Charles Ellet, Jr. Papers (1795-1941, bulk 1838-1863)
Summary Information
Title: Charles Ellet, Jr. Papers
Creator: Ellet, Charles, Jr., 1810-1862
Inclusive dates: 1795-1941
Bulk dates: 1838-1863
Extent: 20.0 Linear feet (33 manuscript boxes 11 flat oversized boxes)
Abstract:
The records of the Charles Ellet, Jr. papers include correspondence, court documents, technical drawings and plans, general orders, reports, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, notebooks, diaries, photographs, and ephemera.
Call number: ellet
Language: The material is in English.
Language: The material is in .
Repository: University of Michigan Library (Special Collections Research Center)

Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from the University of Michigan Special Collections Library and the individual copyright holder.

Copyright:

The records are open for research.

Preferred Citation:

Charles Ellet, Jr. Papers, University of Michigan (Special Collections Research Center)

Collection History
Acquisition Information:

The Charles Ellet, Jr. paper were purchased by the University of Michigan, Transportation History Library from Mary Virginia Ellet Cabell in 1936.


Arrangement

The collection is divided into seven series:

Correspondence, 1827-1904

Subject Files, 1830-1925

Technical Drawings and Plans, 1823-1862

Newspapers, 1830-1938

Photographs, 1830-1919

Notebooks, 1826-1895

Artifacts, 1862-1938

The chronological arrangement of the collection was maintained throughout the processing of the collection. Drawings, photographs, and notebooks are arranged based on subject.


Biography

Charles Ellet, Jr., a prominent early American civil engineer and a colonel in the Union Army, brought significant innovation to the United State’s early 19th century public works projects and naval warfare during the Civil War. In his career as a civil engineer, Charles Ellet, Jr. is best known for his design and introduction of wire suspension bridge technology to the United States, conducting the first government survey of the Mississippi River Delta with a comprehensive plan for flood control and river improvements, and the construction of the first elevated mountain top track through Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. He also made pioneering contributions to transportation economic theory through his work An Essay on the Laws of Trade in Reference to the Works of Internal Improvement in the United States (1839), and successfully aided in the Union effort to win the Civil War through the development and command of the U.S. Ram Fleet.

Born in 1810, and raised on a farm in Pennsylvania, Charles Ellet, Jr. left his home at seventeen to begin his career as a rodman for the North Branch of the Susquehanna River. After studying engineering at École nationale des Ponts et Chaussées in Paris in 1830, and touring public works in Europe, Charles Ellet, Jr. began developing his first design for a wire suspension bridge across the Potomac. His design was rejected but he later constructed three wire suspension bridges in the United States: Schuylkill River, Philadelphia (1842), Niagara Falls, New York (1848), and the Wheeling Bridge, West Virginia (1849).

Spanning 1,010 feet, and connecting the National Road, the Wheeling Bridge was Ellet’s ‘crown jewel.’ It quickly became embroiled in controversy. In 1849, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit against the Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company in support of railroad and steamboat interests, declaring the Wheeling Bridge an obstruction to commerce on the Ohio-Mississippi waterway. The Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company argued that the bridge did not significantly obstruct commerce on the Ohio River, and advocated for the communities’ right to gain free navigation of the headway and waterway. In a momentous victory, Congress signed a law in 1852 declaring the Wheeling Bridge part of a post road, and not subject to the decree of the Supreme Court.

Spanning an international border, the Niagara Falls Suspension bridge was also surrounded in controversy. Faced with an economic recession, the bridge companies pushed Ellet to alter his bridge plans and investment. The legal dispute centered on ownership of the bridge and possession of the collection of tolls. Charles Ellet, Jr. completed a light suspension bridge hung on wooden towers in 1848. Using Ellet’s bridge as scaffolding, the Niagara Falls Suspension bridge was rebuilt by John A. Roebling in 1855.

Charles Ellet, Jr. married his beloved wife Elvira (Ellie) in 1837, while working as chief engineer for the James River Kanawha Company. They raised four children: Mary (1839), Charles Rivers (1843), Cornelia (1849), and William (1854). The first year of marriage was filled with constant separation, as he conducted business trips and visited portions of the James River improvement. Ellet’s family provided him with great pride and joy, especially the birth of his son Charles Rivers. His life and legacy is predominantly preserved through his correspondence with Ellie.

Charles Ellet, Jr. spent the year of 1861 offering aid to the U.S. War Department, proposing various defense strategies, and offering his services as an engineer. He published scathing critiques of the military, “Military incapacity, and what it Costs the Country,” and “The Army of the Potomac, and its Mismanagement.” After the Merrimac’s devastating blow to the Union fleet at Hampton Roads in 1862, Charles Ellet, Jr. was appointed Colonel of the U.S Ram Fleet, where he outfitted nine steamers with battering rams. In Ellet’s innovative approach, the crushing power of the steam-powered vessel was generated through velocity and weight. The steamers were painted black and reinforced, their hulls strengthened and manned with twenty sharpshooters. On June 6, 1862, at the Battle of Memphis, the U.S Ram Fleet joined Commodore Davis’s flotillas on the Mississippi at Memphis, resulting in the destruction of eight Confederate vessels and the city’s capture. While in command of the flagship Queen of the West, Charles Ellet, Jr. was mortally wounded by a gunshot wound to the knee during the Battle of Memphis. He later died at Cairo, Ohio on June 21, 1862. His beloved wife, Elvira died of grief seven days later. In November 1862, Charles Rivers Ellet was appointed Colonel of the U.S Ram Fleet, becoming best known for his command of the Queen of the West during the Vicksburg campaign in 1863.

Timeline

1810, January 1 Charles Ellet Jr. is born to Mary Israel Ellet and Charles Ellet in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. His mother fostered his study of mathematics.

1827 Worked as a Rodman on the North Branch Susquehanna Canals.

1828 Employed as a Volunteer Assistant for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.

1829 Became Assistant Engineer for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, surveyed the North Branch of the Susquehanna River from Northumberland to the New York state line.

1830 Resigned from Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Trip to Paris to study public works. The French Revolution erupted (July).

1831 Attended engineering lectures at Ecole des Ponts et Chausses. Toured France and Switzerland.

1832 Offered a position at Chesapeake and Ohio Canal by C.F. Mercer. The offer was declined. Submitted design for suspension bridge across Potomac to the Secretary of the Treasury, Louis McLane.

1833 Worked as Assistant Engineer, for the Utica and Schenectady Railroad creating surveys to locate the western division for a line to connect Albany and Buffalo.

1834 Left Utica and Schenectady Railroad survey. Began survey for New York and Erie Railroad at Tioga Point, N.Y superintending two survey crews fifty miles apart. Published:

1835 Worked as Assistant Engineer, James River and Kanawha Canal Company, charged with developing maps and profiles for the division between Lynchburg and Tye River. Sent to Philadelphia and New York to view the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and purchase leveling instruments.

1836 Appointed Chief Engineer, James River and Kanawha Canal Company. Viewed canal line from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia.

1837 Married Elvira Daniel Cabell; ‘Point of Honor’ Lynchburg, Virginia. Visited sites of dams upon the Lehigh, Susqhenna, and Allegheny Rivers. Business trips: Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. Panic of 1837.

1838 Conducted survey for extension of the canal at Lynchburg to the Ohio River for the James River and Kanawha Company.

1839 Mary Virginia Ellet is born (January). Replaced as Chief Engineer by Benjamin Wright at the James River and Kanawha Company. Prepared report on a proposal for the Mississippi Bridge, which was rejected by St. Louis city council. Submitted plan for suspension bridge across Schuylkill; Fairmount. Judge William Daniels dies, leaving Ellet a sizable estate. Traveled on an “extended tour of the West.”

1840 Filed suit against James River and Kanawha Company for salary balance in 1839. Travelled extensively to interest cities to promote plans for suspension bridge, especially along the Ohio River. Illness while in Cincinnati, especially after the medical treatment bloodletting. Sent for Ellie (May). Supervised the survey of Philadelphia County.

1841 Proposal for the first suspension bridge is accepted; Schuylkill, Pennsylvania. Construction begins (July). Appeared before a committee of the New York legislature to promote plans for bridge across Hudson River between Albany and Troy. Andrew Young obtains Schuylkill bridge contract (April). Ellet wins contract back (June). Eliza Bryan dies, Ellet’s sister.

1842 Schuylkill Bridge is completed. Family trip to Havana, Cuba.

1843 Return from Cuba (Spring). Charlie Rivers Ellet is born.

1844 Trip to Europe, observation of canals and railroads in Great Britain. Returned to the U.S (August).

1845 Worked as an agent for Schuylkill Navigation Company to procure loans and conduct a public campaign to emphasize advantages of the canal to the Reading Rainbow. Spent the year in New York or Boston. Wager with John Gihon (large stockholder of the Reading Railroad); $1,000 if Reading Railroad could transport 100,000 tons of coal during a month. Began plans for suspension bridge across Niagara River (October). Elected President of Schuylkill Navigation Company during period of enlargement (December).

