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Collamer Abbott Collection

 Collection
Identifier: mss-191

Scope and Content

The Abbott Collection is composed of 8 cartons of papers, 1 carton of card files, 1 carton of notebooks, 1 box of oversize maps, 2 boxes of photographs, 5 boxes of glass plate negatives, and 1 carton of plastic negatives.

The papers are divided into a "General File" and a "Works File." The "General File" contains such things as background material on various minerals, information on State mineral resources, and maps of mining areas within the U.S. A large section of the General File is comprised of background material on Vermont, particularly information concerning the small towns and villages in the Orange County mining district. In addition to general background information, the General File serves as a catch-all for miscellaneous pieces. Folders in the General File are arranged alphabetically, while the material within each of these folders is ordered chronologically.

The Works File contains drafts of Abbott's writings, and any correspondence and background material relating directly to these works. The three largest works come first, in the order in which they were written: first Ely Copper Mine: A Case History, followed by Green Mountain Copper, and then Appalachian Copper. For all three of these titles, the correspondence and background material is filed first, followed by the drafts and typescripts. The final series in the Works File consists of Articles, arranged alphabetically, filed with correspondence, background material and drafts. The sub-series in the Works File are arranged chronologically, so as not to disrupt the sense of historical continuity which Abbott was attempting to recreate.

There are four card files, filled with index cards, in carton 9 of the collection. This appears to be Abbott's reference file for his research on mining and minerals.

Although most of the maps in the Abbott collection are filed in the General File, there are several oversize maps which are filed separately. These maps, ranging in dates from 1858 to 1960, are mainly of the copper mines in Orange County.

The notebooks in carton 11 are numbered sequentially, but they are undated. These books contain notes Abbott took as he read through his sources, both primary and secondary.

The photographs mainly depict the streets, shops, houses, and inhabitants of the small towns and villages in the Orange County Copper district: West Fairlee, Ely, Wilder, and Post Mills. There are also some photographs of the mining operations at all three of the major sites--Ely, Corinth, and Strafford. Included with the Abbott photos are some from Dr. P.S. Smith, of the U.S. Geological Survey. Although there are photos from as early as 1850, and as late as 1968, the years 1870-1906 seem to predominate in this collection.

Like the photos, the glass negatives are largely of the towns in the Orange County Copper district, primarily Wilder and West Fairlee. These glass plates are first ordered according to size--4 x 5, 5 x 7, or 8 x 10. Within these size categories, the plates are arranged alphabetically according to place, if known. Plates in which the location is unknown follow the identified plates, and are arranged alphabetically according to subject. Most of these glass plates are undated, but from the few that do have a date, the years 1905-1916 form a time span.

The plastic negatives seem to concentrate on the mining towns--Copperfield, Strafford and Corinth. These include negatives of streets, shops, and people, as well as of mines, miners, and mining equipment. There is also a substantial amount of negatives of photos of documents and maps, some pertaining to these mines, while others are reproductions of Isaac Tyson Jr.'s memo book and Roswell Farnham's Business papers, from his years with the Vermont Copper Company. Carton 19 contains 11 small boxes of these negatives. All of these boxes and most of the negative sleeves within them have been labeled by Abbott. The negatives have been categorized according to place when known, or according to subject, when the location is not known. A typed label on each box briefly identifies the contents, attempts to establish the range of dates, and lists the size and number of negatives in that box.

Dates

  • 1753-1976

Creator

Access:

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights:

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Collamer Abbott was born in 1919 in Wilder, Vermont, just a few miles away from the site of the Ely copper mines. Abbott later became the historian for the Vermont Copper Company, which owned these mines.

This involvement with copper mining has constituted only one of Abbott's interests. He has also worked in journalism, serving as reporter, photographer, and deskman at newspapers in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. In addition, he is a former associate editor of Ski magazine.

Abbott has also had experience as an English Instructor, teaching for five years at Castleton State College. He has written many articles and book reviews for historical and regional magazines, as well as for major newspapers. These articles include "Isaac Tyson Jr.: Pioneer Industrialist," in Business History Review, 1968; "New England Money goes South," in Georgia Historical Quarterly, 1965; and "New England's Mining Relics," in The New England Galaxy, 1965.

Of primary interest to this collection is Abbott's interest in copper mining, both in Vermont and throughout the Eastern United States. From this interest came Abbott's two major manuscripts: Green Mountain Copper: The Story of Vermont's Red Metal, and Appalachian Copper. (Green Mountain Copper originally appeared in serial form in the White River Valley Herald in 1973. This series was combined and published in pamphlet form by the Herald Printery that same year. An expanded version of this manuscript remains unpublished, as does the manuscript for Appalachian Copper, Abbott's comprehensive study of copper mining in the Eastern United States.

Extent

15.0 Linear feet

Overview

The Abbott Collection is composed of papers, maps, and photographs on mining and minerals, particularly in Vermont and the Eastern United States.

Physical Location

Library Research Annex; contact uvmsc@uvm.edu for access.

