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Skilton Family papers

 Collection — Container: 17 Boxes
Identifier: MC 22

Scope and Contents

The Skilton Family papers (MC 22) are comprised of the papers of three brothers, James, Julius and George, all natives of Troy and graduates of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The collection focuses mainly on their professional careers, with most of the material pertaining to James and George. Topics covered include international affairs, legal issues, engineering discussions, and personal and family matters. The material in the collection consists of correspondence, legal documents and news clippings. The papers of each individual are arranged into series and further divided into sub-series. Two notable sub-series are the Brooklyn Ethical Association Papers and the U.S. and Mexico Claims Commission Papers. James was deeply involved with the Brooklyn Ethical Association, a philosophical group devoted to discussing social issues, which attracted leading thinkers of the time, including Herbert Spencer. All three brothers were involved with the U.S. and Mexico Claims Commission and the Mexican Consulate. Of particular interest is a collection of news clippings covering a wide array of topics from the late nineteenth century and a scrapbook of clippings regarding President James A. Garfield’s assassination.

Dates

  • Created: 1830-1903

Creator

Biographical or Historical Information

The Brooklyn Ethical Association sought to apply “evolutionary philosophy and ethics to the study and discussion of the pressing problems of politics and statesmanship to come before the people of United States…” They achieved this goal through essays and lectures. According to their stated essay course for 1891-1892: “The Brooklyn Ethical Association: The objects, character and scope of its work in general under its Certificate of Incorporation. A. The scientific study of ethics, politics, economics, sociology, religion and philosophy, and also of physics and biology as related thereto. B. The application of the results of such studies to the problems of practical philanthropy and statesmanship. C. The procurement, preparation and delivery of popular lectures, expositions and discussions, and the circulation of the same, together with other printed matter relating to such objects. D. The promotion of unity and harmony among the friends of progress, by correspondence, friendly intercourse and the application of the scientific method to social, religious and political reforms. E. The maintenance of a library for the purpose of more effectually carrying out the objects of the Association.” The U.S. and Mexican Claims Commission was created in 1868 to address claims of citizens on one country against the government of the other. A “Proclamation” announcing this agreement reads: “Whereas it is desirable to maintain and increase the friendly feelings between the United States and the Mexico republic, and so to strengthen the system and principles of republican government on the American continent; and whereas since the signature of the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, of the [2nd] of February, 1848, claims and complaints have been made by citizens of the United States, on account of injuries to the persons and property of Mexican citizens by authorities of the United States of that republic, and similar claims and complaints have been made on account of the injuries to the persons and property of Mexican citizens by authorities of the United States; the President of the United States of America and the President of the Mexican republic have resolved to conclude a convention for the adjustment of the said claims and complaints…” The claims were heard by two commissioners, one from Mexico and one from the United States. Each commissioner was appointed by the President of their country.

Note written by

Extent

6.80 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The Skilton Family Papers are comprised of the papers of James, Julius and George Skilton, three brothers, natives of Troy and graduates of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The collection focuses mainly on their professional careers with a focus on international affairs, legal issues, engineering discussions, and personal and family matters.

Arrangement Note

This collection is arranged in five series. Please go to the full collection inventory for complete series and sub-series information.
Title
Archon Finding Aid Title
Author
Jes Zacher
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
eng

Repository Details

Part of the Institute Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
110 8th Street
Institute Archives and Special Collections
Rensselaer Libraries, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy NY 12180-3590 US
518 276 8340