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Collection Number: 11034-z

Collection Title: W. George Richardson Papers, 1864-1890s

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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Size About 110 items
Abstract W. George Richardson was born in the early to mid-nineteenth century, the son of William Richardson, M.D., who was a first cousin of John Ruskin (1819-1900). Little is known about George Richardson's life. He corresponded fairly frequently with Ruskin during the period 1864-1877. In the 1870s, he handled some of Ruskin's business affairs. In 1873, Richardson was working with Hill, Richardson and Wright, presumably a London law firm. George Richardson married Margaret K. Manson and had a son, Arthur George Stueart Richardson, who traveled in Africa in the 1890s. The collection includes about 60 letters written by John Ruskin to George Richardson, 1864-1877, concerning a variety of personal and business matters, including financial difficulties of Richardson and purchases of property by Ruskin. The collection also includes several other items relating to Ruskin, and material of A. G. S. Richardson. The latter consists of letters, writings, and pictures relating to A. G. S. Richardson's travels in Africa in the 1890s. Included are drafts of "Bulawayo to Barotseland: The Narrative of a Trading Trip in the Zambezi Valley" by A. G. S. Richardson. Also included is a copy of a catalogue of paintings at Ruskin's home and a carte-de-visite of John Ruskin, ca. 1860s.
Creator Richardson, W. George, d. 1877.
Language English.
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the W. George Richardson Papers #11034-z, Rare Book Literary and Historical Papers, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Provenance
Purchased at auction from Sotheby's, London, England, in January 1983.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

W. George Richardson was born in the early to mid-nineteenth century, the son of William Richardson, M.D., who was a first cousin of John Ruskin (1819-1900). Little is known about George Richardson's life. He corresponded fairly frequently with Ruskin during the period 1864-1877. In the 1870s, he handled some of Ruskin's business affairs. In 1873, Richardson was working with Hill, Richardson and Wright, presumably a London law firm. George Richardson married Margaret K. Manson and had a son, Arthur George Stueart Richardson, who traveled in Africa in the 1890s.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection includes about 60 letters written by John Ruskin to George Richardson, 1864-1877, concerning a variety of personal and business matters, including financial difficulties of Richardson and purchases of property by Ruskin. The collection also includes several other items relating to Ruskin, and material of A. G. S. Richardson. The latter consists of letters, writings, and pictures relating to A. G. S. Richardson's travels in Africa in the 1890s. Included are drafts of "Bulawayo to Barotseland: The Narrative of a Trading Trip in the Zambezi Valley" by A. G. S. Richardson. Also included is a copy of a catalogue of paintings at Ruskin's home and a carte-de-visite of John Ruskin, ca. 1860s.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. John Ruskin Material, 1864-1877 and undated.

75 items.

Correspondence, legal material, and other material of, or relating to, John Ruskin.

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.1. Letters from John Ruskin, 1864-1877 and undated.

60 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Letters from Ruskin to George Richardson concerning personal and business matters. Ruskin frequently comforted and advised Richardson during the latter's times of personal and financial trouble, and lent him money on several occasions. The correspondence does not reveal many details of Richardson's difficulties.

There are entries in Ruskin's diary that correspond to letters in these papers. For example, in an entry dated 15 August 1870, Ruskin wrote that "George has hurt himself"; in a letter of 16 August 1870, Ruskin reproved Richardson for getting hurt in a game of cricket.

Richardson handled some of Ruskin's business affairs. There is a letter (20 May 1869) in which Ruskin gave Richardson authority to act for him "in matters of business and transfer of property" during his absence. Several other letters are concerned with various business matters, including Ruskin's purchase of Brantwood, Coniston, in 1871.

There are two letters written to relatives of Richardson in this subseries. One is addressed to Richardson's father, William Richardson (part of this item was cut prior to its arrival in the Rare Book Literary and Historical Papers), and the other is to Richardson's brother, Henry Adair Richardson. Both letters relate at least in part to George Richardson.

