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Collection Scope and Content Note


Correspondence; scrapbooks; journals; clippings; addresses; translations; drafts, manuscripts, and articles; printed copies of works by or about Goldwin Smith; obituaries and memorials; photographs; personal correspondence and a few family papers; and materials gathered by Smith's secretary Theodore Arnold Haultain for a series of volumes he planned to publish on the works of Goldwin Smith.

Included is correspondence of Lord Ashbourne, Charles F. Benjamin, S.H.J. Bohme, Henri Bourassa (Canadian M.P.), John Bright, James Bryce, Joseph Chamberlain, W. Bourke Cochran, Sir Charles Dilke, Lord Farrer, W.E. Gladstone, George M. Grant, M.E. Grant-Duff, F. Greenwood, Earl Grey, James J. Hill, Hon. H.G. Joly, James Laister, Lord Lansdowne, Sir John A. MacDonald, Herbert E. Millholen (city editor, NEW YORK EVENING POST), Lord Minto, Lord Morley, Horace Plunkett, Anna P. Pruyn, John M. Robertson, Lord Rosebery, Charles B. Spahr (Anti-Imperialist League), James Strachey (editor, SPECTATOR), Professor James Sully, Phillips Thompson, Professor Tyndall, General J.H. Wilson, Mrs. Emma Winkworth, and Viscount Wolseley.

Goldwin Smith's correspondence with members of the faculty and administration of Cornell University not only reveals his concern for that institution, but also relates to literary and political subjects. Included is correspondence of George Lincoln Burr, Hiram Corson, George W. Curtis, Willard Fiske, Jacob Gould Schurman, Moses Coit Tyler, and Andrew D. White. A series of letters written between 1868 and 1870 to George Waring in England records Smith's initial reactions to the new university and toward American places, people, and attitudes. The University of Toronto and Queens University in Kingston are the subjects of correspondence with J.W. Flavelle and George M. Grant.

A.H. Beesly, A.V. Dicey, C.H. Firth, E.A. Freeman, George Otto Trevelyan, and P. Villari are among the historians who corresponded with Goldwin Smith; their letters comment upon current social and political trends and events, as well as upon their work as historians. Among other correspondents are Charles Francis Adams, the Duke of Argyll, Matthew Arnold, W.J. Ashley, General Lord Bryce (NORTH AMERICAN REVIEW), Andrew Carnegie, Lord Chief Justice Coleridge, D.C. Gilman, General Sir Fred Middleton, Julian Pauncefote, Viscount Peel, and Carl Schurz.

There are also some family papers, including journals of Smith's mother, Elizabeth Breton Smith.

Collection also includes Goldwin Smith's academic robe from Oxford and hood from McMasters University.

English, Canadian, and American political issues (ca. 1880-1910) dominate the correspondence of Goldwin Smith: the possibility of a Canada-United States union, commercial or political; free trade vs. protection; party maneuvering in all three countries; the problem of the French Canadian element; the Irish Home Rule struggle; local and municipal government reform; imperialism, particularly as it was manifested in the Boer and Spanish-American Wars; the yellow press; the women's suffrage movement; the Jew in the modern national state; socialism and the increasing importance of labor groups in government; British policy toward Russia; the Canadian-Pacific Railroad and its influence on government; and related topics.

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