Hutchins Library
Special Collections & Archives
Darwin Rush James Collection

Accession Number: HC 25
Darwin Rush James Collection
Papers, 1865-1895
Bulk Dates, 1883-1885
.2 linear ft.
Online Catalog Record (BANC)

Series Description
Series I - Trade Treaties, Tariffs, and Monopolies

Access and Use

Provenance: Donated to Berea College.

Access: There are no restrictions on consulting the collection, other than recommended care of fragile materials.

Preferred Citation: The Darwin Rush James Collection, Berea College Special Collections & Archives, Berea, Ky.

Related Archives

  • RG 9 - Faculty, Staff and Trustee Biography Files, Berea College Archives


During the four years that Darwin James served as a member of the House of Representatives, he received correspondence about tariffs on tobacco, sugar, metals, silk, and other items of trade, especially those affected by the proposed Spanish American and Mexican treaties. Corresponence and clippings on these topics are preserved in this collection. Also included are documents related to issues of free trade policies and monopolies.


Darwin Rush James (1834-1908) served on the Board of Trustees of Berea College from 1893-1898. By that time he had already spent 45 years in positions of public service, including four years in the House of Representatives, followed by years as Chairman of the Board of Indian Commissioners, a position he held until his death.

Darwin Rush James was born 14 May 1834, in Williamsburg, Massachusetts. At age 14, he and his family moved to Brooklyn, New York, where James finished his education and remained for life. He entered the business world as an importer of indigo and spices from the East Indies with the firm of Packard and James, located in nearby Manhattan. On 14 January 1858, James married Mary Fairchild, first cousin to the future presidents of Oberlin (James H. Fairchild, 1866-1889) and Berea College (Edward Henry Fairchild, 1869-1889). The same year Darwin James entered upon a successful life in politics and public service. He first held the post of President of the New York Board of Trade and Transportation from 1858-1864. He next became the Brooklyn Park Commissioner in 1876, a position he held until 1882. In 1881, he was among the founding members of the Anti-Monopoly League in New York. He won election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1883 as a Republican from Brooklyn. Elected twice to serve the people of his district, James left the House in 1887. Although his tenure in the House was short, James continued to hold public office on the Board of Indian Commissioners, and also as a member of the U.S. Senate's Commission on Foreign Relations. After serving as a trustee for Berea, he served on the Board of Directors at Lincoln Memorial University, starting in 1897, the year the school was founded in Harrogate, Tennessee. Darwin Rush James died on 19 November 1908 from a case of acute nervous indigestion, being ill for only two days. He was survived by his widow and their seven children.

Series Description and Box List
1 Half-size Manuscript Box, .2 linear feet

Series I Trade Treaties, Tariffs, and Monopolies Box 1 of 1

These documents cover the pros and cons of the Spanish American and Mexican Treaties, specific tariffs, opposition to monopolies, and a few miscellaneous topics. Rep. James gave a speech in the House of Representatives entitled "Prosperity the result of protective tariff." on May 5, 1884. The title suggests he was more likely to agree with the letters opposing the Spanish American Treaty than with those who supported it, but he received and preserved letters and clippings on both sides of the issue. Although he supported tariffs, he opposed monopolies, a cause he espoused before he was elected to the House. Constituents were chiefy concerned about railroad and telegraph monopolies, but the issue also affected tariffs, for example in the case of the west coast company that monopolized the shipments of sugar from Hawaii.

A late miscellaneous document proposes a free trial of an electrical dynamo intended for classroom use. The date coincides with James' term as a trustee of Berea College.

Box 1 - Box List

  1. Documents supporting the Spanish American Treaty
    • Edwin Adams article favoring the Spanish American Treaty in New York Shipping News, Jan 9, 1985
    • H.P. Finlay letter, Feb. 3, 1885, in favor of the Treaty, including statistical summary of global sugar production 1884-85

    • John E. Alexandre et al., to Hon. John F. Miller, representing the Maritime Association of the Port of New York, copy of a letter dated Jan. 5, 1885, in favor of the Spanish American Treaty

    • John Blakely, importer of "segars, tobacco, segarettes," a circular dated Jan. 17, 1885, in favor of "The Spanish Treaty on Segars"

    • West Indian Trade," unsigned article from The Journal of Commerce, Dec. 15, 1884.
  2. Documents opposing the Spanish American Treaty
    • Charles L. Holt to Hon. D. R. James, Dec. 18, 1884, copy of resolution adopted by the New York Leaf Tobacco Board of Trade opposing The Spanish American Treaty, with list of wholesale dealers in leaf tobacco in New York City

    • Poster in English, German, and Czech (?), advertising a mass meeting of cigarmakers Dec. 13 in New York to oppose free trade and the Spanish American treaty

    • Resolutions of the Mass Meeting of Cigar Packers, Dec. 18, 1884

    • Clipping of speech by F.B. Thurber against the ratification, taken from American Groeer [sic--Grocer?], December 25, 1884

