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A Guide to the Charles Bingham Reynolds Papers

Finding aid created by Katherine Walters

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
April 2007

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Reynolds, Charles B. (Charles Bingham), 1856-1940
Title: Charles Bingham Reynolds Papers
Dates: 1885-1927
Abstract: The papers of journalist and historical writer, Charles Bingham Reynolds, include his book, Old Saint Augustine, as well as writings from his travel magazines.
Extent: 1 Linear feet. 2 boxes.
Identification: Ms 84
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

Charles Bingham Reynolds was born on November 18, 1856 in Morrisania, New York. Reynolds attended college at Amherst and graduated in 1876. His family lived in St. Augustine while he was in college, and he lived there until 1879. He then moved to Brooklyn, NY, and became editor of Forest and Stream Magazine. He worked with George Bird Grinnell to form the Audubon Society, which fought for the protection of birds. He also continued work on his book, Old Saint Augustine, which was published for the first time in 1885. The book was republished in 1888, 1891, and 1893. In 1892 Reynolds submitted the book in a Colombian Exhibition where it was awarded the bronze medal from the Spanish Government.

Reynolds also wrote a commercial guide book, Standard Guide: St. Augustine, with a Description of the Florida East Coast. In 1895, Reynolds and Ward G. Foster began to work together on commercial guide books. This partnership was cemented in 1906 with publications in Ask Mr. Foster Travel Magazine and Reynolds' guidebooks.

In 1915 Reynolds and his wife, Emily, moved to Mountain Lakes, New Jersey. From here he waged a campaign against the false, commercialized history about St. Augustine. He argued against claims that St. Augustine had the "Oldest House" in America, the "Oldest Schoolhouse," and the "Fountain of Youth." He continued this work until 1938. In 1939 he was offered the chairmanship of a Florida Historical Society committee to provide a memorial to Dr. James Alexander Robertson. Around this time Reynolds began to fall ill, and his sister Kate came to New Jersey to take care of him. On November 10, 1940 Charles Reynolds died of heart failure.

Scope and Content

The collection includes manuscripts, publications, miscellaneous papers, and a set of sixteen copper plates used in a publication. Box 1 contains a handwritten manuscript of Reynolds' book, Old Saint Augustine, as well as a printed copy with handwritten notes in preparation for re-printing. There are also materials pertaining to his mother, Lucy Reynolds, including her membership certificate for the Audubon Society, which he helped start, and her prayer card. There is also one excerpt from Reynolds' business partner's magazine, Mr. Fosters Travel Magazine, from January 1927.

The copper plates in Box 2 were used in printings of Old Saint Augustine. They include scenes from around the city, such as the cathedral, Fort Marion, and the city gates.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Related or Separated Material

Charles Reynolds was Chairman of the Florida Historical Society's committee to commemorate James Alexander Robertson. Both the Records of the Florida Historical Society and the Robertson Papers are available at the University of Florida.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Charles Bingham Reynolds Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Contents List

1 Letter to his father, C.O. Reynolds, 21 May 1866
1 Fragment of Popular Health Resorts of the South (1887)
1 Material pertaining to Lucy Reynolds: her Certificate of Membership in the Audubon Society; prayer card; photographic print (family portrait); and news clippings.
1 Mr. Fosters Travel Magazine, January 1927, pp. 4-7
1 Old Saint Augustine - Handwritten complete manuscript
1 Old Saint Augustine - Publication with handwritten notes
1 Standard Guide: St. Augustine, with a Description of the Florida East Coast (2 copies)
1 Two copper plates used in Standard Guide: St. Augustine, with a Description of the Florida East Coast
2 16 copper plates used in Old Saint Augustine

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

Saint Augustine (Fla.) -- Description and travel.
Saint Augustine (Fla.) -- Guidebooks.
Saint Augustine (Fla.) -- History.

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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