Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums
John G. Camp, Jr.
Scope and Content
The John G. Camp, Jr., Collection is part of the Charles E. Frohman Collection. For further information about the early settlement of Sandusky, Erie County, Ohio, see the John Gardiner Collection (LH-287) and the Zalman Wildman Collection (FR-5).
Born in Buffalo, New York, in 1821, Camp came to Ohio in 1834, when his father Major John G. Camp, Sr., relocated the family, including his brother Jacob A. Camp, in Sandusky, Ohio. John Camp, Jr., was a practicing attorney (Camp & Leonard), banker, and part owner of the "city tract" (known originally as Portland) that later became the city and port of Sandusky, Ohio. Closely aligned with Norwalk, Ohio, businessman John Gardiner, Camp worked to locate several early rail lines in the Sandusky area. In an attempt to increase property values and area business, Camp devoted considerable time to negotiating with Ohio politicians for railroad charters, securing "subscribers," and financing of the Mad River and the Indiana Railroads. Camp remained deeply involved in local business matters until his death in Carthage, Ohio, on October 28, 1865.
Gardiner also played an active role in the early railroad development of Ohio. He was instrumental in securing the charter of the Toledo, Norwalk and Cleveland Railroad Company. He was also one of the original incorporators of the company. Throughout his career, he served as a director of numerous railroad companies, becoming president of several lines. A banker by profession, he helped organize the Norwalk Branch of the State Bank of Ohio. Eighteen years later, he helped establish and became president of the Norwalk National Bank.
Scope and Content
The collection consists of seventy-four letters written by John G. Camp, Jr., to John Gardiner of Norwalk, Ohio, between the years 1849 and 1853. All but two of the letters were written from Sandusky, Ohio. The bulk of the correspondence focuses on the shared business interests of Camp and Gardiner: negotiations with Ohio politicians regarding charters and state credit, the financing of railroad routes, meetings with railroad "subscribers," land speculation, and the sale of Sandusky-area lots. To as lesser degree, Camp reports on personal matters, including his family’s health, his law practice, business conditions in and around Sandusky, the construction of his home, and the cholera epidemic. The collection is arranged chronologically. The John Gardiner Collection (LH- 287) contains additional correspondence from Camp to Gardiner for the years 1849-1850.
1. CAMP to Gardiner, 1849
2. CAMP to Gardner, 1851
3. CAMP to Gardiner, 1852
4. CAMP to Gardiner, 1853