This folder contains correspondence and other documents concerning Edison's life story, his response to erroneous newspaper reports about him, his opinions regarding a variety of subjects, and numerous other matters. Almost all of the correspondence was handled by his personal assistant, William H. Meadowcroft. The correspondents include General Electric consulting engineer William S. Andrews; C. C. C. Bradley, nephew of Dr. Leverett Bradley, an Edison associate during the early 1870s; Horace L. Hotchkiss, formerly of the Gold & Stock Telegraph Co.; and Billy Sawyer, a friend from Edison's telegraphy days. There is also a letter from De Long Rice, superintendent of Shiloh National Military Park, regarding Edison's activities as a newspaper seller on the Grand Trunk Railroad in 1862, as well as letters about the gift of a "Buddha on Goat" sculpture from China and a telegram from Edison to French ambassador Jean-Jules Jusserand. A clipping from the St. Louis Melting Pot includes extended remarks by Edison about spiritualist Bert Reese, while another clipping from the New York Tribune entitled "Nine Indictments of Dr. Osler: Who Shall Say That Usefulness Ends at Sixty" contains photographs of Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, John Burroughs, and several other distinguished Americans.
Approximately 10 percent of the documents, including all letters that received a substantive response from Edison, have been selected. The unselected material includes unsolicited correspondence, especially inquiries about electricity or electrical products, that received no reply or a form-letter reply; letters of transmittal from Meadowcroft enclosing a copy of "Notable Events and Achievements in the Life of Thomas A. Edison"; letters from school children, some of which received an acknowledgment signed by Edison; routine letters from former associates to which Edison did not respond because he was away or busy with war research; letters of introduction and requests for letters of recommendation, especially for military commissions; and essays and other writings sent to Edison, ranging from a phrenological analysis to a high school graduation speech. Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park.