1846 Continued improvements for Schuylkill Navigation Company. Competed with Roebling for the Niagara Suspension Bridge contract.

1847 Resigned from Schuylkill Navigation Company after completing the enlargement. Awarded Niagara River Suspension Bridge contract. Employment for Wheeling and Belmont Suspension Bridge company begins (July). Charles Ellet, Sr. (father) and Hannah Ellet Hale (sister) die.

1848 Prepared report for bridge across the Connecticut River near Middleton. Hartford Committee decides to postpone bridge; Ellet severs connection. Completed light suspension bridge hung on wood towers at Niagara (July). Construction of the Wheeling and Belmont Suspension Bridge begins. Controversy and legal dispute over possession and control of the Niagara Falls Bridge begins. Niagara company took possession of the bridge (August). Court returns control of Niagara Suspension Bridge to Ellet (October). Ellet relinquishes the Niagara Suspension bridge contract (December).

1849 Presented plans for a suspension bridge over the Connecticut River, Cincinnati. Suit is brought against the Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company by the State of Pennsylvania (August). Cornelia Daniel Ellet is born. Wheeling Suspension Bridge completed (October). Ellet family resided in Wheeling, Virginia.

1850 Petitioned Congress for funds to construct reservoirs on tributary streams of the Ohio River (April). Served as council for City of Wheeling in dispute between the city and Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to determine proper route into the city of Wheeling. Appointed by the War Department to supervise the surveys of the Lower Mississippi to determine flood prevention program. Began work as Chief Engineer, Hempfield Railroad to construct line connecting the city of Wheeling with the Pennsylvania Railroad at Greensburg (November). Commissioners report states the Wheeling Suspension bridge is an obstruction to the free passage of the waterway. Ellet family resided in New Orleans.

1851 Worked on Mississippi River Delta survey. Court declares the Wheeling Suspension Bridge an obstruction to sea vessels.

1852 Established headquarters in Harrisburg to convince Pennsylvania legislature to abandon Wheeling bridge lawsuit (January). Supreme Court delivers opinion against the bridge (May). Bill is signed into law declaring the Wheeling Bridge a portion of a post road and not subject to decree of Supreme Court (August). Submitted a new proposal for a suspension bridge spanning 1,000 feet over the Potomac River. Employed as Chief Engineer at Hempfield Railroad.

1853 Chief Engineer, Hempfield Railroad. Worked as Chief Engineer, Virginia Central Railroad to build a temporary mountain top track through Blue Ridge Mountains. Ellet family spent winters in Washington, D.C. and summers in Virginia.

1854 Virginia Central Railroad’s Blue Ridge Mountain Top Track opens to traffic. Wheeling Bridge collapses after a terrible storm (May). Stanton incurs an injunction to prevent rebuilding the bridge; the proceedings were dropped (July). A temporary bridge was completed and open for traffic at Wheeling (July). William D. Ellet is born. Ellet is sent to Europe to negotiate securities for the Virginia Central and Hempfield railroads, and purchase railroad irons. The family accompanies him to Europe. Charles Rivers attends a French boarding school. Ellet assumed a position as Consulting Engineer at the Virginia Central Railroad developing railroad rates.

1855 Resigned from Chief Engineering position at Hempfield Railroad. Proposed steam naval battering rams: Russia, England, U.S.

1856 Worked as Consulting Engineer for the Virginia Central Railroad. Lobbied for river improvements proposal for the Mississippi River. Purchased a home in Georgetown, District of Columbia.

1857 Purchased “Clifton” farm near Georgetown. Charlie Rivers is enrolled as a medical student at Georgetown University. Economic Depression begins. Ellet family resides at Clifton farm.

1858 Employed by James River and Kanawha Company to survey the Kanawha River and develop a plan for improving the Ohio River and its tributaries through artificial reservoirs. Resigned from Consulting Engineer position at the Virginia Central Railroad. Ellie’s health begins to decline.

1859 Charles Rivers appointed lay cadet in Virginia Military Institute. Continued efforts to promote steam ram idea.

1860 Charles Rivers expelled from Virginia Military Institute; sent for medical training in Illinois. Roebling is employed to continue repairs on the Wheeling Suspension bridge. Threat of Civil War halts professional duties.

1861 Charles Ellet, Jr. made numerous recommendations to assist efforts with the Civil War.

1862 The Battle of Hampton Roads (March 8-9). Charles Ellet, Jr. is appointed Colonel of the U.S. Ram Fleet, constructing nine steam naval battle rams, and three coal barges reinforced to guard the fleet from enemy fire. Charlie Rivers and Alfred Ellet joined the fleet. Battle of Memphis (June 6), Charles Ellet, Jr. sustains a gunshot in the leg. Charles Rivers hangs the flag on the Memphis post office. In worsening condition, command of the Ram Fleet is given to Alfred Ellet (June 16). Charles Ellet, Jr. dies near Cairo, Ohio (June 21). Alfred is promoted to Brigadier General (November), and placed in command of the Mississippi Marine Brigade. Charles Rivers is made Colonel of the Marine Brigade. Mortal gunshot wound,. Charles Ellet, Jr. died June 6. Alfred Ellet promoted to Brigadere General.

1863 Alfred has Charlie arrested. Charlie is place in command of the ram fleet. Successful campaign at Vicksburg. Charlie Rivers is honorably discharged due to health concerns (September). Charlie Rivers dies at Bunker Hill (October).

1938 The USS Ellet (DD-398) is launched.

Charles Ellet, Jr. Publications

Ellet, C. (1834). Bridge Across Potomac at Washington: Letter from the Secretary of the Treasury, transmitting a communication from Charles Ellet, Jr. on the subject of the contemplated bridge across the Potomac at Washington. (House Document. United States. Congress. House. No. 374). Washington D.C.: Gales and Seaton.

Ellet, C. (1836). Report on the survey for a ship canal from Richmond to Warwick, being the plan proposed for the connection of the James River and Kanawha improvement with tide water. Richmond: Shepard and Collin.

Ellet, C.; James River and Kanawha Company. (1838). Report of the Chief Engineer, on the survey for the extension of the James River and Kanawha improvement from Lynchburg to the Ohio River. Richmond: James River and Kanawha Company.

Ellet, C. (1839). An essay on the laws of trade in reference to the works of internal improvement in the United States. New York: A.M. Kelley (1966). Ellet, C. (1839). A popular notice of wire suspension bridges. Richmond: P.D. Bernard, Printer.

Ellet, C. (1839). A popular exposition of the incorrectness of the tariffs of toll in use on the public improvement of the United States [Place of publication not identified]: [publisher not identified].

Ellet, C. (1839). Report in relation to the water power on the line of the James River and Kanawha Canal. Richmond: P.T. Bernard.

Ellet, C. (1840). Report and Plan for a wire suspension bridge proposed to be constructed across the Mississippi River at Saint Louis. Philadelphia: W. Stavely.

Ellet, C. (1840). The law of trade applied to the determination of the most advantageous fare for passengers on rail roads. Philadelphia. Ellet, C. (1841). Exposition of the causes which have conduced to the failure of many rail-roads in the United States. Philadelphia: J.C. Clark, printer.

Ellet, C. (1843). A popular notice of wire suspension bridges with a brief description of the wire bridge across the Schuylkill, at Fairmount. Philadelphia: J.C. Clark.

Ellet, C. (1845). The position and prospectus of the Schuylkill Navigation Company. Philadelphia: [publisher not identified].

Ellet, C. (1845). The Reading Railroad Company. New York: [publisher not identified].

Ellet, C.; Common Sense. (1845). Essence of Humbug. New York: [publisher not identified].

Ellet, C. (1847). Report on the Wheeling and Belmont Suspension Bridge to the City Council of Wheeling. Philadelphia: J.C. Clark.

Ellet, C.; Schuylkill Navigation Company; Joseph Kite & Co. (1847). Report of the President and Managers of the Schuylkill Navigation Company, to the stockholders, January 4th, 1847. Philadelphia: printed by Joseph Kite & Co., no 50 North Fourth Street.

Ellet, C. (1848). Report on the rail-way suspension bridge across the Conneticut, at Middletown with a proposal for its construction, to a committee of the citizens of Hartford. Philadelphia: J.C. Clark

Ellet, C. (1848). Report to the President and Managers of the Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Co. Wheeling: James E. Wharton.

Ellet, C. (1849). Contributions to the Physical Geography of the United States./Part I, of the physical geography of the Mississippi Valley, with suggestions for the improvement of the navigation of the Ohio and other rivers. Washington D.C.: [publisher not identified].

Ellet, C. (1849). Letter on the proposed bridge across the Ohio River at Cincinnati,: with a single span of 1400 feet, and an elevation of 112 feet above low water. Columbus.

Ellet, C. (1850). Report on the location of the western portion of the Baltimore and Ohio Rail-road : to a committee of the City Council of Wheeling. Philadelphia: [publisher not identified].

