1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

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 Johns Hopkins Congdon Papers


 Papers, 1909-1957

 Size: .25 ft.

 Catalog number: MSS 833

 Processed by: Elizabeth Delmage, February 2007

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            Johns Hopkins Congdon, Jr. was born 25 March 1885 to Johns Hopkins and Caroline (Buffum) Congdon in Providence, R.I. Congdon married Cecilia Robertson Cotton Briggs (1886-1973) on 11 January 1919 and had three children: Johns Hopkins (1920-1931), Charles Briggs (1922-1945) and James Buffum (c. 1924-2007). He died on 13 February 1965 in Fall River, Mass. and is buried in the Swan Point Cemetery in Providence, R.I.

            Congdon had entered the oil business after his graduation from Yale University in 1907. In 1916, he began working for the Vacuum Oil Company and spent the next fourteen years working for that firm in Hong Kong and Cape Town, South Africa. By 1933, the Vacuum Oil Company merged with John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil Company and formed the Standard-Vacuum Oil Company and Congdon became a member of its first board of directors. He served as director of the Standard-Vacuum Oil Company until his retirement in 1947. Prior to his retirement he and his wife had been living in Hewlett, Long Island, New York and once he retired they moved to Little Compton, R.I. and he was active in community service until his death in 1965.


Obituary of Johns Hopkins Congdon, Jr., Providence Journal, 14 February 1965, page N29.

R.I. Cemetery Database


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Scope and content:

            This collection is comprised of correspondence and records from the Congdon family dating from 1909 through 1957. Most of the correspondence belongs to Johns Hopkins and his wife Cecilia, with a few letters written by their children. The records from the Congdon family include legal documents like Johns Hopkins' passport, a customs declaration for South Africa, a dog license in Hong Kong, etc; their children's school records and birth and baptismal records. Also included is an illustrated manuscript book by Carolyn Chaffee that documents Johns Hopkins' courtship of Cecilia as well as two illustrations with Cecilia's maiden name on them.

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            George M. Stabler of Providence, R.I. donated the papers that make up this collection in October 1973.

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Processing note:

            This collection was rehoused into an archival box and folders in February 2007.

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Box 1, Folder 1.          Cecilia R. C. Briggs Congdon's Correspondence                   1909-1957

Box 1, Folder 2.          Johns Hopkins Congdon's Correspondence                            1916-1942, n.d.

Box 1, Folder 3.          Correspondence from the Congdon children:                         c. 1920s-1940

                                    Johns Hopkins, Charles Briggs, James Buffum

Box 1, Folder 4.          Birth and Baptismal Records                                                  1920-1922

Box 1, Folder 5.          Legal Documentation                                                             1918-1929

Box 1, Folder 6.          School Records                                                                       1929-1940

Box 1, Folder 7.          Miscellaneous Records                                                           1919, 1940

Box 1, Folder 8.          "Boswell's Life of Briggs, Vol. I," an illustrated                    Jan 1919

                                    manuscript book

Box 1, Folder 9.          Miscellaneous Illustrations                                                     n.d.

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Cape Town (South Africa)

Congdon Family

Congdon, Johns Hopkins, Jr., 1885-1965

Congdon, Cecilia R. C. Briggs, 1886-1973

Hong Kong (China)

St. George's School (Newport, R.I.)

Vacuum Oil Company, inc.

Standard-Vacuum Oil Company

Yale University

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