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Riggs Family records (Page R. Bradley donation)

 Collection
Identifier: MS2336

Scope and Contents

Materials in this collection include business ledgers, correspondence, and personal belongings related to various members of the Riggs family. These materials date from the early 1800s to 1950.

Dates

  • 1800-1950

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

The Riggs family, notable for its banking fame, was prominent in the Washington, D.C. area in the 19th and 20th century. The earliest incarnation of Riggs Bank was formed in 1836 when William Wilson Corcoran opened a small brokerage house. In 1840, Corcoran and George Washington Riggs, the son of a neighbor, formed "Corcoran & Riggs", which offered checking and depositing services. The bank got a major boost in 1844, when The U.S. government assigned Corcoran & Riggs to be the only federal depository in Washington. In 1854 Corcoran retired, and the bank changed its name to "Riggs & Co." After accepting a government charter, "Riggs National Bank" was born in 1896. By 1900, Riggs was twice as large as any other bank in D.C. It embarked on a successful project to become known as the bank of embassies and diplomats, and by 1950 most embassies in Washington were customers. Many branches thereafter opened within embassies in Washington D.C. and London. Riggs Bank was bought by PNC for $779 million in 2005.

The most notable members of the Riggs family represented in this collection are: Elisha Riggs (New York merchant & Georgetown business man), George Washington Riggs (head of Riggs' banking business, known as "The President's Banker"), Elisha Francis Riggs (successor to G.W. Riggs in banking firm), Thomas Riggs, Jr. (Governor of Alaska Territory & U.S. Commissioner to the International Boundary Commission), and Thomas Lawrason Riggs (first Catholic chaplain of Yale University & musical theatre lyricist).

Extent

7.25 Linear Feet (Collection contains 2 record center boxes, 4 flat boxes, and 1 slim document box.)

Language

English

Overview

This collection contains materials relating to the Riggs family, a prominent family in the Washington, D.C. area notable for its banking fame. The materials in this collection include business ledgers, correspondence, and personal belongings related to various members of the Riggs family. These materials date from the early 1800s to 1950. The most notable members of the Riggs family represented in this collection are: Elisha Riggs (New York merchant & Georgetown business man), George Washington Riggs (head of Riggs' banking business, known as "The President's Banker"), Elisha Francis Riggs (successor to G.W. Riggs in banking firm), Thomas Riggs, Jr. (Governor of Alaska Territory & U.S. Commissioner to the International Boundary Commission), and Thomas Lawrason Riggs (first Catholic chaplain of Yale University & musical theatre lyricist).

Arrangement

Organized into 3 series: Business ledgers, Correspondence, and Personal artifacts.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Page R. Bradley, 9 March 2015 [2015.019]

Source

Title
Guide to the Riggs Family records (Page R. Bradley donation), 1800-1950
Status
Completed
Author
Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
Date
2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

Contact:
2130 H Street NW
Washington 20052 United States of America