Essay for Proceedings of the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences, forthcoming (2005)

 

FRANCIS AND ELIZABETH MACDONALD - STATEN ISLAND COLLECTORS

Eric A. Ivison (Associate Professor of History, CSI-CUNY)

 

In January 1912, the Museum Bulletin of the Staten Island Association of Arts and Sciences announced the donation of a private collection with the following words:

 

            "Within the present month the museum has been greatly enriched by the gift of a notable art collection from Mr. Wallace MacDonald as a memorial to his mother, the late Mrs. Francis MacDonald. The collection consists chiefly of Grecian, Roman, Etruscan and Egyptian Antiquities, with some modern pottery and some miscellaneous objects, including among other articles of interest an early parchment containing a holograph of the Book of Esther; an ancient Hebrew marriage certificate; and two excellent examples of early Italian majolica plaques. The largest and most valuable part of the collection, however, is the pottery, metal-ware and glassware of ancient Greece and Rome, embracing an extensive series of vases, bowls, lamps, figurines, etc., representing various periods from the eighth century B.C. to the Roman empire. Many of these come from Pompeii."[1]

 

The MacDonald Collection, comprising over 2000 items, had been formed by Mr. Francis MacDonald (1825-1878) and his wife, Elizabeth (Eliza) Wallace MacDonald (1825-1911), residents of Clifton, Staten Island. The MacDonalds' son, David Wallace MacDonald, gave the collection to the Institute in memory of his mother, following her death on August 21, 1911. In terms of intrinsic importance, as well as range and rarity, the former MacDonald Collection constitutes one of the most significant early bequests to what was later to become SIIAS.[2] Today the Collection must be reconstituted on paper, since upon accession the items were dispersed to the appropriate curatorial departments. According to the Proceedings for 1911-1912, the bequest included, "Greco-Roman, Etruscan and Egyptian antiquities, modern bric-a-brac, corals, fossils, etc."[3] The Museum Bulletin further reported that, "Mr. [Wallace] MacDonald has also donated a fine series of European corals, shells, paleozoic fossils and minerals, many of which will ultimately be placed in the exhibition series."[4] These geological and natural history specimens, along with the aforementioned "bric-a-brac" or curiosities, have yet to be formally identified. As the Museum Bulletin remarked, however, the most significant group of objects were the over 400 ancient antiquities from Egypt, the Levant, Greece, and Italy, which passed into the art collection. Select MacDonald antiquities have been exhibited at the Institute in the past, most notably for the 1981 SIIAS centenary, but most remained in storage and unpublished.[5]

 

The recent history of the MacDonald Collection began in 1999, when the present author and Dr. Linda Jones Roccos, both professors at the College of Staten Island, CUNY, approached the Institute with proposals for using SIIAS antiquities for teaching and study.[6] This rediscovery of the MacDonald Collection kindled interest in its history and in the MacDonalds themselves: Who were Francis and Eliza MacDonald, and how and why did they acquire a collection of antiquities? Could a study of their papers establish provenances for the antiquities, and thus a better understanding of their history? This essay is a response to these questions. It seeks to reconstruct the public and private lives of the MacDonalds, and to understand their passion for collecting. In the process, this paper also sheds light on the world of upper middle class New Yorkers like the MacDonalds, and the concept of dilettante collecting in the 19th century. The following account is the product of research conducted since 2000 in SIIAS archives, the New York Public Library, and other institutions. I would like to thank Bart Bland, Patricia Salmon, and Dorothy D'Eletto for their encouragement and assistance in unearthing documentation on the MacDonald Collection at SIIAS. One must also thank the descendants of Francis and Eliza MacDonald, who generously gave access to the family papers used in this essay. I am especially grateful to Barbara Gardner, the great grand-daughter of Francis and Eliza MacDonald, for facilitating the loan of these family records and photographs, and for sharing the results of her genealogical research. It is no understatement to say that without these documents the following account would have been impossible. A digital archive of all these materials was made at the College of Staten Island Library in 2004.

 

The MacDonald story draws upon a broad range of sources, most of which are unpublished. Some derive from the public record, namely newspaper articles, obituaries, and advertisements. The most important sources, however, are divided between two unpublished manuscript collections here termed the MacDonald Collection Papers and the MacDonald Family Papers. The MacDonald Collection Papers consist of documents relating to the history of the Collection preserved in the SIIAS archives. These documents were discovered scattered through the files of the SIIAS Art Collection, but they have since been collected into a single dossier. No record for the acquisition of these documents has yet been found, but they were presumably transferred to the Institute with the MacDonald objects in 1911. The most important of these papers relate to the collecting activities of the MacDonalds in the 1870's. They include catalogues of the collection in the hand of Francis MacDonald, correspondence, and an inventory of the Egyptian antiquities purchased in 1878. Some of these documents were examined in 1964 by Gail K. Schneider, then the SIIAS archivist and librarian, in preparation for the exhibit From the Shipwreck of Time, but a history of the collection was never published.[7] Some historical details have even been retrieved from old labels still attached to the artifacts and from SIIAS inventory cards. The materials making up what may be termed the MacDonald Family Papers are still owned by MacDonald descendants, who kindly made them available for study. These heirlooms include family photographs, official documents, and correspondence. Amongst the most important is a Journal or Logue authored by Francis MacDonald that offers an account of his emigration to New York in 1848. The so-called MacDonald Scrapbook was compiled by Eliza Wallace MacDonald, probably in the 1880's. Eliza collected autographs of public figures and historical personages, and pasted them into a large, leather-bound album. The Scrapbook contains correspondence addressed to the MacDonalds, together with miscellaneous letters and signatures clipped from letters, postcards, business cards, receipts, and other mementos. Notable discoveries made in the Scrapbook include a letter written by the British naval hero, Rear Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson (1758-1805), and a letter by the Italian patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882), addressed to Staten Island inventor Antonio Meucci (1808-1889).

 

Not all periods or areas of the MacDonalds' lives are covered by these sources, but enough materials survive to reconstruct in outline their biographies and activities as collectors. In many respects, the MacDonalds were representative of their social class and were surprisingly well connected with significant figures in American society. Their social circle included Henry Ward Beecher, Ralph Waldo Emerson and other leading New York figures. Their story thus offers a fascinating window on the lives, tastes and aspirations of an upper middle class family in mid 19th -century New York. Francis and Eliza MacDonald were Scottish immigrants to the United States who settled in New York in 1848-1849. Both Francis and Eliza were well educated and came from a middle class background. Francis rapidly became a successful export merchant, and from 1863 onwards he was the New York agent of the Anchor Line, a leading transatlantic steamship company. Francis' success in business secured a middle class lifestyle for the family, which moved to the fashionable suburb of Clifton, Staten Island. Here Eliza presided over a comfortable household, raised two children, and involved herself in progressive causes on Staten Island. Prosperity also permitted the MacDonalds to visit Europe and to travel in Italy, where they began to collect antiquities in the 1870's. Although the MacDonalds could never afford the grandiose acquisitions of a Pierpoint-Morgan or a Vanderbilt, their intentions were the same. Such collections were not only personal creations - they were also a sign of social and material success that displayed the taste and culture of their owners.

 

The MacDonald Family

Francis MacDonald (1825‑1878) and his wife Elizabeth were Scottish immigrants to the United States [FIGS. 1-2]. Francis was a native of Helensburgh, north of Glasgow in Scotland, and was born into a respectable family as the eldest of six children.[8] Francis' future wife, Elizabeth or Eliza Wallace (1825‑1911) was born at Ely (also spelt Elie) in Fifeshire, Scotland, and came from a comparable social background.[9] Francis and Eliza had apparently become acquainted at an early age. A poem preserved in the MacDonald Scrapbook and dated January 1844 was written by the eighteen year old Francis for Eliza Wallace. In the opening lines Francis described the qualities he desired in a wife and recognized in Eliza:

 

"To lighten the cares of the wearisome life

the writer of this wants a kind loving wife

whose mental attraction may beauty survive,

if not wealthy, yet healthy, her age ten and five,

tho' for age will not differ the lady should know

In a few years above that or one year below.

If no fortune she bring me I plainly can see

An economist wife it is needful she be.

