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Collection Scope and Content Note


The Sage papers consists of material pertaining to his business interests, the affairs of Cornell University, and his personal interests. The major portion of the papers consists of letterpress copybooks, correspondence, ledgers, daybooks, journals, receipts, land and plat books, and other material pertaining to Sage's many business enterprises, chief among them lumbering, with his partners John McGraw and W. G. Grant; also, to timber land investments and lumber manufacturies at Bell Ewart, Ontario, Canada, and Wenona (later West Bay City) Michigan; to Sage, McGraw and Company, H. W. Sage and Company, Sage Land and Improvement Company, the Michigan Salt Association, Au Gres Company, Rifle River Company, Tittabawassee Company, and Loggers Boom Company. Other papers refer to the acquisition and administration of timber lands in Michigan, Wisconsin, Alabama, Mississippi, Oregon, and California. From circa 1880, Sage invested in railroad and industrial securities; relevant papers pertain to the Wood Heustis Company, Dominick and Dickerman Company, Griswold and Gillette Company, the Atlantic Trust Company, and several other companies, including the Bank of Warsaw in New York, with regard to investments in county bonds.

Other correspondence pertains to Sage's interest in raprid transit lines in Brooklyn, New York, and to the Tehuantepec Canal project in Mexico, the Tehuantepec Inter-Ocean Railroad Company, and the Beech Creek Railroad Company; also, material on mortgage loans in Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa.

Papers pertaining to Cornell University include correspondence referring to many aspects of the administration of the University and the Board of Trustees as it dealt with such questions as the increased role of the alumni, the selection and retirement of University presidents, the expansion of the physical plant, faculty matters, salaries, the McGraw-Fiske controversy, student conduct, the Cornell Crew and the Henley Regatta, the Wisconsin pinelands of Cornell University, the University Library, the inauguration of Jacob Gould Schurman, and the endowment of the Susan E. Linn Sage Chair of Christian Ethics and Philosophy. Sage's personal interests are documented, including his assistance in the founding of the Cascadilla School, his efforts to persuade Andrew Dickson White to accept the Republican nomination to Congress, correspondence pertaining to phrenology, Sage family genealogy, letters describing the murder in 1837 of Sage's father Charles by Seminole Indians in Florida, and correspondence with his sons Dean and William Henry, and grandson Harry. Major correspondents in the business papers include Augustus Frank, and A. S. Barnes. Pertaining to Cornell, major correspondents include Andrew D. White, Amasa J. Parker, Erastus Brooks, Alonzo B. Cornell, Jacob Gould Schurman, Charles Kendall Adams, Charles Babcock, Mynderse Van Cleef, Francis M. Finch, David Starr Jordan, Russell Sage, Moses Coit Tyler, John DeWitt Warner, and many others.

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