Two New Manuscript Collections
Edward H. Neary practiced law in the Village of Gouverneur from the mid to late 1800s, and he also held the post of County Judge for 16 years. His large client base included railroads, hotels, hundreds of small businesses, Civil War pensioners, civic groups and the talc mining industry. Among his civic involvements, Mr. Neary served as a trustee of the Gouverneur Wesleyan Seminary. Our collection of Neary’s working papers contains approximately 7000 documents written between 1874 and 1887. These include personal letters to and from Neary’s wife, sons and other relatives. The collection also includes his professional correspondence in his role with the Gouverneur Wesleyan Seminary, his work on behalf of Civil War Pension claimants, correspondence with clients in the local mining industry, and correspondence with many other local lawyers. Taken together, this collection offers a sketch of late nineteenth century North Country life as the region settles into the “new normal” of the post-civil war period.
We have also acquired the papers of Aileen Vincent-Barwood, who was a columnist for, and eventually the editor of, the Canton Plaindealer in the 1970’s. While working for the Plaindealer she wrote a column called “Grasse Roots,” which examined both local issues, and how national concerns were playing out on the streets of Canton, New York. Along with her journalism for the Plaindealer, she worked for the CBC and traveled extensively in the Middle East and Africa. These travels informed her other writing, both fiction and nonfiction, which included pieces published in such periodicals as Redbook, Cosmopolitan, New York Alive, Chatelaine, Science Digest, Smithsonian, Islands, Aramco World, The Boston Globe, and the Toronto Globe and Mail. She is also the author of three books: North Country Editor; A Celebration of Small Events, which chronicles her life as a small-town newspaper editor, This Sweet Place: Island Living and other Adventures, telling of Vincent-Barwood’s 20 years wintering on the Bahamian Island of Exuma, and her mystery novel A Murderous Thirst: Death Comes to the Adirondacks. The collection includes drafts of unpublished materials and correspondence that pulls back the blinds on Vincent-Barwood’s career as a working freelance writer. One can find triumphs, one can find near misses, and time spent with this collection would really give on a sense of Aileen Vincent-Barwood the working writer.