richard Smith,
    Springer, James H., 13.
    Springer, Joseph A.,
    Stevens, Simon,
    Stillman, James, 51.
    Sturm, Herman,
    Sullivan, James, 19.
    Sumner, Charles,
    Swank, James Moore,
    Taylor, Moses,
    Taylor, R. W.,
    Texas - Mexico border,
    Texas railroads,
    Thomson, J. Edgar,
    Thornton, Sir Edward, 38.
    Tronbridge, J. T., 22.
    Uhink, Julio F.,
    Uhink, Valentin, 12.
    Union and Central Pacific Railroad - Consolidation, 79.
    U. S. Centennial Exposition, 34-36.
    Vega, Placido, mentioned,
    Velasco, Emilio, 20.
    Venezuelan boundary, 48-51.
    Vennon, Henry G., 44.
    Vera Cruz Railroad,
    Vernon, E. G., 45.
    Ward, Elijah,
    Ward, Samuel,
    Washington Territory, 42.
    Washington Treaty, 1871, 19.
    Welles, Gideon, 4 (copy).
    Wells, David Ames, 22.
    West, Joseph Rodman,
    Wetmore, Charles A., 43.
    White, Andrew Dickson,
    Whiting, William, 19.
    Whitney, Josiah Dwight, 2.
    Whitney, William Dwight, 13.
    Wilcox, Gurdon H., 44.
    Wilkes, George, 9.
    Wilson, George, 41.
    Witherspoon, J. M., 10.
    Worrall, [F. W.], 23.
    Worrall, T. H., 11.
    Wyman, John H., 23.
    Yardley, E. T., 33.
    Young, Edward, 34.
    Zamacona, Manuel,
    Zola trial, 52.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Mexico -- History
    Railroads -- Mexico -- History
    Diplomats -- United States -- Biography.