Ellet, C. (1850). Contributions to the physical geography of the United States. Part I, of the physical geography of the Mississippi Valley, with suggestions for the improvement of the navigation of the Ohio and other rivers. Washington: Smithsonian Institute.

Ellet, C. (1850). Second report on the location of the western portion of the Baltimore and Ohio Rail-Road: to a committee of the city council of Wheeling. Philadelphia: J.C. Clark Printer.

Ellet, C. (1850). Remarks on the Revised Comparative Estimates of the Grave Creek and Fish Creek routes. Philadelphia: J.C. Clark Printer.

Ellet, C.; Knight, J. (1850). General principles for the comparison of the Grave Creek and Fish Creek routes. Philadelphia: [publisher not identified].

Ellet, C.; Georgetown (Washington D.C.). (1852). Report on a suspension bridge across the Potomac, for rail road and common travel: addressed to the mayor and city council of Georgetown, D.C. Philadelphia: J.C. Clark printer.

Ellet, C. (1852). Remarks touching the Wheeling Bridge suit: addressed to the Hon. G.W. Thompson. Philadelphia: J.C. Clark printer.

Ellet, C. (1852). Report on the Overflows of the Delta of the Mississippi. Washington: printed by A.B. Hamilton

Ellet, C. (1852). The Wheeling Bridge. Philadelphia: [publisher not identified].

Ellet, C.; Hempfield Railroad Company. (1852). The Hempfield rail road and its principal tributaries. Philadelphia: J.C. Clark Printer.

Ellet, C.; General Assembly, Virginia. (1852). Memorial of Charles Ellet, Jr.. a stockholder in the Wheeling Bridge Company. To the Legislature of Virginia. Wheeling: [publisher not identified].

Ellet, C. (1853). The Mississippi and Ohio rivers: containing plans for the protection of the delta from inundation; and investigations of the practicability and cost of improving the navigation of the Ohio and other rivers by means of reservoirs, with an appendix, on the bars at the mouths of the Mississippi. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo, and Co.

Ellet, C. (1853). Remarks on the gauge of the Covington and Ohio railroad.: Extracted from the report of the chief engineer to the president and directors of the Virginia Central Railroad. Richmond: Collin & Nowlan, Eleventh Street.

Ellet, C.; Pennsylvania Railroad. (1854). Subscriptions to western rail roads: addressed to the president and directors of the Pennsylvania Rail Road Company. Philadelphia: J.C. Clark & Son printers.

Ellet, C. (1854). Report on a suspension bridge across the Potomac, for rail road and common travel: addressed to the mayor and City Council of Georgetown, D.C. Philadelphia: J.C. Clark printer.

Ellet, C. (1855). Letter of Charles Ellet, jr., relative to short track railroad between Richmond and Charlottesville, 1855-6. Richmond: [publisher not identified].

Ellet, C.; Navy Department, United States. (1855). Coast and harbor defenses, or The substitution of steam battering rams for ships of war. Philadelphia: John C. Clark & Son, printers, 68 Dock Street.

Ellet, C. (1855). Coast and harbor defenses. Philadelphia: John C. Clark & Son, printers.

Ellet, C. (1855). The Schuylkill Navigation: why it pays no dividends. Addressed to the old stockholders. Philadelphia: John C. Clark & Son, printers, 68 Dock Street.

Ellet, C. (1856). The mountain top track: a description of the railroad across the Blue Ridge at Rock Fish Gap, in the state of Virginia: maximum grade, 296 feet per mile, least radius of curvature, 234 feet. Philadelphia: T.K & P.G. Collins.

Ellet, C. (1856). The mountain top track. A description of the railroad across the Blue Ridge at Rock Fish Gap, in the state of Virginia. Philadelphia: [s.n.].

Ellet, C. (1857). Proceedings of the Convention of railroad and canal companies of the state of Virginia, held in the city of Richmond, December 8, 1857; to which is appended a letter of Charles Ellet, jr., on the subject of railroad charges for freight and passengers. Richmond, Printed at the Whig Book and Job Office.

Ellet, C. (1857). The reservoir plan. Washington, D.C., February 23, 1857. Washington, D.C.: [publisher not identified]. Ellet, C.; Virginia Central Railroad Company. (1858). Report on the tariff of toll for the Virginia Central Railroad. [Washington, D.C.?]: [publisher not identified].

Ellet, C. (1858). Report on the improvement of the Kanawha, and incidentally of the Ohio River: by means of artificial lakes. Philadelphia: Collins.

Ellet, C. (1862). Military incapacity, and what it costs the country. New York: Ross & Tousey; Philadelphia: J.R. Callender.

Ellet, C. (1862). The Army of the Potomac, and its mismanagement: respectfully addressed to Congress. Washington: Printed by L. Towers & Co.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The papers of Charles Ellet, Jr. (1810-1862) span the years 1827-1954. The papers documents Charles Ellet, Jr.’s important contributions as a civil engineer to 19th century public works projects: building wire suspension bridges, canals, and railroads; conducting the first government funded survey of the lower Mississippi River Delta; constructing and commanding the U.S. Ram Fleet; and his contributions to economic transportation theory. The papers are arranged into seven series: Correspondence; Subject Files; Technical Drawings and Plans; Newspapers; Photographs; Notebooks; and Artifacts.

The bulk of the Charles Ellet, Jr. papers contain correspondence, dating 1838-1863. The papers also contain technical drawings and plans, newspaper clippings, legal documents, survey notebooks, scrapbooks, photographs, survey reports, publication drafts, general orders, ephemera, and building specifications for canals, locks, and railroads. The Correspondence series creates an intimate portrait of his family life and professional career; including notable correspondence with Lot Clark, Charles Davis, Edwin Stanton, Benjamin Wright, Charles B. Stuart, Joseph Cabell, and John Roebling. The Subject Files series records his professional contributions, containing organizational documents and records related to his work developing public works projects, lobbying for river improvements, the legal dispute surrounding the Niagara Falls Suspension bridge, and his command of the U.S Ram Fleet during the Civil War. The Technical Drawings and Plans series consists of survey drawings and maps for the construction of railroads and canals, with significant material from his survey of the Lower Mississippi River Delta. Missing from the Technical Drawings and Plans series are plans for the U.S. Ram Fleet. The Newspapers series contains many clippings relating to the Ellet family genealogical history, and the U.S. Ram Fleet’s service during the Civil War. The Notebooks series consists primarily of survey books from his survey of Philadelphia County, 1840-1841. The Charles Ellet, Jr. papers also contain family papers illuminating the life and military career of Charles Rivers Ellet and Alfred W. Ellet.

Through the steadfast preservation, collection, and promotion of Charles Ellet, Jr.’s life and work, Mary Virginia Ellet sold the Charles Ellet, Jr. papers to the University of Michigan’s Transportation History Collection in 1936.

Subject Terms
    Subjects:
    • Blue Ridge Mountains
    • James River and Kanawha Canal (Va.)
    • Mississippi River Delta (La.)
    • Niagara River (river)
    • West Branch Schuylkill River (river)
    • Wheeling and Belmont Bridge (Wheeling, W. Va.)
    • Badger, George E, 1795-1866
    • Bell, John, 1796-1869
    • Cabell, Joseph C. , (Joseph Carrington), 1778-1856
    • Cabell, Mayo
    • Davis, C.H. , (Charles Henry), 1807-1877
    • Ellet, Alfred Washington, 1820-1895
    • Ellet, Charles Rivers, 1843-1863
    • Ellet, Elvira Augusta Daniel, 1817-1862
    • Ellet, Mary Israel, 1780-1870
    • Lane, William Carr, 1789-1863
    • Lippincott, Thomas
    • McLane, Louis , Secretary of Treasury, 1786-1857
    • Porter, David D. , (David Dixon), 1813-1891
    • Roebling, John Augustus, 1806-1869
    • Sedgwick, C.B. , (Charles Baldwin), 1815-1883
    • Seward, William H. , (William Henry), 1801-1872
    • Stanton, Edwin M. , 1814-1869
    • Stuart, Charles B. , 1814-1881
    • Welles, Gideon, 1802-1878
    • Wright, Benjamin, 1770-1842
    • Zane, Daniel
    • Rivers--Surveying
    • Battering Rams
    • Bridges, Suspension
    • Bridges--Design and construction--Costs
    • Bridges--Law and legislation
    • Bridges--Pennsylvania--Schuylkill River
    • Canals, Interoceanic
    • Canals--Design and construction--Costs
    • Canals--rates and tolls
    • Civil Engineering--Early works to 1850
    • Civil Engineering--History
    • Economics--Transport
    • Mountain passes--Blue Ridge Mountains
    • Mountain Railroads--United States
    • Public works--New York (State)--Niagara Falls
    • Railroads--Design and construction
    • Railroads--Design and construction--Costs
    • Railroads--Freight--Rates
    • Railroads--United States
    • Stream channelization
    • Suspension Bridges--Design and construction
    • Toll bridges--law and legislation
    • Transportation -- History -- 20th century.
    • Transportation--Rates--United States
    • United States--Defenses
    • United States-History-Civil War, 1861-1865
    • United States. Navy--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
    • Water Power--United States
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
     
