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Alexander Del Mar Letters

An inventory of his letters at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: KM
Date: Oct 1987

Biographical History

Alexander Del Mar (1836-1926) was an American mining engineer, economist, author, and historian, who served as the director of the Bureau of Statistics from 1866 to 1869.

Born in New York on August 9, 1836, the oldest son of Jacques and Belle Del Mar, Del Mar's spent some of his adolescence in England and Spain. He attended the Madrid School of Mines, while in London he stayed with his uncle, Manuel Del Mar, an author.

A student of history and political economy, Del Mar served as the director of the Bureau of Statistics from 1866 to 1869. The Bureau was charged with compiling relevant statistics for the government, a task which previously fell to the Treasury and State departments. After this position, Del Mar undertook various pursuits including joining the Liberal Republican Party and attending the International Statistical Congress in St. Petersburg. In 1876, Del Mar served as a mining engineer of the United States Monetary Commission. Two years later, he served as a clerk to the committee on naval expenditures of the House of Representatives.

Alexander Del Mar married Emilia José Rose in 1861. After being widowed in 1912, Del Mar was remarried to Alice Demorest. He died at his daughter's home in Little Falls, New Jersey on July 1, 1926.

Selected Works by Alexander Del Mar

1872 Proceedings of the Second Session of the National Insurance Convention
1880 A History of the Precious Metals from the Earliest Times to the Present
1885 The Science of Money
1886 Money and Civilization
1899 The History of Money in America from the Earliest Times of the Establishment of the Constitution
1890 The Worship of Augustus Caesar
1900 The Middle Ages Revisited; or, the Roman Government and Religion and Their Relations to Britain
1900 Ancient Britain in the Light of Modern Archeological Discoveries
1907 The Messiah

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Alexander Del Mar Letters consist of incoming items written between 1866 and 1896. The bulk of the correspondence are replies to Del Mar's requests for annual reports from the heads of various government agencies (Horatio C. Burchard, William Pitt Kellogg, N.C. McFarland, Joseph Nimmo, Charles W. Seaton). A letter from William Barnes approves Del Mar's plan for the Great Western Loan Insurance Company of New York. Allen Granberry Thurman's letter expresses anticipation for reading Del Mar's A History of the Precious Metals, while George H. Pendleton writes for information concerning tariffs, internal revenue, and finance. Hearing of the decision of the National Silver Party, William Teller writes:

I could see nothing for the friends of silver to do but support Bryan and Sewall, and if all the friends of silver will do that, I am confident Bryan will be the next President.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection contains one series, Correspondence, arranged alphabetically by the correspondents' last names.


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.

Subject Headings


Barnes, William, 1824-1913.
Brown, W. Colvin.
Burchard, Horatio C. (Horatio Chapin), 1825-1908.
Del Mar, Alexander, 1836-1926.
Hoffman, John T. (John Thompson), 1828-1888.
Kellogg, William P. (William Pitt), 1831-1918.
Lamont, Daniel Scott.
McFarland, N. C.
Nimmo, Joseph, 1837-1909.
Pendleton, George H. (George Hunt), 1825-1889.
Seaton, Charles W.
Stern, Simon, 1839-1901.
Thurman, Allen Granberry.
Walker, Amasa.

Corporate Bodies

United States., Bureau of Statistics -- Officials and employees.


Economists -- United States.
Politicians -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Letters (correspondence)



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