Special Collections Department
Gardiner Fulton Papers
1813 - 1989
Manuscript Collection Number:
Accessioned: Purchase, 2001
Extent: .3 linear ft. (49 items)
Content: Financial documents, correspondence, receipts, ephemera, will, and handbills
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: Sally W. Donatello, March 2001
Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
Table of Contents
1820-1850 U.S. Census for Pennsylvania
Historical and biographical information obtained from the collection.
The Gardiner Fulton Papers, spanning the dates, 1813-1889, consists of .3 linear feet of financial documents, correspondence, and ephemera. The forty-nine items in this collection contain clues about the life of a mid-nineteenth-century farmer in Philadelphia County, which is located in the southeast corner of Pennsylvania. Fulton resided for a time in Oxford Township, but spent most of his life in rural Frankford, a farm community and the first stage stop north of Philadelphia on the Philadelphia-Trenton Turnpike. The documents record numerous transactions between Gardiner Fulton and the E.I. du Pont de Nemours Company during the early years of its gunpowder manufacturing business in Wilmington, Delaware. Founder of the company Éleuthère Irénée du Pont (1771-1834) traveled to Philadelphia often, and letters in the collection imply that du Pont and Fulton saw each other during some of these journeys.
The collection is arranged by papers related to Gardiner Fulton, his son James R. Fulton, Charles Fulton, and ephemera. The contents of each file are arranged chronologically. The majority of Gardiner Fulton’s papers is business correspondence, which includes fifteen transactions with the du Pont de Nemours Company (F2). Although limited, these papers do provide some insight into the kinds of supplies used in northeastern Pennsylvania farming communities. For example, Fulton ordered blasting powder and gunpowder continuously from 1823-1857 for his Sloop Farm. These products may have been used for removal of rock to build fences, houses, or barns, and to create fields for planting. Additional documents verify that Fulton owned several properties (F4) and the farming life often involved uncomfortable relationships with neighbors (F6). A few personal letters came from relatives, and other correspondents’ identities are unknown (F3).
The most valuable part of this small collection is the papers (F2) that connect Fulton to E.I. du Pont and his company, as well as the Mellon Bank. Many of the receipts from the E.I. du Pont de Nemours Company are penned by Éleuthère Irénée du Pont and one of the letters was written by him. Another is from Alfred Victor du Pont (1798-1856), who was E.I. du Pont’s son and who ran the company from 1834-1850. Additionally, there is a document from Thomas Mellon (1813-1908), of the well-known Pittsburgh banking firm, Thomas Mellon & Sons (F1), forerunner of the Mellon National Bank.
Folder -- Contents
F1 Business correspondence, 1818-1852 8 items Consists of a will, receipts, a memorandum dated September 1843 from T.[Thomas] Mellon, Pittsburgh. This correspondence gives Fulton information about a 108-acre farm in Clarion County, Pennsylvania. The last item is an account statement from Livezey & Balldwin for building materials purchased from March 1851 to January 1852. F2 Business correspondence with E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co., 1823-1857, 15 items Among these financial documents are six receipts (1823- 1829) and a letter dated November 9, 1829, which is written by E.I. du Pont. There is another letter dated October 6, 1848, which is written by his son Alfred Victor du Pont. On the verso is a hand-written short “love” tale, possibly Irish. Additionally there is an 1857 statement of account from the E.I. du Pont de Nemours Company that lists kegs of blasting powder (84) and gunpowder (10) bought by Fulton in 1856. F3 Personal correspondence, 1818-1856 4 items Contains a letter from Fulton’s brother Thomas, a letter from John Gabley, a letter from his niece Elizabeth and nephew Andrew, and a letter from Sam Riddell about Fulton seeking employment. F4 Property holdings, 1848-1857 5 items Various types of financial records including leases, an annual tax assessment, a guardianship from the Alms House with release from indentures, and an ordinance from the Philadelphia Department of Highways. F5 Pennsylvania Rail Road Company, 1856 Aug 6 Announcement of an adjourned meeting of the Building Committee James R. Fulton F6 Documents, 1824-1847 3 items “Directions for drawing circular hemispheres” is signed by Gardiner Fulton’s son, James Fulton, and Isaac Gillam. A letter signed by James asks a neighbor to keep his farm animals from trespassing on the wheat. James says, “ I heard my father say, he was fully determined to save the bread.” The last item is a debit receipt for clothes from George W. Farr, Philadelphia. Charles Fulton F7 Documents, 1873-1888 9 items Various papers including an announcement, receipts, membership renewal for the Joseph Lodge in Frankford, a lease, and a letter from The Pennsylvania Railroad Company to R.G. Fulton. F8 Ephemera, 1860-1899 4 items A card announcing “A Social Japanese Hop” to be given on Worthington’s Island, Bucks County, on Wednesday, August 29, 1860. A handbill from Odd Fellow’s Hall, Frankford, to advertise the play “Two Orphans,” for the benefit of the National Cornet Band, March 11-14, 1878. A handbill from Odd Fellow’s Hall, Frankford, announcing “Octoroon,” for the benefit of the Widows’ and Orphans’ Fund of Kearney Post, no. 55, March 13-15, 1879. A tourist brochure for Hotel Velvet, Old Orchard Beach, Maine, built in 1899. Hotel named by the owner and manager H.L. Hildreth.
Last modified: 01/19/11