Paul S. Reinsch Papers, 1835-1924, 1963

Scope and Content Note

Joseph Babcock achieved prominence in both national and Wisconsin politics, and the Babcock papers include both family and political correspondence. Included is correspondence between Joseph, Charles, Mary, and Eva Babcock, and provide an intimate view of Joseph Babcock as he grew from a youth of modest means into a nineteenth century man of great wealth and power. Charles Babcock, too, is revealed as a young man raised with the advantages that wealth offered. Most notable are letters written by Joseph while traveling for a lumber company in Iowa in the 1870s; letters from Babcock to Harry Barney, his secretary, during a trip to Europe in 1901; social correspondence relating to life in Washington, D.C.; and letters to and from Charles while a student at Oberlin College and the University of Michigan law school and later while traveling in Europe.

J.W. Babcock's correspondence also consists of letters to Richard Goodell, a Republican from Platteville, while Babcock served as the Republican U.S. Representative from Wisconsin's Third District. Topics focus on the help Babcock requested from Goodell while politics required him to stay in D.C. during his re-election campaign and Goodell's search for legal work after passing the bar exam. There are also reminiscences of the elder Babcock written by Barney, a volume containing data on Third District Republican conventions, and several ledgers and cash books pertaining to a real estate venture of Charles Babcock and Harry Barney.

Photographs include portraits of family, friends, and associates of Babcock, circa 1880-1890.