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Francis Smith Letter

An inventory of the item at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 27 Mar 2013

Biographical History

Francis Smith (1823-1908) and his brothers George Warren, David Clifford, and Benjamin Franklin, were the printers and publishers of a series of extremely fine folio-size lithographs of bird's-eye views of American cities. Approximately forty were published between 1848 and 1856, including Philadelphia, Albany, Boston, Syracuse and other.

Lewis Bradley, an artist and teacher of painting, lived in Utica. He was commissioned by the Smith brothers to do sketches for Oswego, Utica and Syracuse.

[Source: Views and Viewmakers of Urban America, by John William Reps (Universoty of Missouri Press:1984), pp. 206-208.]

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Francis Smith Letter consists of a letter from Francis Smith to artist Lewis Bradley, concerning Bradley's sketch of Oswego used to create the Smith brothers' lithograph bird's-eye view of the city. Smith says that "it will answer our purpose very well" and acknowledges that "the difficulty [of making the sketch] is greater owing to there being no elevation directly in front to sketch it from." Unfortunately the sketch itself is not present.

Arrangement of the Collection

Single item.


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


Bradley, Lewis.
Smith, Francis, 1823-1908.

Corporate Bodies

Smith Bros. & Co.


Bird's-eye view prints.


Oswego (N.Y.) -- 1850-1860.

Genres and Forms



Printers -- New York (State)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Lewis Bradley Letter,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 2013.

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