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At a Glance
This collection is arranged in 5 series. Materials within each series are arranged chronologically.
Scope and Contents
The collection primarily consists of the Barnard family's personal correspondence amongst themselves and with extended family and friends. Publications and correspondence about scientific, engineering, mathematical, and other academic concepts appear among the effects of Frederick A. P. Barnard and John Gross Barnard. The collection also includes bills, receipts, account books, estate summaries, and correspondence with the family's property and financial managers. Legal documents, primarily consisting of materials related to the Porter family case (1884-1888) and the estates of Barnard family members, are also included.
Frederick A. P. Barnard's professional papers are not included in the Barnard Family papers. While some of the correspondence addresses topics related to his career and professional interests, the bulk of his professional correspondence is located in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library's Frederick A. P. Barnard Papers.
Using the Collection
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Restrictions on Access
You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.
This collection is located on-site.
One folder of telegrams in Box 26 is restricted for preservation purposes. Researchers must use access photocopies.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Barnard Family Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
Frederick A. P. Barnard Papers: The Barnard Family Papers includes Frederick A. P. Barnard's personal correspondence—primarily letters to his wife, Margaret, and brother, John—while the Frederick A. P. Barnard Papers comprises his professional correspondence and manuscripts. Accordingly, three boxes of professional papers were separated from the Barnard Family Papers and added to the Frederick A. P. Barnard Papers. At the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University.
F. A. P. Barnard Collection: A collection composed of photocopies of correspondence from the Rare Book and Manuscript Library's Frederick A. P. Barnard Papers and a small group of original documents related to Frederick A. P. and John Gross Barnard. In the Archives and Special Collections of the J. D. Williams Library, University of Mississippi.
Burton Norvell Harrison Family Papers: Family papers of Burton Norvell Harrison, nephew and frequent correspondent of Frederick A. P. and John G. Barnard, and personal secretary to Confederate president Jefferson Davis. At the Library of Congress.
Carr-Cary Family Papers: The Carr and Cary families were relatives of Anna Eliza Barnard. Jane Margaret Carr Cary and her son, Sydney Carr Cary, corresponded with her frequently. At the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia.
The professional papers of John Gross Barnard were separated from the collection and sold at auction by Doyle on April 26, 2017.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library by Ned O'Connor, a direct descendant of John G. Barnard and Anna Eliza Barnard, on December 15, 2017.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Collection-level record describing unprocessed material made public in summer 2018 as part of the Hidden Collections initiative.
Papers Entered in AMC 11/26/90.
Papers processed by Celeste Brewer. Finding aid written by Celeste Brewer, March-May 2019.
Much of the collection arrived loose in boxes. Correspondence belonging to John G. Barnard and Frederick A. P. Barnard, dating from the 1850s and 1860s, arrived in 20th century office folders. All items were rehoused in acid-free folders and boxes. Oversize items were physically separated and stored in containers of the appropriate size.
Torn or fragile items were placed in polyester sleeves, and a small number of very fragile telegrams were photocopied for preservation purposes. Some of Frederick A. P. Barnard's letters, as well as a small amount of John G. Barnard's Civil War-era correspondence, appear to have been previously attached to the pages of a scrapbook. These items were treated by Columbia University Libraries' Conservation department to remove the remaining scrapbook paper.
Four boxes of Frederick A. P. Barnard's professional papers were separated from this collection and processed as an addition to the Frederick A. P. Barnard Papers.
2019-05-09 xml document instance created by Celeste Brewer.
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Frederick Augustus Porter Barnard (1809-1889) and John Gross Barnard (1815-1882) were sons of Robert Foster Barnard (1784-1850) and Augusta Porter Barnard (1786-1833) of Sheffield, Massachusetts. The Barnard family was wealthy and well educated. By the mid-nineteenth century, in addition to the family property in Sheffield, they owned land in Jefferson, Louisiana; Cass and Guadalupe Counties, Texas; Niagara, New York; Arkansas; and New York City. Though they were Unionists, at least one of the Barnards—Frederick—also enslaved people.
Frederick A. P. Barnard was President of Columbia College from 1864 until 1889. Prior to his appointment at Columbia, he was a professor of mathematics, chemistry, natural philosophy, and natural history at the University of Alabama (1838-1854) and Chancellor of the University of Mississippi (1856-1860). In 1857, a controversy erupted over his acceptance of the testimony of Jane, a woman enslaved by Barnard, against that of two students who had assaulted her. He moved north at the outbreak of war. Barnard was a skilled administrator, overseeing the rapid growth of Columbia College and advocating for the education of women. He served in various other public capacities as well, including President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1866, and commissioner to the 1867 and 1878 Universal Expositions in Paris. He married Margaret McMurray (1820-1891) in 1847. They had no children. He died in New York City on April 27, 1889.
John G. Barnard was a career officer in the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and an expert on the construction of coastal defenses. He led the construction of defenses at the port city of Tampico during the Mexican-American War, then succeeded Robert E. Lee as Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point (1855-1856). During the Civil War, he served in the U.S. Volunteers, attaining the rank of Brevet Major General. He then served as President of the Board of Engineers for Fortifications and River and Harbor Improvements until his retirement in 1881. He changed his first name from Jonathan to John in 1858. In about 1842, he married Jane Elizabeth Brand (1822-1853), with whom he had four sons: Robert Foster Barnard (1842-1844), Augustus Porter Barnard (1847-1911), William Frederick Barnard (1848-1863), and Robert Foster Barnard (1850-1853). He died in Detroit, Michigan, after a long illness, on May 14, 1882.
Anna Eliza "Widie" Barnard (1828-1911) was John G. Barnard's second wife. Born Anna Eliza Hall in Harford County, Maryland, she first married McHenry Boyd in 1847; he died shortly after their marriage. She and John married in 1860. They had three children: John Hall Barnard (1861-1936), Jane Brand "Jennie" Barnard (1862-1942), and Anna McHenry "Nannie" Barnard (1866-1939). Many of Widie's family members, including the Cary and Carr families of Virginia, were Confederate partisans, which caused some interfamilial friction during the war. Widie was a prolific letter writer. When John became incapacitated during his last illness, she managed the family's financial affairs from roughly 1880 until his death in 1882. She died in Sheffield, Massachusetts, on May 5, 1911.
Augustus Porter Barnard, known as "Porter," was the son of John G. and Jane Elizabeth Barnard. He was a graduate of the Columbia School of Mines and worked as a mining engineer in Colorado and New Mexico. He was also frequently called upon to manage issues related to his family members' financial assets and estates. In 1884, he became embroiled in a dispute between two of his cousins, Jane Augusta Porter and Frederica Porter Burrall. The dispute resulted in legal proceedings in the United Kingdom and the United States about Jane's mental competency, the validity of Jane and Frederica's late mother's will, and the Porter family's decision to transfer ownership of Niagara Falls and Goat Island to New York State. Both sisters were ultimately declared legally insane, though not before Frederica published a letter in the New York Times accusing Augustus Porter Barnard of kidnapping. After being injured in an accident, Porter left mining to work as a customs agent in New York City. He never married. He died in New York on December 26, 1911.