- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
- Access & Use
- Collection History
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- Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
- Henry Robert Taylor Family Papers
- Manuscripts Division
- Permanent URL:
- 1 box
- Storage Note:
- Firestone Library (mss): Box B-001244
Consists of a group of family papers documenting Henry Robert Taylor's role in a California gold prospecting company called Cunningham & Co. from 1849 to 1851, his travels in South America from 1852 to 1857, his survey work in the Nebraska Territory in 1858 and 1859, and his family's efforts to publish his travel journals in the early 20th century.
Collection Description & Creator Information
Consists of a group of family papers documenting Henry Robert Taylor's role in a California gold prospecting company called Cunningham & Co. from 1849 to 1851, his travels in South America from 1852 to 1857, and his survey work in the Nebraska Territory in 1858 and 1859. Earlier materials include some of Taylor's own writings, correspondence, drawings, land surveys, maps, and personal documents, as well as abstracts and synopses of his travel journals, the originals of which appear to have been lost. Later papers, primarily dating from 1913 to 1915, derive from Taylor's son Henry K. Taylor's unsuccessful efforts to edit and publish his father's travel narratives into two books ("The Journal of a Forty-Niner" and "Five Years of Travel and Adventure in South America"). Letters from Henry Robert Taylor to his son and his son's correspondence with various publishers discuss the financial and logistical aspects involved with publishing the journals. Other materials include clippings and biographical essays about Henry Robert Taylor, a letter from Taylor's grandmother to his mother, and genealogical notes.
As no original order was discernible, materials were arranged by family member.
- Collection Creator Biography:
Henry Robert Taylor was born in Newfane, Vermont, in 1830. He studied civil engineering and surveying at Saxton's River Seminary (Vermont Academy) before traveling to California via the Cape Horn route to become a "forty-niner" during the California Gold Rush. Taylor returned east in 1852, and shortly after, left again for South America via Panama. He spent the mid-1850s traveling through Ecuador, Chile, Peru, and Bolivia and working for the Chilean coast survey. Returning to the United States in 1857, he worked as a government surveyor for two years in the Nebraska Territory and later in Maine. Taylor eventually settled in Machias, Maine, and in 1862, married Amelia N. Longfellow, with whom he had two daughters and a son. After his first wife's death, Taylor was remarried to Laura E. Smith, with whom he had another two sons and two daughters. His son Henry K. Taylor made several unsuccessful attempts to publish his father's travel journals in the 1910s.
Purchased from Sotheby's in 2019 (AM 2019-80).
- Archival Appraisal Information:
No materials were removed from the collection during 2019 processing.
- Processing Information:
This collection was processed by Kelly Bolding in March 2019. Finding aid written by Kelly Bolding in March 2019.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
Open for research.
- Conditions for Reproduction and Use:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.
- Credit this material:
Henry Robert Taylor Family Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Permanent URL:
- Firestone LibraryOne Washington RoadPrinceton, NJ 08544, USA(609) 258-3184
- Subject Terms:
- Gold miners -- United States -- 19th century -- Correspondence.
Gold mines and mining -- California -- Sacramento -- History -- 19th century.
Prospecting -- West (U.S.) -- 19th century -- Sources.
Travel writing -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
- Genre Terms:
- Correspondence -- 19th century.
Drawings -- 19th century.
Synopses -- 19th century.
- California -- Description and travel -- 19th century -- Sources.
Nebraska -- Description and travel -- 19th century -- Sources.
South America -- Description and travel -- 19th century -- Sources.