Collection inventory

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Chester A. Smith Collection

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MPK
Date: 23 Aug 1978

Biographical History

Chester A. Smith (1884-1972) was a resident of Peekskill in Westchester County, New York. He was a politician, writer, court stenographer, the author of several books, and a delegate to the 1933 New York convention for ratification of the 21st Amendment (repeal of Prohibition). He was also an active lay member of the Methodist Church and attended at least twelve General Conferences, including the 1960 Conference in Denver which took up the question of whether or not to continue segregation within its administrative structure, in the form of the separate "Central Jurisdiction." Smith spoke up strongly against the policy.

For more information, see "Chester A. Smith and the Fight to Make Peekskill a City," available online at

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Chester A. Smith Collection has been arranged according to subject matter into 13 categories: clippings, correspondence, files, legal matters, Edwin Markham, Methodist Church, memorabilia, parental effects, photographs, miscellaneous printed material, writings, diaries, and bound records.

One item of interest in the Files is a letter signed by former President Woodrow Wilson. The Parental effects series contains sympathy cards received at Smith's sister's death and the diaries and papers of his father. Also of interest is a New Testament printed in New York by William Durell in 1792.

Arrangement of the Collection

Clippings, correspondence and diaries are arranged chronologically. All other material is arranged alphabetically by name, type of material, or topic.


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.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has a substantial number of collections relating to Methodist church and clergy, as well as many printed items cataloged in our Rare Book holdings. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing of manuscript collections, and search the Classic Catalog for cataloged items.

Subject Headings


Smith, Chester Allen, 1884-


Methodists -- United States.


Peekskill (N.Y.)

Genres and Forms

Speeches (documents)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Chester A. Smith Collection
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents




Legal matters

Edwin Markham

Methodist Church


Parental effects


Miscellaneous printed material



Bound records