Scope and arrangement
This collection, which spans the dates 1868-1929, is particularly strong in political correspondence from 1896 to 1929. Most of the correspondence is with business and political constituents; a small amount is with private citizens of New York. The political letters reflect the progress of legislation pending before the Assembly and Senate - for example, the racetrack gambling issue - in which Agnew's position could influence the passage or death of such bills. The assorted political materials in this collection parallel the political correspondence consist of Assembly Bills (1903-1911); Senate Bills (1905-1910); speeches; newspaper clippings; campaign matter; and dinner and reception invitations. The Agnew-Hart Act (anti-racetrack gambling) files contain transcriptions of legislative hearings and debates, public advertisements, and newspaper clippings. There is a small series of family papers which consists of Agnew's pocket diary (1898) and miscellaneous financial, real estate and other documents. There are four scrapbooks, pertaining to the National Guard (1894-1897); family interests; and state and national politics. There are also several certificates and awards, including a ceremonial pen.
The George Bliss Agnew papers are arranged in five series:
This series, spanning 1896-1929, is arranged chronologically. The political letters are between George Bliss Agnew and businessmen, political colleagues, constituents, and the general public. Among the notable items in this series are letters to and from Booker T. Washington, Gov. Charles E. Hughes, and woman suffragists, and debates pertaining to the naming of Hunter College.
The bulk of the letters were prompted by the various acts that were pending before the Assembly and Senate. Represented in this series are letters in reference to the Agnew-Hart Act (racetrack gambling bill), from religious societies (Presbyterian Church, Quakers), horse breeders, political constituents and private citizens expressing support for the Agnew-Hart cause. Other legislation discussed in this correspondence includes the Insurance Company Tax bill; Lincoln Hospital and Home Bill; Child Labor Bill; Brown's Bill (prohibiting the shooting of wild fowl in the spring); Mortgage Tax Bill; Nye Bill (pertaining to the New York State Nurses Association); Farm Colony Bill (to establish a reformatory for misdemeanor offenders); the McGrath Bill (promoting Sunday baseball games); Water Supply Bill; Boshart Cannery Bill (abolishing the sixty hour week for women over sixteen years of age employed in canneries); and the Callan Motor Vehicle Bill.
Other political correspondence refers to Agnew's campaigns, including letters of support and congratulatory notes; business and organizational matters (North Star Mining Company and Presbyterian Church); and the National Guard. The remainder of this series consists of a letter copybook, 1893-1904, reflecting all of the issues noted above.
This series contains a variety of political materials concerning a number of that G. B. Agnew encountered during his public and political life. Assembly Bills (1903-1911) and Senate Bills (1905-1910) are chronologically arranged. There are a number of speech drafts including a speech by Herbert Parsons before Convention of the Thirteenth Congressional District, September 20, 1910; a speech by Gov. Charles E. Hughes at the dinner of the Brooklyn League, April 16, 1908; Gov. Charles E. Hughes' speech at the dinner of the Northside Board of Trade at Ebling's Casino, March 5, 1908; G. B. Agnew's Racetrack legislative speech at Convention Hall, Buffalo, New York, October 3, 1908; and Gov. Hughes' speech to the Young Republican Club, February 20, 1909.
There is an Assembly calendar book cover and a small black book (handwritten ) that provides an index to the bills introduced in the Assembly as well as typed and handwritten rough drafts of various bills. There are a number of newspaper clippings, (only some of which are intact) as well as political campaign matter. The campaign materials include Agnew's campaign committee papers; documents pertaining to Agnew's senatorial nomination and re-nomination; a campaign card bearing a photograph of Agnew; handwritten list of the New York County vote, 1908; Evening Post voter's directory; official returns of the Twenty-Seventh Assembly District in the election of November, 1908; Parsons vs. Agnew vote analysis; and G. B. Agnew's statement on the campaign.
The series also contains subject files on various political issues including child labor, North Star Mining Company, women's suffrage, osteopathic legislation, environment and animal issues, labor law, tax issues, direct nominations, motor vehicle laws, highway and roads issues, marriage issues, and the El Dorado Convention report. This series ends with dinner and reception invitations, a map of fifty senatorial district, and two engraved portraits of Gov. Charles E. Hughes.
This series, 1907-1909, is arranged chronologically and contains files pertaining to the racetrack gambling issue, such as transcripts of hearings, the debate in the Senate, booklets and flyers, newspaper clippings, and debates pertaining to the "public advertisement of poolselling." There are two pages missing from the Percy-Gray Law Bill repeal of 1908.
This series contains only a few items representative of Agnew's family. The series includes a 1898 pocket diary in which belonged to G. B. Agnew. The diary mainly documents Agnew's trip to Colfax county, New Mexico, which began on November 17, 1898. Also in this series are Catherine A. Bliss's memorandum to her will; a birthday letter from G. B. Agnew to one of his sons; letters pertaining to the Bliss Estate and Warren House (Agnew properties); newspaper clippings announcing the wedding of Catherine Sanford Agnew (G. B. Agnew's sister), and letters written to Agnew and his family by Helen Adain (1913-1918) whose relationship to the Agnew family is not know. See also: Series V.
This series consists of four scrapbooks. Two of these books pertain to G. B. Agnew's National Guard activities (1894-1897) and contain newspaper clippings, reception invitations, letters, and Western Union telegram messages.
The remaining two scrapbooks hold material that relates to Agnew's political and family life. The political scrapbook consists almost entirely of brittle newspaper clippings (1907-1910). There are a few letters within this scrapbook.
The family scrapbook is in better condition but is very limited in terms of the amount of material that it holds in reference to Agnew's family life. The family scrapbook contains pressed flowers (dating from 1877); prints reflecting the family's religious interests (Martin Luther); ink drawing by "cousin Arthur"; political newspaper clippings; and Princeton University commencement cards.
Included in this series are certificates and awards issued to G. B. Agnew. Attached to one of these certificates is a pen. Gov. Charles E. Hughes used this pen in the signing of Chamber 506 of the laws of 1908, amending the Percy-Gray Law (Agnew-Hart Bill).