George Bancroft Papers,1811-1901

Collection Number: 1262

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library


George Bancroft papers, 1811-1901.
Collection Number:
George, Bancroft 1800-1891.
7 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Family and personal papers include correspondence of George Bancroft.
Collection material in English


Historian, diplomat. Bancroft was a founder of Round Hill School, Northampton, Massachusetts, in 1823; served as U.S. Secretary of the Navy, 1845-1846; established the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, in 1845; served as U.S. minister to Great Britain, 1846-1849; to Prussia, 1867-1871; and to the German Empire, 1871-1874.


Family and personal papers include correspondence between George Bancroft and his first wife, Sarah Dwight (d.1837), his second wife, Elizabeth Davis Bliss, his father, Aaron Bancroft, his sister, Eliza Bancroft Davis, her husband John Davis, Governor of Massachusetts, his sister, Lucretia Bancroft Farnum, his two sons, George Bancroft, Jr., and John Chandler Bancroft during their school days and their travels abroad; other family letters are from other sisters and brothers, members of the Dwight family, Bancroft's two stepsons, Alexander and William Bliss, nieces, nephews, and other relatives; early deeds, other legal documents, papers pertaining to the settlement of various estates, and considerable genealogical material. Business and professional correspondence includes letters describing his involvement in Dwight family business interests, his stock holdings, and his work for the Bank of Michigan and other private banking ventures; letters and contracts with Little, Brown & Company detail his publication problems; and correspondence with his brokers and with his sons documents his later financial affairs, especially the income from his writings. There are some rough notes for his books and notes from personal interviews with Louis Philippe and Bismark. His political and diplomatic interests are documented by correspondence describing life in Washington, D.C., his career as Collector of the Port of Boston, and his advent as a cabinet official under Polk, as well as the Civil War and Reconstruction.
Correspondence documents his appointments as Minister to Great Britain in 1849 and Minister to Berlin, 1849-1867. There is also a series of letters to his wife in 1847 discussing French politics in detail as well as his reaction to French historians and philosophers. In addition, the collection contains a large number of autographed letters from persons prominent in public affairs and the literary world in Europe and America, 1817-1886; albums of photographs of the German royal family and others; bronze plaque honoring Bancroft; 90th birthday scrapbook; guest book, 1894-1899; and two letters, 1941, to Wilder D. Bancroft from the U.S. Navy regarding the launching of a ship named for George Bancroft. Included is correspondence by or about Ann Bancroft, Mary Bancroft, Sarah Bancroft, Thomas Bancroft, Alexander Bliss, William Bliss, T. Hartley Crawford, Jonathan Dwight, Jane Putnam Bancroft Gherardi, D. Goodwin, William Murphy, Henry Schoolcraft, Charles C. Trowbridge, Baxter Witter, and Levi Woodbury.
Also included is a letter to Bancroft from British statesman John Bright, dated March 29, 1862, which discusses in detail the reaction of the British public to the American Civil War.
Also, appointment of collector of customs for Boston, signed by Martin Van Buren, 1838.

Bancroft, George,1800-1891.
Bancroft family.
Bancroft, Aaron, 1755-1839.
Bancroft, Ann.
Bancroft, Elizabeth Davis, 1803-1886.
Bancroft, George, Jr.
Bancroft, John Chandler.
Bancroft, Mary.
Bancroft, Sarah Dwight.
Bancroft, Thomas.
Bismarck, Otto, Furst von, 1815-1898.
Bliss, Alexander, 1792-1827.
Bliss, William Davis, 1826-1886.
Crawford, T. Hartley.
Davis, Eliza Bancroft.
Davis, John, 1787-1854.
Dwight family.
Dwight, Jonathan Edwards, 1759-1800?
Farnum, Lucretia Bancroft.
Gherardi, Jane Putnam Bancroft, 1798-1839.
Goodwin, D.
Louis Philippe, King of the French, 1773-1850.
Murphy, William.
Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe, 1793-1864.
Trowbridge, C. C.(Charles Christopher), 1800-1883.
Van Buren, Martin, 1782-1862
Witter, Baxter.
Woodbury, Levi, 1789-1851.
Bank of Michigan.
Little, Brown and Company.
United States. President (1845-1849 : Polk)

History, Modern--19th century.
History publishing.
Cabinet officers--United States.
Reconstruction (U.S. history, 1865-1877).
Diplomatic and consular service, American.

