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A Guide to the Platt Hiram Crosby Papers

Finding aid created by Dept. Staff

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
March 2007

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Crosby, Platt H.
Title: Platt Hiram Crosby Papers
Dates: 1821-1869
Abstract: Correspondence, writings, and other materials created by Platt Hiram Crosby while living in Peru, primarily pertaining to Peruvian and South American history.
Extent: 0.5 Linear feet. 1 box.
Identification: MS Group 208
Language(s): English
Online Content Items from this collection have been digitized and are available online in the UF Digital Collections. For more information please see the note below.

Biographical/Historical Note

Platt Hiram Crosby was born in New York in 1792 or 1793. He attended Litchfield Law School in 1813, and practiced law in New York City for a few years. He moved to South America, and continued to practice law while living in Peru. He researched and wrote histories of South America, particularly related to Peru, the Incas, and Chile. He was married to Eliza Thorne Crosby. He is reported to have died in 1864.

Scope and Content

The Crosby Papers, dated 1821-1869, include correspondence, legal papers, notes, and various writings, created primarily by Crosby while living in South America. The majority of the writings, letters, notes and other papers are historical writings related to Peruvian and South American history, including the Inca Empire and the colonial activities of Spain in the region. Some of the writings also cover Chile and Bolivia, but the majority are related to Peru. In addition to historical events, some the writings also describe Crosby's own travels as well the culture, politics, and people he observed. Unfortunately, most of these writings were not well organized and it is almost impossible to determine their original order because a number of the documents are fragments and poorly identified.

The collection also includes materials not directly related to Crosby's historical writing, including personal papers, correspondence, and legal papers. The letters received by Crosby from various correspondents were written primarily in New York, Lima, and Valparaiso. The collection also includes a small amount of legal papers pertaining to various cases or transactions. For example, one document pertains to the loss of W.S. Wetmore's cargo on the American frigate General Carrington, which had been seized for smuggling (a relatively common practice undertaken by Peru and Spain during that time). In addition to the letters and other papers, the collection includes a partial copy of Pedro de Peralta Barnuevo's Lima Fundada and a few photographs of Thorne family members.

The folders are arranged alphabetically. In those cases where Crosby provided titles or labels to documents, the identifying labels have been retained as folder titles (as indicated with quotation marks).

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Administrative Information

Alternate Form of Material

Digital reproductions of items in this collection are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Platt Hiram Crosby Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Haile P. McCollum in 2005.

Contents List

1 "Conclusion Chile 1824"
1 "Expulsion of Monteagudo"
1 Fragment of a document pertaining to William Wetmore and the loss of his cargo on the Frigate General Carrington, which was seized for smuggling. Circa 1824
1 Geographic description of Peru (highlights, water systems, etc.)
1 "Inca" and "Letters from Peru" Circa 1832
1 Incomplete manuscript (in English) about Peru independence. Circa 1826-1830
1 Legal papers
1 "Letter 57 Lima 1826"
1 Letter dated June 18, 1831 regarding a business arrangement
1 Letter (fragment) regarding debts and money owed
1 Letter to the Bank of the United States from "C"
1 Letter to Crosby from Percival. 1827
1 Letter to Crosby from Wooster?. 1828
1 Letter to Crosby - mentions Peru history. April 26, 1828
1 Letter to Crosby from John Dex dated January 19, 1821
1 Lima 1826 - description of events (includes politics)
1 "Lima earthquake 30th March 1828 from W.S. Wetmore" (letter)
1 "Lima Fundada" by Pedro de Peralta Barnuevo (bound publication in extremely poor condition; missing pages and binding is off)
1 List of patriotic quotes/aspects of the U.S. written on the 50th Independence Day (1826?)
1 Manuscript travel account started in 1824 regarding observations and history of Peru during a three year residence (bound item)
1 Miscellaneous writings and notes on Peru
1 "Note by the translator" (damaged and faded)
1 Notes. Circa August 1824
1 Notes/letter about Daniel Webster
1 Notes on mission/clergy
1 Notes on Peru
1 Notes on Peru: history and customs
1 Note to Crosby and a newspaper clipping re: the widow of former Secretary of War John Eaton
1 Photographs of Maneula Thorne, Rollin Thorne, Jose de la Torre Bueno. 1864-1869, and not dated
1 Poem (fragment) written to Mrs. Crosby and part of legal/financial information (on the same page)
1 "The Province of Tarija in Alto Peru (Bolivia)"
1 Quote from a letter from Thomas Jefferson to George Washington
1 "Revolt in the Spanish Army"
1 Small record of dates and events
1 U.S. Passport for Buenos Ayres for Mrs. Eliza Crosby. December 11, 1826

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Bolivia -- History -- Archival resources.
Chile -- History -- Archival resources.
Incas -- History -- Archival resources.
Peru -- Description and travel -- Personal narratives.
Peru -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
Peru -- History -- Archival resources.

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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