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Personal affairs, 1883-1927

 Sub-Series — Box: OVZ 2
Identifier: III.B.

Scope and Contents

Contents: Correspondence, financial records and statements, stock certificates, corporate brochures, tax filings.

Saulsbury is usually recognized as a successful politician, but he was a successful businessman before he was seriously involved with politics. Drawing from the experience of his father and from his own experience in the law firm of Victor du Pont, Saulsbury first established one of the most reputable law firms in Delaware. Then, using assets from his firm and his inheritance, Saulsbury made his mark as an astute investor molding his business circumstances. This subseries illustrates his business practices, particularly at the turn of the century when Saulsbury permanently changed the business environment in Delaware.

Among the most important changes, Saulsbury helped to implement was the establishment of utilities and transportation systems in Wilmington. Gas, electricity, lighting, railroads, and streetcars were all recent inventions at the turn of the century. Saulsbury was a major investor in many of the companies, which brought these services to Wilmington, and he used his skill and influence as an attorney towards their success. Files relating to these investments are located in this subseries. Additionally, Saulsbury was a founder and board member of the Equitable Guaranty and Trust Company, which was heavily involved in loans and investments in Delaware. The subseries also reflects Saulsbury's other Delaware investments.

A national income tax was established by constitutional amendment in 1913, and this subseries contains files for Willard and May Saulsbury's income taxes every year from 1913 until 1928, the year after his death. For most years, the files contain both blank and completed copies of the tax forms. For tax years 1920 and 1921, the Treasury Department audited Saulsbury's taxes, and documents relating to the audits are contained in the files.

The remainder of this subseries deals with less business-oriented personal matters: Saulsbury’s retirement, his travels, and his wedding.


  • Creation: 1883-1927


Arrangement: Five general files, followed by topical files arranged alphabetically, most within the finance and travel subseries.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

181 South College Avenue
Newark DE 19717-5267 USA