    Correspondence  1827-1904 [series]:

    The Correspondence series, 1827-1904, predominates the collection and is arranged chronologically; containing correspondence with his family, and business associates in connection to his work with canal and bridge companies, and the U.S. War Department. Constantly in a state of travel, Charles Ellet Jr.’s frequent communication with his beloved wife, Ellie, creates an intimate portrait of his daily life, business dealings, and professional experiences. Correspondence prior to their marriage was not preserved. Notable to the papers, are Ellet’s communications with John Roebling, Joseph Cabell, Edward Stanton, and the United States War Department. Missing from the collection is the preservation of communication between McClellan and Ellet. Observations and reports of Charles Ellet, Jr.’s trips to Europe are detailed in the correspondence, 1830-1831 and 1844. Correspondence between 1862 and 1864 consists of family correspondence between Charlie Rivers Ellet, Alfred Ellet, and Mary Virginia Ellet Cabell, with military correspondence related to Alfred Ellet and Charlie River’s involvement in the U.S Ram Fleet and Mississippi Marine Brigade (Ellet’s Brigade). After 1864, the correspondence reflects Mary’s work to preserve and promote Charles Ellet, Jr.’s accomplishments and contributions to 19th century public works projects through publication, the launching of the U.S.S Ellet, and the preservation of the papers in an archival repository.