Separation Sheet

Items added to the Wilbur Collection:

from 1-21:
Pamphlet, "History of the Tunbridge World's Fair," by Carol Moller, [1871]
from 1-75:
Map of Vermont and New Hampshire, 1880
from 1-76:
Map of Vermont, from 1882 legislative directory
from 1-77:
Map of Vermont, 1916
from 1-79:
Zadock Thompson's map of Vermont, n.d.
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-16:
The Bradford Opinion
from 4-18:
Pamphlet, "The Kent Museum in Calais, Vt.," n.d.
from 4-27:
Business cards, photographs, a; belonging to Roswell Farnham, all n.d. Added to Farnham Collection.
from 4-30:
Pamphlets, "50 years of Service--First National Bank, White River Junction, Vermont 1886-1936." "The Gateway of Vermont--Hartford and its Villages, " [1903] School paper, "The Hartford Smudge," Hartford High School, June 25, 1935 (found under Hartford H. S. in serials file).
from 4-31:
Pamphlet, "St. Anthony's, White River Junction, Centennial Anniversary, 1869-1969."
from 4-36:
Pamphlets, "Vermont. . .a glimpse of its Scenery and Industries," by Victor I. Spear, 1893. "Stories and Pictures of the Vermont Flood, November, 1927," compiled by R.E. Atwood.
from 4-45:
Pamphlet, "Montpelier and it's Resources," 1887
from 4-50:
Pamphlet, "Annual Report, Pomfret, Vermont 1961"
from 4-55:
Pamphlet, "St. Johnsbury, Vermont--and an important Industrial Beginnings--1830," by Colonel Robert H. Morse, n.d.
from 4-61:
Pamphlet, "The Edward H. Williams Collection of Japanese Art" [Exhibited in the Norman Williams Public Library, Woodstock, Vermont], by John H. McDill, n.d.
The following reels of microfilm have been removed from the collection, and added to the microfilm collection in the Bailey/Howe Library:
  • IA1-Vermont Census 1880: Bradford Chelsea Corinth Ely Fairlee Randolph
  • IA2-Vermont Census 1880: Strafford Thetford West Fairlee
  • IA3-Census of Manufactures 1820 Orange County, Vermont
  • IA4- Fillmore C. Earney--Mineral Industries of Vermont
  • IA5- Tyson and Co., Ledger 1818-1823
  • IA7-Miscellaneous Papers: Bridgewater, N.J., mine records 1831 MIT theses: 1875, 1876, 1877 Sheldon and Slason Marble Co. Port Henry Magnetite Mine Strafford Copperas Cornish and Welsh in California James Eights, North Carolina Mining Magazine: Elk Knob Copper Co., North Star Mining Co. Hermelin Mines of U.S. McCullock Mine Report Letters on North Carolina mines 1885 Diffenbach Report Rivot Report Eilers Report
  • IB2- Maryland Chemical Works
  • IB3-North Carolina Census 1870: Anson and Ashe Counties
  • IB4(2 reels)-North Carolina Census 1880: Alamance, Alleghany, Alexander, Anson, and Ashe Counties
  • IB5-Georgia Census 1860: Fannin City
  • IB6-Georgia Census 1870: Fannin City
  • IB7-Tennessee Census 1860: Benton
  • IB8-Tennessee Census 1870: Benton, Parksville, Cleveland, Broad Shoals, Hiwasee

The following reels of microfilm have been removed from the collection, and added to the microfilm collection in the Bailey/Howe Library:

IA1-Vermont Census 1880:
Bradford
Chelsea
Corinth
Ely
Fairlee
Randolph
IA2-Vermont Census 1880:
Strafford
Thetford
West Fairlee
IA3-Census of Manufactures 1820
Orange County, Vermont
IA4-
Fillmore C. Earney--Mineral Industries of Vermont
IA5-
Tyson and Co., Ledger 1818-1823
IA7-Miscellaneous Papers:
Bridgewater, N.J., mine records 1831
MIT theses: 1875, 1876, 1877
Sheldon and Slason Marble Co.
Port Henry Magnetite Mine
Strafford Copperas
Cornish and Welsh in California
James Eights, North Carolina
Mining Magazine: Elk Knob Copper Co., North Star Mining Co.
Hermelin Mines of U.S.
McCullock Mine Report
Letters on North Carolina mines 1885
Diffenbach Report
Rivot Report
Eilers Report
IB2-
Maryland Chemical Works
IB3-North Carolina Census 1870:
Anson and Ashe Counties
IB4(2 reels)-North Carolina Census 1880:
Alamance, Alleghany, Alexander, Anson, and Ashe Counties
IB5-Georgia Census 1860:
Fannin City
IB6-Georgia Census 1870:
Fannin City
IB7-Tennessee Census 1860:
Benton
IB8-Tennessee Census 1870:
Benton, Parksville, Cleveland, Broad Shoals, Hiwasee
Title
Guide to the Collamer Abbott Collection
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid prepared by Processor: Mary Gelinas
Date
1997
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the University of Vermont Libraries, Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Silver Special Collections Library
48 University Place, Room B201
Burlington Vermont 05405 U.S.A. US
(802) 656-2138
(802) 656-4038 (Fax)