Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Charles C. Pratt Papers, 1902, 1905, 1908-1909

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, August 2011

Summary Information
Title: Charles C. Pratt papers
Creator: Pratt, Charles C. (Charles Clarence), 1854-1916
Inclusive dates: 1902, 1905, 1908-1909
Bulk dates: 1902, 1908-1909
Extent: 1 linear foot
The Charles C. Pratt papers contain incoming letters to Pratt about two of his political campaigns: his unsuccessful bid for the Pennsylvania State Senate in 1902 and his election to the United States House of Representatives in 1908.
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:

1990. M-2547b.

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:

Charles C. Pratt Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged in the following series:

  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Documents
  • Series III: Ephemera, Newspaper Clippings, and Speech Notes

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


Charles Clarence Pratt was born in New Milford, Pennsylvania, on April 23, 1854, the son of Ezra A. and Harriet Pratt. He had two older sisters, Sarah and Harriet. After graduating from the State Normal School in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania (now Bloomsburg University), Pratt returned to New Milford, where he worked in the lumber and oil trades. Pratt held many public positions, served as justice of the peace, and worked on several Pennsylvania governors' staffs. A Republican, Pratt ran unsuccessfully for the Pennsylvania State Senate in 1902 and was subsequently elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1908; he was not reelected in 1910. After his term in Congress, Pratt returned to New Milford. He later moved to Binghamton, New York, where he died on January 27, 1916.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Charles C. Pratt papers (859 items) contain incoming letters to Pratt about two of his political campaigns: his unsuccessful bid for the Pennsylvania State Senate in 1902 and his election to the United States House of Representatives in 1908.

Pratt's incoming Correspondence (837 letters) pertains to state-level politics in early 20th century Pennsylvania. Many letters written during the early stages of Pratt's 1902 campaign were optimistic, and some writers already considered the election effectively settled in Pratt's favor, particularly due to his affiliation with the Republican Party. Others exercised more caution. The collection also has telegrams from the night of the election (November 4, 1902) and letters from Pratt's friends expressing their disappointment in the outcome.

The second group of letters, apart from one 1905 item, documents Pratt's campaign for the United States House of Representatives in 1908. The Republican Congressional Committee sent letters prior to the election, but most items are congratulatory letters to Pratt written from November 4-6, 1908. Later items include requests for official appointments and recommendations of friends or family for particular positions. Some items have illustrated letterheads, including one with an illustration of whiskey bottles and a distillery (November 2, 1902) and one for the Beach Sanitarium, "Famous for the cure of cancer without the use of knife or plasters" (November 4, 1908).

The collection contains the following 8 Documents :

  • Completed but unsigned survey about the potential abolition of direct primaries
  • Petition for "legislation providing for a system of parcels delivery on the rural mail delivery routes, and for the establishment of postal savings banks" (4 copies)
  • Petition for creation of a National Highways Commission
  • Typed list of "Republican Voters, New Milford Twp."
  • Typed election results from two Pennsylvania elections (November 1902), with notes on the 1908 United States House of Representatives election

The Ephemera, Newspaper Clippings, and Speech Notes series is made up of the following 14 items:

  • Newspaper clipping about George W. Kipp's expenditures during a congressional campaign
  • "A Toast" ending with the lines "Here's champagne to your real friends/And real pain to your sham friends"
  • Wedding announcement for Frederick W. Poten and Mary Belle Cross (February 11, 1909)
  • Printed text of "An Act. Punishing the Printing, Posting and Distributing of Any Libelous Circular or Poster or Other Written or Printed Paper" (June 26, 1895)
  • Printed pamphlet entitled "Another Bank Cashier in Politics. Another Bank Gone to Smash! Startling Instance of Misplaced Public Confidence"
  • Printed circular from Atlantic Deeper Waterways Association
  • Printed speech of Charles Morningstar & Co., of New York, before the House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means
  • Charles C. Pratt speech notes (3 items)
  • Notes and fragments (4 items)
Subject Terms

    • Elections--United States.
    • Pennsylvania. General Assembly. Senate.
    • Pennsylvania--Politics and government--1865-1950.
    • Republican Party (Pa.)
    • United States. Congress. House.
    Genre Terms:
    • Circulars (fliers)
    • Clippings (information artifacts)
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Notes.
    • Pamphlets.
    • Speeches.
    • Telegrams.
    • Wedding announcements.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Correspondence [series]
    Box   1  
     January 1, 1902-Undated 1902
    Box   2  
     April 25, 1905,  March 8, 1908-April 27, 1909, and  undated
    Documents [series]
    Box   2  
     1902 and  undated
    Ephemera, Newspaper Clippings, and Speech Notes [series]
    Box   2  
     June 26, 1895-February 11, 1909, and  undated
    Additional Descriptive Data

    "Pratt, Charles Clarence, (1854-1916)." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Online.