We specialize in Americana, especially manuscript materials. We offer manuscript letters and archives, diaries, journals, personal and business correspondence from the 17th century through the 20th.

  • W. Harry Powell Letters from DeLand, Florida
    20 letters, 120 pages, most with their original mailing envelopes, in very good, clean, and legible condition. Accompanied by Powell’s courtship letters to his fiancé, and future wife, Kittie A. Emmons, of Binghamton, New York, 78 letters, 569 pages.
    Powell was a traveling salesman, selling, pens, ink, and other stationery items, for A. S. Barnes & Co. of New York, when he found himself in DeLand, Florida in the winter and spring months of 1890, here he made the acquaintance of Henry Addison DeLand, the founder of the town. DeLand was impressed with Powell’s business abilities and for several months dangled potential employment as his secretary, as an agent selling lots in DeLand, or as an overseer in his orange groves before him. A deal was nearly consummated when a spring freeze in 1890 nearly obliterated the citrus crop and blighted the real estate prospects of DeLand. Powell left DeLand but was back in 1891 working for DeLand.   Known as Persimmon Hollow for the wild persimmon trees that grew around the natural springs, (these wild persimmons are mentioned in the correspondence) the area of DeLand was originally accessible only by steamboat up the St. Johns River. DeLand is now the county seat of Volusia County, approximately 34 miles north of Orlando and 23 miles west of Daytona Beach. It was settled in 1874 by Captain John Rich, who built a log cabin there. Henry Addison DeLand, a baking soda magnate, from Fairport, New York, visited there in 1876, and envisioned building a citrus, agricultural and tourism center… more >