John Hone scrapbooks
Language of Materials
The collection includes seven scrapbooks compiled by New York stockbroker John Hone (1844-1915), which date from about 1887 to about 1911. Generally, the volumes hold documents related to the various political, social and historical clubs Hone was a member of; the business and cultural institutions he was an officer or trustee of; his travels to Europe, Asia and South America, and summer vacations in Bar Harbor, Maine; and his various interests in political, financial, military, theatre/music, and family connections. The Manhattan Club (Democratic Party political club), Sons of the Revolution, and Veteran Corps of Artillery are among the well-represented organizations. Hone's family connections with August Belmont, Commodore Matthew C. Perry, and others are also represented in the scrapbooks which hold invitation cards, dinner menus (often handwritten), event programs, pictorial works, clippings, some light correspondence, a few original photographs, and some Confederate currency.
Biographical / Historical
John Hone, also referred to in the scrapbooks as John Hone, Jr. though he would be more precisely rendered as John Hone IV, was born in 1844 in New York to John Hone (1819-1892) and Jane Perry Hone (circa 1817-1880). The senior John Hone was a New York lawyer early in his career before moving to Morristown, New Jersey, where he developed real estate and lived until the last few years of his life. Jane Perry Hone was the daughter of Commodore Matthew Perry, the naval officer who forced the opening of Japan to the West in 1854, and was the sister of Caroline Perry, who married the financier August Belmont. The Belmont family, Commodore Perry, and the Hone family's New Jersey connections all appear frequently in the scrapbooks. (An ancestor, Philip Hone, whose diaries are held by New-York Historical, was a brother of John Hone's great-grandfather. Typescript extracts from the diaries are found throughout the scrapbooks.)
The junior Hone briefly enrolled at Columbia College in 1861, leaving at the start of the Civil War to join the 7th Regiment of the New York State National Guard. He did not return to school, but decades later was granted an honorary B.A. degree by Columbia. Hone joined August Belmont's banking firm in 1864, leaving in 1869 to form his own brokerage firm, eventually know as John Hone & Co. He was a member of the New York Stock Exchange, serving as an officer, and a director of various financial and railroad interests. He retired from business in 1907.
Hone was active in Democratic Party politics, especially noticeable in these scrapbooks as a member of the political Manhattan Club, and as a supporter of Grover Cleveland in his presidential campaigns. Hone was a delegate from New Jersey to the Democratic National Convention in support of Cleveland. In that respect, Hone retained a residence in New Jersey and voted in that state throughout his life. Yet Hone's principal residence seems to have been 5 Gramercy Park. He was active in a lawsuit for the Gramercy Park property owners that resulted in a reduction of property taxes, another matter touched on in the scrapbooks.
Hone married Mary Ellen Crane (1849-1876) in 1869; Crane was literally the "girl next door," living in Acorn Hall in Morristown, NJ, next to the Hone residence. They had three children (including another John, Jr., who would be John Hone V) before Mary died of typhoid in 1876. Hone married again, in 1880 to Maria Cadwalader. They had one daughter, Hester Gouverneur Hone, who appears in the scrapbooks in the Honeses' travel itineraries and who would marry Henry G. Bartol in 1907. John Hone died in 1915 at his Gramercy Park home.
(The above note was based on various on-line sources, among them Hone's New York Times obituary of March 22, 1915, and various Wikipedia pages. References to Mary Crane can be found on Acorn Hall's website. There are also obituaries and, for Hone, a Who's Who entry in the scrapbooks.)
The volumes are arranged in rough chronological order. Nevertheless, there is no sharp chronology within each volume and there is overlap of date range and subject content across the volumes. Also, a considerable amount of the documents in the volumes are loose within the pages.
Scope and Contents
The collection includes seven scrapbooks compiled by John Hone (1844-1915), which date from about 1887 to about 1911. Generally, the volumes hold documents related to the various political, social and historical clubs Hone was a member of; the business and cultural institutions he was an officer or trustee of; his travels to Europe, Asia and South America, and summer vacations in Bar Harbor, Maine; and his various interests in political, financial, military, theatre/music, and family connections.
Primary document formats in the scrapbooks include invitation cards, dinner menus (often handwritten), event programs, pictorial works, and clippings. Some light correspondence, a few original photographs, and some Confederate currency are in the volumes. Organizations that appear often include (many others also appear): Manhattan Club (a Democratic political group), Sons of the Revolution, and the Veterans Corps of Artillery and the related Military Society of the War of 1812. Events that appear in the volume include the Columbus anniversary celebrations of 1892, the Washington inauguration centennial of 1889, the 50th anniversary of the 7th Regiment's deployment in the Civil War (1911), Hone's participation as delegate at the Democratic National Conventions, the erection of a monument to Commodore Matthew Perry in Japan in 1901, and many other celebratory dinners, organizational meetings, and the like.
Newspaper clippings in the scrapbooks touch on financial, military, extended family matters, and items of general interest. Clippings related to the August Belmont family and Hone's children and other family are in the albums. At least a portion of the diaries of Hone's ancestor, Philip Hone, were published within the scrapbooks' date range and typescript extracts from them are found at various points in the albums. Clippings from theatre/musical/opera programs appear frequently.
The container list notes any particular items or subject matter that was found on a skim of the volumes.
Materials in this collection may be stored offsite. For more information on making arrangements to consult them, please visit www.nyhistory.org/library/visit.
Taking images of documents from the library collections for reference purposes by using hand-held cameras and in accordance with the library's photography guidelines is encouraged. As an alternative, patrons may request up to 20 images per day from staff. Application to use images from this collection for publication should be made in writing to: Department of Rights and Reproductions, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5194, firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 282.
Copyrights and other proprietary rights may subsist in individuals and entities other than the New-York Historical Society, in which case the patron is responsible for securing permission from those parties. For fuller information about rights and reproductions from N-YHS visit: https://www.nyhistory.org/about/rights-reproductions
The collection should be cited as: John Hone scrapbooks, MS 302, New-York Historical Society.
Location of Materials
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Two volumes (designated here as volumes 2 and 5) were a gift of Hester Hitzrot Bausback and Heidi Hitzrot Dorrow in 2015. The source of the other volumes has not been determined.
About this Guide
Inventoried by archivist Larry Weimer in June 2022.