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Title Edward John Phelps Papers, 1854-1938
Creator Phelps, Edward John, 1822-1900
Dates of Creation 1854-1899
Scope & Content Chiefly letter and writings of American lawyer and diplomat Edward John Phelps. The early letters (1854-1863) are to George W. Harmon of Bennington and concern legal matters. Later letters are to John W. Stewart concerning political matters and personal affairs; and personal letters to John G. McCullough and his daughter Ella McCullough. Also included are copies of exchanges of letters in 1890 with the actor Joseph Jefferson.

Writings include copies of Phelps's humorous poem about Essex Junction, "The Lay of the Lost Traveler" including correspondence with Hall Park McCullough about different versions of the poem. Other writings include manuscripts of addresses on "The Future of the English Language" and "Sir Walter Scott" and a corrected proof of remarks to graduates of Yale Law School, class of 1898.

Two documents relate to his service as minister to Great Britain: a privately printed pamphlet on Cyrus W. Field's banquet in Phelps's honor on July 4, 1885 in London and a copy from the London Times of Phelps's speech at the dinner to Her Majesty's Judges June 3, 1885.
Administrative/Biographical History Phelps was born in Middlebury, Vermont in 1822. He attended (1841-42) Yale law school, was admitted (1843) to the bar, and practiced law in Vermont and later in New York City. He was second comptroller of the U.S. Treasury (1851-53), U.S. minister to Great Britain (1885-89), and senior counsel (1893) for the United States in the arbitration of the Bering Sea Fur-Seal Controversy with Great Britain. He was a founder and president (1880) of the American Bar Association and taught law at Yale after 1881.
Related People Phelps, Edward John
McCullough, John Griffith
McCullough, Hall Park
McCullough, Ella Sarah (Sister Mary Veronica)
Harman, George Washington
Credit line Bequest of Hall Park McCullough
Catalog Number 2009.163.138
Containers Letters, 1854-1863
Letters, 1870-1889
Letters, 1890-1899
Ministry to England
"Lay of the Lost Traveler"
"The Future of the English Language"
"Sir Walter Scott"
Other Writings and Biographical Sketch