    • Letter from Mendez and Jauregui, cigar manufacturers, to Hon. Darwin R. James, Dec. 1884, opposing the treaty

    • Letter from M.O. Burr to Mr. James, Dec. 10, 1884

    • Letter from Roswell C. Williams to Hon. Darwin James, Dec. 10, 1884, opposing the treaty

    • Letter from L. J. Busby to D.R. James, Cec. 9, 1884, opposing the treaty

    • Letter from J.A. S? to Hon. Darwin R. James, Dec. 5, 1884, opposing Spanish and Mexican treaties

    • Letter from J.A. S? to "My Dear Mr. James," Dec. 14, 1884, opposing Spanish and Mexican treaties

    • Letter from A.B. Miller to D.R. James, Dec. 18, 1884, opposing treaty

    • Statement of 23 iron ore businesses opposed to Spanish American treaty

    • Proof of article to appear in the American Grocer and Dry Goods Chronicle, Dec. 11, 1884

    • Clipping, December 9, 1884, from the Brooklyn Union

    • Clipping from the Tribune, Nov. 22, 1884

    • Clipping from the Brooklyn Times, Dec. 9, 1884

    • Broadside, "The Commercial Treaties and Revenue Reform," Dec. 3, 1884

    • Resolutions from the Chamber of Commerce, listing firms signing the resolutions

    • Report to the Merchants Exchange of St. Louis, "Spanish-American Treaty," Dec. 30, 1884
  3. Recommendations on Specific Tariffs
    • Letter from E. Fougera & Co., to a Congressional Committee, July 15, 1884, on the topic of tariffs on chemical products

    • Notes made on the Fougera and other suggestions, possibly in James' handwriting

    • Letter from James W. Cleland to Hon. D. R. James, May 24, 1884, urging no exceptions to tariffs on distilled spirits

    • Letter from James Davies & Sons to Hon. Darwin R. James, regarding tariff on gum substitute

    • Letter from William Godfrey to Hon. Darwin R. James, Feb. 12, 1884, asking about tariffs on cork products

    • Letter from A Henry (?) to Hon. Darwin James, Feb. 19, 1984, thanking him for putting chicory on the "free" list
    • Clipping from the Shipping List re the tariff on copper

    • Proceedings, Louisiana Sugar Planters' Association, Dec. 11, 1884

    • Printed letter from J. Herbelin, Louisiana Silk Spinning Mills, Nov. 8, 1883, requesting government protection for the silk industry
    • Printed letter from John D. Cutter to Hon. W. H. Robertson, Collector of the Port of New York, Dec. 31, 1883, disputing the appraisal of imported black silk surah

    • Letter from John D. Cutter to D.R. James regarding proposed change of duties on imported silk,Jan. 21, 1884

    • Circular from John D. Cutter, n.d., entitled, " A Plea for a Specific Tariff upon Silks"

    • Reprint of New York Times editorial, Dec. 11, 1884, entitled, "The Hawaiian Treaty"

  4. Letters & Bulletins issued by the Anti-Monopoly League, and others, 1880s
    • An Act to prohibit free passes on railroads

    • The New York State Anti-Monopoly League, July 27, 1883

    • Principles and objects of the Anti-Monopoly League

    • Report on meeting of the Executive Committee of the N. Y. State Anti-Monopoly Committee

    • Document 9, Anti-Monopoly League: The ABC of the Railroad Question

    • Document 14, Anti-Monopoly League: The Impending Crisis

    • Document 15, Corruption of our elections, legislation and courts

    • An address from the King's County Anti-Monopoly Leaguer

    • Clipping, letter to the editor of the Daily Saratogian, from F.B. Thurber, of the Anti-Monopoly League

    • The Average Citizen: Necessity for organization

    • Telegraph Resolution

    • Clipping, n.d.: "Fighting the big monopoly: The Standard Company bearded in its own den"

    • "Another New Road: A gilt-edged dream of monopoly . . .," tract reprinted from the Carson New Appeal, n.d.

    • Tract on railroad monopolies [A half-hour with one of the great questions of the day}, "Public
    • Rights and Corporate Rights: the report of the committee on railroad transportation of the New York Board of Trade and Transportation, containing findings of the U.S. Senate Committee on transportation routes; . . . extracts from the . . . Granger cases . . ."

  5. Miscellaneous
    • Elbridge Electrical Manufacturing, Nov. 17, 1895, proposes free trial of its "Model Dynamo," designed to be used in classrooms for teaching electrical principles.
    • "The New Treaty Policy," Reprint of article from the New York Daily Commercial Bulletin, Dec. 20, no year, opposing attempt to develop a second canal while the Panama canal is under construction.
    • Tract pointing out that both major parties have pledged to resist corruption and monopolies, but have failed to do so.

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