Identification: MSS 170
Creator: Maxwell, James Riddle, 1836-1912.
Title: James Maxwell papers
Inclusive Dates: 1860-1949
Bulk Dates: 1867-1900
Extent: 5 linear feet (844 items)
Abstract: The James R. Maxwell papers consist of the personal, professional, and family papers of James Maxwell, a resident of Newark, Delaware, and a civil engineer who worked for significant railroads in the American West and South America in the late 19th century.
Language: Materials in English and Spanish.
MSS 170, James Maxwell papers, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.
Box 1, 3-11: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes
Box 2: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons
Box 12: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (17 inches)
Box 13: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes (1 inch)
Box 14 (removals): Shelved in SPEC MSS shoeboxes
Removals: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (32 inches)
Removals: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize mapcases
Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library / Newark, Delaware 19717-5267 / Phone: 302-831-2229 / Fax: 302-831-6003 / URL: http://www.lib.udel.edu/ud/spec/
Gift of Homer Riddle Lee, 1961-1965.
Processed by Kim Sebold, 1989. Revised by Kelly Baum, February 1994. Encoded by Thomas Pulhamus, March 2010, and Lora J. Davis, September 2011.
The collection is open for research.
Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library, http://www.lib.udel.edu/cgi-bin/askspec.cgi
James Riddle Maxwell, a resident of Newark, Delaware, and a civil engineer who worked for significant railroads in the American West and South America, was born in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, in 1836.He attended Hyatt's Military Academy at Chester and then studied at Delaware College and Polytechnic College in 1860. After he graduated in 1862, Maxwell moved to Newark, Delaware, where he began his career as a civil engineer. Employed first by the Pennsylvania Railroad, he later traveled to the western United States as chief of an exploration and survey party for the Union Pacific and Northern Pacific railroads. Maxwell preserved this experience in an unpublished manuscript titled "Incidents in an Engineer's Life in the Far West."
In 1870 Maxwell married Harriet (Hattie) Mitchell (1836-?) and subsequently moved to Peru where he worked for several years. Maxwell was chief engineer of the Chimbota Railroad and the Obras Publicos; he also served as chief engineer of the Central Railroad of Peru which was commonly called the Oroya railway. With a summit at 15,666 feet above sea level, the Oroya railway climbed higher than any other in the world. On December 22, 1874, four years after arriving in Peru, the Maxwell's only daughter, Jane (Jennie), was born. Both Hattie and James Maxwell recount their experiences in Peru in personal diaries, letters, and notebooks.
In 1902, Maxwell retired from engineering and returned to Newark, Delaware, where he compiled personal and professional reminiscences of his career in the West and Peru. After a few years of failing health, he died at his home Wilkins Terrace, on April 7, 1912.
Biographical information derives from material in the collection, including an undated obituary in Box 7, F17.
The James R. Maxwell Papers consist of the personal, professional, and family papers of James Maxwell, a resident of Newark, Delaware, and a civil engineer who worked for significant railroads in the American West and South America in the late 19th century. The collection spans the dates 1860-1949, with the bulk of the material from 1867-1900, and illuminates Maxwell's and his family's experiences in Delaware, the American West, Peru, and other countries through which they traveled.
The Maxwell Papers include his student lecture notes; professional notebooks and drawings; diaries and accounts; and manuscripts for essays, speeches, and an unpublished autobiography. Family papers include household account books; diaries and albums kept by Hattie Maxwell and her daughter; and genealogical material. Also housed in the Maxwell papers are printed materials, primarily relating to professional engineering, and a collection of photographs and lithographs. In addition to family photographs, there are commercially produced photographs of scenery and native peoples in the West and Peru, as well as photographs taken of railroad construction and a set of lithographic prints commissioned by the Union Pacific during western surveys of 1864 and 1865.
