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R.C. Jenkinson Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MG Jenkinson-(Main)

Scope and Contents

The collection includes some examples of books and pamphlets from Jenkinson's collection, as well as correspondence, manuscript material, photographs, and clippings. Some items relate to other family members, in particular Jenkinson's wife Emily and his granddaughter, Margaret B. Skillman.

Box 1: contains two books, Abraham Lincoln, by John G. Nicolay (1902) and Narratives of Newark, by David L. Pierson (1917). Among the many pamphlets in Box 1, the following relate to Newark: Newark, N.J. Photo-Gravures (souvenir booklet, 1897); The Fiftieth Anniversary of High Street Presbyterian Church of Newark, N.J. (1899, with loose copy of a service program, 1911); Newark, the Story of its Early Days (1904); Seth Boyden of Newark (Newark Public Library, 1925); pamphlets on Vermont and Florida, written by RCJ (1926 and 1928); Old South High Street, by R. C. Jenkinson (1929, 5 copies); Old Broad Street, by R. C. Jenkinson (1930, 2 copies); Newark in Print Newark Public Library bibliography, 1931); and Origin of Writing (Newark Public Library catalogue for exhibit of items from the Jenkinson Collection, 1930). Also included is one binder and one folder of printed ephemera; the contents are as follows. The binder belonging to Margaret (Peggy) Skillman and labeled "A File of Grandfathers Letters," contains originals letters from RCJ to Skillman (1920-1921) and copies of a few to or from others; a copy of a letter from John Cotton Dana to RCJ (1921); miscellaneous poetry and notes; and a handwritten itinerary for a student tour of Europe (undated). The folder of ephemera contains RCJ Christmas cards, stationery, and miscellaneous printed items (some from Newark)

Box 2: contains the following:

Manuscripts: Emily Coe Jenkinson's diary of her trip to Europe (1892); and Richard Jenkinson's account of his automobile trip from Newark to Montreal (typed manuscript, illustrated with photos cut from brochures, etc., 1919);

Correspondence (5 folders), roughly divided by category, as follows:

Family -- carbon copies and originals of letters from RCJ, with genealogical information, reminiscences of Newark in the Civil War era and of early baseball games, and political commentary; a few letters to or from other family members; and the Jenkinsons' wedding announcement (1876)

Miscellaneous Correspondence - 2 folders of letters to RCJ from a wide variety of business, political, and social acquaintances; includes carbon copies of a letter from RCJ to John Cotton Dana (1929), a letter from Beatrice Winser to RCJ, and other letters regarding library matters. With the general correspondence is some early family correspondence, some of it written in Ireland in the 1830s. Also included are many originals and copies of letters to Jacob W. Schuckers of Newark from various politicians, professional men, and historians (among them Lyman Abbott) regarding Schuckers' historical research; copies of a lengthy letter from RCJ with reminiscences of Schuckers; a few clippings; a typed extract from a letter from Gutzon Borglum to Carl Bannwart regarding the "Seated Lincoln" statue (undated); and several unsigned essays and notes on historical topics.

"Government" (Political) Correspondence -- contains (mostly) incoming and copies of outgoing correspondence between RCJ and various Senators, Congressmen, and other government officials; included are letters from Elihu Root, Theodore E. Burton, Foster Voorhees, James T. McCleary, and Jacob Haussling. Also included are copies of lengthy letters from RCJ, mostly on historical and literary topics or concerning the Newark Board of Trade, and two items addressed to J. Schuckers.

Condolence Letters (1 folder): contains a letter from Beatrice Winser (on behalf of the Newark Public Library Trustees) and tributes to RCJ from the Newark Board of Commissioners, the Newark Chamber of Commerce, the Newark Museum Association, the Board of Managers of the Vineland State School, and others. Also included is a lengthy selection of typed extracts from tributes to Emily Coe Jenkinson.

Photographs (2 folders): Jenkinson and Coe family photographs (19th century), including a photo of (son-in-law) Thomas J. Skillman in his Spanish-American War uniform; portraits of RCJ at various ages;

Newspaper Clippings, etc. (1 folder): obituary notices and tributes to Richard and Emily Jenkinson, including comments by William Ashbee on her involvement with the Urban League; Newark Women (published by the Newark YWCA, Easter Number, 1916); and a copy of a typed biographical sketch of RCJ

Not found: note from Grover Cleveland to RCJ (1902) - empty envelope is in a "Miscellaneous Correspondence" file


  • 1892 - 1930


Conditions Governing Use

Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff. Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.

Biographical / Historical

Richard C. Jenkinson was born in Newark on April 14, 1853, the son of George B. and Jane Stringer Jenkinson. George Jenkinson was born in County Wicklow, Ireland. The imposing Jenkinson family home, erected in 1864 at High and Baldwin Streets, was considered the largest private home in Newark at the time; it was eventually sold to Julius Lichtman, a leather manufacturer. Jenkinson attended Newark public and private schools and at age twenty-two spent a year in Europe. In 1976 he founded R. C. Jenkinson and Co., manufacturers of metal products, and in the same year married Emily Pendleton Coe (1855-1922).

Richard Jenkinson was President of the Newark Chamber of Commerce (1899-1900) and for many years President of the Newark Board of Trade. An ardent Republican, he ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Newark in 1900. He held many public positions, among them service on the New York and New Jersey Harbor Commission and the vice-presidency of the State Board of Commerce and Navigation. He was the first Chairman of the New Jersey Commission for the Blind, Vice-President of the New Jersey School for Girls, President of the Carteret Club, and Executive Board member of the Newark Museum.

As a bibliophile and book collector he took an especially keen interest in of the Newark Public Library. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Library for thirty-three years, and was President of the Board of Trustees for seven years in the 1920s. Early in the century he had played a key role in bringing John Cotton Dana to the Library, and he remained a strong supporter of Dana's work. He presented his collection of rare books, pamphlets, and ephemera illustrative of the art of fine printing to the Library in a number of donations from 1924 to 1930.

Jenkinson was a member of the Essex Club, the Monks of the Passaic, and other social and cultural clubs and societies. His wife, Emily Coe Jenkinson, was president of the Newark YWCA and active in the New Jersey Urban League in its earliest years. The couple were members of High Street Presbyterian Church. Richard Jenkinson died in 1930.


.83 Linear Feet (2 Hollinger boxes)

Language of Materials