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Mansfield French Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: -
Date: ca. 1980

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.

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.

Arrangement of the Collection

Both series are arranged alphabetically.


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


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.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

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

Table of Contents


Civil engineering records