Phillip Amberg letters (1872-1899)

Collection processed and finding aid created by Kay Miller and Meg Hixon, February 2014
Manuscripts Division, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan

Summary Information

Title: Phillip Amberg letters
Creator: Chapin, Samuel and Chapin, Samuel, Jr.
Inclusive dates: 1872-1899
Extent: 7 items
This collection is made up of 7 letters that Phillip Amberg wrote to Samuel Chapin and Samuel Chapin, Jr., of Oneida, New York, between 1872 and 1899. Amberg discussed aspects of his life in Chihuahua and Guadalajara, Mexico, including local customs, political tensions, and his finances and business concerns.
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

2004. M-4409.11.

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

Phillip Amberg Letters, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically.


Phillip Amberg was born in Germany around 1836 and worked in a jewelry store in Madison County, New York, in 1870. In mid-July 1871, Amberg moved to Chihuahua, Mexico; by the mid-1880s, he lived in Guadalajara, where he owned a mercantile firm with a man named Velad.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection is made up of 7 letters that Phillip Amberg wrote to Samuel Chapin and Samuel Chapin, Jr., of Oneida, New York, between 1872 and 1899. From March 25, 1872-June 25, 1879 (3 items), he discussed the difficulty of his journey to Chihuahua, Mexico; his life in Chihuahua; cultural differences between the United States and Mexico; and his isolation from the United States and Europe. He mentioned political tensions in his letter of July 8, 1877, but reported that Chihuahua, which had had only two recent politically motivated murders, remained relatively calm.

Amberg's letters from Guadalajara, Mexico (March 14, 1886-January 15, 1892, 3 items), pertain to his business and financial affairs. His letter of June 14, 1886, contains medical advice for Samuel Chapin, Sr.; Amberg encouraged his friend to avoid specific medicines, to consult a homeopathic physician, and to travel to Europe for treatment rather than to Hot Springs, Arkansas. Amberg's final letter, written from an unknown location, contains expressions of appreciation to Samuel Chapin, Jr.

Subject Terms

  • Chihuahua (Chihuahua, Mexico)
  • Guadalajara (Mexico)
  • Medicine--History.
  • Mexico--Description and travel.
  • Amberg, Phillip, approximately 1836-.
Genre Terms:
  • Letters (correspondence)

Contents List (Request Materials)

Request materials for use in the Clements Library
Container / Location Title
Box   18, Small Collections  
Phillip Amberg letters [series]
Folders   2-3  
 March 25, 1872-November 29, 1899