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Thomas Yates Letter

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MRC
Date: 23 Sep 2015

Biographical History

Thomas Yates (1811-1876) was a lumberman and farmer in Factoryville, New York. (Factoryville is a hamlet on Cayuta Creek, located about a mile and a half north of Waverly, New York.) He married Margaret Emily Knapp in 1843. In 1850 he embarked on two trips down the North Branch of the Susquehanna River to document channels used by raftmen on that part of the river and to learn how to run rafts from Shepard's Landing in New York to Wright's Ferry in Pennsylvania. His charts include "the dangerous run through the Conewago Falls and the course with its options past Girty's Notch and through Lazy Man Gap," as well as a detailed list of supplies needed for the trip. He died in Waverly, New York in 1876. [From Earl E. Brown, Commerce on Early American Waterways, Boston: Macfarland and Company, 2010.]

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Thomas Yates Letter consists of a single letter from Thomas Yates of Factoryville, New York to Dr. William Knapp of the same town. In the letter, Yates apologizes to Dr. Knapp for any appearance of impropriety in courting his daughter, Emily, and assures Dr. Knapp of his sincere affection for her. Emily later became Yates' wife.

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


Knapp, Margaret Emily.
Knapp, William.
Yates, Thomas.


Farmers -- New York (State) -- 19th century.


Factoryville (N.Y.) -- History.

Genres and Forms


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Thomas Yates Letter,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 2015.

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