Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections
One Washington Road
Princeton, New Jersey 08544
2.7 linear feet (7 archival boxes and 1 oversize folder)
The Samuel Comfort Papers consists of correspondence, documents, photographs, diaries, memorabilia, and printed matter of the manufacturer, inventor, and soldier Samuel Comfort (1837-1923), a member of a distinguished Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Quaker family. Also included are a small selection of papers related to the Barnsley and Crookshank families, relatives of the Comforts. Consists of correspondence between Comfort and his family, especially with his father, George Comfort, the bulk of which covers the years Samuel served in the Union Army in a company of Pennsylvania volunteers (1861-1865). The letters reflect his involvement in the Civil War at various camps including the headquarters of the Army of the Ohio (Huntsville, Alabama), Camps Buell and Fry (Louisville, Kentucky), Scott Barracks (Nashville, Tennessee), and a camp near Cumberland, Maryland. Also included are such documents as Comfort's commission in the Union Army, a diary he kept during 1864-1865, and a bound typescript of extracts of letters, "Home Letters, 1861-1865: One Man's Experience in the Union Army during the War of the Rebellion," written by him for his family. The collection also includes correspondence, documents, and patent information regarding several of Comfort's inventions, such as the Comfort and Jackson Sewing Machine, counting machines, and mowing and reaping machines. There is some business correspondence with several petroleum refining companies for whom he worked after the war including the Standard Oil Company, as well as memorabilia, diaries, and documents reflecting his twenty-five year association with Standard Oil as manager of the company's business in various foreign countries, including India (1879-1904). Also included is memorabilia of the years when Comfort served as U.S. vice-consul and deputy-consul general in Bombay and Calcutta (1894-1903), photographs, and notebooks. Futhermore, the collection contains correspondence, miscellaneous material, and memorabilia of Comfort's daughter, Emma Walraven Crookshank, and son-in-law, Harry Maule Crookshank, as well as papers of the Barnsley family, other Comfort relatives.