    Box   1   1
    1827
    Box   1   2
    1828
    Box   1   3
    January-April 1829
    Box   1   4
    May-July 1829
    Box   1   5
    August-November 1829 (Includes: To Thomas Lipponcott, May 9, 1829; description Chesapeake and Ohio canal work).
    Box   1   6
    December 1829
    Box   1   7
    January 1830
    Box   1   8
    February-March 1830 (Includes: Ellet to Brother John Ellet, February 24, 1830)
    Box   1   9
    1831 (Includes: Ellet to Mary Ellet, March 7 1831-January 1832; regarding trip to Europe)
    Box   1   10
    1832
    Box   1   11
    1833 (Includes: Recommendation Letter by Benjamin Wright, September 5, 1833)
    Box   1   12
    January-May 1834
    Box   1   13
    June-December 1834
    Box   1   14
    January-May 1835
    Box   1   15
    June 1835
    Box   1   16
    July 1835 (Includes: Benjamin Wright to Ellet, July 17, 1835)
    Box   2   1
    August-September 1835
    Box   2   2
    October 1835 (Includes: Joseph Cabell to Ellet, October 11, 1835)
    Box   2   3
    November 1835
    Box   2   4
    December 1835
    Box   2   5
    January 1836
    Box   2   6
    February 1836 (Includes: Joseph Cabell to Ellet, February 25, 1836)
    Box   2   7
    March 1836
    Box   2   8
    April 1836
    Box   2   9
    May 1836
    Box   2   10
    June 1836
    Box   2   11
    July 1836
    Box   2   13
    August 1836
    Box   2   14
    September 1836 (Includes: Letter of Retraction written by Ellet, September 30, 1836; regarding encounter Moncure Robinson)
    Box   2   15
    October 1836 (Includes: Benjamin Wright to Ellet, October, 17, 1836; Newtown Mickie to Ellet, October 16, 1836)
    Box   2   16
    November 1836
    Box   2   17
    December 1836
    Box   3   1
    January 1837
    Box   3   2
    February 1837
    Box   3   3
    March 1837
    Box   3   4
    April 1837
    Box   3   5
    May 1837
    Box   3   6
    June 1837
    Box   3   7
    July 1837
    Box   3   8
    August 1837
    Box   3   9
    September 1837
    Box   3   10
    October 1-15, 1837
    Box   3   11
    October 16-31, 1837
    Box   3   12
    November 1837
    Box   3   13
    December 1837
    Box   4   1
    January-February 1838
    Box   4   2
    March 1838
    Box   4   3
    April 1838
    Box   4   4
    May 1838
    Box   4   5
    June 1838
    Box   4   6
    July 1838 (Includes: John Roebling to Ellet, July 16, 1838)
    Box   4   7
    August 1838
    Box   4   8
    September-October 1838
    Box   4   9
    November 1838
    Box   4   10
    December 1838
    Box   4   11
    January 1839 (Includes: Ellet to William Seward, January 15, 1839; regarding freight charges on New York canals)
    Box   4   12
    February 1839
    Box   4   13
    March 1839
    Box   4   14
    April 1839
    Box   4   15
    May 1-11, 1839
    Box   4   16
    May 12-23, 1839
    Box   4   17
    June-July 1839
    Box   5   1
    August 1839 (Includes: Ellet to C. Lane, August 19, 1839; regarding suspension bridge plans across the Mississippi river)
    Box   5   2
    September 1839
    Box   5   3
    October 1839
    Box   5   4
    November 1839
    Box   5   5
    December 1839
    Box   5   6
    January 1840 (Includes: John Roebling to Ellet, January 28, 1840)
    Box   5   7
    February 1840
    Box   5   8
    March 1840
    Box   5   9
    April-May 1840
    Box   5   10
    June 1-17, 1840
    Box   5   11
    June 18-30, 1840
    Box   5   12
    July 1840
    Box   5   13
    August 1840
    Box   5   14
    September-October 1840
    Box   5   15
    November 1840
    Box   5   16
    December 1840 (Includes: John Roebling to Ellet, December 16, 1840)
    Box   6   1
    January 1841
    Box   6   2
    February 1841 (Includes: Roebling to Ellet, February 1, 1841)
    Box   6   3
    March 1841 (Includes: Ellet to George E. Badger, March 18, May 8, 1841; regarding wire cables as defense)
    Box   6   4
    April 1841 (Includes: Roebling to Ellet, April 2, 1841)
    Box   6   5
    May 1841 (Includes: Ellet to Secretary of War John Bell, May 17, 1841; regarding wire cables as defense)
    Box   6   6
    June 1-17, 1841
    Box   6   7
    June 18-30, 1841
    Box   6   8
    July 1841
    Box   6   9
    August 1841
    Box   6   10
    September-November 1841
    Box   6   11
    December 1841
    Box   6   12
    January 1842
    Box   6   13
    February 1842
    Box   6   14
    March-April 1842
    Box   6   15
    May 1842
    Box   6   16
    June-July 1842
    Box   6   17
    August 1842
    Box   6   18
    September 1842
    Box   7   1
    October 1842
    Box   7   2
    November 1842
    Box   7   3
    December 1842
    Box   7   4
    January-April 1843 (Includes: Ellet to Daniel Zane, January 10, 1843; regarding Wheeling Suspension bridge)
    Box   7   5
    May-August 1843
    Box   7   6
    September-October 1843
    Box   7   7
    November-December 1843
    Box   7   8
    January-March 1844
    Box   7   9
    April-May 1844
    Box   7   10
    June 1844 (Includes:Ellet to Ellie, June 2, 1844-July 14, 1844, Account of trip in Europe)
    Box   7   11
    July-August 1844
    Box   7   12
    September-December 1844
    Box   7   13
    January 1845
    Box   7   14
    February 1845 (Includes: Ellwood Morris to Ellet, February 9, 1845)
    Box   7   15
    March 1-13, 1845
    Box   7   16
    March 14-31, 1845
    Box   7   17
    April 1-14, 1845
    Box   7   18
    April 15-31, 1845
    Box   8   19
    May 1845 (Includes: Ellet to Duncan C. Pell, May 3, 1843)
    Box   8   1
    June 1845
    Box   8   2
    July 1845
    Box   8   3
    August 1-14, 1845
    Box   8   4
    August 15-31, 1845
    Box   8   5
    September 1845
    Box   8   6
    October 1845
    Box   8   7
    November 1-11,1845
    Box   8   8
    November 12-30, 1845
    Box   8   9
    December 18455
    Box   8   10
    January-February 1846
    Box   8   11
    March-April 1846
    Box   8   12
    May-June 1846
    Box   8   13
    July-August 1846
    Box   8   14
    September-December 1846
    Box   8   15
    January-April 1847
    Box   8   16
    May-June 1847 (Includes: Lot Clark to Ellet, June 10, 1847; relating support for the Niagara Suspension bridge)
    Box   8   17
    July 1847
    Box   9   1
    August 1847
    Box   9   2
    September 1847
    Box   9   3
    October 1847
    Box   9   4
    November 1-15, 1847
    Box   9   5
    November 16-30, 1847
    Box   9   6
    December 1-15, 1847
    Box   9   7
    December 16-31, 1847
    Box   9   8
    January 1-22, 1848
    Box   9   9
    January 24-31, 1848
    Box   9   10
    February 1848 (Includes:Ellet to Lot Clark, February 27, 1848; regarding foot bridge over Niagara. C.B. Stuart to Ellet, February 28, 1848)
    Box   9   11
    March 1-13, 1848
    Box   9   12
    March 14-30, 1848
    Box   9   13
    April 1848 (Includes: J.C. Colton to Ellet, April 5, 1848)
    Box   9   14
    May 1-14, 1848
    Box   9   15
    May 15-31, 1848 (Includes: J.A. Spencer to Ellet, May 31, 1848; regarding the toll bridge controversy with the legal opinion that possession of the bridge belongs to the contractor)
    Box   9   16
    June 1848
    Box   10   1
    July 1848
    Box   10   2
    August 1-17, 1848 (Includes: L.G. Hulettl to Ellet, August 15, 1848 [telegram]; regarding injunction granting possession of the Niagara Suspension bridge to the directors)
    Box   10   3
    August 18-30, 1848 (Includes: J.A. Spencer to Ellet, August 21, 1848; expressing legal opinion on the Niagara Suspension bridge)
    Box   10   4
    September 1848
    Box   10   5
    October 1-15, 1848 (Includes: Jonathan Baldwin Thulett to Ellet, October 3, 1848; account of Ellet's agents taking half of the Niagara Suspension bridge by force)
    Box   10   6
    October 16-31, 1848
    Box   10   7
    November 1-19, 1848
    Box   10   8
    November 20-30, 1848
    Box   10   9
    December 1848
    Box   10   10
    January 1-17, 1849
    Box   10   11
    January 18-31, 1849
    Box   10   12
    February 1-14, 1849
    Box   10   13
    February 15-30, 1849
    Box   10   14
    March 1-9, 1849
    Box   10   15
    March 10-30, 1849
    Box   10   16
    April 1-19, 1849
    Box   11   1
    April 20-30, 1849
    Box   11   2
    May 1849
    Box   11   3
    June 1-23, 1849
    Box   11   4
    June 24-30, 1849
    Box   11   5
    July 1849
    Box   11   6
    August 1849
    Box   11   7
    September 1849
    Box   11   8
    October-November 1849
    Box   11   9
    December 1849
    Box   11   10
    January-March 1850
    Box   11   11
    April-May 1850
    Box   11   12
    June-July 1850
    Box   11   13
    August 1850
    Box   11   15
    September-November 1850
    Box   11   16
    December 1850
    Box   11   17
    January-February 1851
    Box   12   1
    March-April 1851
    Box   12   2
    May-June 1851
    Box   12   3
    July 1851
    Box   12   4
    August-November 1851
    Box   12   5
    December 1851
    Box   12   6
    January 1852
    Box   12   7
    February 1-20, 1852
    Box   12   8
    February 20-29, 1852
    Box   12   9
    March 1-19, 1852
    Box   12   10
    March 20-30, 1852
    Box   12   11
    April 1852
    Box   12   12
    May 1852
    Box   12   13
    June 1852
    Box   12   14
    July 1852
    Box   12   15
    August 1852
    Box   12   16
    September 1852
    Box   12   17
    October 1852
    Box   13   1
    November 1852
    Box   13   2
    December 1852
    Box   13   3
    January 1853
    Box   13   4
    February 1853
    Box   13   5
    March 1853
    Box   13   6
    April 1853
    Box   13   7
    May 1853 (Includes: Ellet to George Thompson, May 2, 1852)
    Box   13   8
    June 1853
    Box   13   9
    July 1-10, 1853
    Box   13   10
    July 11-31, 1853
    Box   13   11
    August 1853
    Box   13   12
    September 1853
    Box   13   13
    October 1-16, 1853
    Box   13   14
    October 17-31, 1853
    Box   13   15
    November 1853
    Box   13   16
    December 1853
    Box   14   1
    January 1-11, 1854
    Box   14   2
    January 12-30, 1854
    Box   14   3
    February 1-14, 1854
    Box   14   4
    February 15-28, 1854
    Box   14   5
    March 1-15, 1854
    Box   14   6
    March 16-30, 1854
    Box   14   7
    April 1-16, 1854
    Box   14   8
    April 17-30, 1854
    Box   14   9
    May 1-18, 1854
    Box   14   10
    May 19-31, 1854
    Box   14   11
    June 1-23, 1854
    Box   14   12
    June 24-30, 1854
    Box   14   13
    July 1-14, 1854
    Box   14   14
    July 15-31, 1854
    Box   14   15
    August 1854
    Box   15   1
    September 1-15, 1854
    Box   15   2
    September 20-30, 1854
    Box   15   3
    October 1854
    Box   15   4
    November 1854
    Box   15   5
    December 1854
    Box   15   6
    January 1855
    Box   15   7
    February 1-20, 1855
    Box   15   8
    February 21-26, 1855
    Box   15   9
    March 1855
    Box   15   10
    April 1855
    Box   15   11
    May 1855
    Box   15   12
    June-July 1855
    Box   15   13
    August 1855
    Box   15   14
    September 1855
    Box   15   15
    October 1855
    Box   15   16
    November 1855 (Includes: Ellet to the President and Director of the Hempfield Railroad, November 6, 1855)
    Box   15   17
    December 1855
    Box   16   1
    January 1856
    Box   16   2
    February 1856
    Box   16   3
    March 1856
    Box   16   4
    April 1856
    Box   16   5
    May 1856
    Box   16   6
    June 1856
    Box   16   7
    July 1856
    Box   16   8
    August 1856
    Box   16   9
    September 1-19, 1856
    Box   16   10
    September 20-30, 1856
    Box   16   11
    October 1-14, 1856
    Box   16   12
    October 15-31, 1856
    Box   16   13
    November 1856
    Box   16   14
    December 1856
    Box   16   15
    January 1857 (Includes: Frank Williams to Ellet, January 13, 1857)
    Box   16   16
    February 1857
    Box   16   17
    March-April 1857
    Box   17   1
    May-June 1857 (Includes: Ellet to John B. Floyd, Secretary of War, May 2, 1857)
    Box   17   2
    July-August 1857
    Box   17   3
    September 1857
    Box   17   4
    October 1857
    Box   17   5
    November 1857
    Box   17   6
    December 1857
    Box   17   7
    January 1858
    Box   17   8
    February 1858
    Box   17   9
    March-April 1858
    Box   17   10
    May 1858
    Box   17   11
    June 1858
    Box   17   12
    July 1858
    Box   17   13
    August 1858
    Box   17   14
    September 1858
    Box   17   15
    October 1858
    Box   17   16
    November 1858
    Box   18   1
    December 1-24, 1858
    Box   18   2
    December 25-31, 1858
    Box   18   3
    January 1859
    Box   18   4
    February 1859
    Box   18   5
    March 1859
    Box   18   6
    April 1859
    Box   18   7
    May 1859
    Box   18   8
    June-July 1859
    Box   18   9
    August 1859
    Box   18   10
    September 1859
    Box   18   11
    October-November 1859
    Box   18   12
    December 1859
    Box   18   13
    January 1860
    Box   18   14
    February 1860
    Box   18   15
    March-April 1860
    Box   18   16
    May 1860
    Box   18   17
    June 1860
    Box   18   18
    July 1860
    Box   19   1
    August-September 1860
    Box   19   2
    October 1860
    Box   19   3
    November-December 1860
    Box   19   4
    January-February 1861
    Box   19   5
    March 1861 (Includes: Ellet to Chase, March 30, 1861, Ellet offers to provision Fort Sumter)
    Box   19   6
    April 1861
    Box   19   7
    May 1861 (Includes: Ellet to Gideon Welles, May 11, 1861)
    Box   19   8
    June 1861
    Box   19   9
    July 1861 (Includes:Ellet to Charles Sedgewick, July 11, 1861)
    Box   19   10
    August 1861
    Box   19   11
    September 1861 (Includes: Ellet to Lincoln, September 8, 1861)
    Box   19   12
    October-November 1861 (Includes: Ellet to Lincoln, September 21, 1861; Ellet to Fremont, November 5, 1861)
    Box   19   13
    December 1-24, 1861
    Box   19   14
    December 25-31, 1861
    Box   19   15
    January 1862
    Box   19   16
    February 1-14, 1862 (Includes: James G. Blaine to Ellet, February 8, 1862)
    Box   19   17
    February 15-29, 1862
    Box   19   18
    March 1-19, 1862 (Includes: Ellet to Edward Ellet, March 11, 12, 1862; Edwin Stanton to Ellet, March 14, 1862)
    Box   19   19
    March 20-31, 1862
    Box   20   1
    April 1-7, 1862
    Box   20   2
    April 8-9, 1862
    Box   20   3
    April 10-15, 1862
    Box   20   4
    April 16-24, 1862
    Box   20   5
    April 25-27, 1862
    Box   20   6
    April 28-30, 1862
    Box   20   7
    May 1-8, 1862
    Box   20   8
    May 9-10, 1862
    Box   20   9
    May 11-14, 1862
    Box   20   10
    May 15-17,1862
    Box   20   11
    May 18-19, 1862
    Box   20   12
    May 20-22, 1862
    Box   20   13
    May 24-27, 1862 (Includes: Ellet to Edwin Stanton, May 26, 1862)
    Box   21   1
    May 28-31, 1862
    Box   21   2
    June 1-3, 1862 (Includes: Ellet to Davis, June 1, 1862)
    Box   21   3
    June 4-5, 1862
    Box   21   4
    June 6, 1862 (Includes: Ellet to Edwin Stanton, June 6, 1862)
    Box   21   5
    June 7, 1862
    Box   21   6
    June 8, 1862 (Includes: Ellet to Edwin Stanton, June 8, 1862)
    Box   21   7
    June 8, 1862, Gunshot Wound
    Box   21   8
    June 9-10, 1862 (Includes: C.H. Davis to Ellet, June 9, 1862)
    Box   21   9
    June 10-12, 1862 (Includes: Ellet to Edwin Stanton, June 11, 1862)
    Box   21   10
    June 13-15, 1862 (Includes: Ellet to Edwin Stanton, June 15, 1862)
    Box   21   11
    June 16-19, 1862
    Box   21   12
    June 20-26, 1862 (Includes: Edwin Stanton to Alfred Ellet, June 20, 1862; Alfred to Stanton, June 25, 1862)
    Box   21   13
    June 27-30, 1862
    Box   21   14
    July 1-16, 1862
    Box   21   15
    July 17-31, 1862
    Box   22   1
    August 1-24, 1862
    Box   22   2
    August 25-31, 1862
    Box   22   3
    September 1-19, 1862
    Box   22   4
    September 20-29, 1862
    Box   22   5
    October 1-16, 1862
    Box   22   6
    October 17-31, 1862
    Box   22   7
    November 1-15, 1862 (Includes: Alfred to Charlie, Novembe 3, 1862)
    Box   22   8
    November 16-23, 1862
    Box   22   9
    November 24-30, 1862
    Box   22   10
    December 1-3, 1862
    Box   22   11
    December 4-9, 1862
    Box   22   12
    December 10-14, 1862
    Box   22   13
    December 15-20, 1862
    Box   22   14
    December 21-25, 1862
    Box   22   15
    December 26-30, 1862
    Box   22   16
    December 31, 1862
    Box   23   1
    January 1-5, 1863
    Box   23   2
    January 6-11, 1863
    Box   23   3
    January 12-17, 1863
    Box   23   4
    January 18-31, 1863
    Box   23   5
    February 1-6, 1863
    Box   23   6
    February 7-18, 1863
    Box   23   7
    February 19-23, 1863
    Box   23   8
    February 24-28, 1863
    Box   23   9
    March 1-6, 1863
    Box   23   10
    March 7-23, 1863
    Box   23   11
    March 24-25, 1863
    Box   23   12
    March 26-30, 1863
    Box   23   13
    April 1863 (Includes: Porter to Alfred Ellet, April 4, 1863)
    Box   23   14
    May 1863
    Box   23   15
    June 1-12, 1863
    Box   23   16
    June 13-30, 1863
    Box   24   1
    July 1863
    Box   24   2
    August 1863
    Box   24   3
    September-December 1863
    Box   24   4
    1863 [undated]
    Box   24   5
    1864
    Box   24   6
    1865-1879
    Box   24   7
    1880
    Box   24   8
    1881-1882
    Box   24   9
    January-July 1883
    Box   24   10
    August-December 1883
    Box   24   11
    1884
    Box   24   12
    1885-1886
    Box   24   13
    1887-1888
    Box   24   14
    1889-1890
    Box   24   15
    1896-1900
    Box   24   16
    1901-1904
    Box   24   17
    Undated
     
