Frederick H. Jackson Papers
Insurance executive and politician, Providence, R.I.
Papers, 1870-1912 (bulk, 1899-1909)
Size: 1 linear foot
Catalog number: MSS 990
Processed by: Rick Stattler, June 1996
©Rhode Island Historical Society
Frederick H. Jackson (1847-1915) was born in Kirkland, N.Y., the son of Rev. Frederick J. and Hannah M. Jackson. He graduated from Cornell University in 1873 and entered the insurance industry. He also served as the lieutenant colonel of the New York militia. He came to Providence, R.I. in 1891, as a manager for Mutual Life Insurance; there, he became active in the board of trade. He was elected Lt. Governor of Rhode Island in 1904 as a Republican, and served from January of 1905 to January of 1908. In 1907, he ran against the incumbent Governor James H. Higgins, but was defeated. After leaving office, he formed the investment banking partnership of Jackson & Scott with banker James M. Scott (1850-1925)
In 1874, he married Annie Blanchard Ellis (d. 1914). Among their children were prominent Providence architect Frederick Ellis Jackson (1879-1950) and a daughter, Elizabeth Blanchard Jackson who married Erik Hastings Green.
See the official Rhode Island state guides for 1905, 1906 and 1907; and Jackson's obituary, Providence Daily Journal, 7/29/1915. For Frederick Jr., see the Journal, 2/10/1950, and also a biographical essay in Buildings on Paper.
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Scope and content:
The bulk of this collection consists of Jackson's personal correspondence files from 1899 to 1909. There are also speeches given by Jackson for peace conferences and his gubernatorial campaigns, a few early letters from his wife and son, correspondence as a real estate agent from 1910 to 1912, and Jackson's commission as Lt. Governor from 1906.
The bulk of the correspondence consists of routine attention to Jackson's personal finances: investments, expenses, favorite charities. There are some social letters, and the topics of business and politics certainly come up periodically. Occasionally, there will be a letter signed as Lt. Governor, probably written when out of his office.
One interesting letter from his friend and business partner James M. Scott, dated May 1, 1907, proposes their partnership in an investment firm: "We are old enough that people will trust us with their affairs...While I do not see a fortune I do see business in it and we shall come in touch with the best people...Now if you have the sand to drop what you have and take the chance with me I think I shall say yes...As I have declined the presidency of the Unitarian Club, you will have to look out for the religious end while I will attend to the gamblers and the horse thieves and the like."
The correspondence files also contain letters to and from Governor George H. Utter and Senator George P. Wetmore (1846-1921), though not very substantial ones.
There is also a file from Jackson's involvement in the issues of peace and international arbitration. Jackson spoke at two conferences on the subject in 1904, from the commercial perspective. He declared that "nothing could be more natural than the union of men of peace with the men of trade...even our great American Life Insurance Companies, marvels of financial development and strength, are fast becoming a factor in international comity."
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The collection was donated in 1996 by Ms. Elliot Green Chesebrough and Theodore Francis Green II, grandchildren of Elizabeth B. (Jackson) Green through her son Burgess Green.
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The collection was donated in poor condition, though it still retained Jackson's original organization. Most of the material is insect-damaged, and much of it has significant inactive mold. During processing, the letter book was removed from its cover. The correspondence files were removed from three metal binders, two of which were extremely rusted and decomposed. The various loose papers were brushed free of dust to the extent possible. About one quarter of the collection is still in very poor condition (and has been isolated in box 1). At least this portion should eventually be microfilmed or photocopied onto archival paper.
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1. Unfiled letters received, 1903-1907. Mold damage.
2. Peace conferences, 1904 (Boston and Philadelphia). Mold damage.
3. Letter book, outgoing, 1899-1902 and 1907-1909.
Alphabetical correspondence files in box 1:
4. Correspondence file, outgoing, 1902-1905, C-E (A and B not found)
7. R-S Mold damage.
8. T-Z Mold damage.
9. incoming and outgoing, 2/1905-2/1906, A-C. Mold damage.
1. Correspondence file, incoming and outgoing, 2/1905-2/1906, D-J
4. 3/1906-5/1907, A-B
9. Correspondence file, 1910-1912, as agent for Wood, Harmon & Co., New York realtors
10. Family letters, from wife and son, 1884-1885
11. Speeches, ca. 1907
12. Frederick J. Jackson: essays and sermons (father of Frederick H.), ca. 1870?
Copy of 1877 letter of recommendation
Photocopy of 1902 wedding notice of son
1906 certificate as Lieutenant Governor
Letter from Frederick H. Jackson to his parents, from Ithaca, N.Y., probably 1870
Letter Atta L. Nutteo [?] of Tokyo, to Mrs. Fredreick Jackson, 1908
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Insurance, Life - Rhode Island - Providence
Investment banking - Rhode Island - Providence
Jackson, Frederick J.
Providence, R.I. - Social life and customs
Rhode Island - Politics and government - 1865-1950
Scott, James M. (1850-1925)
Utter, George H.
Wetmore, George P. (1846-1921)
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