The Anson Burlingame collection, compiled by Elliot C. Cowdin, holds correspondence, a photograph, an engraving, a pamphlet, and ephemera related to the life and death of Burlingame.
Several letters in the Correspondence series are personal letters Burlingame wrote to Cowdin, a friend, during his diplomatic career; on October 13, 1866, for example, Burlingame described his recent trip from New York to Shanghai, via California, the Sandwich Islands, and Japan. A number of items relates to a dinner Cowdin gave in June 1868, honoring Burlingame and his success in trade negotiations with China. These include a May 23, 1868, letter from a number of prominent residents of New York City, urging the diplomat to attend the banquet; several letters signed by those invited, either accepting or declining the invitation; and Burlingame's own acceptance (May 30, 1868). Other correspondents mentioned their own appointments with Burlingame, often set up by Cowdin, and their esteem for his accomplishments. On January 31, 1870, Burlingame told his friend of his imminent departure for Russia; a month later, he died there, and many of the later letters concern personal grief over his death, as well as to Cowdin's tribute to Burlingame's memory. Among other remembrances, Cowdin wrote a letter to his own wife on April 21, 1870, describing Burlingame's funeral.
The Photograph and Engraving series contains a cartes-de-visite photograph of Anson Burlingame, and an autographed engraving of Elliot C. Cowdin.
The Pamphlet is entitled Banquet to His Excellency Anson Burlingame And His Associates of the Chinese Embassy by the Citizens of New York On Tuesday, June 23, 1868.
The Ephemera series contains calling cards for Mr. and Mrs. Anson Burlingame, and a menu for Burlingame's honorary banquet, given on June 23, 1868.