Scope and arrangement
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.
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 Robert Brewster Stanton papers are arranged in nine series: