William Harrison Barber papers  1861-1883
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The William Harrison Barber papers is a small collection of correspondence and documents from during and after the Civil War. The Civil War material includes personal letters to his mother; a 15-page letter to a friend that describes a railroad trip from Allentown, Pennsylvania, to Baltimore; Barber's discharge letter, which has a drop of blood on it from a fist fight with another solder; and a letter of dishonorable discharge for three men (Barber is not one of them) for cowardice in battle. Of special interest is a letter to William from his brother Joseph, December 10, 1861, which includes a full-page pencil sketch of the layout of Fort Ethan Allen in Arlington, Virginia.

The post-war papers document Barber's personal life and business activities, primarily through letters to his family. Letters to his sons, including a farewell letter written on his deathbed, contain explanations of his ideals of fatherhood and the values of business in life.

The Documents series consists of an essay entitled The Ideal Manager, a speech to his employees called Words to Working Men, and documents granting Barber power of attorney from sisters Matilda and Hannah.

Miscellaneous items include:

  • Sketch of Camp Sedwick, signed by Tom Barber, [1870s]
  • Page 1 of an unfinished autobiography started by Barber
  • Prayers (3 items)
  • Inheritance law extracts (3 items)
  • Poem: "Charity"
  • List of flowers and their meanings

Show all series level scope and content notes