Norman Carr Papers

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Norman Carr papers
Creator: Carr, Norman B., approximately 1842-1931
Call Number: D.197
Dates: circa 1842-1931
Physical Description: 2 boxes
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Table of Contents:

Biographical/Historical Note
Scope and Content
Subject(s)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Access
Use
Citation
Content List
Series I: Correspondence
Series II: Historical and printed material
Collection Overview
Title: Norman Carr papers
Creator: Carr, Norman B., approximately 1842-1931
Call Number: D.197
Dates: circa 1842-1931
Physical Description: 2 boxes
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Biographical/Historical Note
Norman B. Carr (ca.1842-1931) served for the Union in the Civil War as chief quartermaster on the naval gunboat U.S.S. Paw Paw during the years 1864-1865. The Paw Paw patrolled the waters of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers during the war as part of what was known as the "tinclad navy," vessels made up of converted steamboats that were able to navigate the shallow waters of these rivers. Often overlooked by historians, these vessels were integral in helping to win the war for the Union on the western front.

At 22 years of age, Norman Carr left his family in Union Springs, NY and enlisted in the navy on August 12, 1864, opting to serve with the tinclad navy as opposed to the larger and more celebrated ironclad ships of the Atlantic, where his older brother George was stationed at the time. His family lived on Cayuga Lake in Upstate New York, where his father worked as a lake captain carrying coal and other commodities. From the time Norman enlisted in the navy until his discharge on June 28, 1865, he and his family corresponded quite frequently, each letter giving updated accounts of the details of their daily lives.

Although Civil War letters are common, letters written from the western campaign are generally scarcer than those from where the main concentration of conflict took place. Norman Carr's experiences during the war were not as combative as that of others, but he still understood the ugliness and suffering of the war at a time when the Confederacy was beginning to crumble in defeat. His letters provide literate, newsy accounts of life on the Paw Paw and the Mississippi River, where he encountered Rebel soldiers, ragged prisoners, a smallpox outbreak, and a river collision. They also show his reaction to the news of President Lincoln's assassination.

Times were also not easy for the Carr family back home in Union Springs, as the letters indicate. They provide a bleak picture of life in a small Upstate community, where there was much suffering from disease, starvation, and death. Despite such conditions, life went on with frequent dances, parties, and religious gatherings. These letters offer a glimpse of what was most important to Upstate New Yorkers and their families during this trying time in history.

Scope and Content
This collection consists of two boxes. Box 1 contains original autograph correspondence between Norman Carr and his family and friends, separated into letters written by Norman Carr and letters written to him. Typed transcriptions were made only for letters dated 1864-1865, the years when Norman Carr served on the Paw Paw, as these are the most historically significant letters in the collection. Box 1 also contains historical and printed materials relating to the U.S.S. Paw Paw, data on its commanding officers, and its role in the western campaign of the Civil War. Box 2 is a large flat box containing a framed photograph of the Paw Paw with Norman Carr on deck, as well as miscellaneous ephemera and memorabilia items relating to Carr and his service in the war. Photocopies have been made for all items in Box 2, as well as for all original Norman Carr correspondence in Box 1, to aid in the handling and viewing of these items.

Subject(s):
American Civil War (1861-1865)
Correspondence
Photographs
Carr, Norman B., approximately 1842-1931
Paw Paw (Gunboat)
Quartermasters
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Norman Carr Papers were donated to the University of Rochester by Edward T. Hanley, Jr., of Canandaigua, New York, in March 1985. The collection also includes typed transcriptions of the letters provided by Mr. Hanley. This gift came to the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections through the good offices of Professors George J. Grella (English) and Richard W. Kaeuper (History).Access
The Norman Carr papers is open for research use. Researchers are advised to contact Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation prior to visiting. Upon arrival, researchers will also be asked to fill out a registration form and provide photo identification.Use
Reproductions are made upon request but can be subject to restrictions. Permission to publish materials from the collection must currently be requested. Please note that some materials may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information contact rarebks@library.rochester.eduCitation
[Item title, item date], Norman Carr papers, D.197, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Administrative Information
Author: Finding aid prepared by Rare Books and Special Collections staff
Publisher: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Address:
Rush Rhees Library
Second Floor, Room 225
Rochester, NY 14627-0055
rarebks@library.rochester.edu
URL:


Content List
Series I: Correspondence
Box 1, Folder 1Original letters written by Norman Carr, October-December 1864
9 ALS

Box 1, Folder 2Original letters written by Norman Carr, January-March 1865
9 ALS

Box 1, Folder 3Original letters written by Norman Carr, April-June 1865
6 ALS

Box 1, Folder 4Photocopies of original letters written by Norman Carr, 1864-1865
See folders 1-3

Box 1, Folder 5Typed transcriptions of letters written by Norman Carr, October-December 1864
See folder 1

Box 1, Folder 6Typed transcriptions of letters written by Norman Carr, January-March 1865
See folder 2

Box 1, Folder 7Typed transcriptions of letters written by Norman Carr, April-June 1865
See folder 3

Box 1, Folder 8Original letters written to Norman Carr, 1858-1862
4 ALS

Box 1, Folder 9Original letters written to Norman Carr, 1864
16 ALS

Box 1, Folder 10Original letters written to Norman Carr, 1865
21 ALS

Box 1, Folder 11Original letters written to Norman Carr, 1866-1912
8 ALS, 2 APCS

Box 1, Folder 12Original letters written to Norman Carr, undated, circa 1860s
3 ALS

Box 1, Folder 13Photocopies of original letters written to Norman Carr, 1858-1864
See folders 8-9

Box 1, Folder 14Photocopies of original letters written to Norman Carr, 1865-1912 and undated
See folders 10-12

Box 1, Folder 15Typed transcriptions of letters written to Norman Carr, 1864
See folder 9

Box 1, Folder 16Typed transcriptions of letters written to Norman Carr, 1865
See folder 10

Box 1, Folder 17Empty envelopes, from letters mailed to Norman Carr while he was stationed on the U.S.S. Paw Paw, 1864 and 1865
37 original envelopes, with postage stamps

Box 1, Folder 18Empty envelopes, miscellaneous
4 original envelopes, with postage stamps

Series II: Historical and printed material
See photocopies of these items in Box 1, folder 21; please use these photocopies first before requesting and viewing actual items in Box 2

Box 1, Folder 19Photocopies of historical records of the U.S.S. Paw Paw, obtained from the Department of the Navy
Includes data sheets on the Paw Paw, biographical information on its commanding officers, and printed Civil War naval historical information

Box 1, Folder 20Article by Richard Kaeuper, "The Forgotten Triumph of the Paw Paw." American Heritage, Vol. 46, No. 6 (Oct 1995), pp. 86-94
Folder contains entire Oct 1995 issue of magazine

Box 1, Folder 21Photocopies of ephemera and memorabilia items from Box 2
Box 2, Object 1Framed photograph of the U.S.S. Paw Paw, with identifications of sailors on back of frame written by Laura Hopkins Carr Cleveland, daughter of Norman B. Carr, March 12, 1956
Box 2, Object 2Confederate States of America twenty-dollar bill, issued, April 6, 1863
Box 2, Object 3Certificate of discharge from naval service for Norman Carr, signed by captain of U.S.S. Paw Paw, June 28, 1865
Box 2, Object 4Photograph of Norman Carr in naval uniform; carte de visite, circa 1864-1865
Box 2, Object 5Photograph of Norman Carr in civilian clothing; framed tintype, undated
Box 2, Object 6Newspaper clipping of obituary of Norman Carr, April 21, [1931]


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