Fox, Irving P. and Helen Joy
The Irving P. and Helen Joy Fox Collection, given by Mrs. Archibald Crossley and her brother Fred Joy Fox in memory of their parents (both graduates of Boston University, Class of 1883) consists of letters and signatures of prominent American clergymen, politicians and public figures, among them Henry Ward Beecher, Daniel Webster and William H. Seward. Central to the collection is a group of letters to Silas Deane (1737–1789), a member of the Continental Congress and a diplomat who was sent to France by Congress with Benjamin Franklin and Arthur Lee in 1776 to strengthen connections with France. The letters are from Benedict Arnold, 1775; George Washington, 1778; the Count d’Estaing, 1778; General Philip Schuyler, 1779; John Jay, 1781; and Benjamin Franklin, 1782. With these is the order of Congress written and signed by John Hancock as president, authorizing the Commissioners' trip to France to secure by purchase or loan "eight line of battle ships of 74 and 64 guns well manned and fitted in every respect for service." Letters written between 1883 and 1886 from the future art critic Bernard Berenson to Irving P. Fox (they knew each other as students at Boston University) are also part of this collection.