I wish her good tempered, quite cheerful and gay,

as, with her, I would spend a part of each day

and sometimes I'm apt to be silent and dull

when any new maggots at work in my skull,

but a sense of politeness would rouse up my mind

to attend a companion if cheerful and kind."[10]

 

This poem offers an intimate view of the deep devotion and sense of partnership that characterized the MacDonald marriage. It also attests to Eliza's education and lively personality, traits which were to find expression in travel and collecting. Francis received his education in Glasgow where he served an apprenticeship in the shipping business. This experience is also evident from Francis' apparent familiarity with sea captains and his knowledge of immigrants to America. It was these contacts and business opportunities abroad that may have swayed him in the decision to emigrate to the United States.

 

At the age of 23 years Francis set sail for New York, departing from Glasgow on September 16, 1848, aboard the barque Augusta [FIG. 3]. The principal source for these events is a Journal or "Logue" of the voyage composed by Francis for his fiancée Eliza, who remained in Scotland. This unpublished Journal is still owned by their descendants, and it offers a vivid account of the immigrant experience in the mid nineteenth century. Like most immigrants, Francis hoped to make a better life for himself and his future family in America. In the 1848 Journal he wrote: "Yes, Eliza, I leave my native land to provide for thee a home and to place myself in a position whereby the wants of that home will be fully supplied so that it will be rendered as happy and comfortable as possible.”[11] The voyage to New York was an unusually stormy and lengthy one due to violent gales that blew the ship off‑course. Unlike steerage passengers, Francis could afford his own berth, but he was still subject to seasickness and periodic food poisoning. On one occasion a freak wave damaged the ship and flooded his compartment, drenching his clothes and papers. Francis broke off from his Journal on the forty-second day of the voyage and did not record the arrival of the Augusta in New York City. New York newspaper notices record that the ship finally docked on 1 November, 1848 after a protracted voyage of 47 days.[12]

 

Eliza joined Francis in the United States in 1849 and the couple was married in Brooklyn on 21 September, 1850. The presiding clergyman was the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, the Congregational minister of the Plymouth Church in Brooklyn and a famous abolitionist and preacher. The certificate of marriage written in Ward Beecher's own hand survives amongst the MacDonald Family Papers.[13] Beecher was a New York celebrity and his sermons drew large crowds ‑ a sign perhaps that the MacDonalds fitted quickly into respectable society. The couple took up residence at 278 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY, before moving to 87 Broad Street, Staten Island. Their marriage was apparently a happy one and produced two children; a son, David Wallace, born in 1854, and a daughter, Jeannette MacLeod MacDonald, born in 1855. Francis became a U.S. citizen in 1856, but he and Eliza never forgot their Scottish roots.[14] A number of letters addressed to Francis and Eliza attest to these sentiments and to their contacts with fellow Scots in America. One example, dated August 14, 1876, is from the Scotsman James McCosh, then President of the College of New Jersey (now Princton University). McCosh remarks: "I like to find Scotch men and women keeping up their care for the dear old country."[15] The MacDonalds maintained contact with relatives in Scotland and visited their homeland on a number of occasions. Their pride in Scottish culture is further reflected in Scottish items preserved in the MacDonald Scrapbook, and in photographs showing David Wallace and Jeannette wearing the MacDonald tartan [FIGS. 10-11].

 

Francis had prepared carefully for a new career in New York, having obtained testimonials and letters of introduction before his departure from Glasgow. One of these letters survives in the hand of Ralph Waldo Emerson, dated London April 21, 1848. In 1847-48 Emerson was on a lecture tour of Britain, visiting Glasgow, Edinburgh and Paisley in Scotland, before returning to London via Manchester.[16] The content of the cover letter makes it clear that Emerson knew of Francis already, either by means of a meeting or by mutual acquaintance. This letter marks the beginning of a correspondence between Francis MacDonald and Emerson that was to last over twenty years. Emerson wrote:

 

"Dear Sir,

            You must forgive my seeming negligence in attending to your request. No day was fixed, and in London my time has been over-filled with every day's demands. I was glad, in these circumstances, to learn from Mr. Sanderson, that you were preparing to embark. I enclose a couple of notes of introduction to two excellent young men, men of business and of large acquaintance in Boston who, I am sure you will be glad to know. On my return, which will be I think in the month of July, I shall be happy to greet you on the other shore."[17] 

 

Emerson was true to his word. One of his letters of introduction recommended Francis, "[in the] highest terms as energetic, intelligent, steady, and worthy of implicit confidence. He will be glad to learn from you any thing that is known to you respecting the comparative advantages which any of the newer towns and cities in New England..."[18] Thanks to such recommendations and his own talent, Francis' desired career in the shipping business proved very successful, and he soon became a respected member of the mercantile community.

 

Important sources for Francis' business career are letters and invoices preserved in the MacDonald Scrapbook, and obituaries published soon after his death in 1878. In the words of the New York Times obituary published on November 9, 1878: "[Francis MacDonald] was very successful in business, and his name became known as well in London, Liverpool, and Glasgow, as ‘on Change’ in this city." The Times obituary further records that Francis worked for two years as a clerk (1848-1850) before forming a business partnership with a Mr. James Hutchinson, of Brooklyn, Kings County, NY.[19] Their firm of Francis MacDonald & Co. was established in 1850 to export grain and provisions to Europe. This export business appears to explain why Francis became a founder member of the New York Commercial Association (established in 1861), an institution later to be renamed the New York Produce Exchange (1868). The New York Produce Exchange was the leading export market for American wheat, cotton-seed oil, flour and lard.[20] The firm of Francis MacDonald & Co. endured until Hutchinson's death in 1867. On May 25, 1868 Francis liquidated the remaining assets of the company by declaring a state of bankruptcy. A short notice to this effect appeared in the newspaper the Brooklyn Eagle for May 27, 1868, noting that MacDonald and Hutchinson, "...have been adjudged bankrupts on their own petition, that the payment of any debts and the delivery of any property belonging to such Bankrupts, to him, or for their use, and the transfer of any property by them are forbidden by law; that a meeting of the creditors of said Bankrupts, to prove their debts and to chose one or more assigners of their estate, will be held at a Court of Bankruptcy, to be holden at No. 141 Montague street, Brooklyn..."[21] The dissolution of MacDonald & Co. did not spell financial ruin for Francis, however, since he had already found employment with another firm.

 

In 1863 Francis became the New York agent for the Anchor Shipping Line, a position that he was to hold for the rest of his life.[22] The “Anchor Line of Transatlantic, Peninsula & Mediterranean Steam Packet Ships" was founded in Glasgow in 1856, and quickly became one of the leading trans‑Atlantic cargo carriers, with routes between New York, Glasgow and Mediterranean ports. The controlling firm of the Anchor Line was Handysides and Co. of Glasgow, later known as Henderson and Handyside Brothers. In 1872 the company entered partnership with the Barrow Steamship Company, and in 1911 the Anchor Line was acquired by the Cunard Line.[23] The Anchor Line’s New York service had been inaugurated in 1856, but it was only after 1864 and the end of the Civil War that this service became the busiest and most profitable of its North American routes.[24] It appears that the success of this New York service can be attributed in part to the efforts of Francis MacDonald. According to Francis' obituary in the New York Times: "It was by his foresight and energy that the business of the steam‑ship line was increased, until now [1878] Anchor Line steam‑ships arrive or sail from New York two or three times a week."[25] An Anchor Line steam packet-ship departed New York for Glasgow every Wednesday and Saturday. The transatlantic service peaked in 1874, with sailings three days a week in April, May, and June [FIG. 4].[26] Francis was rewarded for his hard work when in 1868 he became a member of the firm of Henderson Brothers of Glasgow, owners of the Anchor Line. In the same year, a new Anchor Line office opened on Bowling Green at the tip of Manhattan to handle the increased business.[27] A number of documents preserved in the SIIAS archives were written by Francis MacDonald on Anchor Line stationery, and these reveal that his office was located at 7 Bowling Green. The building was demolished in 1882 to build the New York Produce Exchange but an engraving preserves the appearance of the Anchor Line offices in 1872 [FIG. 5].[28]

 

