Rensselaer County Soldiers and Sailors Monument Association Records

Historical Note:
The Rensselaer County Soldiers and Sailors Monument Association was formed in October 1886 with the goal of constructing a monument honoring the soldiers from Rensselaer County who served in the military during the Civil War. The names of these soldiers were placed in a copper box at the base of the monument. The monument also honors all those who served and fought in all previous wars. It does so by an inscription of the names of battles listed on the monument base. The RCSSMA was responsible for choosing a design and builder for the monument., funding the construction of the monument, maintenance of the monument until 1950, the year the ownership of the monument was transferred to the City of Troy.


Scope Note:
The records contain correspondence between RCSSMA members and associates. The minutes of meetings documents the work of the RCSSMA from its origins to the construction of the monument. There are newspaper clippings about the monument, particularly the unveiling of it and the transfer of ownership in 1950 to the City of Troy. There are financial records and insurance policies, including a policy that paid for repairs needed after a 1903 fire in the vicinity of Broadway and River Street damaged the monument and records of donations by individuals and businesses. There are submissions of plans for the monument competition with estimates of construction costs and correspondence between the RCSSMA and architect, builders and suppliers of construction material. A bound volume (Box 6) includes minutes of meetings and many separate documents about the RCSSMA including the constitution, newspaper clippings, correspondence and other material.


Container List:

Box 1:
Folder 1: Meeting minutes of Oct. 21, 1886 of organization of RCSSMA. 
Folder 2: Minutes of RCSSMA, Nov. 29, 1886, presenting constitution and by-laws.
Folder 3: Articles of incorporation of RCSSMA with Board of Trustees & Advisory Committee names.
Folder 4: Correspondence of RCSSMA members and associates. Includes resignation of Arthur W. Bradley as Secretary and William Kemp as Treasurer.
Folder 5: Correspondence of RCSSMA and G.A.R. posts in re: representatives for Advisory Council.
Folder 6: RCSSMA blank certificate given to donors to authorize them to vote on design and location of monument. 
Folder 7: Invoice to RCSSMA for invitations for the laying of the monument cornerstone, March 7, 1890.
Folder 8: Responses to invitations for laying of cornerstone: acceptances
Folder 9: Responses to invitations for laying of cornerstone: regrets
Folder 10: Newspaper clippings; mainly announcement of plan to construct the Soldiers and Sailors Monument and formation of RCSSMA and the GAR Advisory Board
Folder 11: Documents related to the loan of four captured Confederate 12 pound bronze field guns from the Watervliet Arsenal for the base of the monument.
Folder 12: Responses to invitation to attend dedication ceremony of monument: Regrets
Folder 13: Correspondence related to damage to monument caused by a fire in vicinity of Broadway and River St. , 1903. 
Folder 14: Treasurer’s report for 1904 by William Kemp.
Folder 15: Correspondence in re: to cleaning monument after fire of November 3, 1903. Waterproofing and cleaning by sandblasting was done. Receipt for collection of $30 from a Pennsylvania insurance company.
Folder 16: Insurance policies for monument, 1905,-06,-12,-13. Also, related correspondence from 1891. Each policy notes condition of the monument. 
Folder 17: Bills for maintenance of the monument and landscape maintenance, 1911-1912.

Box 2: 
Folder 1: Bill from Troy Daily Times, 1889, for printing the circular for the monument design competition.
Folder 2: List of people who were sent circular about the monument competition.
Folder 3: Requests for competition circular and competition related information.
Folder 4: Monument competitions submissions, #2-6 (Charles H. Niehaus, C.M. Lang, George E. Bissell, MA St. John “Clark’s Island Granite Works,” J.W. Carpenter and Son.
Folder 5: Monument competitions submissions, #7-12 (Lazzari & Barton, Alex Doyle, M.H. Mosman (2 submissions), NE Monument Co. (C.B. Caulfield), Robert Cushing.
Folder 6: Monument competitions submissions, #13-15 (Albert R. Ross, P. Reinhalter & Co., (Paul J. Pelz, architect and Henry J. Ellicott, sculptor) with blueprint, J. Philipp Riim.

Box 3: 
Folder 1: Copyright from Library of Congress for monument design. Also, specifications for Fuller & Wheeler, architect and Frederick & Field for monument.
Folder 2: Correspondence between architect Fuller & Wheeler with Arthur W. Bradley, C.L. MacArthur and Frederick & Field.
Folder 3: Correspondence between A.J. Zabriskie, engineer for monument project with General Joseph B. Carr (Board of Gettysburg Monuments Commissioners), C.L. MacArthur and Arthur W. Bradley. Also included are two estimates to Frederick & Field.
Folder 4: Correspondence from Frederick Field to A.J. Zabriskie, C.L. MacArthur, Arthur W. Bradley. Also from Bradley to Zabriskie and Frederick & Field to Ausable Granite Works.
Folder 5: Research information for monument plaques; also document appointing Col. Sidney Park as compiler of list of soldier and sailor names from Rensselaer County in the Civil War. Also draft of battle information to be inscribed on plaques, including an incorrect date for Burgoyne’s surrender at Saratoga.

Box 4: 
Folder 1: Subscription books and other papers regarding donations for monument construction.
Folder 2: Correspondence related to donations for monument.
Folder 3: Papers from a subscription book.
Folder 4: Letter re: to souvenir for subscribers to the monument construction.
Folder 5: Subscription lists by firm with individual names and donations; including police, post office, and other public offices

Box 5: 
Folder 1: Original printing block for view of the monument.

Box 6: 
Bound record book of RCSSMA, ca. 1886-1949. Includes loose bills, correspondence related to illuminating the monument in 1903 with counter proposal and related newspaper clippings. Also includes the RCSSMA constitution (pp. 6-9), name and address of subcommittee members (p. 15), dedication ceremony invitation (pp. 85-89), newspaper clippings (pp. 90-98), dedication ceremony program (p.98), minutes of meetings, bills and correspondence, and a newspaper article about the transfer of monument to City of Troy in 1950.