Cullman Ala Oct[b?] 26/87
M. Leland Stanford Esq.
[large notation: 117 ½]
My son P. F. Mohr informs me, of having offered you my collections, and [insert: that] you showed some inclination to buy the same for the California university, provided you can get satisfactory references from scientific authorities about their value. When my collections were exhibited for several years in the Exhibition building at Cincinnati, the same were examined by several gentlemen of scientific authority, but since about 4 years they have been stored away and only a very small part is now exhibited in the new Art museum building; therefore my references could only speak about the collections as seen in the old building several years ago and if this is satisfactory I shall send you the names. But what guarantee would that be for you? the collections may not be the same, as when seen by the gentlemen I would refer, and it would be a difficult matter for them to make a correct estimate now. If I could show the collections to some of your scientific friends, it would be easy for them, to make a fair & correct valuation, but to examine so many thousands of specimens all wrapped and packed [insert: up] would be impracticable.
I send you enclosed a synopsis of the collection, which gives
a fair idea to a person of some knowledge of Geology Palaeantology, Mineralogy about the extent and value of the same and you may therefrom come to a conclusion as to its being suited or not for your purpose. The next question would be the quality of specimens, which could be only solved by looking at them, which in the present state the collections are in, is almost impossible. Each specimen is wrapped up in paper and to unfold and pack up again the many thousand specimens, would be too big a job.
To come to a point the most practical [insert: way] would be (after you have found the collections suitable from the descriptions I send,) to [--illegible--] ship the collections to you and to come out myself to arrange the same, a labor which no one could [insert: do] as well as myself; all what I would ask would be my RR fare both ways and board. The labels often become injured by the fading of the ink and it would be a difficult and tedious task to rewrite the same for another person.
The history of the collections is as follows. I studied Geology & Mineralogy as a speciality over 40 years ago at Tubingen Germany under Professor Quenstedt, after which I made collections of [--illegible--] fossils and minerals for the British Museum of London and the museums of Vienna
Berlin, Dresden, Stuttgart & other places, travelling for several years. By this I had the opportunity to make my collection of European fossils. In 1848 I emigrated to this country on account of the political troubles, where I was engaged for many years in the distillery business. After I had been successful in business, my love for science revived and being able to spend monney for it, I had my collections send from Europe and began to collect from the american formations, partly by visiting localities myself or by a man I employed. The beautiful collection of Crinoids from Crawfordsville Ind I obtained by working & quarrying with a large force of men [insert: & cash] in the crinoidal beds of that locality for some months, shipping the rocks by car loads to Cincinnati, from which the specimens had to be worked out with chissels, and in the same way I had worked in some other localities. My idea was to bequeath my collections to some scientific institution, but great misfortunes ruined me financially and I must see now to realize wherever I can.
My present occupation is to make a geological survey of N. Alabama, for the N. A. Land & Emigration Co of the lands it bought of the Louisville & [Nashu?] RRC. The season prohibiting much outdoorwork for some time
I would now find time to [attent?] to my collections. My collections contain about [insert: 16 to] 18,000 (Eighteen thousand specimens altogether. A large number are worth from $5.00 to $[?].00 and a greater number from $1.00 to $2.00. In averaging [the spec?] at 50.00 (an extremely low price) the collection would be worth $9000. I do of course not know, what amount you wish to invest in a collection but whatever [insert: limit] you may decide on, I can meet your views by reducing the collections more or less in such a manner as to give satisfaction and always shall give full value. However it would be a pity to split the collections and I would prefer to sell all at once.
Having been a citizen of Cincinnati for over 35 years I can furnish you any amount of references if you desire.
I shall consider it a great favor by your kindly answering my letter as soon as convenient.
P. S. The arrangement of the collections would be done [illegible] also, but it would more than triple the labor. In case you should agree with my views, and [illegible] consequently come out, you would have to furnish me the necessary help; it would be a job of probably 2 months or more according circumstances.
Consists of about 2500 species and varieties arranged systematically, representing all classes.
Carbons 40 sp & v.
Gypsum Family 50
Halite " 20
Calcite " 140
Arragonite " 20
Silicates & Aluminates
Quartz Family 250 sp & var
Feldspar " 150
Scapolite " 40
Zeolite " 210
Mica & Talc " 155
Hornblende " 125.
Garnet " 26
Gems & half gems 165.
Metals and Metallic Ores
Gold 55, Platinum 2, Iridium 1, Palladium 1, Silver 87, Cerium 2, Ytrium 2, Lanthanum 3, Tantalium 3, Titanium 13, Tin 7, Molybdenum 5, Tungsten 5, Vanadium 5, Tellurium 15, Osmium, Bismuth 6, Antimony 53, Arsenic 30 sp & varieties, Uranium 23, Iron 215, Manganese 76, Chromium 15, Nickel 2[0?], Cobalt 15, Zinc 63, Cadmium 6, Lead 67, Mercury 27, Copper. 126