    Subject Files  1837-1925 [series]:

    The Subject Files are arranged into ten subseries: Ellet Family, Bridges, Estate, Railroads, Steam Rams, Rivers and Canals, Drafts, Publications, and Tariffs and Tolls. Arranged chronologically, the Subject Files reflect his professional involvement with railroad, canal, and bridge companies, and the United States Army. The materials relate specifically to his work building railroads, canals and bridges; surveying rivers; researching railroad and canal tariffs and tolls for passengers and merchandise; and constructing and commanding the U.S. Ram Fleet. Notable to the files are building specifications for locks, dams, and suspension bridges; reports and writings from the Mississippi River survey; court documents from legal dispute with the Niagara Falls International Bridge Company; and Charles Rivers Ellet’s Diary, 1862-1863. The Bridge materials primarily document the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge Company legal dispute. Records in the Railroads subseries consist primarily of organizational documents, monthly reports, work exhibits, and building specifications. Materials in Tariffs and Tolls illuminate Ellet’s work analyzing railroad and canal economic transportation cost and profit models, with reflective writings, and railroad and canal company publications. Records in the Rivers and Canals reflect Ellet’s work for the James River Kanawha Company through organizational documents and building specifications, and the survey of the Mississippi River Delta.

     
    Ellet Family [subseries]:

    Family papers, writings, school records.

    Box   25   1
    Mary Virginia Ellet Cabell
    Box   25   2
    Mary Virginia Ellet Cabell-Collection Notes
    Box   25   3
    Charles Rivers Ellet
    Box   25   4
    Alfred Ellet
    Box   25   5
    The American Society for the Advancement of Science, 1848
     
    Estate [subseries]:

    Tax documents, indentures, will and testament, personal estate financial documents, land warrants, and land holdings lists.

    Box   25   6
    Land Holdings, 1827-1839
    Box   25   7
    Land Holdings, 1851
    Box   25   8
    Land Holdings, 1864
    Box   25   9
    Land Holdings, 1868-1876
    Box   25   10
    Will and Testament, 1851
    Box   25   11
    Household, 1856
    Box   25   12
    1859
    Box   25   13
    Indentures, 1775-1798
    Box   25   14
    Indentures, 1821-1833
    Box   25   15
    Indentures, 1834
    Box   25   16
    Indentures, 1835-1836
    Box   25   17
    Indentures, 1837
    Box   25   18
    Indentures, 1838
    Box   25   19
    Indentures, 1844
    Box   25   20
    Indentures, 1847
    Box   25   21
    Indentures, 1849
    Box   25   22
    Indentures, 1851
    Box   25   23
    Indentures, 1852
    Box   25   24
    Bonds, 1846
    Box   28  
    Certificates, 1834-1839
    Box   28  
    Certificates, 1840-1853
     
    Bridges  1841-1853 [subseries]:

    Bridge specifications and work estimates, court documents from Niagara Falls International Bridge Company and Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company court cases.

    Box   26   1
    Fairmount Suspension Bridge, 1841
    Box   26   2
    Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge, 1847
    Box   26   3
    Wheeling Suspension Bridge, 1848
    Box   26   4
    Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge, 1848
    Box   26   5
    Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge, Court Documents, 1848
    Box   26   6
    Supreme Court Niagara County, Summons to Respond to Complaint, 1848
    Box   26   7
    Supreme Court Niagara County, Complaint Response, 1848
    Box   26   8
    Supreme Court Niagara County, August 26, 1848
    Box   26   9
    Supreme Court Niagara County, Office of Baldwin, 1848
    Box   26   10
    Supreme Court Niagara County, Court Statement, August, 28, 1848
    Box   26   11
    Wheeling Suspension Bridge, 1849
    Box   26   12
    Wheeling Suspension Bridge, 1850
    Box   26   13
    Supreme Court, Wheeling and Belmont Bridge Company, December Term, 1851
    Box   26   14
    Potomac Suspension Bridge, 1853
     
    Railroads  1837-1860 [subseries]:

    Specifications, monthly reports, work exhibits, articles of agreement, cost estimates for work, and site measurements.

    Box   27   1
    Utica and Schenectady Railroad, 1837
    Box   27   2
    Reading Railroad, 1838
    Box   26   3
    Potomac Railroad Company, An Act, 1847
    Box   27   4
    Central Railroad Specifications, 1847
    Box   27   5
    Report on Mr. Herron's Cast-Iron Rail for Railroads, 1848
    Box   27   6
    Baltimore and Ohio Railroads, 1850
    Box   27   7
    Opinion on Parts of the Western Location of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, 1850
    Box   27   8
    Orange and Alexandria Railroad Company, 1851
    Box   27   9
    Hempfield Railroad, 1852
    Box   27   10
    1853
    Box   27   11
    Covington and Ohio Railraod Company, 1853
    Box   27   12
    Hempfield Railroad Company, 1853
    Box   27   13
    Virginia Central Railroad Company, 1853
    Box   27   14
    Virginia Central Railroad Company, 1855
    Box   27   15
    Hempfield Railroad Company, 1855
    Box   27   16
    Virginia Central Railroad, 1856
    Box   27   17
    Virginia Central Railroad, 1857
    Box   27   18
    Notes for Colonel Fontaine in Regards to the Ohio Railroad, 1860
     
    Steam Rams  1855-1905 [subseries]:

    General orders, reflective writings, U.S. Ram Fleet crew member lists, and Charlie Rivers Ellet's Diary, 1862-1863.

