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Cooper-Hewitt Papers received from the Passaic County Historical Society

Box 20: Peter Cooper: Correspondence, Glue Factory

[ For Abram Stevens Hewitt’s correspondence mentioning Peter Cooper, please see Box 7:   Abram S. Hewitt:  Personal and Family Papers and Correspondence, Folders 8 and 9 ]

For correspondence to Peter Cooper regarding Cooper Union, please see Box 23, Folder 15: Cooper Union III, Correspondence 1866-1874, and Speech 1871.  Box 23 also includes contracts for Peter Cooper’s house at 9 Lexington Avenue, and information on tributes and monuments to Peter Cooper ]

Folder 1:  Book owned by Peter Cooper:  “A Short History of Paper History and Banking in the United States, including an account of Provincial and Continental Paper Money...” by William M. Gouge, 1833, Philadelphia (in poor condition, with spine missing), with Peter Cooper's signature on three different pages, and pencil markings on pages.

Folder 2: Correspondence Addressed to Peter Cooper (Undated, 1853-1875)

Folder 3: Peter Cooper's account with Cooper Hewitt & Co., December 31, 1870 (ledger sheet)

Folder 4: Glue Factory Correspondence (1872-1899)

The glue factory was developed by Peter Cooper, and management was taken over by Edward Cooper and Abram Hewitt.  Folder contains invoice from the factory and general correspondence, including references to Abram S. Hewitt possibly relocating the factory to the Hackensack Meadows, New Jersey.

Folder 5: “The United States” Pamphlet, 1874 and Correspondence

Notes on pamphlet: “Hon. Peter Cooper with compliments of M. De Embil requesting your observations”, including a cover letter from De Embil to Peter Cooper 1875.

Folder 6: Hughes Family Correspondence regarding William Hasting Hughes’ work on “The Life And Times of Peter Cooper,”  1871-1886.

Folder 7: Allegations against Peter Cooper

Folder includes newspaper clipping and accusatory letter dated December 10, 1880 from Francis Reed Porter, with no addressee. Newspaper article suggests that Peter Cooper and others paid bribes to suppress an article in the National Journal.

Folder 8: Cooper Limestone Institute, South Carolina

Mention of Peter Cooper in correspondence of October 23, 1890.

Folder 9: Peter Cooper Mortgage on Durham Iron Works, Doylestown, PA,  1865.

Folder 10:   Peter Cooper Death Notices I

Includes entire issue of The Mail Express: The New York Evening Express, April 4, 1883, entitled “Peter Cooper Dead.”  [Paper is extremely fragile].

Folder 11:  Peter Cooper Death Notices II

Press Clippings,  1883.

Folder 12:  Peter Cooper Death Notices III

Press Clippings,  1883.

Box 21: Cooper Union I

Folder 1: Peter Cooper, to the New York State Legislature, March 22, 1856:  Request for Charter for Cooper Union.

Folder 2: Cooper Union Charter:  Printed, 1857   (2 copies)

Folder 3: Cooper Union Charter Amended:  Handwritten, 1857.

Folder 4: Cooper Union Charter:  Handwritten, (1859?).

Folder 5: Cooper Union Charter:  Legislative bill with markup, April 13, 1859.

Folder 6: Peter Cooper’s Letter to the Trustees, accompanying the Trust Deed of 1859.

Folder 7:  Cooper Union Regulations and Bylaws - handwritten, no date.

Folder 8: Foundation Building – Contracts, Services, Utilities, 1852-1880

Includes Peter Cooper contracts with architect Fredrick A. Petersen, builders Amos Woodruff’s Sons, etc.  Also includes contracts for bricks and stone supplies.

Folder 9:  Foundation Building  - Elevator Specifications, 1879

Folder 10:  Foundation Building -  Improvements, 1879-1900

Folder 11: Foundation Building - Renovations by Leopold Eidlitz, 1889-92

(See also letter from Eidlitz to Abram Hewitt, in which Eidlitz writes in favor of his daughter’s application to teach Art at Cooper Union:  Letter dated May 8, 1896, in Box 22, Folder 1: Cooper Union - Employment Applications, 1857-1902).

Folder 12: Foundation Building - Leases and Tenants 1870-1900

Files predominantly related to the American Bank Note Company.

Folder 13: Foundation Building - Leases and Tenants - American Bank Note Co.

Includes lease dated March 16, 1869 with 4 architectural drawings of the foundation building (12 ¼” x 15”).

Folder 14: Foundation Building – Leases and Tenants – Inventors’ Institute, 1883-1885

Includes letter re purchase of shoes “to be distributed to poor children through the fund established by the late Hon. Peter Cooper …”

Folder 15: Cooper Union – Objectives, Early Plans, Undated, 1854

Folder 16:  Cooper Union – Development of Curricula, 1852-1902

Folder 17:  Cooper Union – Course Proposals, 1870-1902

Folder 18: Reports by Faculty, including Equipment Requests, 1872-1900

[for reports regarding the Women’s Art School, see Box 22, Folder 6: Women’s Art School]

Includes letter from Wallace Goold Levison referring to Thomas Edison and the Edison System, and including a list from Edison of recommended equipment for Cooper Union’s electrical laboratory.

Includes multiple reports and requests from Professor William Anthony regarding equipment for the Mechanical Engineering labs.

Folder 19: Fitzgerald Tisdall - Reports, Curriculum, Planning, Correspondence, 1861-1900

Includes “Manual For The Art Schools;” also includes Cooper Union Summer report 1875-1876.