Business papers preserved in the MacDonald Scrapbook give some idea of Francis' duties as the New York agent of the Anchor Line. These duties chiefly involved the sale of passenger tickets and making arrangements for freight to be transported on Anchor Line steamships. A number of letters in the MacDonald Scrapbook are from persons booking private cabins for passage on Anchor Line ships. Notices advertising Anchor Line routes and ships appeared regularly in the New York press, often with Francis named as the contracting agent. According to such a notice dating to 1873, a saloon cabin cost between £12 - £15 British pounds sterling, depending on the day of departure.[29] The letters in the Scrapbook indicate that cash retainers were needed for berths and several weeks notice were usually required for cancellations. Francis' office was also responsible for arranging the shipment of cargo to and from New York and other ports. Most of this trade was commercial export and import between New York, Glasgow, and ports in the Mediterranean visited by Anchor Line ships. The U.S. Government was one of Francis’ regular clients, as letters from the U.S. War Department, the U.S. Postmaster General, and the U.S. Quartermaster's Office attest.[30] Sometimes cargo shipments required especial care and diplomacy. In 1876 Henderson Brothers were entrusted with the transportation of exhibits from Egypt to Philadelphia for the Egyptian Exposition. Fortunately everything went as planned. In a letter dated January 28, 1876, the Commissioner General of the Khedive of Egypt expressed his satisfaction that, "the 142 cases shipped from Alexandria to Philadelphia through your house have arrived here [in Philadelphia] in good state and order."[31] Commerce in New York was booming during the post-war years of the 1860’s and early 1870’s but we learn little from the MacDonald Scrapbook concerning the Anchor Line’s competitors. Of especial interest, however, are two letters which mention the S.S. Great Eastern, built in 1857 by the great British engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel (1806-1858). The Great Eastern was the largest ship of its time but it had an ill-fated and unprofitable career. The Great Eastern's most successful moment came in 1866 when the ship laid the first successful transatlantic cable.[32] Both letters were written to Francis MacDonald by John M. Cook, another shipping agent based in Boston, Massachusetts. In his first letter, dated London, March 27, 1867, Cook writes: "The Great Eastern left yesterday and had a sad accident at starting killing 7 men. This is a very bad beginning."[33] The second letter, dated Boston, April 1, 1867, mentions the impending visit of the Great Eastern to New York. Cook states that an announcement had appeared in the New York Evening Post and that "it is a good notice and will not do us any harm...” presumably referring to the possible impact of the Great Eastern on business. As things turned out, the unlucky Great Eastern posed no threat to the lucrative routes of the Anchor Line. As Cook noted: "it is strange they do not give any name to the Great Eastern advertisement - that plan will not inspire much confidence."[34]

 

Francis' business success enabled the family to move in 1855 to the fashionable suburb of Clifton on Staten Island, a new residential development located to the south of Stapleton village. Francis MacDonald purchased a vacant plot on Townsend Avenue for $1,800 from one Henry M. Leavitt, with the agreement that only residential property could be erected on the site.[35] Townsend Avenue was then relatively secluded, being separated from Stapleton by the grounds of the Seaman's Retreat (now the site of the Bayley Seton Hospital) and Vanderbilt Avenue. Townsend Avenue was also conveniently placed for connections to New York City, since it was but a short carriage ride from Manhattan Ferry terminal at New Brighton.[36] Travel on Staten Island itself was facilitated by the Staten Island Railroad, which had been operating a service from the nearby Vanderbilt's Landing on Bay Street since 1860 (the railroad was only extended to St. George in 1884).[37] After initially residing at 30 Townsend Avenue, the MacDonalds moved a few doors up the street to number 120, where  they established their permanent home [FIG. 6].[38] The new MacDonald house was a large wooden‑framed Victorian that still stands at 120 Townsend Avenue. A photographic survey of the MacDonald house was made in 1978 as part of the Historic Architecture Survey sponsored by SIIAS and the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. According to the New York Times obituary of Eliza MacDonald, the house was named "Roseneath Cottage", probably after Eliza's home village in Scotland.[39] Stereo-view prints of the property depict a Gothic-style house with projecting wings, bay windows, and a columned porch, and show that the house stood in a large garden [FIG. 7].[40] Other stereo-views in the same set showing Francis, Eliza, their children David Wallace and Janet, attest to the prosperity and respectability of the family. The MacDonald children appear to be about seven or eight years of age, indicating that the stereo-views must have been taken in c. 1862 [FIGS. 7-11].[41]

 

After settling at Clifton the MacDonalds joined the First Presbyterian Church of Staten Island, which had been founded in Stapleton on May 14, 1856. The MacDonalds attended the Clifton chapel of the Stapleton church, which had been founded at the Bay Street end of Townsend Avenue on August 3, 1856. The MacDonalds were closely involved in the life of the church and may have been amongst its founding members. Francis served as a deacon of the Clifton chapel for eleven years (1856-1867) before it united with the Stapleton church in 1868. Francis continued to serve as a deacon in the united church until his death in 1878.[42] Eliza was no less active in the church than her husband. A number of items in the MacDonald Scrapbook came from the desk of the Rev. J.E. Rockwell, D.D. of Brooklyn, who was minister of the Stapleton Church from 1868-1882. One may surmise that Eliza  acquired these items from Rockwell during his tenure.[43] In 1874-75 Eliza, together with a Mrs. John C. Green, provided $16,000 for the construction and furnishings of a new chapel on Gore Street. A number of invitation cards in the MacDonald Scrapbook dating to September and October 1875 may well be mementos of the opening of that building.[44] A commemorative history of the S.I. First Presbyterian Church stated that, "the abiding gratitude of this congregation will be forever due to these estimable women, for adding unto this church such delightful facilities for the happy work of the organization."[45] The family association with the First Presbyterian Church was continued in David Wallace MacDonald who became deacon in 1884.[46]

 

So as Francis had hoped, his family prospered, and on his death in 1878 the Governing Committee of the Produce Exchange published the following resolution: "That in the death of Francis MacDonald, the Produce Exchange has lost one of its oldest and most energetic members, who in his long connection with the export trade of this City, and ocean steam traffic, has contributed in a most effectual manner to the material development of this Metropolis."[47] It was not without reason that the following text was chosen to commemorate Francis on the family monument in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn: "Not slothful in business, Fervant in spirit, serving the Lord" [FIG. 23].[48]

 

The Collection

The prosperity of the MacDonalds explains their means to acquire a collection of antiquities, but surviving documents also sheds some light on their motivations. The 1848 Journal reveals that Francis was a well educated man who exemplified the Victorian ethos of self‑improvement through knowledge. He wrote: "Our great aim always ought to be to enlarge our minds as much as possible and there is is no definate point we can attain. The more we enlarge, the greater the capacity of enlargement and that enlargement can only take place from reading and reflection and a close habit of observance."[49] This interest in education and culture is confirmed by Francis' correspondance and his New York Times obituary, which noted that, "Mr. MacDonald was a man of fine feelings, cultivated by long travel in Europe and the United States. He was a lover of the arts, a student and collector of ceramics, and had a nice taste for the selection of bric‑a‑brac."[50]  Such ceramics and "bric‑a‑brac" were a contemporary euphemism for what would eventually enter SIIAS as the MacDonald Collection. Recovering the cultural inclinations of Elizabeth Wallace MacDonald is more difficult than those of her husband. All known documentation of the Collection is in the hand of Francis MacDonald, but one may presume that at the very least, Eliza acquiesced in his collecting, and had similar interests to her husband. Indeed, Eliza was a collector in her own right, compiling the MacDonald Scrapbook of autographs, letters and other memorabilia. A few letters in the Scrapbook show that Eliza's daughter Janet shared her mother's interests and wrote to public figures requesting their autographs.[51] Eliza's interest in history and connections with local scholars is reflected in these collected documents and her correpondence. Two letters in the Scrapbook, dated March 17 and May 21, 1881, were written to Eliza by the New York historian Martha J. Lamb (1829-1893).[52] Eliza had subscribed to Mrs. Lamb's History of the City of New York, and the letters indicate that the two women were friends of some years.[53]

 

