Horatio Seymour Papers, 1764-1906
SC7008

Quantity: 30 boxes (ca. 18 cubic ft.)
Access: Open to research.
Alternate Format: The canal scrapbooks, 1853-1906 (Boxes 19-21), are available on one reel of microfilm (New York State Library call number: MB/FM 386 C21). The scrapbooks related to politics, 1844-1886 (Boxes 22-29), are available on two reels of microfilm (New York State Library call number: MB/FM 973 S52).
Administrative Note: A number of documents in this collection are missing and presumed to have been stolen. Noted (with an asterisk: *) are documents that were recovered in 2008 by the Office of New York State Attorney General in connection with a theft prosecution.
Processed By: New York State Library/Manuscripts and Special Collections.

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Go to Horatio Seymour Correspondence Index for Items in Boxes 7-14.

Biographical Note:

Horatio Seymour was born in Pompey Hill, Onondaga County, New York, on May 31, 1810. He was educated at Geneva Academy (now Hobart and William Smith Colleges) and studied law in Utica, Oneida County, New York. He was admitted to the bar in 1832 and moved to Albany in 1833. Seymour served as mayor of Utica (1842) and three terms in the New York State Assembly (1842, 1844 and 1845), as speaker in his last term, and as governor (1853-1854 and 1863-1864). He was instrumental in obtaining legislative approval for an Erie Canal-improvement bill in 1845. A conservative Democrat, Seymour, as governor, opposed nativism and vetoed a prohibition bill, which led to his defeat for re-election in 1854. Following his defeat, he moved to a farm in Deerfield, Oneida County.

Seymour was an outspoken critic of the Lincoln administration, questioning the constitutionality of the Emancipation Proclamation and the wartime limits on freedom of the press and other civil liberties. His speech after the draft riots of July 1863 was widely viewed as treasonous and led to his defeat in 1864. In 1868 a deadlocked Democratic National Convention in New York City nominated Seymour as a compromise candidate for president. Despite carrying New York State and drawing 47 percent of the popular vote, he won only 80 electoral votes to Ulysses S. Grant's 214. After the defeat he became an elder Democratic Party statesman. He died in Utica on February 12, 1886.

Scope and Content Note:

The Horatio Seymour Papers include correspondence dealing with Seymour's personal and political affairs: account books of business activities; notebooks; telegrams; scrapbooks of material on the Erie Canal; and scrapbooks on political activities and speeches. Correspondents include William Cassidy, George F. Comstock, Horace Day, George F. Miller, Thomas Worth Olcott, and Samuel Tilden.

Numbers in parenthesis refer to numbers from old guides to the Horatio Seymour Papers.