Arranged chronologically. Generally directed to either James or Hattie Maxwell. James' correspondents include his father, H.M. McCartney, Edward Flint, Lucy Flint, and Henry Riddle. Hattie's include Lucy Flint, Carey Atkinson, Gertrude Parker, and Hattie's sister Amanda. Also contains letters from James Maxwell to various businessmen.
1867-1876 [Box 1 F1]
1877-1880 [Box 1 F2]
1881-1888 [Box 1 F3]
1888-1894 [Box 1 F4]
1899-1906 [Box 1 F5]
1906-1921 [Box 1 F6]
undated [Box 1 F7]
Arranged chronologically. Written and sent from Newark, Delaware, to James while he was on assignment for the Union Pacific Railroad in the West and in Peru; generally concerning daily life and family news.
1883 June-1883 August [Box 1 F8]
1888 August-1888 September [Box 1 F9]
1888 October-1888 November [Box 1 F10]
1888 November-1888 December [Box 1 F11]
1889 January-1889 February [Box 1 F12]
1889 March-1900 March [Box 1 F13]
Arranged chronologically. Written by James while on assignment to Peru and Montana, concerning railroad progress and daily life.
1886 April, 1887 February-1887 April [Box 1 F14]
1887 April-1887 July [Box 1 F15]
1887 July-1887 December [Box 1 F16]
1890 December-1900 March [Box 1 F17]
Arranged chronologically. Primarily letters posted from Peru.
1873 December-1874 January [Box 1 F18]
1874 January-1874 February [Box 1 F19]
Includes some letters to Hattie's sister.
1874 February-1874 April [Box 1 F20]
1874 May-1874 July [Box 1 F21]
Letters to mother and sister in a hand-sewn notebook.
1874 July-1875 November, 1882 August [Box 1 F22]
Arranged chronologically. Record of daily events and expenses from travel in the American West and Peru, primarily discussing progress of railroad projects.
1867 [Box 2 F1]
Railroad progress, establishment of the town of Cheyenne, Wyoming, brief mention of Indian attacks.
1868 [Box 2 F2]
Railroad progress, movement of camps, expenses.
1869 [Box 2 F3]
Travel by stagecoach to Salt Lake City, Utah; daily labor, weather reports; memoranda pages contain notes on elevation between Omaha and Sacramento.
1870 [Box 2 F4]
Work progress, lines run, weather, expenses; Oregon, Idaho, western territories. Postage stamp enclosed in rear pocket of the diary.
1871 [Box 2 F5]
Work progress, weather, calculations; enclosures.
1872 [Box 2 F6]
Travel to and arrival in Peru; enclosures.
1873 [Box 2 F7]
Notes arrival of letters from home.
1874 [Box 2 F8]
Work progress in Peru.
1880 [Box 2 F9]
Includes addresses; home life in Delaware; travel to Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., New York, Kansas, and Danville, Ohio.
1883 [Box 2 F10]
Work progress, camp life, expenses; locations in Boise and Pocatello, Idaho; Butte, Montana; and Utah.
1886 [Box 2 F11]
Entries primarily inventories.
1900 [Box 2 F12]
Travel to South America; boat trip returning to the United States with stops at Cartagena, Colon, Panama, Costa Rica; home life in Newark, Delaware.
1901 [Box 2 F13]
Work trip to Tuscaloosa; travel to Philadelphia, New York; home life in Newark; weather reports.
1902 [Box 2 F14]
Weather, daily reports in Newark.
1903 [Box 2 F15]
Weather, miles walked daily in Newark.
1904 [Box 2 F16]
Weather, miles walked daily, Hattie's illness, trip to Chicago.
1905 [Box 2 F17]
Weather, recovery from an illness, trip to Cleveland.
1906 [Box 2 F18]
Weather, addresses, monthly accounts with magazine subscriptions.
1907 [Box 2 F19]
Building a new home, weather, addresses, magazine accounts.
