Albert B. Barrett railroad letterbook

Biographical and Historical Notes

Albert B. Barrett worked at the Georgetown, Delaware, division of the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore Rail Road Company in some type of management capacity for the railroad yard in Georgetown, Delaware during the late 19th century.

From his letters, it is apparent that he was responsible for the efficient management of the train yard. These duties included ensuring that trains ran on time, ordering repairs, and enforcing safety procedures and protocols. Most of the letters are written to Leonard D. Tufts, who began his career with the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore Rail Road Company in 1854 as a locomotive fireman. He was promoted several times and transferred to the Delaware Division in Wilmington as a road foreman of engines. He retired in 1903.


Biographical information on Albert B. Barrett derived from the collection.

"Links." Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (U.S.). November 1903. Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers journal. Cleveland, Ohio: The Brotherhood., p. 779.

Scope and Content Note

The letterbook of Albert B. Barrett contains his outgoing correspondence relating to the management of the Georgetown, Delaware, yard for the Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore Rail Road Company from January to November, 1886.

The correspondence gives details of the types of challenges and responsibilities that Barrett encountered in the everyday management of a busy railroad yard during the 19th century. Letters discuss keeping trains on time, repairs on engines and cars, railroad safety procedures and protocols, and administrative details, and correspondence about a railroad accident at Snow Hill in March 1886. Most of the letters are addressed to the road foreman of engines in Wilmington, Delaware, Leonard D. Tufts. Other recipients include J. H. Price, H. D. Gordon, Benjamin Ewing, and other railroad company employees.