Box and Folder List

Box

Folder / Volume

Description

1 1 Account book with gentlemen in Albany and New York City, 1812-1814, 35(40)p. (1)
1 2 Cattle book, 1820, 18(34)p. (2)
1 3 Memorandum Book No. A of Samuel Forman, 1764-1770, 101(114)p. (3)
1 4 Account book, 1806-1807, 26p. (4)
1 5 Petty account book, 1805-1820, 32p. (5)
1 6 Petty account book B, Samuel S. Forman, 1818-1821, 20(54)p. (6)
1 9 Memorandum book, 1829, 7(28)p. Pinned to page 3 is a printed receipt from the Utica Hay Scales/ Henry Eggleston, Wr., dated March 26, 1829, (9)
1 10 Notes about Baron von Steuben by his aide-de-camp, Gen. William North (copy from original draft). 35(52)p. Also copy of Steuben's last will and testament. 4(6)p. (10)
1 11 Letter book of Samuel S. Forman, 1814-1826, 498p. (11)
2 17 Surveyor's Notebook (Horatio Seymour?) (17)
2 7 Alphabet to Ledger C, Middletown Point, 8p. (7)
2 8 Ledger G, 1816-1819, general store, 229p. (8)
2 18 Notebook, ca. 1830s (?), with applications for loans, drafts of articles, etc. (18)
2 19 Notebook of Augustus F. Taylor, New Brunswick, New Jersey, presented to H.S. (19)
3 29 Horatio Seymour's research notes on canals and the manuscript of his article on "The Canals" for Paul A. Chadbourne's The Public Service of the State of New York: Historical, Statistical, Descriptive and Biographical … Hon. Paul A. Chadbourne … Editor-in-Chief. Walter Burritt Moore … Associate Editor … (Boston" James R. Osgood and Co., 1882), 3 vol. Seymour's chapter on "The Canals" is in Vol. 1, pp. 435-474. (29)
4 1 Telegrams, 1856-1880 (mainly 1880). (16)
4 2 Papers relating to the [Morgan?] Dix-Seymour controversy about the 1863 draft riots. (24)
4 3 Drafts of speeches (?) about (a) Sumner's denunciation of Virginia and (b) Blaine's attack on Massachusetts. (25)
4 4 Paper on Battle of New Orleans celebration. (26)
4 5 Speech for the inauguration of Myron H. Clark, January 1, 1855
4 6 Clippings on U.S. Senators, 1 pkg. (27) [Has considerable preservation needs.]
    Clippings used in compilation of "Record of Horatio Seymour," 1848-1885. (28)
4a 1 Newspaper clippings, 1848
4a 2 Newspaper clippings, 1853
4a 3 Newspaper clippings, 1854
4a 4 Newspaper clippings, 1856
4a 5 Newspaper clippings, 1857
4a 6 Newspaper clippings, 1858
4a 7 Newspaper clippings, 1859
4a 8 Newspaper clippings, 1861
4a 9 Newspaper clippings, 1862
4a 10 Newspaper clippings, 1863
4a 11 Newspaper clippings, Seymour's speech at Gettysburg, Nov. 19, 1863
4a 12 Newspaper clippings, 1864
4a 13 Newspaper clippings, 1865
4a 14 Newspaper clippings, 1866
4a 15 Newspaper clippings, 1867
5 1 Newspaper clippings, 1870
5 2 Newspaper clippings, 1871
5 3 Newspaper clippings, 1872
5 4 Newspaper clippings, 1873
5 5 Newspaper clippings, 1874
5 6 Newspaper clippings, 1875
5 7 Newspaper clippings, 1876
5 8 Newspaper clippings, 1877
5 9 Newspaper clippings, 1878
5 10 Newspaper clippings, 1879
5 11 Newspaper clippings, 1880
5 12 Newspaper clippings, 1884-1885
5 13 Newspaper clippings, "Doubtful dates, 1870 on"
5 14 Newspaper clippings, "Historical"
5 15 Newspaper clippings, "Political - not about Gov. Seymour"
6 1 Incomplete printer's copy of Public Record: Including Speeches, Messages, Proclamations, Official Correspondence, and Other Public Utterances of Horatio Seymour; from the Campaign of 1856 to the Present Time. With an Appendix (New York: I.W. England, 1868). New York State Library call number: 308 S52p. (30)
6 2 Miscellaneous papers. (31 a-g)

  1. Grievance of the commissioned officers of the 141st Regiment, New York Volunteers expressed to Gov. Horatio Seymour, January 11, 1864.
  2. Letter from R.H. Gardner, Indian agent, on behalf of Onondaga Indians for permission to play lacrosse at the New York State Fair, April 26, 1879.
  3. Statement of Congressional districts showing weakness of the Hards [?] and that they are not Cass men. [Names on tabulation sheet: Cass, Mitchell, Hatch for the years 1848 and 1855]
  4. Protest and note of Seymour vs. Van Erne, Chase and Hodgins, 1877.
  5. Rates of toll on Pennsylvania railroads; also 2 pamphlets on freight classification, 1884-1885.
  6. Statement of claim of Josiah Helmer vs. New York State. To the Canal Appraisers, re: bridge broke throwing Helmer, his horses and wagon into the water, "that one of his horses of the value of one hundred & fifty dollars was drowned, that his harness was injured to the amount of two dollars and his wagon to the amount of eight dollars, and that this claimant received injuries to his person by being bruised and otherwise hurt and injured to the amount of two hundred dollars." August 22, 1878.
  7. Statement of canal receipts and toll "to the close of the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 1881."
6 3 Charges against New York City police commissioners, 1863 (31 h)

Opening sentence of the 16-page document: "I have carefully considered the answer of Thomas C. Acton and John G. Bergen, two of the Commissioners of the Metropolitan Police, to the charges of Henry K. Blauvelt against the Commissioners, which charges are dated the first of January and the second of  June, 1863."