1912 [Box 2 F20]
Few entries: weather, addresses, magazine accounts.
undated [Box 2 F21]
James Maxwell's autograph notes taken during various courses while enrolled at Delaware College and the Polytechnic College. Titles from covers of notebooks.
Lectures by Dr. Kennedy on physics , 1860 [Box 2 F22]
Lecture on Chemistry , 1861 [Box 2 F23]
Lecture on Physics , 1860-1861 [Box 2 F24]
Laid in is a letter from Maxwell to his sister with response to her views of President Abraham Lincoln.
Lecture on Chemistry , 1861-1862 [Box 2 F25]
Lecture on Geology and Mineralogy , 1862 [Box 2 F26]
Lecture on Industrial Physics , 1862 [Box 2 F27]
Includes student essays by Maxwell on "Parallels in Rhetoric" with such topics as the United States and England, eloquence of the bar and the pulpit, Napoleon, and Washington.
Notes on Differential Calculus , undated [Box 2 F28]
Also contains an essay titled "The Means of Supplying Cities and Towns with Water."
Notes on Astronomy , undated [Box 2 F29]
Monthly expenses for individuals and household, maintained by Maxwell until his death in 1912 and thereafter by Jane, his daughter. Record of daily expenses as well as groceries, clothing, household goods, and a few luxury items.
Monthly account book , 1868 [Box 3 F1]
Includes Western Union telegram from J. Blierkinsderfer, Jr., June 3, 1868.
Monthly expense book , 1908-1911 [Box 3 F2]
Monthly expense book for groceries , 1911-1915 [Box 3 F3]
Monthly expense book , 1911-1915 [Box 3 F4]
Record book of stocks and bonds , 1912-1949 [Box 3 F5]
Pocohontas Consolidated Collieries, General Gas and Electric, General Motors, Metropolitan Edison Co., and Pennsylvania Railroad.
Monthly expense book for groceries , 1915-1919 [Box 3 F6]
Monthly expense book , 1916-1922 [Box 3 F7]
Monthly expense book for groceries , 1920-1922 [Box 3 F8]
Henck, John. Field Book for Railroad Engineers. New York: D. Appleton and Company. , 1854 [Box 4 F1]
Haswell, Chas. H. Engineers and Mechanics Handbook. New York: Harper and Brothers, Publishers. , 1870 [Box 4 F2]
Accompilation of rules and formulas ,  [Box 4 F3]
Ferro-Carril: Chimbote Juaraz Recuay. Lima. , 1872 [Box 4 F4]
Sketchbook profiling the Chimbotea Railroad , [1872-1874] [Box 4 F5]
Notebook detailing railroad construction in Peru and American railroad fares , 1874-1880 [Box 4 F6]
Notebook detailing the Danville, Onley, and Ohio River lines in Illinois , 1879-1880 [Box 4 F7]
Includes notes on the Nicaraguan Canal.
Notebook containing daily progress reports , 1880 January-1880 March [Box 4 F8]
Notebook containing observations of the Peruvian Railroad ,  [Box 4 F9]
Includes some inserts.
Notebook detailing railroads in the western United States , 1888 [Box 4 F10]
Includes some inserts.
Spanish diagram recording progress on tunnel construction , 1892 [Box 4 F11]
Notebook concerning railroad construction , 1899 [Box 4 F12]
Notebook on railroad routes and their construction , undated [Box 5 F13]
Sketchbook of engineer's drawings , undated [Box 5 F14]
Engineering notebook concerning various railways and bridges , undated [Box 5 F15]
Includes some inserts.
Notebook concerning engineering and railroad routes , undated [Box 5 F16]
Notebook containing mathematical formulas , undated [Box 5 F17]
Engineering sketchbook , undated [Box 5 F18]
Oversized engineering sketches and tables , 1883-1906 [Box 5 F19]
Union Pacific Railroad , 1867-1871 [Box 5]
1867-1870 [Box 5 F20]
Includes a payroll account, weather record, accounting table, and a map
1871 [Box 5 F21]
Includes survey reports, weather records, a supplementary report, and a monthly property return report
Peruvian Railroads , circa 1875 [Box 5]
circa 1875 [Box 5 F22]
Includes survey reports, progress reports, measurements, specifications for construction, and estimates of work remaining.