Box 22: Cooper Union II

Folder 1: Employment Applications, Related Discussions 1857-1902

Folder 2: Personnel, Personnel Changes, etc. 1872-1901

Includes matted photograph of Rossiter W. Raymond dated January 1897 with signature (R. W. Raymond was the acting manager of the Cooper Union lectures) (7 ¾” x 10”)

Folder 3: Library and Reading Room 1870-1924

Folder 4: Phonography Class 1870-1900

Folder 5: School of Telegraphy 1870, 1882

Folder 6: Women’s Art School – Correspondence and Reports, 1862-1899

Includes much correspondence from Susan N. Carter, Director of the School, to Abram Hewitt.

Folder 7: Cooper Union Museum of the Arts and Decoration - Annual Meeting, Chart and Correspondence

Folder 8: Cooper Union -- Students 1870-1901

Folder 9: Trustees- Letters 1902 and 1905 and undated resolution

Includes letters from John E. Parsons, memo signed by Edward Cooper, John Parsons and Andrew Carnegie, and draft of Resolution regarding submission of projected expenses by the Woman’s Art School and the Science programs.

Folder 10: Cooper Union Alumni Association 1878-1900

Folder 11:  Cooper Union: Public Lectures, Meetings, and Performances, 1870-1903

Includes correspondence with C. Sprague Smith (People's Institute), Henry Bellows, Frank Damrosch, J.J. Watson (violinist), Benjamin Silliman, Jr. and others.

Also includes letter dated November 7, 1860 from Henry Bellows

Folder 12:  John Celivergos Zachos, (Professor of Literature and Curator)

Correspondence from Zachos to Abram Hewitt and Peter Cooper.  Also included are letters from attorney Wager Swayne to Abram Hewitt, regarding Zachos’ invention of a typewriter and possible investment in its production. 

Box 23: Cooper Union III. (Also: Passaic County Historical Society)

Folder 1:   Cooper Union:  List of Graduates, 1864 to 1869

Folder 2:   Cooper Union Commencement Program, 1865

Folder 3:  Abram Hewitt’s 40th Speech as Secretary of the Cooper Union, 1899

Folder 4:  Abram Hewitt Commencement Address, 1901   (“as free as water and air”)

Folder 5:  Abram Hewitt Commencement Address, 1902.   (“as free as air and water”)
Additional carbon copy included; received March 2017 from Passaic County Historical Society.

Folder 6: Cooper Union Annual Report 1903

Folder 7:  Cooper Union – General Correspondence, undated.

Folder 8:  Cooper Union – General Correspondence, 1859-1919
Most correspondence addressed to Abram S. Hewitt

Folder 9: Abram Hewitt Correspondence: Cooper Union and Columbia University 1868-1902

  • Includes 1867-1868 correspondence relating to the Columbia Lecture Series at Cooper Union.
  • Includes correspondence with Columbia President Seth Low regarding the possibility of Cooper Union’s purchase of Columbia’s former property; also correspondence with Columbia President Nicholas Murray Butler regarding the incorporation of Cooper Union into Columbia University.
  • File also includes draft proposal for merger, and letter of objection from Charles Sprague Smith (head of the People’s Institute at Cooper Union).

Folder 10:  Cooper Union:  Article about Cooper Union from National Prosperity, v.3, no.1, March 1, 1901
Five-page article includes 5 engraved illustrations:  art gallery and electrical and chemical laboratories.

Folder 11: Cooper Union Financial 1876-1901
Correspondence regarding financial information on the Cooper Union and various loose ledger papers

Folder 12: Bequests and Gifts to Cooper Union, 1900-1904

Folder 13:  Andrew Carnegie – Correspondence and Gifts to Cooper Union, 1887-1902
Includes excerpt from Minutes of the Cooper Union Trustees’ meeting of February 4, 1902, at which Abram Hewitt announced the Cooper-Hewitt family’s intent to match Carnegie’s gift (see Folder 12).
Additional carbon copy included; received March 2017 from Passaic County Historical Society.

Folder 14: Cooper-Hewitt Family Gifts to Cooper Union, 1880-1903
Includes drafts of trust documents conveying the land known as Vanderbilt Flats (on which the Chrysler Building was later built) to the Cooper-Hewitt family trust, and later documents dissolving the trust so that the land could be conveyed directly to Cooper Union, to match the gifts given by Andrew Carnegie (see Folder 11).

Folder 15:  Peter Cooper: Correspondence 1866-1874, and Speech 1871
Includes draft of 1871 speech given by Peter Cooper in response to the gift of the wooden plaque with engravings that hangs in the lobby of the Foundation Building.

Folder 16: Peter Cooper - Lexington Avenue House – Contracts, etc., 1850-1884.
Includes contracts with Frederick A. Petersen, architect of the Foundation Building, and others, for building Peter Cooper’s home at 9 Lexington Avenue

Folder 17: Peter Cooper - Tributes, 1884-1899

  • Includes correspondence between Rossiter W. Raymond and a potential biographer of Peter Cooper, Edwards Lester, 1884.
  • Includes letter suggesting that a New York City school be named after Peter Cooper, 1889.
  • Includes letter from sculptor Charles Calverley with description and a sketch of a bronze tablet in honor of Peter Cooper.

Folder 18:  Peter Cooper  -  Green-Wood Cemetery  -  Proposed Monument

Folder 19: Peter Cooper  -  Saint-Gaudens Monument, 1887-1897
Includes correspondence from sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, relating to insuring the monument; also correspondence from Stanford White, regarding fabrication of the monument’s pedestal.
Also included are tickets to the unveiling of the statue, on May 29, 1897.

Folder 20: Passaic County Historical Society  (Undated, 1940)
Folder contains handwritten notes regarding processing of these papers at the Passaic County Historical Society, and WPA form used in processing of the papers as a WPA project.

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