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Charles Wesley Snow Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 9 May 2017

Biographical History

Charles Wesley Snow (1835-1918) was an entrepreneur and businessman in Syracuse, New York. For many years he owned and operated a thriving patent medicine business, both retail and wholesale, under the name C.W. Snow & Co. He was also highly active in the community: among other things, he was one of the incorporators of the Syracuse Chamber of Commerce, director of the First National Bank of Syracuse, a member of the board of trustees for May Memorial Church, the Onondaga Historical Association, and St. Joseph's Hospital, a Mason of both the York and Scottish Rite, and a Knight Templar.

Snow married Harriet L. Powers, daughter of Harriet and Nelson Clement Power, in 1863. Their son Nelson Powers Snow married Fannie Bates, with whom he had a daughter Frances (1898). Their daughter Carolyn L. Snow (Carrie) married Irving S. Merrell; the couple had a son Seward S. (1899), daughter Mary (1901), daughter Harriet (1906).

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Charles Wesley Snow Collection consists largely of correspondence, with a few other miscellaneous items.

Correspondence is to and from members of the Charles Wesley Snow family. Represented in the collection are Charles himself and his wife Harriet (Hattie), their daughter Carolyn (Carrie), and Carolyn's daughter Harriet and daughter-in-law Fannie Bates Snow and her mother. Harriet Snow's father N. C. Power and various cousins are also represented. Scattered through the collection are various clippings, most notably several pertaining to Carolyn's brother-in-law Lewis S. Merrell; the Merrell family was quite wealthy and the divorce received attention from the press.

The collection also includes some Miscellany: a few small sheets of paper with notes about social events, some genealogical material, and a folder of so-called "seance letters." Such letters, also known as spirit writing or automatic writing, were produced by mediums allegedly by way of contact with spirits or with deceased family members. They were very popular in the late 19th century.

Arrangement of the Collection



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


Snow, Charles Wesley.

Corporate Bodies

C.W. Snow & Co.


Businessmen -- New York (State) -- Syracuse.
Freemasons -- New York (State)
Spirit writings.


Syracuse (N.Y.) -- History.
Syracuse (N.Y.) -- Social life and customs.

Genres and Forms

Automatic writing.
Clippings (information artifacts)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Charles Wesley Snow Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information


Table of Contents

Correspondence-subject files