Part 1 , 1877-1901 [Box 5 F23]
Includes a payroll account, a time roll account, a construction agreement, and a report for a proposed extension.
Part 2 , 1877-1901 [Box 5 F24]
Includes documents on food rations for workers, procedures for surveying, and a map.
The Prize Album, a compilation of poems written to Hattie by her friends , 1855-1858 [Box 6 F1]
Personal diary , 1873 [Box 6 F2]
Personal diary ,  [Box 6 F3]
"A History of Jennie's life while in Peru" , 1874 December-1876 April [Box 6 F4]
Student handbook containing notes on literature, poetry, mathematics, and Indian names , undated [Box 6 F5]
Personal diary , 1913-1914 [Box 6 F6]
Memorandum notebook , 1930 [Box 6 F7]
Notebook containing a collection of sayings, phrases, and quotes , 1935-1936 [Box 6 F8]
Prosebook containing notes on music , undated [Box 6 F9]
Notebook containing geographical information on Newark , undated [Box 6 F10]
Letters, clippings, obituary of Emiline Mitchell , undated [Box 6 F11]
Accordion folder containing newspaper clippings , undated [Box 7 F12]
Inserts include a map of the lot where the Newark Trust Building was erected and a related note; and a map of the land condemned for the new school house, accompanied by a summary of the land status.
Preservation copies of newspaper clippings and inserts , undated [Box 7 F13]
Address book , undated [Box 7 F14]
Memoranda and address book , [circa 1891] [Box 7 F15]
Includes notes on railroad stations, tunnels, etc.
Handwritten family tree and family register , undated [Box 7 F16]
Contains information about descendants of Samuel Young, the Greenleaf family, and ancestors of Harriet (Mitchell) Maxwell.
Obituaries, notes, notebooks, and other miscellany , undated [Box 7 F17]
Obituaries (including James R. Maxwell and John Flint), a Spanish notebook, notes, announcements, notebook of home remedies, articles, letters, poems, and transcript of a lecture on school districting.
Ferro-Carril a la Oroya: Estudios Comparativos de las Propuestas Presentadas al Supremo Gobierno. Lima. , 1869 [Box 8 F1]
Ferro-Carriles: Apuntes sobre las Mejoras Materiales Aplicables a la America Latina. Lima. , 1869 [Box 8 F2]
Ferro-Carril de Arequipa: Documentos, Relativos a esta Empresa. Lima. , 1869 [Box 8 F3]
Inaguguracion del Ferro-Carril de Mollendo a Arequipa. Lima. , 1871 [Box 8 F4]
Memoria sobre Las Obras Publicas del Peru. Lima. , 1874 [Box 8 F5]
Reglamento del Travellers' Club. Lima. , 1875 [Box 8 F6]
Salazar, Manuel M. Gramatica Castellana. Lima. , 1873 [Box 8 F7]
Dictionary of Indian Tongues. Victoria, V.I.: Hibben & Carswell. , 1865 [Box 8 F8]
Hand book of the First Exposition of Monarchs and Beauties. Three Northern Galleries, Philadelphia. , undated [Box 8 F9]
Maxwell, James R. "Railway Construction in the Peruvian Andes." Proceedings of the Engineers' Club of Philadelphia. , 1895 July 12 [Box 8 F10]
Proof sheets for "The Builders" by Evelyn Gunn. , 1908 November [Box 8 F11]
Includes a letter and a copy of the poem.
"In the Wonderland of Peru." National Geographic 24:4. , 1913 April [Box 8 F12]
Oversize material , undated [Box 8 F13]
Includes Poiree Needle Dam Plan and Festival Schedule.
