Robert Brewster Stanton papers

This collection is also available in Archives & Manuscripts
View In Archives »

Collection Data

Robert Brewster Stanton (1846-1922) was a civil and mining engineer, who as chief engineer of the Denver, Colorado Canyon and Pacific Railroad Company led a survey party through the Grand Canyon in 1889-1890. The collection includes correspondence, 1880-1923; field notes and diaries, 1871-1917; photographs, including his Colorado River voyage, 1889-1890, operations of the Hoskannini Mining Company, 1897-1900, and family photographs; writings; maps; printed matter; and family and miscellaneous papers.
Stanton, Robert Brewster, 1846-1922 (Creator)
Akin, Louis, 1868-1913 (Correspondent)
Burchard, Anne Stanton. (Author)
Burchard, Lewis Sayre (Author)
Burchard, S. D. (Samuel Dickinson), 1812-1891 (Correspondent)
Dellenbaugh, Frederick Samuel, 1853-1935 (Correspondent)
Edwards, William Henry, 1833-1920 (Author)
Galloway, Nathan (Correspondent)
Hawkins, William R. (Correspondent)
Hislop, John (Correspondent)
Kolb, E. L. (Ellsworth Leonardson), 1876- (Correspondent)
Marston, Otis R. (Correspondent)
Matthes, François, 1874-1948 (Correspondent)
Parry, John E. (Correspondent)
Stanton, R. L. (Robert Lodowick), 1810-1885 (Contributor)
Stone, Julius F. (Julius Frederick), 1855-1947 (Correspondent)
Sumner, John C. (Correspondent)
Atlantic and Pacific Railroad Company (Contributor)
Cincinnati Southern Railway Company (Contributor)
Union Pacific Railway Company (Contributor)
Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1861 - 1960
Library locations
Manuscripts and Archives Division
Shelf locator: MssCol 2860
Stanton, Robert Brewster, 1846-1922
Civil engineers
Mining engineers
Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico)
Grand Canyon (Ariz.)
Explorers -- Arizona -- Grand Canyon
Explorers -- Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico)
Mines and mineral resources -- Cuba
Mines and mineral resources -- Idaho
Mines and mineral resources -- Nova Scotia
Mines and mineral resources -- Washington (State)
Railroads -- Surveying -- 19th century
Railroads -- United States
World War, 1914-1918
field notes
Biographical/historical: Robert Brewster Stanton, civil and mining engineer, was born in Woodville, Mississippi on August 5, 1846, the son of Robert Livingston Stanton (1810-1885), Presbyterian clergyman, and Anna Maria Stone. His father, a descendant of Thomas Stanton, one of the founders of Stonington, Connecticut, was educated for the ministry at Lane Seminary in Kentucky and held pastoral posts at Blue Ridge (1839-1841) and Woodville (1841-1843) Mississippi, at New Orleans, Louisiana (1843-1851), and at Chillicothe, Ohio (1855-1862). From 1866 to 1871 he served as president of Miami University at Oxford, Ohio. Previously, he had been president of Oakland College in Mississippi (1851-1854), and professor of pastoral theology and homiletics in Danville Theological Seminary (1862-1866). During the Civil War the Stanton's family resided for a time in Washington, D.C, where the father's friendship with President Lincoln earned the young Stanton numerous meetings with the president. These encounters as well as other memories of his childhood in the South and later life are recorded in his manuscript reminiscences. Stanton received a masters of arts from Miami University in 1871. This same year, he was appointed as an assistant engineer on the survey and location of the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad in Indian Territory. From 1872 to 1880 Stanton was employed as resident engineer on the location and construction of the Cincinnati Southern Railroad through the Cumberland Mountains between Cincinnati and Chatanooga. During the next four years (1880-1884) Stanton was division engineer on the Union Pacific Railway in charge of all work in Colorado (excepting for the South Park Road). During this time he also served as chief engineer of the Georgetown, Breckinridge and Leadville Railway in which capacity he was responsible for building the "Georgetown Loop" railway. Stanton's work as a consulting engineer in private practice upon which he was engaged from 1884 until his retirement took him to various parts of the United States, and to Canada, Mexico, Cuba, and the East Indies. Traces of his varied professional and business activities appear in his personal papers under such headings as 'Cuban Manganese Properties', 'Great Bras d'Or Gold Mining Company', 'Tripple Trip Mining Company', and the like. The great adventure of his life, however, began in Denver in 1889 when he became involved in a scheme to build a railroad through the canyons of the Colorado to the Gulf of California. As chief engineer of the newly-formed Denver, Colorado Cañon and Pacific Railroad Company Stanton was eventually to lead a survey party through the Grand Canyon, becoming, after the Major Powell party of 1869, the second such party in history to navigate successfully the perilous gorges. The vicissitudes of the voyage are recorded in his field notes and in a book published after his death Down the Colorado edited by Dwight L. Smith, 1965) which was edited from his voluminous manuscript, The River and the Canyon, large sections of which still remain unpublished. In addition to his work on the Colorado, Stanton wrote a rough draft of his reminiscences and published several articles and monographs relating to his Canyon voyage. In 1881 he was married to Jean Oliver Moore of Denver, Colorado. They had 5 children: Robert Brewster, Jr., Harold, Edwin, Jean and Anne who married Lewis Sayre Burchard. Stanton died in 1922.
Content: The correspondence of Robert Brewster Stanton preserved in this collection was generated mainly by his researches for his history of the Colorado which he began in the winter of 1906-1907. The work was laid aside in 1909 after repeated failures to get it published, and it was not taken up again until 1917 when his interest in seeing the manuscript published was revived. This eight-year hiatus is reflected in the correspondence which often ends abruptly in 1909, resuming in 1917. The greater part of Stanton's business correspondence and that of his personal correspondence relating to matters other than the Colorado most certainly suffered the fate of his collection of Lincoln photographs - destruction by fire. Only a smattering of letters on miscellaneous matters are present in the collection. The additions are mostly topographical maps of the southwestern United States surveyed by Stanton. Many of the maps have been published, some may be original. The petroglyph drawings by Stanton are representative images of the rock carvings located on the walls of Glen Canyon in Arizona. Supplemental material includes the locations of ancient ruins. The collection also indicates the extent for some items.
Ownership: The collection came to the Manuscript Division of the Library through a succession of gifts from Stanton's daughter, Anne (Mrs. Lewis Sayre Burchard). The gift in 1922 of Stanton's field notes of his famous survey of the Colorado was augmented in 1934 with the presentation of his massive two-volume manuscript on the history of the exploration of the Colorado (The River and the Canyon). Since then the Library has received from Mrs. Stanton at various times the remainder of her father's personal papers. With these gifts came also her own papers, the papers of her husband, Prof. Lewis Sayre Burchard, and a few papers by or relating to Samuel Dickinson Burchard (1812-1891), father of Lewis Sayre, and a prominent Presbyterian clergyman who became famous for his phrase 'Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion' uttered during the presidential campaign of 1884. Also included in the gifts were a few papers of Robert Livingston Stanton (1810-1885), the father of Robert Brewster Stanton.
Acquisition: Gift of Anne Stanton Burchard, 1919-1965.
Content: Processing Information: Compiled by John D. Stinson, 1972; Finding aid revised by Francesca Pitaro, 1989. The additions were processed by Valerie Wingfield, 2017.
Physical Description
Extent: 18.07 linear feet (36 boxes, 2 volumes, 2 oversized folders, 13 tubes, 1 other item)
Type of Resource
Still image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b11343714
MSS Unit ID: 2860
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 3a994050-bc12-0139-f2b7-0242ac110005
Show filters Hide filters
80 results found