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Guide to the James Martin Bell Papers, 1768-1870 and undated

Abstract

Lawyer, political leader, ironmaster, railroad promoter, and banker, of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania.

Correspondence and business papers reflecting the major part played by Bell and his family in the economic development of central Pennsylvania and other areas. Among the subjects dealt with are the building of internal improvements, the charcoal iron industry in the Juniata Valley, land titles and speculation, and early growth of the Pennsylvania Railroad under J. Edgar Thomson and others, tariff bills, the economic cycle of booms and depressions, the evolution of the monetary and banking system, telegraph companies, coal mining, Lake Superior copper mining, and Bell’s active interest in Whig and Republican Party politics. Papers of the Civil War period illustrate the impact of the conflict on the business community in the North, and on the people of Pennsylvania during Confederate raids and invasions. Some papers relate to tests of Pennsylvania iron made at the Washington Navy Yard by Captain Dahlgren, to Bell’s service as agent of Jay Cooke in floating Federal loans in Pennsylvania, and to the effect of the war on the banking system. Included are two early railroad broadsides from Bellefontaine and Indiana Railroad and Union Pacific Railroad (1856 and 1867).

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Bell, James Martin.
Title
James Martin Bell papers 1768-1870 and undated
Language of Material
English
Extent
13,604 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

Correspondence and business papers reflecting the major part played by Bell and his family in the economic development of central Pennsylvania and other areas. Among the subjects dealt with are the building of internal improvements, the charcoal iron industry in the Juniata Valley, land titles and speculation, and early growth of the Pennsylvania Railroad under J. Edgar Thomson and others, tariff bills, the economic cycle of booms and depressions, the evolution of the monetary and banking system, telegraph companies, coal mining, Lake Superior copper mining, and Bell’s active interest in Whig and Republican Party politics. Papers of the Civil War period illustrate the impact of the conflict on the business community in the North, and on the people of Pennsylvania during Confederate raids and invasions. Some papers relate to tests of Pennsylvania iron made at the Washington Navy Yard by Captain Dahlgren, to Bell’s service as agent of Jay Cooke in floating Federal loans in Pennsylvania, and to the effect of the war on the banking system. Included are two early railroad broadsides from Bellefontaine and Indiana Railroad and Union Pacific Railroad (1856 and 1867).

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Letters, 1768-1834 July
Box 1
Letters, 1834 Aug.-1837 May
Box 2
Letters, 1837 June-1839 Feb.
Box 3
Letters, 1839 Mar.-1840 Apr. 13
Box 4
Letters, 1840 Apr. 14-1842 Aug.
Box 5
Letters, 1842 Sept.-1843 July
Box 6
Letters, 1843 Aug.-1844 July
Box 7
Letters, 1844 Aug.-1854 Aug.
Box 8
Letters, 1845 Sept.-1846 May
Box 9
Letters, 1846 June-1848 July
Box 10
Letters, 1848 Aug.-1852
Box 11
Letters, 1853-1855 Nov.
Box 12
Letters, 1855 Dec.-1857
Box 13
Letters, 1858-1859
Box 14
Letters, 1860-1862
Box 15
Letters, 1863-1865
Box 16
Letters, 1866-1868
Box 17
Letters, 1869-1870 and undated
Box 18
Legal Papers (cases), 1755-1844
Box 19
Legal Papers (cases), 1766-1848
Box 20
Legal Papers (cases), 1771-1852
Box 21
Legal Papers (cases), 1794-1847
Box 22
Legal Papers (cases), 1811-1858
Box 23
Legal Papers (cases), 1832-1859
Box 24
Legal Papers (cases), 1842-1869
Box 25
Legal Papers (personal), 1823-1869
Box 26
Legal Papers (misc.), 1779-1843
Box 27
Legal Papers (misc.), 1844-1896 and undated
Box 28
Printed materials
Boxes 29-31
Bills, Receipts, etc., 1765-1830s
Box 32
Bills, Receipts, etc., 1830s
Box 33
Bills, Receipts, etc., 1840s
Box 34
Bills, Receipts, etc., 1840s-1850s
Box 35
Bills, Receipts, etc., 1850s
Box 36
Bills, Receipts, etc., 1860s-1870s and undated
Box 37

Volumes Series

(3 boxes)
Volumes
Boxes 38-40

Two railroad broadsides: opening of Union Pacific westward line to San Francisco, prob. 1867 (large); announcement for Bellefontaine and Indiana Railroad/Penssylvania Railroad, 1856 (small). Both are in black, white, and red print.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], James Martin Bell Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Provenance

The James Martin Bell Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library in 1956.

Processing Information

Processed by Rubenstein Library staff

Encoded by Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, May 2008

Accession from 1956 is described in this finding aid.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.