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Charles Wesley Snow Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Title: Charles Wesley Snow Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1861-1928
Quantity: 0.25 linear ft.
Abstract: Charles Wesley Snow was a Syracuse-area entrepreneur and active member of the community. Correspondence to and from members of hisfamily, also including some clippings and a few "seance letters."
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

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).

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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.

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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.

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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)

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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


Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 9 May 2017
Revision history:

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Correspondence-subject files
Box 1 Bates, Fannie E. (Fannie Bates Snow's mother) 1891-1893, 1918 - includes obituary
Box 1 Snow, Fannie Bates (daughter-in-law) 1891
Box 1 Brower [?], Lillian B. 1928
Box 1 Lang, Mary 1905, undated - includes clipping about visit to Syracuse by her and her husband, Sir John Lang
Box 1 Mills, Royal (nephew) 1883
Box 1 Merrell, Carolyn Snow (daughter; wife of irving S. Merrell) 1896, 1898, 1913-1914, 1917, undated
Box 1 Merrell, Lewis C. (Irving S. Merrell's brother) 1914 - clippings about his divorce
Box 1 Minford, Reba (Mrs. Richard L.) 1926 - includes clipping about Florida hurricane
Box 1 Powers, Mrs. N. C. (mother-in-law) 1898
Box 1 Snow, Charles Wesley 1893, 1900-1901, 1906, 1909-1912, 1917-1920 - includes clippings
Box 1 Tibbitts, Eloise 1928
Box 1 Wright, Caroline A. (cousin?) 1862-1865
Box 1 Unidentified 1861-1863, undated
Box 1 Clippings, Wieting Opera House 1881, undated
Box 1 Genealogical material - Bates, Merrell, Powers, Smith, Snow families
Box 1 Journal pages 1909-1910, 1913, 1916-1917, 1920, undated - several headed "Social Events"
Box 1 Seance letters 1908, 1920, undated

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