Folder 1

1864-1871 #11034-z, Subseries: "1.1. Letters from John Ruskin, 1864-1877 and undated." Folder 1

Folder 2

1872-1877 and undated #11034-z, Subseries: "1.1. Letters from John Ruskin, 1864-1877 and undated." Folder 2

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.2. Other Correspondence, 1868-1873.

9 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Letters to Ruskin include two letters from W. J. Linton concerning the possible purchase by Ruskin of an estate called Brantwood; a letter from D. D. Home concerning a relative of Ruskin (George Richardson?) who had an interest in spiritualism; and a letter from A. McKay about paying a debt of Ruskin's. There are also four letters and one memorandum relating to the return to Ruskin of various literary properties (engravings, copies of books by Ruskin, etc.) by Smith, Elder & Co., publisher.

Folder 3

Other correrspondence #11034-z, Subseries: "1.2. Other Correspondence, 1868-1873." Folder 3

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subseries 1.3. Other Ruskin Items, 1870 and undated.

5 items.

A fire insurance policy, issued by the Royal Insurance Company, for paintings by J. M. W. Turner and others in Ruskin's home at Denmark Hill; a holograph copy of a catalogue of paintings at Denmark Hill; a genealogical chart, presumably by Richardson's wife, Margaret K. Richardson, of the Richardson/Ruskin family; and a newspaper clipping concerning Ruskin family genealogy.

Folder 4

Other Ruskin items #11034-z, Subseries: "1.3. Other Ruskin Items, 1870 and undated." Folder 4

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Arthur George Stueart Richardson Material, 1893-1898 and undated.

38 items.

Correspondence and writings, all by or presumably by George Richardson's son, Arthur. The three letters included were written by Arthur George Stueart Richardson to his mother during his travels in Africa. Daily activities, anecdotes, and personal observations of local political events are the chief topics. Also included are two drafts, one of which is incomplete, of "Bulawayo to Barotseland: The Narrative of a Trading Trip in the Zambezi Valley"; an account of A. G. S. Richardson's experiences with the Matabeleland Rhodesia Horse Volunteers; and a brief sketchbook and diary of a sea voyage.

Folder 5

Arthur George Stueart Richardson material #11034-z, Series: "2. Arthur George Stueart Richardson Material, 1893-1898 and undated." Folder 5

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Pictures, 1860s-1890s.

32 items.

Arrangement: chronological and type.

Along with a carte-de-visite of Ruskin, the pictures consist of eight snapshots and twenty-three sketches, chiefly of A. G. S. Richardson's African travels.

Image P-11034/1

Carte-de-visite of John Ruskin, ca. 1860-1870, by Elliott and Fry, London #11034-z, Series: "3. Pictures, 1860s-1890s." P-11034/1

Image P-11034/2-9

P-11034/2

P-11034/3

P-11034/4

P-11034/5

P-11034/6

P-11034/7

P-11034/8

P-11034/9

Snapshots of African scenes, including landscapes, and one photograph of unidentified people with hunting trophies #11034-z, Series: "3. Pictures, 1860s-1890s." P-11034/2-9

Image P-11034/10-32

P-11034/10

P-11034/11

P-11034/12

P-11034/13

P-11034/14

P-11034/15

P-11034/16

P-11034/17

P-11034/18

P-11034/19

P-11034/20

P-11034/21

P-11034/22

P-11034/23

P-11034/24

P-11034/25

P-11034/26

P-11034/27

P-11034/28

P-11034/29

P-11034/30

P-11034/31

P-11034/32

Sketches, chiefly in ink or pencil, mostly of African scenes of such subjects as landscapes, hunting trophies, C. J. Rhodes, and other people, mostly unidentified by A. G. S. Richardson #11034-z, Series: "3. Pictures, 1860s-1890s." P-11034/10-32

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Items separated include photographs (P-11034/1-32) and oversize papers (OP-11034/1).

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Processing Information

This collection was reprocessed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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