Mayor George B. McClellan Jr. records

Collection REC0003 - RG 001. Office of the Mayor of the City of New York

Collection REC0003 - RG 001/RG 001.GBM. Office of the Mayor, George B. McClellan


George B. McClellan, Jr. was the 93rd Mayor of New York City, serving from 1904-1909. This collection contains the material generated by the daily workings of the Office of the Mayor during his administration.


52.5 cubic feet (104 boxes and 1 volume)


1903-1909, bulk 1904-1909

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Patrons are required to use microfilm for those series for which it is available. Advance notice is required for using original material. Please contact us to arrange access.

Alternate Forms Available

This collection has been partially microfilmed. Microfilm is available on-site or via interlibrary loan.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by unknown persons at an unknown date. Finding aid updated and standardized by staff archivist Rachel Greer in 2015 with additions and updates by staff archivist Alexandra Hilton in 2017 and 2018.

Processing Information

Physical processing of the collection was completed circa 1990-1999.
This collection contains the material generated by the daily workings of the Office of the Mayor under George B. McClellan. The majority of the material consists of correspondence, both issued to and from City agencies and departments, and to and from the general public. The subjects of these documents run the gamut from contemporary construction projects, such as bridge construction and aqueduct construction, to the everyday concerns of the Fire Department or the Department of Street Cleaning. In addition, a series of Subject Files documents official city business including oaths of office, mayoral proclamations, documentation of licensing and permitting, speeches given by the Mayor, among other types of documentation. Records include one scrapbook related to McClellan's mayoralty.
George B. McClellan, Jr. was born in Dresden (later to become Germany) in 1865. Son of the infamous Civil War General of the same name, he grew up in New Jersey and graduated from Princeton in 1886.
In the 1890s, McClellan served on the Board of Aldermen of the City of New York, becoming President in 1893. In 1894, during a leave of absence from Mayor Thomas Gilroy's term, McClellan served as Acting Mayor for a few months. His political career then led him to represent New York in the U.S. House of Representatives. McClellan was elected as a Tammany Hall candidate in 1904, ousting Seth Low.
McClellan served as Mayor for six years, successfully beating William Randolph Hearst's candidacy in 1905. McClellan presided over many significant changes and developments in New York City history, including the opening of the first subway line, the opening of the Williamsburg Bridge, the christening of Times Square, and the opening of the Battery Maritime Terminal. By the time his tenure ended, the New York Public Library was nearly finished, Grand Central was under construction, and Manhattan Bridge was on its way to completion. He presided over construction of Chelsea Piers, further strengthening New York's position as a world port. McClellan also famously tore up the licenses of over 550 motion picture exhibitors, possibly because early movies were seen as related to vice.
Late in his administration, McClellan moved away from Tammany politics, a move that was a possible contributor to losing his Mayoral re-election campaign. After the end of his political career, he taught at Princeton until 1931. He died in 1940 in Washington, DC.
The George B. McClellan records are arranged into six series, based on the type of material. Each series is arranged alphabetically by subject within each series. Early inventories suggest that this collection used to be arranged chronologically and that the arrangement was revised by a previous archivist into an alphabetical arrangement. The series themselves, however, have retained their integrity.
Guide to the records of Mayor George B. McClellan Jr., 1904-1909
Rachel Greer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2017: Updated by staff archivist Alexandra Hilton
  • 2018: Updated by staff archivist Alexandra Hilton