    Box   27   19
    Coast and Harbor Defenses, 1855
    Box   27   20
    Writings on U.S. Ram Fleet, 1861
    Box   27   21
    1862
    Box   27   22
    1863
    Box   27   23
    Charlie Rivers Ellet Diary, December 14,1862-June 6, 1863
    Box   27   24
    Mississippi River Ram Fleet and Marine Brigade, Remarks of Honorable James W. Brown, 1905
     
    Rivers and Canals  1836-1859 [subseries]:

    Work estimates, specifications, contracts, reports, river observations, articles of agreement, and meeting record extracts.

    Box   28   1
    James River and Kanawha Company, 1836
    Box   28   2
    Work Estimates and Bills of the James River Kanawha Canal Company, 1837
    Box   28   3
    Meetings of the James River and Kanawha Company, 1838
    Box   28   4
    Meetings of the James River and Kanawha Company, 1838
    Box   28   5
    Canal at Lynchburg, 1838
    Box   28   6
    James River and Kanawha Company, 1838
    Box   28   7
    James River and Kanawha Company Specifications and Work, 1838
    Box   28   8
    Contract for the Aqueduct of the James River Kanawha Canal, 1838
    Box   28   9
    Specification of Eight Feet Lift on Section Number Kanawha Canal, 1838
    Box   28   10
    Specifications for the Towing Path Section of the James River and Kanawha Canal, 1838
    Box   28   11
    Specifications of the Mitre-Skills Foundation of the James River Kanawha Canal, 1838
    Box   28   12
    Specifications for the Lock Gates of the James River and Kanawha Canal, 1838
    Box   28   13
    Specifications for Enlarging Portion of the Lower Canal Designated as Section Number of the James River Kanawha Canal, 1838
    Box   28   14
    Specifications for the Culverts of the James River and Kanawha Canal, 1838
    Box   28   15
    Specifications for Bridges and Dams for the James River Kanawha Canal, 1838
    Box   28   16
    Specifications of a Pennsylvania Lock for the French Creek Division, 1838
    Box   28   17
    James River Kanawha Company Resolution, 1838
    Box   28   19
    Grand Junction Canal, 1844
    Box   28   20
    Civil Engineers Memorial, 1850
    Box   28   21
    The River and Harbor Bill and the Reservoir for Improving the Western Rivers, 1850
    Box   28   22
    Report and Records of Observations of the Mississippi River, 1851
    Box   28   23
    Observations and Statements of the Mississippi River, 1851
    Box   28   24
    James River Kanawha Canal, 1852
    Box   28   25
    Articles of Agreement "The Mississippi and Ohio River" plans, 1853
    Box   28   26
    Observations Water Supply and Usage, 1854
    Box   28   27
    Report Improvement of Ohio River, Committee of Commerce, 1856
    Box   28   28
    Notes for Bridge, 1856
    Box   28   29
    Improvements for the Ohio River, 1858
    Box   28   30
    James River and Kanawha Company, 1858-1859
     
    Drafts  1850-1925 [subseries]:

    Publication drafts for newspapers, pamphlets and books.

    Box   29   1
    Pacific Railroad, To the Editor of the Union, 1855
    Box   29   2
    Report Improvements of Ohio River, Committee of Commerce, 1856
    Box   29   3
    Charles Ellet, Jr. Biography
    Box   29   4
    An Historical Notice of the Plan of Improving the Navigation and Controlling the Floods of Rivers by Means of Artificial Reservoirs
    Box   29   5
    Facts for Virginians, 1861
    Box   29   6
    The Army of the Potomac and its Mismanagement, 1862
    Box   29   7
    Military Incapacity and What It Costs the Country, 1862
    Box   29   8
    History of the Mississippi Ram Fleet, 1855
    Box   29   9
    A Forgotten Hero, 1889-1890
    Box   29   10
    Charles Ellet, Jr. and his Steam Rams, 1911
    Box   29   11
    Encounter of the Two Steam Ram Fleets of the Mississippi, 1925
    Box   29   12
    Philadelphia and the West
     
    Publications  1830-1862 [subseries]:

    Pamphlets and publication extracts.

    Box   29   13
    Extract from the Innundation of the Delta of the Mississippi River
    Box   29   14
    Extract from the Report in the Improvement of the Ohio River
    Box   29   15
    Speech of Honorable J.A Gurley, of Ohio, 1862
     
    Tariffs and Tolls  1834-1856 [subseries]:

    Tariff and toll pamphlets, and research notes recording passenger rates and arrival times, and tariffs and tolls on railroads and canals.

    Box   30   1
    Mountain Section of the James River Kanawha Canal, 1834-1835
    Box   30   2
    Amount of Produce, Merchandise Brought Down the Lower Section of the James River and Kanawha Canal, 1835-1836
    Box   30   3
    Tolls Collected on the Mountain Section of the Blue Ridge Canal Turnpike, 1836
    Box   30   4
    Petersburg Railroad, 1838
    Box   30   5
    Pennsylvania Canal, 1838
    Box   30   6
    Philadelphia,Columbia and Alleghany Portage Railways, 1838
    Box   30   7
    Union Canal, 1838
    Box   30   8
    Grand Junction Canal, 1844
    Box   30   9
    Railraod Freight Tariffs, 1847-1848
    Box   30   10
    Schuylkill Navigation Company, 1848
     
    Photographs  1830-1919

    The Photographs series, 1830-1919, contains portraits of the Ellet family, and the ram boat ‘Switzerland.’ The photograph series is not conclusive; many portraits of family members are not represented in the collection.

    Box   31   1
    Charles Ellet, Jr.
    Box   31   2
    Mary Virginia Ellet Cabell
    Box   31   3
    Charles Rivers Ellet
    Box   31   4
    Charles Rivers Ellet [negatives]
    Box   31   5
    Mary Virginia Ellet Cabell, 1919
    Box   31   6
    Mary Virginia Ellet Cabell, Bonnet, 1919
    Box   31   7
    Mary Israel Ellet
    Box   31   8
    Israel Ellet
    Box   31   9
    The Ram "Switzerland"
    Box   31   10
    Family Portraits, Clippings
     
    Notebooks  1826-1895 [series]:

    The Notebooks series contains letterbooks, scrapbooks, survey notebooks, account books, and a pocket diary. Survey notebooks from the survey of Philadelphia County predominate.

    Box   32  
    Account Book, Charles Ellet, Jr. with D.H. Kennedy, 1841
    Box   33  
    Account Book, 1834-1837, Reused as Scrapbook, 1848
    Box   36  
    Account Book, 1857-1862
    Box   32  
    Minutes of a Survey for the Construction of a Map of the County of Philadelphia, Vol.2, 1840-1841
    Box   32  
    Minutes of a Survey for the Construction of a Map of the County of Philadelphia, Vol. 4, 1840-1841
    Box   32  
    Minutes of a Survey for the Construction of a Map of the County of Philadelphia, Vol. 5, 1840-1841
    Box   32  
    Minutes of a Survey for the Construction of a Map of the County of Philadelphia, Vol. 6, 1840-1841
    Box   32  
    Minutes of a Survey for the Construction of a Map of the County of Philadelphia, Vol. 7, 1840-1841
    Box   32  
    Survey of Philadelphia County [date unknown]
    Box   32  
    Survey of Philadelphia County, Vol. 2
    Box   32  
    Survey of Philadelphia County, Vol. 3, D.H. Kennedy, 1841
    Box   32  
    Survey of Philadelphia County, Vol. 3, 1841
    Box   32  
    Survey of Philadelphia County, Vol. 4, 1840
    Box   32  
    Survey of Philadelphia County [last]
    Box   32  
    Survey, Bridge for Mississippi River, 1839
    Box   33  
    Scrapbook, Newspaper Clippings, Steam Rams
    Box   36  
    Scrapbook, Newspaper Clippings, Steam Rams
    Box   36  
    Scrapbook, Newspaper Clippings, Railroads
    Box   34  
    Scrapbook, Newspaper Clippings, 1862-1895
    Box   35  
    Letterbook, January 22, 1826-March 24, 1836
    Box   35  
    Letterbook, December 1829-August 1830
    Box   35  
    Letterbook, Niagara Falls Bridge, 1848-1849
    Box   33  
    Virginia Central Rail Road, Tariff of Tolls, 1858
    Box   33  
    Pocket Diary, 1863
     
    Technical Drawings and Plans [series]:

    Much of Charles Ellet, Jr.’s innovative work surveying rivers, evaluating and designing specifications for the building of locks, dams, railroads, river improvements and suspension bridges is documented in the Technical Drawings and Plans. Missing from the collection are drawings of his design for steam-powered rams.