The opportunity to collect antiquities apparently arose in the 1870's when the MacDonalds visited southern Italy. The Anchor Line had started a direct service from New York to Naples via Palermo in 1869, and another route from Glasgow to New York via Genoa, Naples and Palermo in 1870.[54] The Mediterranean routes proved highly profitable for freight, and by the mid 1870's the Anchor Line had expanded into tourism, offering travellers the choice of three round trips out of Glasgow and Liverpool [FIG. 4]. The fare for each "Round" was £30 British pounds sterling, and the packages were advertized as being of interest to "the scholar, the artist and the ordinary tourist, as well as the valetudinarians in search of health or desirous of escaping from the rigours of a northern climate." The "Italian Round", as it was termed, visited Lisbon, Gibraltar, Genoa, Leghorn, Naples, Messina, and Palermo. The so-called "Adriatic Round" stopped at Gibraltar, Palermo, Messina, Trieste, and Venice. A third route calling as far east as Alexandria in Egypt was also available.[55] Documents show that Francis and Eliza traveled to Europe on Anchor Line ships, and so it seems likely that they took advantage of these new Mediterranean services. It remains difficult, however, to pin-point exactly when these visits took place. Evidence unearthed to date (2004) suggests that couple visited Italy at least twice between 1870 and 1878. The earliest datable label in the collection is found on a matchbox containing mosaic tesserae and inscribed as collected "...from Pompeii and Herculaneum, October 10th, 1870."[56] It therefore seems likely that Francis (possibly accompanied by Eliza) could have first visited Italy as early as 1870, either on vacation or on company business. Passenger lists published in New York newspapers offer some clues as to their travels, but this record is far from comprehensive. On October 23, 1873, for example, Francis MacDonald and "a lady" (presumably Eliza) departed New York for Liverpool, England aboard the S.S. Victoria.[57] The Victoria was an Anchor Line steamship built in 1872, and Liverpool was a port of departure for the Mediterranean services.[58] Francis also had good contacts with other agents of the Anchor Line in Italy, for he arranged for some curiosities to be purchased and shipped directly to him in New York. In a letter dated Messina, 19 August, 1876, one L. Agresta informed Francis MacDonald in New York that "I shipped [on the] S.S. Italia (which boat left this on the 31st July) the following articles - No. 5 petrified fungus and 3 pieces white Indian corals - which I bought on board an Italian steamer coming from India, paying Lire 50.60 for the lot." Agresta paid for these items out of a sum of £246.20 apparently entrusted to him by Francis MacDonald.[59]

 

A more detailed picture of one of Francis' excursions to Italy is supplied by a list of souvenirs picked up by him at archaeological sites. This document comprises four pages torn from an accountant's ledger and written in Francis' own hand. Francis lists 67 separate fragments of marble, porphyry, tufa, and other stones, together with mosaic tesserae, plaster, and bricks. The findspots and collection dates of these souvenirs permit us to reconstruct an outline itinerary. Although no year is supplied by the list, the other documents discussed above suggest that this trip should be assigned to the mid 1870's.[60] Francis appears to have begun his journey at Naples and spent at least two months in Rome, returning via Naples, the straits of Messina and Gibraltar. Such an itinerary would easily fit the Anchor Line's "Italian Round." On February 18 Francis picked up shells from a beach at Baiae, and later in the same day he visited Pozzuoli to north of Naples. Here he collected "Egyptian marble chipped off one of the columns in the amphitheatre." By February 27 Francis was in Rome, where he remained during March and April, touring the ancient ruins. Francis pocketed souvenirs from the Roman Forum, the Palatine, the baths of Caracalla and Titus, and the Villa of Hadrian at Tivoli. Francis' notes offer additional details and indicate at least an informed knowledge of the sites. On February 20, Francis acquired a "[m]ural painting from the [house] of the Vestal Virgins" in the Roman Forum. On March 1, Francis picked up "m(ar)ble & plaster from Columbarium at the side of the Appian Way - on top of which is mosaic of skeleton & ΓΝΩI Cayton." On April 17 Francis visited the ancient catacombs and cemeteries along the Via Latina. Francis recorded no further dates until June 11 when he visited Herculaneum and Pompeii. Francis presumably departed from Naples and then probably traveled to Syracuse in Sicily and Gibraltar, where he appears to have picked up a few more keep-sakes.

 

Perhaps the most important document for the history of the Collection is a hand‑written inventory prepared by Francis MacDonald and dated Naples, 25 July, 1878, preparatory to shipping his acquisitions to the United States.[61] On the whole, the MacDonalds did not collect large pieces, avoiding the larger and more expensive antiquities, such as marble sculpture. Instead they concentrated on smaller, less expensive and portable items, such as terracotta figurines, vases, coins, and bronzes. The majority of the Classical antiquities in the inventory are of southern Italian origin, consisting of west Greek, Etruscan, Italic, Daunian, and Roman objects [FIGS. 12-15]. Although the descriptions are tantalizing brief, the inventory notes provenances for some of the antiquities. Listed findspots include Paestum, Nola, Capua, Pozzuoli, Stabiae, Bari, Cumae, and Pignatori. The same 1878 inventory notes that mosaic tesserae and "a slab, marble with inscription," were acquired in Pozzuoli on the Bay of Naples. MacDonald further records that other artifacts were "found in different parts of the Campagna Romano" south of Rome. It seems likely that many of these antiquities were excavated from Roman, Etruscan, and Greek cemeteries and sanctuaries in the region. A hand-written card associated with a Roman amphora in the Collection records that the vessel was recovered from the sea in the Bay of Naples, between the sites of Pozzuoli and Baiae. According to the card the amphora was bought for $75.[62] It therefore seems likely that the antiquities were purchased from dealers at Rome and Naples, who presumably supplied Francis with the proveniences.

 

The Egyptian antiquities in the MacDonald Collection did not result from a visit to Egypt, but rather formed part of a job lot of up to 70 miscellaneous items, including antique furniture, plate, engravings, and "curiosities" purchased from the Rev. Dr. Hermann Philip in 1877‑1878. Our knowledge of the Rev. Dr. Philip is based primarily upon the correspondence between Philip and Francis MacDonald preserved in the Macdonald Collection Papers concerning their business transaction. Other details of Philip's career can be gleaned from his miscellaneous publications and other documents. The Rev. Dr. Hermann Philip (1813‑1882) was a Protestant clergyman who held the degrees of Master and Doctorate of Divinity. Philip published small booklets on Jewish and Christian history, along with a commentary on the Bible published between 1859 and 1862.[63] A close reading of Philip's publications reveals a familiarity not only with Holy Scripture, but also with Classical and early Christian authors, as well as contemporary scholarship. Philip shared the outlook of many evangelical Protestants of the mid 19th century, who accepted the veracity of Holy Scripture and viewed their Christianity as a civilizing influence. Since at least 1850, Philip had travelled extensively in north Africa, Egypt, Malta, and the Levant before settling at Rome. Philip's travels were apparently connected with missionary work in the Mediterranean. His gravestone, located in the Protestant Cemetery in Rome, records that Philip was: "For 40 years missionary to his brethren the Jews; the last 12 years of his life in Rome" [FIG. 16].[64] Philip's publications reveal an abiding interest in the ancient Jews who became the first Christians, and Philip may even have seen himself performing an apostolic role towards the Jews of his own day. As Philip's epitaph concluded, "In the Lord, shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory."[65]

 

Philip combined his missionary work in the Mediterranean with an interest in early Christian history and antiquities. These pursuits found expression in Philip's known publications. Philip himself records a visit to Egypt in 1853 and it appears that he became fluent in Arabic, publishing a volume on Arabic Grammar in 1855.[66] In 1859 Philip published a small booklet entitled Sketches from the History of the Church in northern Africa, and of her Martyrs. The "Preface" to this work was written while Philip was visiting Leipzig in Prussia, perhaps an indication that Philip had German connections. Philip had visited Algeria and welcomed the French occupation of the country: "In 1850, when the author visited Algiers, there were only two churches and three pastors in the whole of Algeria; now (1859) there are no less than nine Protestant churches, with their respective pastors, and many more small Protestant communities still without churches and pastors."[67] Philip clearly intended his booklet to stimulate interest in the ancient Christian history of north Africa, perhaps with the intention of establishing Christian missions there. In his "Preface" Philip wrote: "[The Author] will feel himself fully repaid for his labours if by these pages an increased interest will be awakened for a part of the world which has been so much over looked in the mission of the Church." The money raised by the booklet may even have been intended for this pastoral work, for a paper label on the title page states that "...[subsc]riptions... will be gratefully received by the Rev. [vacat] Smeaton, Eton Terr[ace and] Dr. Philip."[68] Philip's praise for the British and Foreign Bible Society, an evangelical movement dedicated "to encourage a wider circulation of the Holy Scriptures," may imply an association with that organization.[69]

