William Vincent Byars The Gratz Papers, 1750-1850 manuscript

Abstract

The William Vincent Byars The Gratz Papers, 1750-1850 manuscript (1913-1915, 2.5 cubic feet, 3 boxes) contains 26 typewritten volumes about Jewish merchant venturers, Benjamin Gratz and Michael Gratz, and their descendants in the Americas before 1850.

Descriptive Summary

Title
William Vincent Byars The Gratz Papers, 1750-1850 manuscript
Creator
Byars, William Vincent, 1857-1938
Extent
2.5 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Family -- History
Jewish merchants -- Kentucky -- Lexington
Seven Years' War, 1756-1763.
Arrangement
Collection is arranged by book series: First series, 1750-1775; Second series, 1776-1800; and Third series 1880-1850.
Finding Aid Author
Ida Lucille Sell Mangum
Preferred Citation
2019ms050: [identification of item] William Vincent Byars The Gratz Papers, 1750-1850 manuscript, 1913-1915, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Barnard Gratz, born in Langendorf, Upper Silesia, Germany, in 1738 and educated in London, emigrated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1754. He became a merchant in the counting-house of David Franks and by 1759 established a partnership with his brother, Michael Gratz. The brothers actively traded furs with the French, Spanish and Native Americans from New York to as far west as St. Louis. As merchants, they were educated in geography and made connections in ports throughout the Atlantic coasts which assisted them in their American pursuits. Leading up to the American Revolution, Barnard and Michael Gratz ended their business relationships with the British and were signers of the Non-Importation Resolutions adopted Oct. 25, 1765. Throughout the war, they helped supply and clothe the Colonies' troops. After the war, they helped survey and settle lands throughout the new American West. They focused on lands throughout the Ohio River Valley, especially in Pittsburgh and Louisville. Notable descendants of Barnard and Michael Gratz include:
Rebecca Gratz, born 1781, was an educator and philanthropist, who founded America's first independent Jewish women's charitable society, the first Jewish Sunday school, the Philadelphia Orphan Asylum, and the first Jewish Foster Home in Philadelphia.
Hyman Gratz, born 1776, was a banker and philanthropist. He set aside stocks, bonds, and other property for the purpose of establishing an education society for Jews and a teachers college, Gratz College, in Melrose Park, Pennsylvania. Benjamin Gratz, born in Philadelphia in 1792 and educated at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating (M.A.) in 1815. At the outbreak of the War of 1812 Gratz enlisted and in 1813 joined Capt. John Smith's company of Pennsylvania Volunteers as the second lieutenant. After the war, he was admitted to the bar of Pennsylvania before moving to Lexington, Kentucky, where he was elected trustee of the Transylvania University, Ky.
Benjamin Gratz Brown, born in Frankfort, Kentucky, 1826, studied at Transylvania University, Yale University, and studied law at the University of Louisville. In 1847, he moved to St. Louis, and with Francis Blair and Thomas Hart Benton, grew active with anti-slavery politicians. From 1863-1867, he was the elected United States Senator for Missouri, and from 1871-1873 was elected Missouri State Governor.
These volumes were compiled and written by journalist, historian, and poet, William Vincent Byars for Anderson Gratz, vice president of the American Manufacturing Company in St. Louis. Anderson and his father, Howard Gratz, were integral in the design and gift of Gratz Park in Lexington, KY.
Sources:
William Vincent Byars Papers, Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis. https://mohistory.org/collections/item/resource:95787 accessed 2019 July 29
Gratz Park Neighborhood Association http://www.gratzpark.org/history.html accessed 2019 July 29
Rebecca Gratz, Jewish Women's Archives https://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/gratz-rebecca accessed 2019 July 29
Scope and Content
The William Vincent Byars The Gratz Papers, 1750-1850 manuscript (1913-1915, 2.5 cubic feet, 3 boxes) contains 26 typewritten volumes about Jewish merchant venturers, Benjamin Gratz and Michael Gratz, and their descendants in the Americas before 1850. Some original documents such as letters and deeds are pasted or taped to the bound volumes. Most documents and maps are facsimiles used for illustration. The volumes appear to be an original manuscript copy of what eventually became the published 1916 "B. and M. Gratz : merchants in Philadelphia, 1754-1798; papers of interest to their posterity and the posterity of their associates.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Access Collection is open to researchers by appointment.
Use Restrictions
The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

Contents of the Collection

First Series, (1750-1776), 1913-1915

Part I. Introductory, 1913-1915

  • Box 1, item 1
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Part II. (1750-1754), 1913-1915

  • Box 1, item 2
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Part III. (1755-1759), 1913-1915

  • Box 1, item 3
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Part IV. (1760-1762), 1913-1915

  • Box 1, item 4
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Part V. (1763), 1913-1915

  • Box 1, item 5
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Part VI. (1764-1765), 1913-1915

  • Box 1, item 6
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Part VII. (1766-1767), 1913-1915

  • Box 1, item 7
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Part VIII. (1768), 1913-1915

  • Box 1, item 8
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Part IX. (1769), 1913-1915

  • Box 1, item 9
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Part X. (1770-1771), 1913-1915

  • Box 1, item 10
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Part XI. (1772-1773), 1913-1915

  • Box 2, item 1
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Part XII. (1774), 1913-1915

  • Box 2, item 2
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Part XIII. (1775-1776), 1913-1915

  • Box 2, item 3
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Second series, (1776-1800), 1913-1915

Part I. (1776), 1913-1915

  • Box 2, item 4
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Part II. (1777-1778), 1913-1915

  • Box 2, item 5
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Part III. (1779), 1913-1915

  • Box 2, item 6
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Part IV. (1780-1781), 1913-1915

  • Box 2, item 7
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Part V. (1781), Supplement, 1913-1915

  • Box 2, item 8
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Part VI. (1782-1783), 1913-1915

  • Box 2, item 9
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Part VII. (1784-1786), 1913-1915

  • Box 2, item 10
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Part VIII. (1787-1789), 1913-1915

  • Box 3, item 1
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Part IX. (1790-1794), 1913-1915

  • Box 3, item 2
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Part X. (1795-1800), 1913-1915

  • Box 3, item 3
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Third series, (1800-1850), 1913-1915

Part I. (1800-1813), 1913-1915

  • Box 3, item 4
To top

Part II. (1814-1839), 1913-1915

  • Box 3, item 5
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Part III. (1840-1850), 1913-1915

  • Box 3, item 6
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For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

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