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Mansfield French Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: French, Mansfield Joseph, b. 1872.
Title: Mansfield French Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1893-1952
Quantity: 2.25 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American civil engineer and New York historian.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Mansfield Joseph French (1872-1953) was born in New York City, the son of the merchant and manufacturer Joseph French and his wife Elizabeth Hull Smith. After finishing his public school education at Central High School in Syracuse, New York, French entered Syracuse University and graduated in 1894 as a civil engineer. While at SU he was active in Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity (author Stephen Crane was also a member during his brief time at SU).

Association with several transportation companies during his professional career, French developed steady private interest in local history and genealogy. In 1934 he authored a short article for the SU alumni magazine on Stephen Crane. Another article concerned Champlain's attack on the Onondaga tribe in central New York (1948), while a third was titled "Ancestors and descendants of Samuel French the Joiner of Stratford, Connecticut" (1943). As an active life member of the Onondaga Historical Association, French served as its director and vice-president.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Mansfield French Papers are divided into two parts. Subjects contains research notes, correspondence and printed materials. Civil engineering records consists almost exclusively of specifications and blueprints for a number of transportation companies. These concentrate most heavily on the Oneida Railway Company, Syracuse Rapid Transit Company, and the Utica and Mohawk River Railroad. The drawings include grades, switches, crossings, and other related railway structures. There are no building plans.

Correspondents and subjects of local interest include P. Schuyler Miller, W. M. Beauchamp, A. C. Flick, Crandall Melvin, T. Aaron Levy, Lester G. Wells, William P. Tolley, Charles C. Noble, Stephen Crane, Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, Bishop Frederick T. Keeney, Reverend Ebenezer White, and Cyrenius Hall.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Both series are arranged alphabetically.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Crane, Stephen, 1871-1900.
Douglass, Frederick, 1818-1895.
French, Mansfield Joseph, b. 1872.

Corporate Bodies

Syracuse University.


Civil engineering -- United States -- New York (State)
Electric railroads.
Genealogy -- New York (State)
Railroad engineering -- United States -- New York (State)

Genres and Forms

Blueprints (reprographic copies)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Mechanical drawings.


Civil engineers.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Mansfield French Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: -
Date: ca. 1980
Revision history: Feb 2008 - converted to EAD (MRC)

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Box 1 Castle, Marion 1951 - correspondence
Box 1 Champlain 1949-1952 - correspondence
Box 1 Cosmic energy 1887-1952, undated - printed material
Box 1 Crane, Stephen 1926, 1952-1953 - correspondence
Box 1 D 1871-1950, undated
Box 1 Douglass, Frederick 1952 - notes
See also Fayette Park
Box 1 E 1911, 1940-1952 - includes Edwards Brothers Inc.
Box 1 F 1929-1938 - includes Flick, A. C. and First Church Chronicle v.1 no.4 - v.1 no.7correspondence, printed material
Box 1 Fayette Park 1952, undated - notes and printed material
See also Douglass, Frederick and Loguen, Jermaine
Box 1 French, Mansfield 1893 - letters from Europe
Box 1 French family
Box 1 French photo groups 1950
Box 1 Geddes, James 1805 - map - gaol limits for Onondaga County
Box 1 Hall, Cyrenius - genealogical correspondence
Box 1 Hayes, Stanley W. 1944-1952 - correspondence
Box 1 Institute of American Genealogy 1941-1942, undated
Box 1 Jeshuan Prayer 1949-1952
Box 1 Keeney, Frederick T. (Bishop, Methodist Church) 1918-1950 - correspondence
Box 1 L
Box 1 Lansing, Henry H. 1902 - correspondence
Box 1 League of Nations 1945-1950
Box 2 Levenworth family, Syracuse, NY 1950 - printed material
Box 2 Levy, T. Aaron 1947-1951
Loguen, Jermaine Wesley
See Douglass, Frederick; Fayette Park
Box 2 M
Box 2 Methodist 1939-1947 - printed material
Box 2 Miller, Frank J. 1898-1930, 1939, 1942 - correspondence, obituary
Box 2 N
Box 2 O
Box 3 Onondaga Historical Association 1932-1950, undated
Box 3 P 1932-1952
Box 3 Paragon Plaster Co., Syracuse, NY 1908-1909
Box 3 R
Box 3 Radcliffe, Lynn J. 1940-1944, undated
Box 3 Religious notes 1934-1952
Box 3 Robinson, T. Ralph 1941, 1947 - correspondence, printed material
Box 3 S - Smith
Box 3 S.A.R. [Sons of the American Revolution] - M.J. French
Box 3 Syracuse, High School 1922
Box 3 Syracuse University 1942-1953
Box 3 U. S. etc
Box 3 V
Box 3 W
Box 3 White, Ebenezer (Reverend) - genealogical correspondence
Box 3 World War II - printed material
Civil engineering records
Box 4 Brewer switch-point protector, pat. 1904
Box 4 Cleveland Electric Railway Company undated - general track map
Box 4 Cleveland Frog and Crossing Company undated - miscellaneous blueprints
Box 4 Miscellaneous blueprints undated
Box 4 Miscellaneous documents circa 1896-1906, undated
Box 4 Miscellaneous pamphlets
Box 4 New Orleans Railway Company undated - Wharton manganese steel railroad crossing
Box 4 New York Central & Hudson River Railroad - miscellaneous blueprints and specifications
Box 4 Oneida Railway Company - miscellaneous blueprints (3 folders)
Box 4 Pennsylvania Steel Company - miscellaneous blueprints
Box 4 Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, NY undated - T-rail centrepole construction
Syracuse and Eastside Railway Company
Box 4 Minoa extension, plan and profile undated
Box 4 Coffer dam bulkhead, iron pier undated
Syracuse Rapid Tranit Company
Box 4 Miscellaneous printed material 1897-1911, undated
Box 4 Miscellaneous blueprints undated
Box 4 Miscellaneous blueprints undated
Box 4 Utica, NY 1904 - map
Utica and Mohawk Valley Railroad
Box 4 Miscellaneous correspondence and specifications 1895, 1905, undated
Box 4 "Utica and Mohawk Valley Railway," Street Railway Review, October 20, 1903 (reprint) (15 pp.)
Box 4 "Steel tie and concrete construction," Street Railway Review, October 12, 1907 (reprint) (8 pp.)
Box 4 "Thermite rail welding" circa 1907 - drafts and typescripts
Box 4 "Electric railway track construction" May 23, 1912 - pencil mss., read at Syracuse University Engineers Club (17 pp.)
Box 4 Rules of the Operating Department, 1910; General Rules for Conductors and Motormen, 1903 (17 pp.)
Box 4 Wharton Company - miscellaneous blueprints

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