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M. D. Ball papers

 Collection
Call Number: WA MSS S-2359

Scope and Contents

The papers consist primarily of scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings, manuscript notes, and Congressional bills regarding Alaska, but also include correspondence, customs documents, writings, maps, and a few photographs and printed illustrations. They document Ball's work as Customs Collector in Sitka at a time when that office was the chief representative of the U. S. Government in Alaska; his term as Alaska's first delegate to Congress, 1882-1885, and his campaign for representation and governance for the Territory; and other events in Alaskan history to 1887.

Series I,Correspondence , includes letters to Ball from Benjamin Harrison, William Dall, M. P. Deady, E. P. Lull, Marcus Baker of the USGS, and John H. Mitchell, as well as from the Pacific Steamship Company regarding his writing for their pamphlet "All About Alaska." Also present are letters to Ball's daughter from James Wickersham.

Series II,Papers , is organized in two subseries, Documents and Writings. Documents include customs receipts from 1877 to 1879, petitions for Ball's election as delegate to Congress, printed bills and statements by Ball to Congress, a subscription for the 1880 4th of July celebration in Sitka, and a report on mining in Cook's Inlet in 1898 by B. Frank Hand. Writings consists of two draft chapters from a larger work about Alaska culture and history, a prospectus about travel in Alaska written for tourists, and a draft article about mining.

Series III,Scrapbooks , consists of two bound scrapbooks and two loose pages from a third volume. The scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings, manuscript notes, congressional bills, and printed maps. The first volume, in Folder 21, largely concerns the events of the winter of 1878-1879, when U. S. citizens in Sitka appealed to a British warship for protection from native tribes, and the ensuing controversy.

Series IV,Visual Material , consists of a 1927 Blueprint for the Alaska flag, several printed and manuscript maps of Alaska, a manuscript map showing military operations of the Crimean war, two photographs of St. Peter's by the SEa, a church in Sitka, and two lithographs removed from a Russian book, one of them showing the Sitka harbor.

Dates

  • 1868 - 1927

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The M. D. Ball Papers are the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Edward Eberstadt and Sons on the William Robertson Coe Western Americana Fund, 1957.

Extent

2.09 Linear Feet ((2 boxes) + 1 broadside folder)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.ball

Overview

The papers consist primarily of scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings, manuscript notes, and Congressional bills regarding Alaska, but also include correspondence, customs documents, writings, maps, and a few photographs and printed illustrations. They document Ball's work as Customs Collector in Sitka at a time when that office was the chief representative of the U. S. government in Alaska; his term as Alaska's first delegate to Congress, 1882-85, and his campaign for representation and governance for the Territory; and other events in Alaskan history to 1887. Particularly well documented are the events of the winter of 1878-79, when U. S. citizens in Sitka appealed to a British warship for protection from native tribes. Ball's correspondence includes letters from Benjamin Harrison, William Dall, M. P. Deady, E. P. Lull, Marcus Baker, and John H. Mitchell, as well as from the Pacific Coast Steamship Company regarding his writing for their pamphlet "All About Alaska." The papers also include letters to Ball's daughter from James Wickersham, a 1927 blueprint for the Alaska flag, several printed and manuscript maps of Alaska, a manuscript map showing military operations of the Crimean War, and two photographs of St. Peter's by the Sea, a church in Sitka.

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

Mottrom Dulany Ball (1835-1887) was born in Fairfax County, Virginia, and was educated at the College of William and Mary. He taught school until the outbreak of the Civil War, when he formed a cavalry company and rose to the rank of Colonel in the Confederate Army. After the war, he practiced law and founded the VirginiaSentinel, which folded in 1876. In January 1878, he was appointed Collector of Customs for Alaska, and moved to Sitka with his wife, Sallie Lewis Wright Ball, and children. In September of 1881, he was elected Alaska's first unofficial delegate to Congress. Ball served as U. S. District Attorney for Alaska from 1885 to 1887, and was the founding editor of the Alaskan, a Sitka newspaper.
Title
Guide to the M.D. Ball Papers
Status
Under Revision
Author
by Ellen Doon
Date
May 2000
Description rules
Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.