Henry Burden family papers  1816-1853 (bulk 1823-1853)
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Henry Burden family papers contain correspondence between Burden, his business acquaintances, and his sons pertaining to his numerous industrial inventions and to the business affairs of the Troy Iron and Nail Factory in Troy, New York. The first letter in the collection is from a Mr. Fletcher to Peter Burden, Henry's father, about payment for local workers in Balfron, Scotland (April 25, 1816). The remainder of the collection is addressed to Henry Burden and, to a lesser extent, his sons, and primarily consists of business letters related to the sale of his patented machinery and to the iron industry. A number of businessmen wrote to the ironworks from locations such as Albany, Liverpool, and Glasgow, discussing the state of the industry and their dealings with the Troy Iron and Nail Factory. For example, D. Abercromby, an acquaintance from Scotland, told Burden of the current economic situation, drained by the flow of talented workers to the United States (April 18, 1828). Peter also traveled to Pittsburgh in late 1847 and early 1848, attempting to sell his father's machines to interested manufacturers, and others wrote of their own use of Burden's inventions. Though most of the material is business-related, the collection holds a few letters from Burden's other family members, including one from his nephew Peter, who stated his intent to go to California (April 26, 1850).

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