Benjamin F. Morris was a stockholder of the Edgar Gold & Silver Mining Co. in the 1870s, which was located in Louisville, Kentucky. His son, Charles H. Morrison also invested on the same industry, while they owned a lode in Colorado. William A. Johnston is another conspicuous name in the collection; he purchased from Mary B. Morris some land located in the County of Arapahoe in Colorado, established the Mohawk Chemical Co. with some of his family members in 1879, and owned stock certificates issued by the Starling Debenture Cooperation in 1909. Some stock certificates were also issued by the same company to William A. Johnstown in 1907. Moreover, the fact that the same address (Princes Bay, N.Y.) as the holder's address was noted in the stock certificates suggests that they might be the same person.
Scope and Content
This collection consists of 39 items which show some aspect of the economic history mainly in the late 19th century and early 20th century. The sources are diverse, if not random, ranging from stock certificates to deeds to business letters, but they generally seem to offer a good opportunity to explore the connection between some investors in New York and mining industry in the West. The items related to Benjamin F. Morris are conspicuous; his correspondence with the Edgar Gold & Silver Mining Co., William H. Cushman, and his son Charles H. Morris suggests his relations to the mining industry in Kentucky and Colorado. There are also some sources which tell of his business, such as the lease contract regarding the real estate in Colorado with J. V. Harlotte, W. W. Lee, and Alfred Bateman Morris, his own memorandum, and the deed with Benjamin P. Brower. The collection includes some sources relevant to William A. Johnstown and William A. Johnston, who might be, as mentioned above, the same person. There are several stock certificates issued by Sterling Debenture Corporation to Johnstown and Johnston. Some other sources tell that Johnston was involved in the incorporation of the Mohawk Chemical Company as well as the acquisition of the real estate in Colorado. In the collection are also other legal documents such as a court order and deeds, manuscripts, and ephemera such as an envelope with notes and photograph. Among them, the manuscripts titled "Corruption in High Places" "Dunkirk vs Tillah" and "Information Wanted" particularly look like interesting sources regarding the mining industry in Colorado and Utah.