 

According to his epitaph, Philip had settled permanently in Rome by 1870, accompanied by his second wife Elisabeth (1850-1872).[70] In 1875 Philip published a pamphlet entitled The Ghetto in Rome which offers further insights on his travels and career. Philip wrote: "When I first came to Rome about nine years ago after having for many years seen and taken an interest in the ruins of Northern Africa, including Egypt, Palestine and Syria, I made it a point to study the monuments of Rome. I was above all anxious to visit that part of Rome where the Jews were located, even before Christ..."[71] The pamphlet reveals Philip as a historian and advocate of the Jewish community of Rome, and he deplored Jewish persecution under the "priestly tyranny" of Papal rule. Philip applauded the emancipation of the Jews after the liberation of Rome in 1870, but he also saw opportunities for Protestant missions. He wrote: "Nothing will materially improve [the Jews] so much as the institutions of education and industry for both sexes... What an opening is here for Christian enterprise, for ladies to teach and reform them... Many of the Jews now frequent the places where evangelical worship is held, and it may be hoped that God will not leave these efforts without abundant blessings..."[72] Philip's missionary zeal is further alluded to in a letter to Francis MacDonald, dated February 14, 1878, where Philip regrets his inability "to collect money [in America] for our work here."[73]

 

The exact circumstances by which Philip came into contact with Francis MacDonald remain obscure, but the two men corresponded and may even have met in Rome. By 1878 Philip was an elderly widower residing at 41 Via della Croce in Rome. In his letter dated February 14, 1878 to Francis MacDonald, Philip explained his reasons for disposing of his effects: "As I take not much interest any more in the things of this world, I am anxious to dispose of all my things which I have still, such as antiquities, carved furniture, table, chairs, [.....]; as well as also my wife's paintings, and all for far under their value, should you or any of your friends like to have them, Mr. Lauce is a good judge, and knows the price is as good as any here in Rome. The fact is too that I have a large family, and find that money is more necessary than all these things."[74] MacDonald correspondence suggests that Francis intended to acquire European ceramics and objets d'art in order to re-sell them in New York for a profit. Francis had written to one W.C. Irvine of New York on May 28th, 1878, asking his advice on purchasing ceramics. In his reply, dated June 7, Irvine wrote: "My knowledge of potteries [sic!] relates more to the old than the modern... To buy these with reference to selling again at a profit for benevolent purposes, would require an expert to examine each specimen before purchase. But I take it for granted your enquiry relates to modern works of various nations, and these have a regular commercial value, of which I have knowledge... It occurs to me as first possible that a judicious selection of high class work of some of the continenetal factories of Europe might be sold at remunerative prices, but here you have the experience of dealers from whom you seek advice which I am not competant to give." Irvine recommended "a well selected lot" of modern Sèvres and Copenhagen porcelain, since "people here have a notion that all Sèvres porcelain is rare and valuable." He also recommended Russian porcelain since "they are very beautiful, (and) might attract attention."[75] The purchase of Philip's belongings at knock-down prices must have seemed an excellent investment at the time.

 

The sale must have taken place in the spring of 1878. Four pages survive of a hand‑written catalog of sale prepared by Philip, listing 70 items sold to MacDonald. Each item is briefly described along with the sale price. This document, together with subsequent correspondence between Philip and Francis MacDonald, offer important information on the provenance of the objects, as well as the personal interests of the two men. The sale comprised an eclectic mix of furniture, objets d'art, and modern ceramics, along with Jewish souvenirs and other curiosities. Prominent in the sale catalog are Philip's collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities, including bronze statuettes, funerary shabtis, and scarabs. Philip must have acquired most of these artifacts while visiting Egypt and the Levant in the 1850's. The majority of the antiquities date to the so-called Late Dynastic period (7th‑4th centuries BCE), and the Ptolemaic, Roman and Byzantine eras (323 BCE ‑ CE 640). Many of the Egyptian antiquities listed in the sale catalogue were bequeathed to SIIAS in 1911 and are now on display in the SIIAS@CSI exhibit at the College of Staten Island Library [FIGS. 17-20]. Some entries in the sale catalog offer some insight on Philip's taste. Catalog entry #66 reads: "A pilgrim staff from Mecca, ebony laid in with mother of pearl ‑ broken in the middle and mended." Entry #69 reads: "A large watch silver case, outside case in tortoiseshell, with repeater. Not in working order. The watch is curious; it belonged to Mohammed Ali of Egypt. Description given how it came into my hand." Whether such curiosities were also donated to SIIAS requires further research. On January 26, 1878, MacDonald wrote to Philip with a list of questions, requesting more information about the identity and provenance of the antiquities. In his reply, dated 14 February, 1878, Philip offered clarifications, noting that, "All would be a great acquisition to any museum." Philip's clerical education and interest in antiquity is apparent from his 1875 pamphlet and the scope of his collection, which reveal him as a pious dilettante. Some of Philip's responses to Macdonald's questions offer fanciful interpretations drawing upon Christian Scriptures; others are more prosaic. Concerning sale catalogue item #12, MacDonald had written: "#12 ‑ Was this found at Heliopolis? If so, why was it there and not in the land of Israel?" Philip wrote in reply: "#12. Found near Samaria: two of them, by a dragoman, the one I bought, the second was bought by a Jew, an antiquarian in Malta, by the name of Neersiah, who sold it to an English gentleman whom I saw in Malta at the time in 1858, he gave £27 for it." Regarding item #58 MacDonald wrote: "How old? any history to them?" Philip responded, "I bought it in Cairo in 1853." A few items purchased by Francis are of Jewish origin and must have been acquired by Philip in the course of his missionary work. These include a manuscript of the Book of Esther and a Jewish marriage certificate written in Hebrew, both of which were later bequeathed to the Staten Island Institute.[76] Eight stones listed by Francis' with his Italian souvenirs were reputedly from Egypt. Item #9 is described as "p[o]ss[ibly?] of Pompey's Pillar" in Alexandria, while #10, #33 and #57 are said to be from the "Pyramid of Cheops". Nos. #44 and #46 are listed as found "near Pyramids", and #56 is named as from the "Citadel, Cairo." #64 is described as "Piece of the Temple Jerusalem." Unlike the other stones in the list, none of the Egyptian items have acquisition dates. Given the origin of other Egyptian objects in the MacDonald Collection, it seems likely that these stones were also bought from Philip.[77] Further research is needed establish a concordance between the antiquities described in the SIIAS documents and the objects donated in 1911, but old artifact labels and pencilled numbers may yet offer clues.

 

In early summer 1878 the MacDonalds prepared to return from Italy to the United States, probably due to Francis' declining health. The New York Times Obituary records that Francis suffered from consumption (tuberculosis) for two years before his death in 1878, and so the mild climate of the Bay of Naples may have been considered more conducive to his health.[78] For shipping and insurance purposes, Francis MacDonald prepared a hand‑written inventory of antiquities and other belongings dated Naples, Italy, 25 July, 1878. The objects were packed in "two boxes and one trunk" and shipped to New York aboard the Anchor Line steamships SS Acadia (built in 1866, rebuilt 1874) and SS Anglia (built in 1870) [FIG. 21].[79] As planned, Francis sold some of his most recent acquisitions soon after returning to New York, for the New York Times 1878 obituary noted that, "A collection of articles of vertu made by him was recently sold in the this City."[80] Francis MacDonald was in fragile health, however, and he died aged fifty-three of tuberculosis at home in Clifton, Staten Island, on November 6, 1878. Obituaries of Francis were published in the New York Times (November 9, 1878) and in the Richmond Advance, the precursor to the Staten Island Advance. Francis was buried at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY, where Eliza was to join him over 30 years later.

