Scope and Contents:
General files series is organized into five subseries: Loose papers; Bound volumes; Transcripts and extracts; Pictures, maps, and charts; and Residual material. The Loose papers subseries consists of various personal and official documents and is arranged chronologically. Also included is miscellaneous correspondence, 1819-1887, such as letters that were probably received as enclosures. The letters relate to America's policy toward China, the Civil War blockade, and the U.S. Army's policy toward formerly enslaved people in the Confederate states. Of particular interest is a transcript of a message from General Ulysses S. Grant to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton announcing the April 8, 1865, surrender of General Robert E. Lee.Loose papers also contain du Pont's personal papers, 1803-1886, such as his baptismal certificate, memoranda on household expenses, inventories of furnishings at Louviers, and a list of articles he purchased from the items displayed at the Crystal Palace Exhibition. There are also papers relating to Christ Church, 1851-1860, such as financial records and copies of the church's articles of association. Papers relating to California real estate owned by du Pont, 1849-1859, include deeds, legal documents, and memoranda describing du Pont's San Francisco properties and his efforts to manage them. Papers about the Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations, 1852-1854, include a copy of the proposed plan of organization (1853) and the board of director's resolutions.Papers relating to the cruises of the Congress and the Cyane, 1845-1848, describe the political situation in Mexico (1847) and include a copy of the proclamation of Robert F. Stockton to the people of California (1846). Papers about the cruise of the Minnesota, 1857-1859, consist of route maps, lists of British and French vessels engaged in the bombardment of the Chinese forts at the Peiho River (1858), and memoranda describing furniture and porcelain purchased by du Pont in Japan and China. The Naval Efficiency Board papers, 1854-1856, include memoranda on the composition and duties of the board and material on the Naval Retiring Board. Japanese Embassy papers, 1860, include correspondence addressed to Secretary of State Lewis Cass and other State Department officials, offering to entertain the Japanese diplomats during their American visit. Papers relating to the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, 1861-1864, consist of correspondence...