Arthur C. Bining collection

Arthur C. Bining was a Philadelphia historian, worked as a professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania and was associated with the Pennsylvania Historical Association. This small collection contains letters, autographs, and papers he collected over time. A portion of the papers originat...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Bining, Arthur Cecil 1893-1957. (Creator)
Collection:Arthur C. Bining Collection
Collection Number:1811
Format: Manuscript
Language:English
Subjects and Genres:
Online Access:Link to finding aid
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Physical Description: 1.6 Linear feet ; 4 boxes
Access: The collection is open for research.
Summary: Arthur C. Bining was a Philadelphia historian, worked as a professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania and was associated with the Pennsylvania Historical Association. This small collection contains letters, autographs, and papers he collected over time. A portion of the papers originated from the United States Customs House of Philadelphia and deal mostly with routine customs matters. There are also folders of papers from individuals that are not associated with the Customs House, such as army officer James Barker, painter Abbott H. Thayer, and inventor August F. W. Partz. Additional papers include those of Joseph R. E. Bunel, paymaster general of the French colony of Santo Domingo, Haiti; and Marie F. M. Bunel, a businesswoman in Santo Domingo.
The Arthur C. Bining collection is housed in four boxes and spans from the early 1700s to the mid 1900s. The papers are arranged in alphabetical order by author, organization, or subject. Groups of letters from the same person or organization are housed in individually labeled folders. Single papers from different authors or agencies are grouped together under individual letters of the alphabet. (e.g. "Mixed papers: A," Box 2, Folder 2, contains items from people and organizations starting with the letter A.) This arrangement continues through Boxes 1 to 3, with miscellaneous and unidentified papers placed at the end of Box 3. Box 4, titled "Bunel letters," contains a discrete set of different material. Making up much of the material in Boxes 1 to 3 are letters dating from about 1804 to about 1844 that originally formed part of the correspondence of the United States Customs House of Philadelphia (the letters have been re-arranged as stated above). These papers concern routine customs matters and many are addressed to the collector of Philadelphia. Major correspondents represented in these letters include Joseph Anderson, William H. Crawford, Alexander James Dallas, George Mifflin Dallas, Henry D. Gilpin, Charles J. Ingersoll, Jared Ingersoll, Joseph R. Ingersoll, William Morris Meredith, John Meredith Read, Jonathan Roberts, Richard Rush, and Henry Miller Watts. Scattered throughout the first three boxes are also letters and other papers from individuals and organizations unrelated to the Customs House. For example, there are folders devoted to James Barker, army officer and agent for fortification, Philadelphia; William Shaler, United States consul-general to Algiers and Cuba, and commissioner in the negotiation of the United States-Algiers treaty of 1815; Henry Stanton, army officer; Abbot H. Thayer, painter and naturalist; Edward Thursby, a merchant of Philadelphia; and James Trimble, a Pennsylvania politician. There are also a few papers of August F. W. Partz, a German immigrant and inventor, including his recollection of a visit from Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain). Additional items include papers on efforts by producers and carriers of anthracite coal in Pennsylvania to limit production and control prices, miscellaneous letters, business papers, and deeds. The vast majority of these papers date from the nineteenth century, with fewer dating from the eighteenth century. The "Bunel letters" in Box 4 originated from Joseph R. E. Bunel, paymaster general of the French colony of Santo Domingo, Haiti, and Marie F. M. Bunel, businesswoman in Santo Domingo. In 1804, following the successful Haitian revolution, the Bunels moved to Philadelphia. Included are their incoming personal and business correspondence and a few miscellaneous financial records. The papers date primarily from 1787 to 1812, with a few papers dating up to 1831. The correspondence is largely in French, though two Spanish documents were found mixed in. Typed translations accompany some but not all of the French papers.