United States--History--19th century.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
France--History--19th century.
France--History--Louis Philippe, 1830-1848.
France--Politics and government--19th century.
France--Politics and government--1830-1848.
Massachusetts--Politics and government--19th century.
Washington (D.C.)--Social life and customs.


Cite As:
George Bancroft papers, #1262. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.


Box 1
Correspondence 1803-1836
Box 2
Correspondence 1837-1841
Box 3
Correspondence 1842-1848
Box 4
Correspondence 1849-1855
Box 5
Correspondence 1856-1866
Box 34 Folder 2
Letter to Bancroft from John Bright1862 March 29
Box 6 Folder 1
Correspondence 1867
Box 6 Folder 2
Correspondence 1868
Box 6 Folder 3
Correspondence 1869
Box 6 Folder 4
Correspondence 1870
Box 6 Folder 5
Correspondence 1871
Box 6 Folder 6
Correspondence 1872
Box 6 Folder 7
Correspondence 1873
Box 6 Folder 8
Correspondence 1874
Box 6 Folder 9
Correspondence 1875-1876
Box 6 Folder 10
Correspondence 1877-1879
Box 7 Folder 1
Correspondence 1880-1882
Box 7 Folder 2
Correspondence 1883-1887
Box 34 Folder 1
Correspondence concerning Robert Browning1887
Box 7 Folder 3
Correspondence 1888-1901
Box 7 Folder 4-8
Correspondence Undated
Box 7 Folder 9-14
Genealogical Material
Box 7 Folder 15
"Library of the Late Honorable George Bancroft"
Box 7 Folder 16
Newspaper Clippings
Box 7 Folder 17
Printed Materials and Envelopes
Box 8
"7 Years in Berlin" (volume)
Box 8
Scrapbook with 1890 birthday telegrams and condolence messages on his death 1891
Box 8
Volume with letters from Chancellor Ranke 1874-1875
Box 9
Book notes
Box 9
Box 9
Box 10
Photo album, Berlin 1874
Box 10
Autograph book from "The Bluff," 1894-1899
Box 10
Plaque from an Italian Academy
Box 11
Photo album, Berlin 1874
Includes folder containing photos of Victoria - Princess Royal and Prince Frederick Karl (Frederick III)
Box 12
Tribute to Bancroft in German [wooden box]
Mapcase Folder 1
Certificates from House of Reps.
Mapcase Folder 1
Appointment of collector of customs for Boston, signed by Martin Van Buren
Van Buren, Martin
Additional papers (formerly in #2528)
Box 13 Folder 1
Correspondence 1885-1890, 1901
Box 13 Folder 2
Correspondence 1881-1883
Box 13 Folder 3
Correspondence 1862, 1867-1868, 1874-1875
Box 13 Folder 4
Photographs of Robert Browning letter (original in Box 7, 1262) Sept. 30, 1887
Box 13 Folder 5
Bancroft documents 1851-1881
Box 13 Folder 6
John C. Bancroft correspondence 1868-1869 n.d.
Box 13 Folder 7
Louisa Denny Bancroft to John Chandler Bancroft 1864 1867-1870 1872
Box 13 Folder 8
Louisa Denny Bancroft to John Chandler Bancroft n.d.
Box 13 Folder 9
John Chandler and Louisa Denny Bancroft to children, friends, and relatives 1864 1873-1877
Box 13 Folder 10
Correspondence: Katherine Bott to Wilder D. Bancroft 1894-1895
Box 13 Folder 11
Correspondence: Katherine Bott to Wilder D. Bancroft n.d.