Francis E. Vinaca papers  1850-1871 (bulk 1861-1865)
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection (1 linear foot) consists of condolence letters, newspaper scrapbooks, a letter book, and a published memorial volume related to John M. Francis of Troy, New York, and to his son Charles.

The Condolence Letters series contains 211 items addressed to Charles S. Francis between June 5, 1897, and January 18, 1898. One letter from Hallie M. Brown concerns her regret about missing an opportunity to visit, and the remaining correspondence is made up of letters expressing the authors' condolences after the death of John M. Francis on June 18, 1897. Writers included Charles Francis's friends and family members and John Francis's personal and professional acquaintances. Many writers reminisced about their relationships with John M. Francis and shared stories about their experiences at the Troy Daily Times.

The Letter Book, Scrapbooks, and Published Memorial series (6 volumes) pertains to John M. Francis's travels around the United States, Europe, and Asia in the 1870s and to Charles S. Francis's career and business affairs. Four scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings of letters that John M. Francis sent to the Troy Daily Times while traveling abroad. Each contains lengthy descriptions of local people, customs, politics, architecture, geography, and history, and some also have accounts of transoceanic and transcontinental travel.

Journeys:

  • Western Europe, June 12, 1869-October 15, 1869, including England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and France (21 letters; 38 pages)
  • Western and Southern Europe, July 18, 1871-December 28, 1871 (published August 2, 1871-January 3, 1872), including England, Wales, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria-Hungary (now the Czech Republic and Austria), Italy, and Greece (20 letters; 28 pages)
  • Around the world, July 5, 1875-June 6, 1876, including the western United States, Japan, China, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), India, Egypt, Greece, Italy, and France (2 volumes containing duplicate clippings, 115 pages and 71 pages)

The letter book (282 pages), which belonged to Charles S. Francis, has retained copies of his outgoing correspondence from October 25, 1897-July 29, 1901. The letters pertain to personal and business affairs, such as Francis's editorial work for the Troy Daily Times and land he owned in Mississippi. Several newspaper clippings relate to Francis's appointment as envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Greece, Romania, and "Servia."

The published memorial (125 pages), entitled In Memoriam: John M. Francis, March 6, 1823-June 18, 1897, contains an engraved portrait, a brief biographical sketch, reminiscences, essays, poetry, and reprinted newspaper obituaries commemorating the life and death of John M. Francis.

The Photograph Album (ca. 1905?) contains 14 images of a new automobile, family members, and pets (possibly in New York state); and 144 vacation photographs showing landscapes, buildings, and persons in Europe. The photos are not labeled or identified, but appear to show Switzerland or Austrian lake districts, as well as urban environments. The photographer captured many of these images with a panoramic camera.

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