 

Nothing is known of the history of the collection in the latter part of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Eliza continued to live at the Clifton house, where the collection was presumably stored until her death [FIG. 22]. Eliza appears to have compiled the MacDonald Scrapbook in her widowhood and supported progressive causes, even in old age.  She was one of the founder members of The Woman's Club of Staten Island, founded in 1893 as a society initially dedicated to "Reform, Sanitation, and Philanthropy." Elizabeth served as Vice‑President of the Club in 1894‑95, and then as President in 1895‑96.[81] In 1896 Eliza was elected as a director of the Board of Lady Managers of the Staten Island Hospital.[82] Eliza continued to travel in her old age, sometimes accompanied by her grand-daughter, May MacDonald. On July 27, 1895, for instance, Eliza and May sailed on the S.S. Anchoria, an Anchor Line ship, for Glasgow Scotland, presumably to visit relatives and to tour the places of her youth.[83] Eliza died at home aged eighty-two on August 21, 1911.[84] Her epitaph may be interpreted as a tribute to her work for worthy causes: "Worthy of the Lord, unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work" (Col. 1:10) [FIG. 23].[85]

 

Epilogue: The MacDonald Collection at SIIAS

On the death of his mother in 1911, David Wallace MacDonald (1854‑1939) offered his parents' collection to the Staten Island Museum (the precursor to the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences), along with other "bric‑a‑brac" [FIG. 24]. In addition to the antiquities, the latter category also included "scientific" specimens, geological samples, and examples of the decorative arts. These objects were presumably dispersed to different curatorial departments within SIIAS; their identification is still in progress. Letters documenting the donation process between November 1911 and March 1912 are preserved in the SIIAS archives.[86] Between 1911‑1912 the collection was inventoried by Dr. Edward Robinson, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The oval paper inventory labels applied by Robinson are still a distinctive feature of the MacDonald objects. The artifacts were assigned four digit "A" or "C" numbers, presumably for the designations "Antiquity" and "Classical" respectively. After preliminary negotiations, the collection was duly installed on the ground floor of the Staten Island Museum, then located in the Norvell House on Stuyvesant Place. On March 8, 1912, J. Quincy Adams, the Acting Secretary of the Museum wrote to David Wallace MacDonald: "[The art objects] are now admirably displayed in seven large cases. There are large placards conspicuously placed announcing that this is the Mrs. Francis MacDonald Collection."[87] In gratitude for the bequest the Trustees of the Association of Arts & Sciences made David Wallace MacDonald a patron of the Association. A notice placed in the Association Bulletin for January 1912 recorded that the MacDonald bequest included "many pieces of Egyptian, Roman, and Greek antiquities, as well as modern pottery."[88]

 

The MacDonald display was dismantled following the removal of SIIAS to its new 75 Stuyvesant Place building in 1918. Since then some items from the Collection have featured in temporary exhibits, but the bulk of the antiquities remained in storage, unstudied and unpublished. A number of vases, terracottas and metalwork appeared for the first time in the exhibition and catalogue "From the Shipwreck of Time: 100 Greek & Roman Antiquities" staged in 1965.[89] Two Classical vases and a terracotta figurine from the MacDonald collection also featured in the 1981 SIIAS Centenary exhibit. Photographs and brief descriptions were reproduced in the Art Collection Handbook that accompanied the event. A passing reference was also made to the MacDonald Collection in the introduction to this Handbook.[90]

 

A new phase in the history of the MacDonald collection began in late 1999 when the present co‑curators, Professors Eric Ivison and Linda Roccos, learned of its existence and approached SIIAS staff. In 2000 an exhibit of the antiquities opened in the CSI College Library entitled SIIAS@CSI. Webpages were developed to use the antiquities as a teaching and study collection for undergraduate and graduate students (SIIAS@CSI Archaeology Study Collection: www.library.csi.cuny.edu/siias/). One is pleased to record here a debt of gratitude to SIIAS for engaging in this exciting collaboration, of which this essay is one of the fruits. Now the MacDonald Collection is being studied by a new generation of students and scholars who are rediscovering its history.

 

 

   Works Cited

 

Unpublished Archival Documents

 

MacDonald Collection Papers, SIIAS Archives (presented in chronological order)

 

Anonymous: Amphora. "This description relates to the oldest of the MacDonald amphora." Undated - 1870's? Handwritten in ink on card. One sheet.

 

L. Agresta: Letter to Francis MacDonald in New York, dated Messina, Italy, 19 August 1876. Handwritten in ink on paper. One page.

 

Francis MacDonald: Catalogue of stones and other materials. Undated - mid 1870's? Handwritten in pencil on four sheets from an accountant's ledger (now separated into 8 pieces).

 

Francis MacDonald: List of questions to the Rev. Dr. H. Philip, dated January 26, 1878. Handwritten in ink on paper. Four pages.

 

Rev. Dr. H. Philip: Catalogue of collection of antiquities and other items sold to Francis MacDonald. Undated. Late 1877-before January 26, 1878. Handwritten in ink on paper. Four pages.

 

Rev. Dr. H. Philip: Letter to Francis MacDonald, dated February 14, 1878. Handwritten in ink on paper. Attached to this letter were Philip's "Answers to the Questions" about the antiquities. Three pages

 

Rev. Dr. H. Philip: Answers to the Questions, addressed to Francis Macdonald, dated February 14, 1878. Handwritten in ink on paper. Four pages.

 

Francis MacDonald: Inventory of antiquities and other belongings shipped aboard the S.S. Anglia and the S.S. Acadia for New York City. Dated Naples, Italy, July 25, 1878. Handwritten in ink on paper. Four pages.

 

C. L. Pollard, Curator‑in‑Chief of the Staten Island Museum: Letter to David Wallace MacDonald concerning the MacDonald bequest, dated October 3, 1911. Carbon copy on paper. One page.

 

David Wallace MacDonald: Letter to C. L. Pollard concerning the MacDonald Bequest, dated November 27, 1911. Type‑written and ink on paper. One page.

 

David Wallace MacDonald: Letter to J. Quincy Adams concerning the MacDonald Bequest, dated February 19, 1912. Type‑written and ink on paper. One page.

 

J. Quincy Adams, Acting Secretary of Staten Island Museum: Letter to D. Wallace MacDonald concerning the MacDonald Bequest. Carbon copy on paper, dated March 8, 1912. One page.

 

Gail K. Schneider: Letter to J.N. Jacobsen, Jr., dated July 17, 1964. Type‑written and ink on paper. One page.

 

 

MacDonald Family Papers (shared by MacDonald descendants, presented in chronological order).

 

Francis MacDonald: Journal of the Voyage to America on Board the Barque Augusta for Mrs. E MacDonald. Handwritten in ink on paper notebook, dated Sept. 16 to October 28, 1848.

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson: Letter of Introduction for Francis MacDonald, dated London, April 21, 1848. Handwritten in ink on paper. Two pages.

 

Revd. Henry Ward Beecher: Certificate of Marriage for Francis and Elizabeth Macdonald, dated Brooklyn, NY, September 21, 1850. Handwritten in ink on paper. One page.

 

Court of Common Pleas for the City and County of New York, NY, Certificate of Naturalization for Francis MacDonald, dated New York, October 30, 1856. One printed page.

 

MacDonald Scrapbook, compiled by Eliza Wallace Macdonald, c. 1880's.

Inside cover: Francis MacDonald: Letter with poem addressed to Eliza Wallace, dated January 1844. Handwritten in ink on paper, 2 pages.

p. 1:     John M. Cook: Letter to Francis MacDonald, dated Boston, April 1, 1867.

p. 3:     John M. Cook: Letter to Francis MacDonald, dated London, March 27, 1867.

p. 11:   James McCosh: Letter to Mrs. Francis MacDonald, dated Princeton, NJ, August 14, 1876.

p. 41:   George M. Pralloch, Brig. Gen. U.S. Army, War Dept., Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands, Washington D.C.: Letter to Francis MacDonald, 7 Bowling Green, New York, dated Washington D.C., July 21, 1870.

p. 50: Martha J. Lamb: Letter to Eliza MacDonald, dated New York, March 17, 1881; Letter to Eliza             MacDonald, dated New York, May 21, 1881.

p. 53: James N. Tyner, U.S. Postmaster General: Letter to Messrs. Henderson Brothers, New York, undated.

p. 61: E.S. Plummer, Theological Seminary, Columbia, SC: Letter to Mrs. Semple dated July 10, 1876.

p. 87:   J.W. Dana, Ret. Brig. Gen. U.S. Army, U.S. Quartermaster's Office: Letter to Henderson Brothers dated Philadelphia, May 8, 1877.

p. 101a: Ralph Waldo Emerson: Letter of Introduction for Francis MacDonald, dated London, April 21, 1848. Handwritten in ink on paper, 2 pages.

p. 155: H. Brugsun(?) Bey, Commissioner General of the Khedive of Egypt: Letter to Henderson Brothers, New York, Bowling Green 7, dated Philadelphia, January 28, 1876.

