This collection is primarily concerned with Prof. James Renwick and his professional correspondence and papers, both as Professor of Natural Philosophy (Physics) at Columbia College and as a leading engineer. Many certificates of membership in honorary societies are included. There are letters from Washington Irving (1783-1859) to Prof. Renwick and to his mother, pertaining to contemporary events and Irving's own activities. The letters to Mrs. Renwick are about the travels and experiences of Irving and Renwick abroad. The collection also covers the affairs of the Prof. Renwick's grandfather, including documents concerning his land grants in New York State, and those of James Armstrong Renwick, including his valedictory address at Columbia College in 1876 and his class reunion in 1916. There are many legal documents, letters, and manuscripts of various members of the Renwick and Brevoort families; among these are Prof. Renwick's notes on his family genealogy and a memoir of Jane Jeffrey Renwick. Correspondents include Clement Clarke Moore, John A. Dix, Martin Van Buren, Secretary of State John Forsyth, and Secretary of the Navy James K. Paulding. There is one letter from Sir Edward Sabine (1788-1883), President of the Royal Society, giving his views on the American Civil War.
Also there is one volume of 70 watercolor sketches by Prof. Renwick and two by Washington Irving; one bundle of oversized documents including deeds, mortgage, and a military appointment; and a case containing Prof. Renwick's lecture notes.
1994 Addition: Correspondence of James Renwick (1818-1895), the celebrated architect. There are 68 letters to his brother, Edward Sabine Renwick (1823-1912), inventor and patent expert, concerning his collecting, investments, and health. There are 19 letters to his nephew, Edward Brevoort Renwick (b.1863), concerning the construction of his yacht, "Jean", with replies and related correspondence. There are also 2 letters to Edward S. Renwick from his sister, Laura K. R. Monroe.