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G. P. Putnam and Sons Correspondence

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: KM
Date: Sep 1987

Biographical History

G. P. Putnam & Sons began as bookseller Wiley & Putnam in 1838 but soon expanded into publishing. In 1848 Wiley left and Putnam continued the company under his own name, publishing notable authors such as William Cullen Bryant, Nathaniel Hawthorne, James Fenimore Cooper, and Edgar Allan Poe. After the Civil War Putnam's son Major George Haven Putnam joined the business, soon followed by his brothers John Bishop Putnam and Irving Putnam. Today known as Putnam's Sons, the company's roster of best-selling fiction and non-fiction uthors includes Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler, William Gibson, J. D. Robb, Amy Tan, Kurt Vonnegut, Lance Armstrong, and Maureen Dowd.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The G. P. Putnam and Sons Correspondence consists mostly of incoming business correspondence from authors, including Elizabeth W. Champney, James Barnet Fry, and Charles F. Richardson. There are also two letters are from lawyer Reverdy Johnson in his capacity as executor of the estate of Elizabeth S. Kennedy, widow of author John Pendleton Kennedy.

One letter, to George Haven Putnam from Francis Burton Harrison, concerns the Currier Bill (also known as the Reciprocity Bill) then before Congress; the bill related to copyright issues.

Finally, there are two letters of recommendation from George Palmer Putnam, for two individuals applying for residence in the Barbizon Plaza Hotel.

Arrangement of the Collection

Material is in alphabetical order by sender.


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


Johnson, Reverdy, 1796-1876.
Putnam, George Haven, 1844-1930.
Putnam, George Palmer, 1814-1872.

Corporate Bodies

G.P. Putnam & Sons.


Copyright -- United States.
Publishers and publishing -- United States.

Genres and Forms



Publishers and publishing.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

G. P. Putnam & Sons Correspondence,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 1967.

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