Loose: W.C. Irvine: Letter from  to Francis MacDonald, dated New York, May 28th, 1878.

 

 

MacDonald Family Photographs

 

A stereo-view set of 9 prints:

            "Roseneath Cottage, 120 Townsend Avenue, Clifton, Staten Island; view of front of house with Eliza, David Wallace and Janet MacDonald." Hand-painted stereo-view albumen print, c. 1862.

            "Roseneath Cottage, 120 Townsend Avenue, Clifton, Staten Island; view of rear of house." Hand-painted stereo-view albumen print, c. 1862.

            "Francis MacDonald." Hand-painted stereo-view albumen print, c. 1862.

            "Eliza Wallace MacDonald." Hand-painted stereo-view albumen print, c. 1862.

            "David Wallace MacDonald." Hand-painted stereo-view albumen print, c. 1862.

            "David Wallace MacDonald dressed in MacDonald tartan." Hand-painted stereo-view albumen print, c. 1862.

            "Jeannette MacLeod MacDonald dressed in MacDonald tartan." Hand-painted stereo-view albumen print, c. 1862.

            "View of MacDonald family burial plot at Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY." Hand-painted stereo-view albumen print, c. 1862.

            "View of MacDonald family plot at Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, NY." Hand-painted stereo-view albumen print, c. 1862.

 

"Francis MacDonald." Cyanotype print, c. 1870's.

"Eliza Wallace MacDonald." Albumen print, c. 1880's.

"Eliza Wallace MacDonald." Albumen print, c. 1880's.

"David Wallace MacDonald." Albumen print, c. 1880's.

 

Staten Island Surrogate Court Records Office

Property Deeds, Richmond County, Staten Island NY, 1855-1860.

 

Unpublished Epigraphy

Epitaph of Francis and Eliza MacDonald: MacDonald Family Grave, Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York.

 

Newspaper Collections

Anonymous, "Bankruptcy Notices," Brooklyn Eagle, Wednesday, May 27, 1868, p. 4.

Anonymous. "Produce Exchange Necrology" (Francis MacDonald). New York Times, November 9, 1878.

Anonymous. "Francis MacDonald's Funeral." Richmond Advance, November 1878.

Anonymous. Eliza Wallace MacDonald, death notice. New York Times, August 23, 1911, p. 7.

 

Maps

Map of Staten Island, Richmond County, NY. New York: D.A. Fax, 1859.

Atlas of Staten Island. Staten Island: Beers, 1874. Section 9, "Part of Stapleton and Clifton."

 

Published Works

Art Collection Handbook Staten Island Museum, 1881-1981. 100 Selected works of art from the permanent collection. New York: Staten Island Museum, 1981.

From the Shipwreck of Time: 100 Greek & Roman Antiquities. New York: Staten Island Museum, 1965.

Fish, Jr., H.M. "Five Emerson Letters," American Literature 27 (1955): 25-30.

Fisk Wood, Rev. Wilbur, The Origin and Growth of the First Presbyterian Church of Edgewater, S.I. An Historical Sketch. New York, December, 1894.

Lamb, Martha J. History of the city of New York: its origin, rise, and progress, 3 volumes. New York: A.S. Barnes, 1877-1896.

Lasch, J. The Women's Club of Staten Island, a Centennial Journal. New York: 1993.

Leng, Charles W., and Davis, William T., Staten Island and Its People. A History 1609-1929, volume I. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1930.

Jackson, K.T., ed. The Encyclopedia of New York City. New Haven-London: Yale UP, 1995.

McLellan, R.S., Anchor Line 1856-1956. Glasgow: Anchor Line Limited, 1956.

Philip, Revd. Dr. H. An Arabic Grammar. Edinburgh: Schenk and McFarlane, 1855.

Philip, Revd. Dr. H. The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments. With notes by J. Brown and extracts from the best Biblical authors. London: J. Hagger, 1859-1862.

Philip, Revd. Dr. H. Sketches from the History of the Church in northern Africa, and of her Martyrs. Dublin: G. Herbert, 1859.

Philip, Revd. Dr. H. The Ghetto in Rome: as it was, and as it is, and Rome's Great Show. Florence: Claudian Press, 1875.

Proceedings of the Staten Island Association of Arts and Sciences, IV, pts. i - ii (October 1911-May 1912).

Staten Island Association of Arts and Sciences. Museum Bulletin 42 (January 1912).

 

Internet Sources

The Protestant Cemetery at Rome Catalogue, ed. Sebastian Rahtz. Rome: January 2000.

http://www.dkinst‑rom.dk/protcem/

http://www.dkinst‑rom.dk/protcem/work/pcEN.html

http://www.dkinst‑rom.dk/protcem/work/cem.pdf

 

SAFE - Ships Arriving From Europe

http://www.cimorelli.com/cgi-bin/safescripts/select1820c.ASP?ShipName=augusta&Sortname=&whichpage=3

 

SIIAS@CSI Archaeology Study Collection for Ancient and Medieval Civilizations

http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/siias/

 

 

ENDNOTES

 

 



[1]. Staten Island Association of Arts and Sciences. Museum Bulletin 42 (January 1912): 1.

[2]. Art Collection Handbook Staten Island Museum, 1881-1981. 100 Selected works of art from the permanent collection (New York, 1981), vii.

[3]. Proceedings of the Staten Island Association of Arts and Sciences, IV, parts i and ii (October 1911-May 1912): 71, 75.

[4]. Staten Island Association of Arts and Sciences. Museum Bulletin 42 (January 1912): 1.

[5]. Art Collection Handbook: 4-6, nos. 4-6.

[6]. We would like to thank the SIIAS Trustees, Elizabeth Egbert, SIIAS Executive Director and President, and Mr. Bart Bland (exhibitions manager until Fall 2004) for the generous loan of these objects, and for their continuing support of this pioneering project. Since 2000 the SIIAS@CSI collaboration has successfully developed a number of loan exhibitions in the College of Staten Island Library, together with web-based resources for student instruction and research.

[7]. MacDonald Collection Papers: Gail K. Schneider: Letter to J.N. Jacobsen, Jr., dated July 17, 1964.

[8]. Francis' birth record in the Parish register of Row, Dunbarton, names his father as one Lewis MacDonald, a merchant of Helensburgh (Row Parish Register, microfilm ref. 503/2, Frame 227). I am grateful to Barbara Gardner for providing me with copies of these parish records.

[9]. The Parish Register of Elie, in the modern county of Fife, Scotland (microfilm, ref. 427/3, frame 683) cites Eliza's birthdate as 7 January, 1825, some four years earlier than the apparently erroneous birthdate of 1829 inscribed on the MacDonald family monument at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. Eliza's father is described in the Parish Register as a currier or tanner of leather. I am grateful to Barbara Gardner for providing me with copies of these parish records.

[10]. MacDonald Family Papers: MacDonald Scrapbook, inside cover.

[11].  MacDonald Family Papers: Francis MacDonald: Journal of the Voyage to America on Board the Barque Augusta for Mrs. E MacDonald, Sept. 16 to October 28, 1848.

[12]. Webpage: SAFE - Ships Arriving From Europe.

[13]. MacDonald Family Papers: Revd. Henry Ward Beecher: Certificate of Marriage for Francis and Elizabeth Macdonald, dated Brooklyn, NY, September 21, 1850.

[14]. MacDonald Family Papers: Francis MacDonald, Certificate of Naturalization, dated October 30, 1856.

[15]. MacDonald Family Papers: MacDonald Scrapbook. James McCosh: Letter to Mrs. Francis MacDonald, dated Princeton, NJ, August 14, 1876, p. 11.

[16]. H.M. Fish, Jr., "Five Emerson Letters," American Literature 27 (1955): 25-30.

[17]. MacDonald Family Papers: MacDonald Scrapbook, p. 133.

[18]. MacDonald Family Papers: MacDonald Scrapbook, p. 101 [a].

