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James P. Kimball Papers

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Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Kimball, James P. (James Putnam), 1836-1913

James Putnam Kimball (1836-1913) was a geologist, professor, engineer, and Civil War veteran. Having studied at Harvard and in Germany, Kimball held positions as a professor at the New York State Agricultural College at Ovid (now Cornell University), as an honorary professor at Lehigh University, as President of the Everett Iron Company, and later as a geologist for state and national geological surveys before serving as Director of the United States Mint from 1885 to 1889. Following that, he worked as a consulting geologist and conducted surveys and reports during the time of westward expansion.

In 1874, Kimball married Mary Elizabeth Farley (1851-1886). They had three children; Russell, Edith, and Farley. Kimball and his sons eventually relocated to Montana, and established a sheep ranch in Red Lodge. While there, Kimball became a vocal proponent for the interests of sheep grazing, in opposition to the forest reserves set aside by President Theodore Roosevelt.

This collection consists of a variety of materials related to James P. Kimball's life and work around the turn of the 20th century, primarily in the American West, and particularly his involvement in mining, railroads, and geological surveys. There are also some materials related to his opposition to forest reserves around Yellowstone National Park, and his work in Northern Mexico and in the Mid-Atlantic Region. Materials include photographs, personal and business correspondence from throughout Kimball's career, geological reports, published writings by Kimball and others, official documents, news clippings, hand-drawn maps, and ephemera.

Many of the materials in the collection were originally kept in a scrapbook that was disassembled prior to the collection's acquisition. Materials that were still together were maintained as such.

Materials are arranged by topic or genre.

Purchase, 2012 (AM 2013-43).

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

This collection was processed by Kathryn Antonelli in July 2017. Finding aid written by Kathryn Antonelli with assistance from Faith Charlton in July 2017.

No materials were separated during 2017 processing.

Publisher
Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Author
Kathryn Antonelli; Faith Charlton
Finding Aid Date
2017
Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use Restrictions

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Collection Inventory

Scope and Contents

Includes correspondence sent to Kimball on both personal and business matters, including requests for him to conduct expeditions and surveys in the West, along with letters of induction into professional associations and honor societies. Some professional affiliates represented include George L. Rives, Clarence King, Raphael Pumpelly, and geologist and mining engineer Hamilton Smith. Includes a collection of letters recommending Kimball for the post of Pennsylvania State Geologist, as well as some letters recommending him for the post of Superintendent of the Coast Survey.

Some correspondence can be found elsewhere in the collection, specifically letters to Kimball from Henry Villard. Also, many of the mining reports Kimball wrote were sent as correspondence to his clients and later published. These can be found in "Mining Reports and Clippings."

Arrangement

Correspondence relating to Kimball's nomination for Pennsylvania State Geologist has been kept together in original order. All other correspondence is arranged chronologically.

Physical Description

1 box

Pennsylvania State Geologist Letters of Recommendation, 1874 May-June. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Scope and Contents

Correspondence sent to Kimball on both personal and business matters, including requests for him to conduct expeditions and surveys in the West. Also includes letters of induction into professional associations and honors societies, and letters recommending Kimball for the post of Superintendent of the Coast Survey.

Physical Description

1 box

Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1866 September-1889 May. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Correspondents include George L. Rives, Clarence King, Raphael Pumpelly, and lumber baron John Bratnober, among others. Letters dated from April and May 1889 recommend Kimball for the post of Superintendent of the Coast Survey. A letter dated June 22, 1869 includes a photograph of botanist John Torrey.

Physical Description

1 folder

Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1890 January-1891 December. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Correspondents include George L. Rives, Raphael Pumpelly, Hamilton Smith, and mining engineer James P. Witherow, among others.

Physical Description

1 folder

Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1892 February 23-1907 August 10. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Correspondents include Hamilton Smith, Clarence King, humanitarian Louisa Lee Schuyler, and General Philip Schuyler (1836-1906), among others.

Physical Description

1 folder

Scope and Contents

Includes portraits depicting Kimball and his family and acquaintances, along with photographs of his ranch in Red Lodge, Montana, and those taken on survey expeditions.

Physical Description

1 box

Landscapes and Expeditions, circa 1894-1903. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Photographs of landscapes, Kimball's ranch in Red Lodge, Montana, and Kimball and others on survey expeditions to locations in the American West including Antimony Gulch, California and Money Creek, Washington. Some photographs are marked indicating subjects or locations.

Physical Description

1 folder

Portraits, 1860-1910s. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Professional portraits of Kimball, his son Russell, and other acquaintances.

Physical Description

1 folder

Scope and Contents

Includes clippings, memorabilia, and official documents related to Kimball's life and achievements. Also included is a published excerpt from the diary of Kimball's father, James Kimball, written during his 1817 journey to the West. Some of the clippings were authored by Kimball, and some are annotated or marked with manicules.

Physical Description

2 boxes

Biographical Materials, 1860s-1906. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Includes clippings, brochures, invitations, certificates, and, a published excerpt from the diary of Kimball's father, James Kimball, written during his 1817 journey to the West.

Physical Description

1 folder

Biographical Materials, 1868-1888. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Includes clippings and Kimball's official passport.

Physical Description

1 folder

Scope and Contents

Includes correspondence from Villard to Kimball, and clippings and ephemera related to Villard's life and his working relationship with Kimball.

Physical Description

2 boxes

Henry Villard, Correspondence and Ephemera, 1897-1904. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Henry Villard, Obituary, 1900 November 12. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Clipping of Villard's long-form obituary in the New York Evening Post.

Physical Description

1 folder

Ephemera Relating to Others, 1899-1906 November 30. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Clippings and ephemera about the lives of Kimball's friends and professional associates, including Clarence King and Charles F. Chandler.

Physical Description

1 folder

Sheep Grazing, 1902-1903. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Clippings related to Kimball's fight for sheep to be allowed to graze on forest reserve lands around Yellowstone National Park. Includes Kimball's 1902 open letter to President Theodore Roosevelt on the topic, and the text of Kimball's essay, "Aggressive Forest Reservation", which was published in the August 1903 issue of the North American Review.

Physical Description

1 folder

Geological Surveys, 1874-1900. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Clippings, correspondence, and ephemera related to Kimball's work with the Pennsylvania Geological Survey and the United States Coast Survey.

Physical Description

1 folder

Scope and Contents

Printed reports and news clippings about mines and mining, many of which were authored by Kimball. Several reports are published versions of Kimball's correspondence to his clients. Some are annotated or marked with manicules.

Physical Description

2 boxes

Oregon, 1902 January 20-1906 October 20. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

United States, 1879-1908 October 10. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Geographic locations covered include Montana, Virginia, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Physical Description

1 folder

Pennsylvania, 1865-1870s. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Includes an article about the Bell telephone.

Physical Description

1 folder

Northern Mexico, 1867-1905 July 19. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Clippings include photographs of mines and the surrounding area.

Physical Description

1 folder

Maps, 1898-1900s. 1 folder.
Scope and Contents

Printed and hand-drawn maps of Oregon and Montana, most of which were created by Kimball. One map is attached to a thick cardboard backing and may have been part of the cover of Kimball's scrapbook.

Physical Description

1 folder

Print, Suggest