A Guide to the James Stillman Collection
Financier James Jewett Stillman (1850-1918) was born to Charles and Elizabeth Pamela Goodrich Stillman in Brownsville, Texas. Charles Stillman, who established Brownsville in 1848, supplied United States troops during the Mexican War (1846-1848) and developed business interests in South Texas and Mexico including real estate, silver mines, a cotton brokerage, textile factories, and a transportation company that conveyed goods from the Mexican interior to Rio Grande City. James Stillman inherited his father’s South Texas property, and he greatly expanded these Texas interests in banking and real estate. With partners W.H. Harriman, Jacob Henry Schiff, and William Rockefeller, Stillman owned a controlling interest in Texas railroads including the Texas and Pacific, the Southern Pacific, the International-Great Northern, the Union Pacific Southern, the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico, and the Mexican National.
Stillman served as president of National City Bank in New York City; upon retirement, he served as the bank’s Chairman of the Board of Directors. At the time of his death in New York City, Stillman was considered to have been one of the 100 wealthiest Americans, with an estimated fortune of $100 million.
Coler, Caleb. "Chapman, William Warren." Handbook of Texas Online. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fch68 (accessed January 20, 2016).
Garza, Alicia A., and Christopher Long. "Brownsville, TX. " Handbook of Texas Online.http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hdb04 (accessed January 20, 2016).
Hart, John Mason. "Stillman, James. " Handbook of Texas Online.http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fst57 (accessed January 20, 2016).
"James Stillman, Head of City Bank, Dies Suddenly. " New York Times. Mar. 16, 1918.
The James Stillman Collection includes two bound volumes of transcriptions of correspondence between Charles and Elizabeth Stillman (1849-1854). This correspondence describes events in the Rio Grande Valley and relates to the Chapman family papers, which are housed at the BCAH. The collection also includes 57 original letters (1876-1917), most written to James Stillman from business associates including Edward H. Harriman, Jacob Henry Schiff, William Rockefeller, and Samuel Sloan. Also included are letters from sculptor Auguste Rodin, a letter to James Stillman’s son Ernest Goodrich Stillman from aviator Charles Lindbergh, and a letter from naturalist John Burroughs to one of James Stillman’s daughters. The collection also includes transcriptions of these original letters to James Stillman, as well as notes regarding the letters’ creators. Two bound volumes of black and white photographs document a 1904 guided camping trip to Canada and Western states by Ernest Goodrich Stillman.
This collection is open for research use.
James Stillman Collection (1849-1935), Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Colleen Hobbs, January 2016.
Detailed Description of the Collection