[19]. Anonymous. "Produce Exchange Necrology" (Francis MacDonald). New York Times, November 9, 1878.

[20]. K.T. Jackson, ed., Encyclopedia of New York City (New Haven-London: Yale UP, 1995), 840.

[21].Brooklyn Eagle, Wednesday, May 27, 1868, p. 4, "Bankruptcy Notices."

[22]. "Produce Exchange Necrology," New York Times, Nov. 9, 1878.

[23]. For the history of the Anchor Line in this period see generally R.S. McLellan. Anchor Line 1856-1956 (Glasgow: Anchor Line Limited, 1956), 13-48.

[24]. Ibid., 14 and 26 ff.

[25]. "Produce Exchange Necrology," New York Times, Nov. 9, 1878.

[26]. McLellan, Anchor Line, 44, 51.

[27].Ibid., 28.

[28]. Ibid., 39.

[29]. Ibid., advertisement reproduced on page 51.

[30]. MacDonald Family Papers: MacDonald Scrapbook, pp. 41, 53, 87.

[31]. MacDonald Family Papers: MacDonald Scrapbook, p. 155.

[32]. John Steele Gordon, A Thread Across the Ocean. The Heroic Story of the Transatlantic Cable (New York: Walker Co., 2002), 172-208.

[33]. MacDonald Family Papers: MacDonald Scrapbook, p. 3.

[34]. MacDonald Family Papers: MacDonald Scrapbook, p. 1.

[35].Staten Island Surrogate Court Records Office: Property Deeds, Richmond County, Staten Island NY, 1855-1860, pages 197-200.

[36]. Map of Staten Island, Richmond County, NY. New York: D.A. Fax, 1859.

[37]. Patricia M. Salmon, All Aboard: 19th Century Staten Island Railroads (Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences: Staten Island, 2003), 1-3.

[38]. Atlas of Staten Island. Staten Island: Beers, 1874. Section 9, "Part of Stapleton and Clifton," shows the MacDonald properties on Townsend Avenue, Clifton.

[39]. Anonymous. Eliza MacDonald Obituary. New York Times, August 23, 1911, page 7.

[40]. MacDonald Family Papers, "Roseneath Cottage, 120 Townsend Avenue, Clifton, Staten Island." Stereo-view albumen print, c. 1862.

[41]. The stereo-views were taken by the commercial photographer J. Loeffler of Tompkinsville, Staten Island.

[42]. Rev. Wilbur Fisk Wood, The Origin and Growth of the First Presbyterian Church of Edgewater, S.I. An Historical Sketch (New York, December, 1894), 4-6. I am grateful to Barbara Gardner for providing me with a photocopy of this rare publication; Leng and Davis, Staten Island and Its People, 447.

[43]. MacDonald Family Papers: MacDonald Scrapbook, pages 70, , 71, 74, 94, 112, 153.

[44]. MacDonald Family Papers: MacDonald Scrapbook, p. 42, 136.

[45]. Fisk Wood, First Presbyterian Church of Edgewater, 5-6.

[46]. Ibid., 6, 8.

[47]. "Produce Exchange Necrology," New York Times, Nov. 9, 1878.

[48]. Epitaph of Francis and Eliza MacDonald: MacDonald Family Grave, Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York.

[49]. MacDonald Family Papers: Francis MacDonald, Journal.

[50]. "Produce Exchange Necrology," New York Times, Nov. 9, 1878.

[51]. MacDonald Family Papers: MacDonald Scrapbook, p. 61.

[52]. MacDonald Family Papers: MacDonald Scrapbook, p. 50.

[53]. Martha J. Lamb, History of the city of New York: its origin, rise, and progress, 3 volumes (New York: A.S. Barnes, 1877-1896).

[54]. McLellan, Anchor Line, 30, 33, 36-37.

[55]. McLellan, Anchor Line, 36-37.

[56]. SIIAS inv. no. X50.30.44.

[57]. Anonymous. "Passengers Sailed." New York Times, October 23, 1873, page 8.

[58]. McLellan, Anchor Line, 148.

[59]. MacDonald Collection Papers: L. Agresta: Letter to Francis MacDonald in New York, dated Messina, Italy, 19 August 1876.

[60]. MacDonald Collection Papers: Francis MacDonald. Catalogue of stones and other materials. Undated - mid 1870's? Handwritten in pencil on four sheets from an accountant's ledger, now separated into 8 pieces.

[61]. MacDonald Collection Papers: Francis MacDonald: Inventory of antiquities and other belongings.

[62]. MacDonald Collection Papers: Anonymous. Amphora card.

[63]. Rev. Dr. H. Philip. The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments. With notes by J. Brown and extracts from the best Biblical authors (London: J. Hagger, 1859-62).

[64]. The Protestant Cemetery at Rome Catalogue, ed. Sebastian Rahtz. Rome: January 2000, pages 185‑186, Stone #1813.

[65]. Ibid.

[66]. Rev. Dr. H. Philip. An Arabic Grammar (Edinburgh: Schenk and McFarlane, 1855).

[67]. Philip. Sketches from the History of the Church in northern Africa, 29,

[68]. Ibid., pages iv, and i, and title page.

[69]. Philip, Revd. Dr. H. The Ghetto in Rome: as it was, and as it is, and Rome's Great Show (Florence: Claudian Press, 1875), 55.

[70]. Protestant Cemetery at Rome Catalogue, ed. Rahtz, pages 185‑186, stone #1813 (Hermann Philip), stone #1642 (Elisabeth Philip, died at Rome 1872).

[71]. Ibid., 7, n. 1.

[72]. Ibid., 42‑43.

[73]. MacDonald Collection Papers: Rev. Dr. H. Philip: Letter to Francis MacDonald, dated February 14, 1878. 

[74]. MacDonald Collection Papers: Rev. Dr. H. Philip: Letter to Francis MacDonald, dated February 14, 1878.

[75]. MacDonald Family Papers: MacDonald Scrapbook. W.C. Irvine: Letter to Francis MacDonald, dated New York, May 28th, 1878.

[76]. MacDonald Collection Papers: H. Philip: Catalogue of collection of antiquities and other items sold to Francis MacDonald, pp. 3-4, #55 and #57.

[77]. MacDonald Collection Papers: Francis MacDonald. Catalogue of stones and other materials. Undated - mid 1870's? Handwritten in pencil on four sheets from an accountant's ledger, now separated into 8 pieces.

[78]. "Produce Exchange Necrology." New York Times, November 9, 1878.

[79]. MacDonald Collection Papers: Francis MacDonald: Inventory of antiquities and other belongings.

[80]. "Produce Exchange Necrology." New York Times, November 9, 1878.

[81]. J. Lasch, The Women's Club of Staten Island, a Centennial Journal (New York: 1993), 10‑11.

[82]. Anonymous. "City and Vicinity. Staten Island." New York Times, January 21, 1896, p. 8.

[83]. Anonymous. "Departures for Europe." New York Times, July 27, 1895.

[84]. Anonymous. Eliza Wallace MacDonald, death notice. New York Times, August 23, 1911, p. 7.

[85]. Epitaph of Francis and Eliza MacDonald: MacDonald Family Grave, Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York (unpublished).

[86]. MacDonald Collection Papers: C. L. Pollard, Curator‑in‑Chief of the Staten Island Museum: Letter to David Wallace MacDonald concerning the MacDonald bequest, dated October 3, 1911; David Wallace MacDonald: Letter to C. L. Pollard concerning the MacDonald Bequest, dated November 27, 1911; David Wallace MacDonald: Letter to J. Qincy Adams concerning the MacDonald Bequest, dated February 19, 1912; J. Quincy Adams, Acting Secretary of Staten Island Museum: Letter to D. Wallace MacDonald concerning the MacDonald Bequest. Carbon copy on paper, dated March 8, 1912.

[87]. MacDonald Collection Papers: J. Quincy Adams, Acting Secretary of Staten Island Museum: Letter to D. Wallace MacDonald concerning the MacDonald Bequest. Carbon copy on paper, dated March 8, 1912.

[88]. Staten Island Association of Arts and Sciences. Museum Bulletin 42 (January 1912).

[89]. From the Shipwreck of Time: 100 Greek & Roman Antiquities (New York: Staten Island Museum, 1965), .

[90]. Art Collection Handbook, 4-6, nos. 4-6.