6 4 Papers related to the 1863 draft riots including an undated memorandum with an endorsement date of July 18, 1863. (32a)
6 5 Speeches of Horatio Seymour: (1) Speech at Brooklyn, October 26, 1874, and (2) Inaugural Address, 1863. (32b-c)
6 6 Seymour "letter to Vallandigham meeting," May 16, 1863. (32d)
6 7 Statement on disturbances in the Assembly Chamber, 1863. (33a)
6 8 Paper about the election of 1876. (33b)
6 9 Miscellaneous broadsides and newspapers, 15 items. (34) (See also printed documents in Box 14)
    NOTE: See Horatio Seymour Correspondence Index for Items in Boxes 7-14
7   Letters, 1830-1867, n.d.
8   Letters, January-July 1868.
9   Letters, August 1868.
10   Letters, September-November 1868.
11   Letters, 1869-1878.
12   Letters, January-September 1879.
13   Letters, October 1879-1886.
14 1 Letters by Horatio Seymour
14 2 Family correspondence.
14 3 Portrait of Horatio Seymour (2 copies) and a political cartoon picturing, in the foreground, Seymour as a jockey straddling two horses, one labeled "War" and the other "Peace." In the background is a building labeled "White House." Caption: "Wonderful Two-horse Act Performed by Governor Seymour on the Road Between This and 1864." Cartoon signed: Robert Hooper. In the cartoon's frame: "Vanity Fair"
14 4 Correspondence concerning appointments, 1863-1864 (list in folder).
14 5 Specifications of bridges, buildings, canals, etc.
14 6 Miscellaneous printed documents.
14 7 Miscellaneous mss.
14 8 *Letters and papers relative to the court martial of Private John Ryan, Company F of 12 New York Cavalry, 1863-1864 (5 items)
15   Drafts of speeches, political material, etc.
    Oversize folder of maps
    Map of Hudson River from Poestenkill Creek to the dam between Lansingburgh and Troy, 1822.
    Champlain Canal, 1820.
    Watervliet, New York, n.d. (J. Bleecker Farm).
    Oneida County, 1838.
    Erie Canal, 1821. (MISSING September 13, 2005)
    Sault Sainte Mary, Mich., 1852.
    Superior Lake, 1858.
    Albany and environs, 2 pieces, n.d.
    Saranac Lakes, 1869.
    Superior, Lake, 1872 (facsimile).
    Bound Volumes
16 1 Letter book of Horatio Seymour and John F. Seymour, January 8, 1863-April 21, 1864.
16 2 Telegrams received at the Executive Department, January 22, 1863-November 30, 1864.
16 3 Letter book of Horatio Seymour and others, containing some telegrams in the first pages, April 20, 1863-December 23, 1868.
17   Scrapbook containing original letters, telegrams, newspaper clippings on Gov. Seymour's death, February 12, 1886, and biographical sketches.
18   Blotter, governor's office, 1866.
    Scrapbooks
18   Canal Scrapbooks – Also available on microfilm: New York State Library call number: MB/FM 386 C21 (1 Reel)
19 1 Specification sheets (forms)
19 2 1853-1895
20 3 1860-1881
20 4 1875-1881
21 5 1877-1881
21 6 1882-1888
21 7 1903-1906
    Scrapbooks - Also available on microfilm: New York State Library call number: MB/FM 973 S52 (2 Reels)
22 1 1844-1862, Political.
23 2 1845-1885, Political.
24 3 1856-1876, Political.
24 4 1863, Political clippings relative to the Civil War.
24 5 1863, Political.
25 6 1863, Political.
25 7 1863-1864, Political.
26 8 1864, January-July, Political.
26 9 1864, July-August, Political.
27 10 1864, Political.
27 11 1864, Political.
28 12 1865-1870, Political.
28 13 1870-1878, Political.
28 14 1879-1885, Political.
29 15 1886, Death of Horatio Seymour.
29 16 Miscellaneous and Political.

* = Document recovered in 2008 by the Office of New York State Attorney General in connection with a theft prosecution and placed in this collection as the probable source of the document.

Last Updated: September 28, 2020