    The Technical Drawing and Plans series is divided into eight subseries: Railroads, Maps and Plans; Railroads, Designs and Patterns; Railroads, Hempfield Railroad; Estate,Township Plats, and Plans; Mississippi River; Bridges; James River and Kanawha Company 1836-1837; and James River and Kanawha Company, 1858-1859. The Railroads, Maps and Plans subseries contains line maps, profiles, plans, and profile drawings for the Virginia Central Railroad, and Pacific Railroad. The Railroads, Designs and Patterns subseries contains designs and patents for locomotives and the construction of railway flat bars, and edge rails. The Railroads, Hempfield Railroad subseries documents Ellet's planning and surveying for the elevated track through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Of particular importance are the survey drawings for the first government sponsored survey of the Lower Mississippi River Delta in the Mississippi River subseries, and the technical drawings for Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge in the Bridges subseries.

     
    Railroads, Maps and Plans [subseries]:

    Railroad line maps, profiles, plans and survey drawings.

    Box   37  
    A Plan of the Railway or Tramroad from the River Tyes at Stockton to Witton Park Colliery and of the Several Branches therefrom all in the County of Durhan, 1823
    Box   37  
    Map of the Virginia Central Railroad
    Box   37  
    The Philadelphia Granite Company, 1828
    Box   37  
    Map of Daniel's Island showing thereon the Survey of the Two Lines for a Guard Bank for the Protection of the Island, 1838
    Box   37  
    Center Line of the Richmond and Danville Rail Road, 1848
    Box   37  
    Plan of the Freight Ground in Staunton Covington Extension Virginia Central Railroad
    Box   37  
    Map of Routes for a Pacific Railroad, compiled to accompany the Report of the Hon. Jefferson Davis, Sec. of War
    Box   37  
    Profiles of Routes Proposed for a Pacific Rail Road, Compiled to Accompany the Report of the Hon. Jefferson Davis Sec. of War
     
    Railroads, Designs and Patterns [subseries]:

    Designs and patents for locomotives and railways.

    Box   37  
    MW Racouius's Locomotive Engine for Freight, Patent, #D
    Box   37  
    Engine 500 HP, Rough Estimate
    Box   37  
    M.W. Baldwin Philadelphia Patent
    Box   37  
    Section of Tyes and Railway Iron Both Flat Bars and Edge Rails, Imported from England by A.& G. Ralston and Company, Philadelphia
    Box   37  
    Drawing of the Plan for Attaching Brakes to the Wheels of the "Rockfish," 1854
     
    Railroads, Hempfield Rail Road [subseries]:

    Profiles and plans for elevated track.

    Box   37  
    Tunnel Profile West Alexander Summit, Hempfield Railroad
    Box   37  
    Hempfield Railroad Tunnel Number 1, Section Number 1 Cemetary Ridge
    Box   37  
    Tunnel Section 22 Craig's Summit, Hempfield Railroad
     
    James River and Kanawha Company, 1836-1837 [subseries]:

    Survey drawings, plans, and specifications.

    Box   38  
    Crop Section Tye River
    Box   38  
    Cross Section Beaver Creek
    Box   38  
    Combine Locks at Joshua's Fall
    Box   38  
    Cross Sections of Tye River and James River
    Box   38  
    Dam for Joshua's Fall
    Box   38  
    Plan for Wooden Dam for Tye River
    Box   38  
    Plan for Lower Lock on Pierce's Landing
    Box   38  
    Sketch of North Abutement of Joshua Fall's Dam
    Box   38  
    Cross Section of Opossum Creek, Sec. 11
    Box   38  
    Cross Section of James River at Dam, June 1836
    Box   38  
    Profile of the River Where the Dam is To Be, 1837
    Box   38  
    Profile of the Line Across the Straights
    Box   38  
    Porridge Creek, Sec. 34., June 1836
    Box   38  
    Opossum Creek, Sec. 11
    Box   38  
    Sunflower and Bolivar River
    Box   38  
    Susquehanna and Yazoo River
    Box   38  
    Caohoma, Tunica, Panola
    Box   38  
    Cross Section Blackwater Creek
    Box   38  
    Section of the River at the Upper Site
    Box   38  
    James River, Horizontal Scale 100 ft, June 1836
     
    James River and Kanawha Company,1851-1858 [subseries]:

    Maps, survey drawings, and plans.

    Box   38  
    Outline Map Showing Positions of Reservoirs Proposed for Feeding the Kanawha River
    Box   38  
    James River, Blackwater Creek, Map
    Box   38  
    Cross Section of Water Street
    Box   38  
    Section of the River at the Upper Site
    Box   38  
    James River, Crop Sections, Map
    Box   38  
    Rivana River, Section 157-158
    Box   38  
    Plan for Passing Bacaru Dam
    Box   38  
    Map, Greenbrier
    Box   38  
    Monongahua and Yohisgeny Bridge, Correspondence July 26, 1854
    Box   38  
    Map of the Meadow River Reservoir Greenbrier County, VA, 1858
     
    Chesapeake and Ohio Canal [subseries]:
    Box   37  
    Cross Section of a Dam near the mouth of the Ca, Capon-Ches. and Ohio Canal
     
    Estate [subseries]:

    Township plats and plans.

    Box   39  
    Plan of Randolph Green Co., Illinois
    Box   39  
    Plat of Township, No. 6, Macoupian County, Illinois
    Box   39  
    Plat of Township, No. 8, Macoupin County, Illinois
    Box   39  
    Plat of Township, No. 8, Montgomery County, Illinois
    Box   39  
    Plat of Township, No. 9, Montgomery County, Illinois
     
    Mississippi River [subseries]:

    Survey drawings and maps.

    Box   39  
    Proposed Spillway between Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain
    Box   39  
    Sections of the Mississippi River Above and Below the Sauve Crevafse
    Box   39  
    Sections of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers taken near Cairo December 3, 1850
    Box   39  
    Sections of the Mississippi River at Memphis Tennessee, December 13, 1850
    Box   39  
    Levels Taken Near Bolivas Landing, December 19, 1850
    Box   39  
    Sections of the Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers, December 19, 1850
    Box   39  
    Levels Taken Near Bolivas Landing, December 24, 1850
    Box   39  
    Sections of the Mississippi at Vicksburg, December 30, 1850
    Box   39  
    Soundings in the Mississippi River from the Bayou Manchac and Bayou Plaquemine, February 5, 1851
    Box   39  
    Sections of the Red River and of the Mississippi River above and below the Red River
    Box   39  
    Sections of the Red River Bayou Atchafalaya and Old River
    Box   39  
    Course of the River Before the Cut-off was Made
     
    Rams
    Box   39  
    Tactical Drawing by Alfred Ellet
     
    Bridges [subseries]:

    Patents, profiles, and plans.

    Box   39  
    Patent Combination Bridge and Controlled Spillway
    Box   39  
    Western End of Bridge and Controlled Spillway
    Box   39  
    Front Elevation, Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge, 1848
    Box   39  
    Profile of Bridge without Load, Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge, 1848
    Box   39  
    Five Sections of Iron Trufis, Side Elevation of Wooden Bridge, 1849
    Box   39  
    Suspension Bridge Scale Drawing
    Box   39  
    Plan of the Canadian Approach to the Niagara Suspension Bridge
     
    Newspapers [series]:

    The Newspapers series is divided into four subseries: Railroads, Bridges, Rivers and Canals, and Rams. The Railroads subseries reflects historical events surrounding railroad development, featuring company reports and updates on extensions, copies of railroad bills introduced into the U.S. Senate. The Bridges subseries highlights Ellet's work on the Niagara Suspension bridge, with numerous articles describing the feat of the first wire cast across Niagara Falls, and the subsequent process of the bridge's construction. The Rivers and Canals subseries reflect historical events in the enlargement and improvement of canals, and the importance of Ellet's work and advocacy for improvements of the Mississippi River through artificial reservoirs. The Rams subseries details Charles Ellet, Jr.'s career constructing and commanding the U.S. Ram Fleet through naval engagement scenes, dispatches, war announcements, reports, and articles demonstrating the effectiveness of the rams at the Battle of Memphis and Charles Rivers Ellet's successful campaign at Vicksburg. Additionally, the Rams newspaper clippings record the launching of the U.S.S. Ellet in 1938.

    Box   40  
    Rivers and Canals
    Box   40  
    Railroads
    Box   40  
    Bridges
    Box   40  
    Civil War, Ram Fleet
     
    Artifacts [series]:

    The Artifacts series contains items used by Charles Ellet, Jr. and Charlie Rivers Ellet during the Civil War, and ephemera commemorating the launch of the U.S.S. Ellet.

    Box   41  
    Commemorative pin, launch U.S.S. Ellet
    Box   41  
    Commemorative rope and ribbons, launch U.S.S. Ellet
    Box   41  
    Key to safe on board Colonel Ellet's ship, Queen of the West, with accompanying note
    Box   42  
    Uniform Jacket, 1862
    Box   43  
    Hat and tie ("stock") belonging to Charles Ellet, Jr.
    Box   43  
    Vest belonging to Charles Rivers Ellet
    Box   44  
    Plaque of the launching of the U.S.S. Ellet, launched June 11, 1938
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Archival Materials note

    A microfilm copy of the Charles Ellet, Jr. papers is available at the University of Illinois Library.