Nichols family archive, 1859-1899. (Archival material, 1859) [WorldCat.org]
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Nichols family archive, 1859-1899.

Author: Nichols family.; George Granville Nichols; Smith Woodward Nichols; Smith Woodward Jr Nichols
Publisher: 1859-1899.
Edition/Format:   Archival material : English
Summary:
The Nichols family archive consists of correspondence, manuscript volumes, military records, and photographs. George Granville Nichols's letters constitute the largest group of correspondence. His letters from Iowa covered economic, social, and political life in the antebellum Midwest. He wrote about the politics of slavery and abolition, and activities of the local fraternities and lodges. His letters also
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Genre/Form: Cartes-de-visite (card photographs)
Correspondence (letters)
Daguerreotypes (photographs)
Lectures
Military records
History
Personal narratives
Personal correspondence
Sources
Correspondence
Named Person: Nichols family.; Nichols family.
Document Type: Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: Nichols family.; George Granville Nichols; Smith Woodward Nichols; Smith Woodward Jr Nichols
OCLC Number: 1049803949
More information:

Abstract:

The Nichols family archive consists of correspondence, manuscript volumes, military records, and photographs. George Granville Nichols's letters constitute the largest group of correspondence. His letters from Iowa covered economic, social, and political life in the antebellum Midwest. He wrote about the politics of slavery and abolition, and activities of the local fraternities and lodges. His letters also contained detailed discussion of his plans to go West to mine for gold, complete with considerations of logistics, competitors, and financial risks. His wartime letters covered the entire period of his service in the 42nd Massachusetts Infantry Regiment. Nichols's letters to his family contained highly informative and vivid descriptions of the American Civil War in Louisiana, including his encounters with slaves, "contrabands," women of color, "rebels," Confederate prisoners, spies, and even some rather creative cotton smugglers. Smith Woodward Nichols, Jr.'s letters described his studies the Naval Academy and his American Civil War service, including an account of the assault of Fort Fisher. In addition to letters from the Nichols brothers, letters from other family members are present in the collection and present a great resource for examining family and social dynamics of the American Civil War era.

A highlight of the collection is a 27-page diary letter written by George Granville Nichols to his family on May 1, 1859 (Box 1, Folder 7). This diary letter documented one of the most celebrated post-California gold rushes, the excitement that erupted after the discovery of gold in the vicinity of present-day Denver, Colorado. Nichols commented about the difficult conditions of travel, the captivating sights of unfamiliar wild life (especially buffalo), encounters with and presence of Indigenous peoples, and the great number of gold seekers on the road. Part of the journey occurred along the Santa Fe Trail.

Box 2 includes three volumes of lectures recorded by Commander Smith Woodward Nichols, Jr. In 1880, Nichols was ordered to take courses on torpedoes, explosives, and electricity at the United States Torpedo Station in Newport, Rhode Island.

Box 3 primarily includes correspondence related to George Granville Nichols's military service from the United States Army Quartermaster General's Office; United States Department of Treasury; and United States War Department Subsistence Department. He accumulated this paperwork during his service as the assistant quartermaster of the 4th Mass. Artillery, including special orders, requests for ambulances, and proceedings of a board survey. There are three cartes-de-visite, one daguerreotype, and a United States Navy medal of service, likely owned by Smith Woodward Nichols, Jr.

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