Autobiographical account of Maxwell's experiences working on the Union Pacific Railroad. Includes Indian attacks, travel, work of the railroad survey crews, and daily life in the West.
Holograph, pp. 1-85 , undated [Box 9 F1]
Holograph, pp. 86-182 , undated [Box 9 F2]
Holograph, pp. 183-235 , undated [Box 9 F3]
At the Zoo , undated [Box 9 F4]
Biography of Benjamin Disraeli , undated [Box 9 F5]
Biography of Louisa May Alcott , undated [Box 9 F6]
Central America , undated [Box 9 F7]
Climatic Influences [of India] As Compared with That of Our Own Country , undated [Box 9 F8]
Edmund Greenleaf , undated [Box 9 F9]
Effect on Commerce , undated [Box 9 F10]
The Fisheries of Japan , undated [Box 9 F11]
George Francis Train , undated [Box 9 F12]
Ireland , undated [Box 9 F13]
Jim Spikehook , undated [Box 9 F14]
A Long Ride , undated [Box 9 F15]
Lower California , undated [Box 9 F16]
The Makers of the Panama Canal , undated [Box 9 F17]
Milan , undated [Box 9 F18]
Mules , undated [Box 9 F19]
Our Third War with Great Britain , undated [Box 9 F20]
Peru , undated [Box 9 F21]
Thomas Babington Macauley , undated [Box 9 F22]
Tristram Coffin , undated [Box 9 F23]
William Hickling Prescott , undated [Box 9 F24]
William Morris , undated [Box 9 F25]
Family and acquaintances , undated [Box 10 F1]
Family and colleagues from studios in Wilmington and Philadelphia, including James R. Maxwell, Harriet M. Maxwell, Jane (Jennie) R. Maxwell; and A.L. Kennedy, president of the Polytechnic College.
Colleagues , undated [Box 10 F2]
Four portraits from the studio of E. Courret and two from the studio of Ricardo Villaalba, both in Lima. Also includes a portrait of Thomas C. Darant, "vice- president and general manager of the Union Pacific R'y when it was being built."
"Taken at the Gallery of Crockwell & Ottinger, agent for copying and enlarging pictures...Salt Lake City."
Silver Reef , undated [Box 10 F3]
Company's office & melting room, Stormont Mill , undated [Box 10 F3]
Stormont Mill , undated [Box 10 F3]
General View Stormont Mill , undated [Box 10 F3]
Horsting Works Buckeye Mine, Stormont Company , undated [Box 10 F3]
"Published by T.H. Rutter, Butte, Montana" , undated [Box 10 F4]
St. Lawrence Mine, Butte , undated [Box 10 F4]
Twin Falls, Shoshone , undated [Box 10 F4]
88. Bridal Veil Falls, Shoshone , undated [Box 10 F4]
101. Twin Falls , undated [Box 10 F4]
unidentified , undated [Box 10 F4]
Idaho , undated [Box 10 F5]
Owghie Land and Irrigation Company, Dam and Canal on Bu? River, Idaho
Engineer camp on Northern Pacific , undated [Box 10 F6]
Engineering party No. 2 , 1870 August [Box 10 F6]
Engineering party No. 3 , undated [Box 10 F6]
Camp Maxwell, N.P.P.R. Eng Corps near Seattle, W.T. , undated [Box 10 F6]
C.S. Kidder's party, N.P.R.R. Seattle , 1870 August [Box 10 F6]
Railroad labor , undated [Box 10 F7]
Arapahoe , undated [Box 10 F8]
Omaha , undated [Box 10 F8]
Pawnee , undated [Box 10 F8]
Pawnee squaw , undated [Box 10 F8]
Punkak Sioux , undated [Box 10 F8]
Snake , undated [Box 10 F8]
Winnebago squaw , undated [Box 10 F8]
Brigham Young , undated [Box 10 F9]
Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution , undated [Box 10 F9]
Entrance to Brigham Young's grounds , undated [Box 10 F9]
