Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
George Steiner Papers, 1846-1851

Finding aid created by
Naomi Herman-Aplet and Meg Hixon, December 2011

Summary Information
Title: George Steiner papers
Creator: Steiner, George H.
Inclusive dates: 1846-1851
Extent: 0.5 linear feet
The George Steiner papers consist of correspondence and financial records documenting Steiner's business in the wheat and flour trade in central Pennsylvania in the mid-1800s. The collection reflects the relationship between the prices of wheat, flour, and other dry foodstuffs in England and in the United States.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1994, 1996. M-3095.3, M-3223.7.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

George Steiner Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged in the following series:

  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Financial documents

Each series is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


George H. Steiner of Water Street, Pennsylvania, was born c. 1814 in Pennsylvania. He married Jane Eliza Smith, of Scotch Valley, Pennsylvania, on October 19, 1847; they had six children: William A. Steiner (b. 1848), Ashbel, Ella, George, Lillian, and Cora. Steiner was a merchant, who sold wheat and flour to his business contacts in Philadelphia and Baltimore, and purchased goods for his store in central Pennsylvania. He traded locally throughout central Pennsylvania, and with merchants in Philadelphia; Harrisburg; and Baltimore.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The George Steiner papers consist of correspondence and financial records documenting Steiner's storekeeping and involvement in the wheat and flour trade in central Pennsylvania in the mid-1800s. The collection holds 242 items, of which 224 are incoming letters to Steiner, primarily business correspondence, and 18 receipts and financial accounts. The Correspondence series pertains mainly to Steiner's business affairs in Water Street, Pennsylvania, and includes correspondence with associates throughout central Pennsylvania, as well as in Philadelphia and Baltimore. Several agents from Philadelphia regularly reported the fluctuating prices of flour and wheat, which changed with the arrival of transatlantic steamers from Liverpool and other European ports. Though most of the material relates to the trade of wheat, flour, rye, cornmeal, and similar products, one letter regards Steiner's receipt of "India Cholagogue" (September 3, 1849), and another concerns a request by M. T. Wallace & Company, a Brooklyn-based supplier of medical tonics, for Steiner's to act as their agent for central Pennsylvania (June 2, 1849). One partially printed letter is a report of recent losses sustained by the Lycoming County Mutual Insurance Company, and a request for an assessment fee (January 21, 1851). Financial documents consist primarily of accounts for wheat, rye, clover seed, and similar products, reflecting the differing prices between England and the United States.

Subject Terms

    • Flour industry--United States.
    • Grain--Prices.
    • Grain trade--United States.
    • Great Britain--Commerce--United States.
    • Huntingdon County (Pa.)--Commerce.
    • Merchants--Pennsylvania.
    • Pennsylvania--Commerce.
    • Pennsylvania--History--1775-1865.
    • United States--Commerce--Great Britain.
    • Wheat trade--United States.
    Genre Terms:
    • Financial records.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Correspondence [series]
    Box   1 Folders   1-22
     December 4, 1846-March 7, 1851, and  undated
    Financial Documents [series]
    Box   1 Folder   23