Collection Number: 03477

Collection Title: Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.


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Size About 9,200 items (13.5 linear feet).
Abstract Spencer, native of Columbus, Ga., was president of six railroads, including the Baltimore and Ohio, 1887-1888, and the Southern, 1894-1906. He was a director of at least ten railroads and of several banks and other companies. Through 1869 the papers consist of personal correspondence while Samuel Spencer was at the Georgia Miliary Academy, serving in the Confederate Army, and at the universities of Georgia and Virginia. Beginning in 1870 there is both personal and business correspondence and a large quantity of business papers, including company reports, surveys, financial statements, bills, receipts, legal papers, lists of stockholders, engineering notes, scrapbooks, and other items pertaining to many of the railroads for which Spencer was engineer, manager, or director, in particular the Baltimore & Ohio, Southern, Savannah & Memphis, and Long Island roads, and to other companies with which he was connected, including the Columbus (Ga.) water works; Pittsburgh & Chicago Gas & Coal Co;, West Virginia Oil Co.; two coke manufacturing firms; the Union Stockyard Company of Chicago; Westinghouse Electric Corporation of Pittsburgh, including correspondence with George Westinghouse; and New York bankers Drexel, Morgan & Company, for whom he was the railroad expert. Other correspondents include many national business and political leaders of the post Civil War period, among them his father-in- law, Henry Lewis Benning (1814-1875), Georgia Supreme Court justice and Confederate brigadier general. Also included are Spencer's detailed letters while traveling in the western United States and Mexico, 1885, and materials, 1915-1919, of his son, Henry B. Spencer, relating to the Tennessee Railway Company. A scrapbook contains clippings, correspondence, and speeches on railroad regulation, 1905-1906.
Creator Spencer, Samuel, 1847-1906.
Curatorial Unit University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.
Language English
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Samuel Spencer Papers, #3477, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Partial microfilm copy available.
Acquisitions Information
Gift 1960
Additional Descriptive Resources
A more complete finding aid for this collection is available at the Southern Historical Collection.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Spencer, native of Columbus, Ga., was president of six railroads, including the Baltimore and Ohio, 1887-1888, and the Southern, 1894-1906. He was a director of at least ten railroads and of several banks and other companies.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

Through 1869 the papers consist of personal correspondence while Samuel Spencer was at the Georgia Miliary Academy, serving in the Confederate Army, and at the universities of Georgia and Virginia. Beginning in 1870 there is both personal and business correspondence and a large quantity of business papers, including company reports, surveys, financial statements, bills, receipts, legal papers, lists of stockholders, engineering notes, scrapbooks, and other items pertaining to many of the railroads for which Spencer was engineer, manager, or director, in particular the Baltimore & Ohio, Southern, Savannah & Memphis, and Long Island roads, and to other companies with which he was connected, including the Columbus (Ga.) water works; Pittsburgh & Chicago Gas & Coal Co;, West Virginia Oil Co.; two coke manufacturing firms; the Union Stockyard Company of Chicago; Westinghouse Electric Corporation of Pittsburgh, including correspondence with George Westinghouse; and New York bankers Drexel, Morgan & Company, for whom he was the railroad expert.

Other correspondents include many national business and political leaders of the post Civil War period, among them his father-in- law, Henry Lewis Benning (1814-1875), Georgia Supreme Court justice and Confederate brigadier general. Also included are Spencer's detailed letters while traveling in the western United States and Mexico, 1885, and materials, 1915-1919, of his son, Henry B. Spencer, relating to the Tennessee Railway Company. A scrapbook contains clippings, correspondence, and speeches on railroad regulation, 1905-1906.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937.

Box 1

1854-July 1857 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 1

Box 2

October 1867-September 1870 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 2

Box 3

October 1870-March 1872 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 3

Box 4

April 1872-May 1874 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 4

Box 5

June 1874-5 February 1877 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 5

Box 6

6 February 1877-April 1878 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 6

Box 7

May 1878-June 1880 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 7

Box 8

July 1880-15 May 1884 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 8

Box 9

16 May 1884-1885 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 9

Box 10

January 1886-17 August 1887 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 10

Box 11

18 August 1887-March 1888 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 11

Box 12

April 1888-6 December 1888 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 12

Box 13

7 December 1888-December 1890 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 13

Box 14

January 1891-June 1892 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 14

Box 15

July 1892-March 1894 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 15

Box 16

April 1894-June 1895 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 16

Box 17

July 1895-June 1896 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 17

Box 18

July 1896-29 May 1897 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 18

Box 19

July 1897-20 September 1898 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 19

Box 20

21 September 1898-March 1901 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 20

Box 21

April 1901-1918, undated personal papers #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 21

Box 22

Family and business papers, undated #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 22

Box 23

Volumes 1-3 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 23

Box 24

Volumes 4-5 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 24

Box 25

Volumes 6-9 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 25

Oversize Volume SV-3477/11

Oversize volume #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." SV-3477/11

Box 26

1915-1917 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 26

Box 27

1917-1918 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 27

Photographs, 1936-1937 #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." Box 27

Special Format Image SF-P-3477/1

Ambrotype photograph #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." SF-P-3477/1

Extra Oversize Paper Folder XOPF-3477/1

Maps/plans #03477, Series: "Samuel Spencer Papers, 1854-1937." XOPF-3477/1

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Processing Information

Processed by: SHC Staff

Encoded by: Noah Huffman, December 2007

Updated by: Dawne Howard Lucas and Taylor de Klerk, December 2021

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