The Temple as it is to be , undated [Box 10 F9]
View of Brigham Young's house and grounds , undated [Box 10 F9]
The Theatre , undated [Box 10 F9]
Tithing Office , undated [Box 10 F9]
unidentified , undated [Box 10 F10]
Avenue of the entrance to Exposition , undated [Box 10 F10]
Avenue of Grey (barefooted) Friars , undated [Box 10 F10]
Entrance to Exposition , undated [Box 10 F10]
Alameda , undated [Box 10 F10]
View of Exposition grounds , undated [Box 10 F10]
Entrance to Cemetery , undated [Box 10 F10]
Lower side of Plaza, Lima , undated [Box 10 F10]
Bath House at Chorillos , undated [Box 10 F10]
Bay of Callao , undated [Box 10 F10]
Callao , 1872 [Box 10 F10]
Lima, Retratos Album and postcards , circa 1872 [Box 10 F11]
Photographers Richardson y Salazar, Courret Hermanos. Including one photograph, "Cathedral of Lima, revolution of June 1872" which shows a crowd in front of the cathedral; and three photographs of "antique pottery."
Lima, V.L. Richardson, photographer , undated [Box 10 F12]
One image of "Virgin and Child" not attributed to VLR.
[Priest and Indian child in prayer] , undated [Box 10 F13]
Bull fighter , undated [Box 10 F13]
Choloo, half Indian , undated [Box 10 F13]
Indian girl in her Sunday dress , undated [Box 10 F13]
Indian in his Sunday costume , undated [Box 10 F13]
Indian man and woman , undated [Box 10 F13]
Indians in Holiday costume , undated [Box 10 F13]
Aymari, Indian girl at Puno , undated [Box 10 F13]
Indian girl near Cazco , undated [Box 10 F13]
Indian of the Interior , undated [Box 10 F13]
Indian of the Andes, peaceful , undated [Box 10 F13]
Peaceful Indians , undated [Box 10 F13]
Indians of Bolivia , undated [Box 10 F13]
Chanchos or wild Indians , undated [Box 10 F13]
Indian women selling fruit , undated [Box 10 F13]
Musicians , undated [Box 10 F13]
Man and wife , undated [Box 10 F13]
Wife and child , undated [Box 10 F13]
Porter , undated [Box 10 F13]
[Man carrying cut reeds] , undated [Box 10 F13]
Milk woman of La Paz, Bolivia , undated [Box 10 F13]
Indian porter , undated [Box 10 F13]
Aquador or water carrier , undated [Box 10 F13]
Indian and llamas , undated [Box 10 F13]
Chuquicara , 1874 [Box 11 F14]
One photograph captioned "Jennie Riddle Maxwell was born at Chuquicara, December 22, 1874."
Central Railroad of Peru , undated [Box 11 F15]
Ferro Carril del Peru , 1892 [Box 11 F16]
One photograph captioned "West face of Galera Tunnel at the summit of the Andes, elevation over 15,600 ft."
On the way to Cartagena , undated [Box 11 F17]
"Group on S.S. Alene (Liverpool) on way to Carthagina"
Asheville, North Carolina , undated [Box 11 F18]
Photograph album , circa 1899 [Box 11 F21]
Includes photographs of Chimbote Railroad, Central Railroad of Peru; Kingston, Jamaica; and Cartagena, 1899.
Both sets produced by the Major & Knapp Eng. Mfg. & Lith. Co, Broadway, N.Y.
Union Pacific Rail Road, Survey of 1864 , undated [Box 11 F19]
Union Pacific Rail Road, Survey of 1865 , undated [Box 11 F20]
Photographs , undated [Box 12]
Various photographs of Peru, mounted on boards, 8 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches
Miscellaneous , undated [Box 13]
Picture frames, covers of writing tablets, etc.