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Mss:797 1870-1919 E64

Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States. Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States records, 1789-1919 (inclusive), 1869-1906 (bulk): A Finding Aid

Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University

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Harvard Business School, Boston MA 02163.

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: Mss:797 1870-1919 E64
Repository: Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Creator: Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States.
Title: Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States records
Date(s): 1870-1919 (inclusive)
Date(s): 1869-1906 (bulk)
Quantity: 22 linear feet (66 volumes, 13 cases)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Records of the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States, as well as papers relating to the personal activities of its founder, Henry Baldwin Hyde (1834-1899), and his son, James Hazen Hyde (1876-1959).

Conditions Governing Access:

Appointment necessary to consult collection.

Preferred Citation:

Cite as: Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United Statesrecords. Baker Library Historical Collections. Harvard Business School.

Historical Note:

The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States (ELAS) was founded in 1859 by Henry Baldwin Hyde (1834-1899). It became, by the year of Hyde's death, the largest life insurance company in the world. Hyde sought to guarantee that his son, James Hazen Hyde (1876-1959), would continue family control of the company after his death, but in 1905 the younger Hyde lost control in a struggle which resulted from an investigation of the insurance industry by New York State.

Series Outline

The collection is arranged in the following series:

Scope and Content Note:

Principally correspondence, business and personal, of Henry B. Hyde and his son, James H. Hyde, vice-president of Equitable from 1899 to 1905. The loose material in this collection consists of 13.5 cu. ft. of files from 1870 to 1919, the bulk of which falls between 1870 and 1905. It includes extensive files on setting up and running a life insurance company across the country and around the world. The aspects covered are financial, medical, managerial and political. It also includes a substantial amount of material on safety deposit companies. In addition there is a good deal of information on the founding, outfitting, and running of proprietary and social clubs with much attention given to material detail. Of particular interest are the Jekyll Island Club, the Lawyers' Club, the Underwriters' Club, the Café Voisin (est. 1887) of Paris, the Café Saverin in New York (a proprietary club of the ELAS), and the French Club (le Cercle) at Harvard. Henry B. Hyde and ELAS invested in real estate and there is considerable information on the subject. Finally, both Henry B. Hyde and his son, James, took exceptional interest in outfitting their houses, consequently, the files are filled with detailed information on renovating and decorating. The collection also includes 66 volumes consisting of letter books, memos, and reports.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Life insurance.
Insurance.
Insurance companies -- New York (State)
Banks and banking -- New York (State)
Banks and banking -- Massachusetts.
Banks and banking -- Missouri.
Street-railroads -- New York (State)
Street-railroads -- New Jersey.
Letterpress copybooks.
Letters.
New York (N.Y.)
Alexander, James Waddell, 1839-1915.
Borrowe, Samuel, d. 1896.
Cuyler, Thomas DeWitt, 1854-1922.
Frick, Henry Clay, 1849-1919.
Goodrich, Samuel G. (Samuel Griswold), 1793-1860.
Hyde, Henry Baldwin, 1834-1899.
Hyde, James H. (James Hazen), 1876-1959.
McIntyre, William H.
Root, Elihu, 1845-1937.
Tarbell, Gage E., 1856-1936.
Wilson, George T.
Brooklyn City and Newtown Railroad Company.
Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States.
Haskins & Sells.
Jekyl Island Club.
Mercantile Safe Deposit Company (New York, N.Y.)
Mercantile Trust Company (New York, N.Y.)
New Jersey Electric Railway Company.
Missouri Safe Deposit Company.
Price, Waterhouse & Co.
Security Safe Deposit Company (Boston, Mass.)

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