GLMS 17 - Charles T. Harvey Papers
|Title||GLMS 17 - Charles T. Harvey Papers|
|Subject||Business & Commerce|
The Charles Thompson Harvey Papers consist principally of the personal correspondence between Charles Thompson Harvey (1829-1912), engineer-inventory, and his wife Sara Van Eps Harvey (1838-1916). He was responsible for both the construction of the St. Mary's Falls Ship Canal, connecting Lake Superior and Lake Huron (1853-1855) and the first elevated railroad in New York city (1868).
This collection of correspondence, dating between 1858 and 1872 was loaned to the Center for Archival Collections in 1979 through the cooperative efforts of Dr. Richard Wright, Director, CAC, William Jeffrey Welsh, doctoral candidate, Bowling Green State University, and Harvey's grandchildren, Mr. William C. Johnson of Hiram, Ohio, and Ms. Charlotte Voorhis of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Ms. Voorhis has consented to the microfilming of these letters for the purposes of scholarly research. This collection was processed and the register completed by Rebecaa A. Harkema, Graduate Assistant, Department of History, Bowling Green State University.
Property, literary and duplication rights for the microfilm of the Charles Thompson Harvey Papers, in the custody of the Center for Archival Collections, have been dedicated to the public.
Charles Thompson Harvey was born in Westchester, Connecticut, on June 26, 1829, the son of Reverend Joseph Harvey and Catherine Desire Selden. After attending various academies near Thompsonville, Connecticut, he began his business career as a salesman for the Fairbanks Scales Company, becoming general agent as Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, in 1852. During his residency, he served as superintendent of construction and engineer for the St. Mary's Falls Ship Canal (1853-1855). During the 1855 and 1856 sessions of Congress, Harvey advocated federal support of railroads to Lake Superior, which ultimately secured ten million acres of public lands for that purpose. In 1858, he married Sarah Van Eps; they had seven children.
Harvey became general agent for the Northern Iron Company (1859), and was responsible for the construction of an iron fence on the southern shore of Lake Superior. The town of Harvey, Michigan, consequently developed this enterprise.
From 1863 to 1864, Harvey served as chief engineer in the construction of the Peninsula Railroad, which was the first railroad to reach Lake Superior, extending from the headwaters of Green Bay, Wisconsin, to Marquette, Michigan.
One of Harvey's major achievements was the construction of an experimental section of the world's first elevated railroad (1868), located in New York City. His rights to expand the project were suppressed by the "Tracy Clique," which acquired a majority of the stock and thus forced Harvey out of the enterprise. Subsequently, Harvey spent over twenty-five years appealing his case in an effort to gain compensation for this elevated railway scheme. Two bills (1891 and 1892) were passed by the New York legislature for compensation in this matter, and both were vetoed.
Harvey died in New York in 1912, at the age of eighty-three.
|Scope and Content|
The Charles Thompson Harvey Papers mainly consist of the personal correspondence between Harvey and his wife, Sarah Van Eps Harvey spanning the years 1858 to 1872. The bulk of the collection deals with the period 1858 to 1865, which followed the construction of the St. Mary's Falls Ship Canal, and was prior to the construction of the first elevated railroad in New York City. Between these two major achievements, Harvey served as general agent for the Northern Iron Company. He was responsible for building an iron furnace on the southern shore of Lake Superior near Marquette, which developed into the town of Harvey, Michigan. Also during this period, Harvey was involved with the construction of the first railroad to reach Lake Superior.
This collection provides information concerning family matters and Harvey's extensive business travels. Harvey often confided in Sarah about evolving business transactions, allowing some insight into his various enterprises.
Included in the correspondence between Harvey and his wife are miscellaneous items, including several poems, broadsides, photographs, and correspondence with immediate relatives and various business associates.
SARAH VAN EPS HARVEY CORRESPONDENCE
CHARLES THOMPSON HARVEY CORRESPONDENCE
Charles Harvey to Sarah Harvey
Miscellaneous Items in Sarah Harvey Letter Box
Sarah Harvey to Charles Harvey
Miscellaneous Items in Charles Harvey Letter Box