Isaac Miller letterpress copybook
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of a letterpress copybook belonging to Isaac Miller, shipping agent of the Lykens Valley Coal Company. Copies of letters and invoices dated March 1867 to January 8, 1870 appear in the book up to page 454. Miller's letters communicate the business and financial affairs of the Lykens Valley Coal Company and reveal occasional problems in production, labor, and shipment. A majority of the letters up to January 1869 are addressed to James Boyce (1823-1891) and Company, Baltimore coal merchants. Thereafter, letters are addressed mainly to Boyd, Stickney and Company of Baltimore. These letters and invoices concern the shipment of Pennsylvania anthracite by canal boats on the Susquehanna River to Spesutia Island or by railroad to Baltimore. Other letters are addressed internally to officers of the Lykens Valley Coal Company. Letterhead is faint but visible on some pages. A label on the inside front cover states that the copybook was made and sold by Lucas Brothers, 170 Baltimore Street, Baltimore.
- Creation: 1867 March-1870 January 8
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Contact Special Collections for more information.
Conditions Governing Use
Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.
Isaac Miller biographical note
Isaac Miller (1832–1908) was a shipping agent for the Lykens Valley Coal Company of Millersburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. At age twenty-seven, according to the 1860 census, he worked as a clerk in a railroad office. Railroads were closely tied to the coal industry and essential for distribution; many also held rights to mine and sell coal. Miller served as a steward in the U.S. Navy from August 15, 1862 to October 1, 1863. He became a coal shipper some time before March 1867, the earliest date in the copybook. By 1880, he had retired from the coal company, and by 1900, he became the president of a bank. He died in 1908 at age seventy-six in Millersburg. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, and U.S. Naval Enlistment Rendezvous, Philadelphia, August, 1862.
Lykens Valley historical note
The Lykens Valley is located in the southern basin of Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal fields. In the mid-nineteenth century, new railways and new mining towns, including the town of Lykens, were built to service the industry. The Lykens Valley Railroad was one of sixteen new railways constructed in Pennsylvania to connect the coal fields to waterways. Millersburg is located west of Lykens on the Susquehanna River. Source: H. Benjamin Powell, “The Pennsylvania Anthracite Industry, 1769–1976,” Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies 47:1 (January 1980): 3-28.
0.14 Cubic Feet (1 flat box)
Language of Materials
Isaac Miller (1832–1908) was a shipping agent for the Lykens Valley Coal Company of Millersburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. The collection consists of a letterpress copybook with letters and invoices dated March 1867 to January 8, 1870. Miller's letters communicate the business and financial affairs of the Lykens Valley Coal Company and reveal occasional problems in production, labor, and shipment. Most of the letters are addressed to Baltimore coal merchants, James Boyce (1823-1891) and Company and Boyd, Stickney and Company.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchased from Carmen Valentino in March 2021.
Pages 1 to 66, about 15% of the copies, are largely illegible due to fading and ink feathering.
Processed by Brooke Shilling in November 2021.
- Guide to the Isaac Miller letterpress copybook
- Brooke Shilling
- 2021 November
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Special Collections Repository
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