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Whitman Symmes records

 Collection
Identifier: NC942
Little background information is available on the collection's provenance, although we have surmised that the records were probably assembled by Symmes in the course of his profession as mining engineer and mine superintendent on Nevada's Comstock Lode, and possibly because of his battles with mining stockholders. Arranged alphabetically by company name, the records consist primarily of deeds, agreements, financial statements, reports, correspondence, payrolls, articles of incorporation, court case documents, and assay reports for mines, mills, shafts, flume companies, and tunnel associations in Nevada, California, Utah, Wyoming, and Arizona. Not all types of documents are available for each company.

The collection includes a scrapbook of clippings of the newspaper column "Superintendents' Weekly Letters," dating from 1909-1912 which provides data on the progress of individual Comstock mines, as does a "Complete History of the Comstock Lode by Expert Mining Engineers..." from a 1908 Pacific Miner. The collection also contained six photographs of the St. John's Quicksilver Mine, near Vallejo, California, circa 1910.

No personal information about Symmes is found in this collection, although there are several reports by Symmes on the Comstock Lode. Of special note is Symmes' detailed report prepared in about 1914, probably for submission to stockholders and/or the Pacific Miner, on the conspiracy against him by five stockholders. In this report Symmes writes of his career as superintendent for several mines and related companies in the Comstock Lode and details particulars on mining activities in the period of about 1908-1914.

Dates

  • 1859-1938

Creator

Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Extent

5 Cubic Feet (5 boxes)

Abstract

Included are deeds, agreements, financial statements, reports, correspondence, payrolls, articles of incorporation, and assay reports for 118 mines, mills, shafts and pumping associations, primarily in Nevada but also in California, Utah, Arizona, and Wyoming.,Of special note is Symmes' statement regarding a conspiracy against him by stockholders of certain Comstock mines (1914).

Administrative History

Whitman Symmes was a mine engineer, superintendent of several of the larger Nevada Comstock Lode mines in the early 1900s, and known on the Pacific coast for his continuous opposition to stockbrokers' methods of controlling the Comstock mines.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by name of mine, mill or shaft company.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was originally donated to the Mackay School of Mines and subsequently transferred to the Special Collections Department.

Separated Materials

The collection also contained six photographs of the St. John's Quicksilver Mine, near Vallejo, California, circa 1910. These photos were transferred to the photo archives of this department. UNRS-P1989-30

Creator

Title
A Guide to the Whitman Symmes records
Status
completed
Author
Susan Searcy
Date
January 3, 1989
Description rules
dacs

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Contact:
Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5665
775-682-5724 (Fax)