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William A. Lamson letterpress copybook

Ms. Codex 1791

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Creator:
Lamson, William A., (William Ayres), 1859-1914
Title:
William A. Lamson letterpress copybook
Date [inclusive]:
1882-1883
Call Number:
Ms. Codex 1791
Extent:
1 volume (+ 11 leaves)
Language:
English
Abstract:
A letterpress copybook containing the personal outgoing correspondence of William A. Lamson spanning six months from November 1882 to May 1883. During this six-month period Lamson worked as secretary for the Mexican Central Railway Company and was living in a mining camp in Sonora, Mexico. There are 500 numbered leaves comprising letters arranged in chronological order addressed to family and friends regarding his journey to Mexico, his experiences at camp, duties of his job, living conditions, and observations of the Mexican people, culture, and customs.
Cite as:
Ms. Codex 1791, William A. Lamson letterpress copybook, 1882-1883, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

Lamson was born in West Brookfield, Massachusetts to Harrison Otis Lamson and Harriet Elizabeth Warren on October 23, 1859. Raised in Newton, Massachusetts Lamson attended the local high school. After graduation he attended Harvard University receiving a Bachelor of Arts in 1881. Lamson worked for the Mexican Central Railway Company from September 1881 to May 1883. During the last six months of his employment at the company he lived at a mining camp in Sonora, Mexico serving as as secretary to the superintendent. Lamson lived in Chicago and worked the banking industry and the mercantile business. Lamson then became a broker in the commerical paper industry in New York. He married Marie Lucille Cobb in Chicago on January 17, 1900. They lived in New York City and had one son, William Cobb Lamson born on May 12, 1905.

Scope and Contents

This clothbound volume with "Wm. A. Lamson, private" stamped in gold on the cover and "Letters" stamped on the spine is a letterpress copybook containing the personal outgoing correspondence of William A. Lamson spanning six months from November 1882 to May 1883. During this six-month period Lamson worked as secretary for the Mexican Central Railway Company and was living in a mining camp in Sonora, Mexico. There is an alphabetical index with finding tabs at the beginning of the volume listing forty-nine correspondents along with the appropriate page numbers. Following the index are 500 numbered leaves with the letters arranged in chronological order. Lamson's outgoing correspondence consisted of letters to family and friends regarding his journey to Mexico, his experiences at the camp, duties of his job, living conditions, and observations of the Mexican people, culture, and customs. Lamson described the landscape, architecture, clothing and behavior of the inhabitants. Lamson wrote his parents often and in addition to his observations asked them to send him things he needed with specific instructions on how to wrap and send the items. Lamson wrote many long letters to his friends Fred Crawford, Mr. Mason where in some letters he noted witnessing some violent encounters and discussed hearing of attacks by Apache tribes on women and children. He also wrote Fred of a game played with colleagues and recorded the scores for each person. Additional correspondence includes letters regarding salary and seeking a job after his return to Newton, Massachusetts. There are two leaves of worn blotting paper laid in the volume. Also laid in the volume are five telegrams from E. W. Cushing dated April and May 1883 concerning Lamson's future employment, five leaves written in pencil entitled "Experience of a Boston Boy in Mexico," and a clipping of a St. Louis train schedule. Leaves 350 to 500 are blank.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  February 2017

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Donna Brandolisio

Access Restrictions

Access to this item is subject to staff review.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Source of Acquisition

Sold by Martin Hartzhold, Bookseller (Findlay, Ohio), 2016

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • Mexican Central Railway Co--History--Sources.
Form/Genre(s)
  • Codices
  • Correspondence
  • Finding tabs
  • Letterpress copybooks
  • Manuscripts, American--19th century
Geographic Name(s)
  • Mexico--Description and travel--19th century
  • Sonora (Mexico : State)--Descritption and travel--19th century

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Collection Inventory

Volume

William A. Lamson letterpress copybook, 1882-1883.

1