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Subseries 2: John A. Graham Business Papers, 1849-1883


  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents note

From the Series:

The Graham family materials include correspondence between members of the Graham family. Most letters discuss family and social life. Letters of John A. Graham during the Civil War complain of secessionists stopping work in his coal fields, and rebels destroying buildings and railroads in the Cumberland area. His letters to wife Helen B. Graham from the 1870s go into some detail about his business dealings in Cumberland, but more of that is to be found with his business papers. A diary kept by Helen B. Graham notes the surrender of Fort Sumter and following events as she travels home to New York City, probably from upstate. Letters from Wallace Graham while in the Navy describe life on the ship, and ports of call such as Lisbon and Liverpool in great detail. Also of interest are letters from Octavius Pernichief, a well know minister who was close to John A. Graham. Pernichief candidly discusses his personal and professional struggles as he moves from place to place serving different parishes, his unhappiness and philosophical uncertainty.

The John A. Graham business papers contain correspondence and documents pertaining to Graham's coal and iron interests, including the Potomac Wharf Company, the Mount Savage Iron Company, real estate transactions, and lawsuits between investors in these large, interrelated concerns. Materials include deeds and indentures, ledgers, legal documents, mineral surveys, and cancelled checks.


  • Creation: 1849-1883


Conditions Governing Access

The Fairbank-Graham Family Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States