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Platt Hiram Crosby Papers

Identifier: MS Group 208

Scope and Content

The Crosby Papers, dated 1821-1869, include correspondence, legal papers, notes, and various writings, created primarily by Crosby while living in South America. The majority of the writings, letters, notes and other papers are historical writings related to Peruvian and South American history, including the Inca Empire and the colonial activities of Spain in the region. Some of the writings also cover Chile and Bolivia, but the majority are related to Peru. In addition to historical events, some the writings also describe Crosby's own travels as well the culture, politics, and people he observed. Unfortunately, most of these writings were not well organized and it is almost impossible to determine their original order because a number of the documents are fragments and poorly identified.

The collection also includes materials not directly related to Crosby's historical writing, including personal papers, correspondence, and legal papers. The letters received by Crosby from various correspondents were written primarily in New York, Lima, and Valparaiso. The collection also includes a small amount of legal papers pertaining to various cases or transactions. For example, one document pertains to the loss of W.S. Wetmore's cargo on the American frigate General Carrington, which had been seized for smuggling (a relatively common practice undertaken by Peru and Spain during that time). In addition to the letters and other papers, the collection includes a partial copy of Pedro de Peralta Barnuevo's Lima Fundada and a few photographs of Thorne family members.

The folders are arranged alphabetically. In those cases where Crosby provided titles or labels to documents, the identifying labels have been retained as folder titles (as indicated with quotation marks).


  • Creation: 1821-1869



The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

Platt Hiram Crosby was born in New York in 1792 or 1793. He attended Litchfield Law School in 1813, and practiced law in New York City for a few years. He moved to South America, and continued to practice law while living in Peru. He researched and wrote histories of South America, particularly related to Peru, the Incas, and Chile. He was married to Eliza Thorne Crosby. He is reported to have died in 1864.


0.5 Linear feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Correspondence, writings, and other materials created by Platt Hiram Crosby while living in Peru, primarily pertaining to Peruvian and South American history.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

Donated by Haile P. McCollum in 2005.

Alternate Form of Material

Digital reproductions of items in this collection are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

A Guide to the Platt Hiram Crosby Papers
Finding aid created by Dept. Staff
March 2007
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America