BARRINGER, Daniel Moreau (1806-1873)

BARRINGER, DANIEL MOREAU, (nephew of Daniel Laurens Barringer), a Representative from North Carolina; born at ``Poplar Grove,'' near Concord, Cabarrus County, N.C., July 30, 1806; was graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1826; studied law in Hillsboro; was admitted to the bar and commenced practice in Concord, N.C., in 1829; member of the State house of commons 1829-1834, 1840, and 1842; member of the State constitutional convention in 1835; elected as a Whig to the Twenty-eighth, Twenty-ninth, and Thirtieth Congresses (March 4, 1843-March 3, 1849); chairman, Committee on Expenditures in the Department of State (Thirtieth Congress), Committee on Indian Affairs (Thirtieth Congress); declined a renomination; appointed by President Taylor and reappointed by President Fillmore Minister to Spain and served from June 18, 1849, until September 4, 1853; again elected to the State house of commons in 1854; delegate to the peace convention held in Washington, D.C., in 1861 in an effort to devise means to prevent the impending war; delegate to the Union National Convention at Philadelphia in August 1866; chairman of the Democratic State committee in 1872; died at White Sulphur Springs, Greenbrier County, Va., September 1, 1873; interment in Greenmount Cemetery, Baltimore, Md.

University of North Carolina
Southern Historical Collection
Chapel Hill, NC
Papers: 1797-1873, approximately 3 linear feet.
The papers of Daniel Moreau Barringer contain family, business, and political correspondence of Daniel Moreau Barringer and members of his family. Included are letters, 1830s-1870s, from numerous North Carolina politicians and public officials, including Daniel Laurens Barringer, David F. Caldwell, Thomas L. Clingman, William Gaston, James Graham, William Alexander Graham, Willie P. Mangum, David L. Swain, and Calvin H. Wiley. Letters concern such issues as state and national politics; positions to be filled by President Zachary Taylor, 1848-1849; slavery; railroads; the University of North Carolina; and gold mining in Cabarrus and Mecklenburg counties, N.C. Papers for the period of Daniel Barringer's diplomatic service in Spain are especially full and include material relating to Americans taken prisoner after an expedition against the Spanish in Cuba. Letters, 1844-1860, from Daniel Barringer's brother, Paul Brandon Barringer, cotton planter near Oxford, Miss., discuss agricultrual, economic, social, and political affairs in Mississippi. There are also letters from Franklin L. Smith, a student at the University of North Carolina, 1827 and 1829; about politics during the Civil War; about race relations just after the Civil War; and about student life at Washington College, Lexington, Va., 1867-1869. Papers of Daniel Barringer's wife, Elizabeth (Wethered) Barringer (1822-1867) of Baltimore, Md., document her life, including treatment she received for cancer, 1866-1867, and the lives of members of the Wethered family. There are also two color photographs of oil portraits of Daniel Moreau Barringer and Elizabeth Barringer painted by Federico de Madrazo y Kuntz during the Barrigers' stay in Madrid.


Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library
New York, NY
Papers: In the Jay Family Papers, 1828-1943, 38.5 linear feet.
Correspondents include Daniel Moreau Barringer. A finding aid is available in the repository.


Duke University
Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library
Durham, NC
Papers: In the Charles Lanman Papers, 1804-1887, 62 items.
Correspondents include Daniel Moreau Barringer.


The Morgan Library
Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts
New York, NY
Papers: 1856, 1 item.
A letter from Daniel Moreau Barringer to Oscar T. Keeler written on May 5, 1856.


Princeton University Library
Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
Princeton, NJ
Papers: ca. 1898-1972, 39.7 cubic feet.
The papers of Daniel Moreau Barringer consist of correspondence, documents, ledgers, photographs of the Meteor Crater (Ariz.) site, and printed matter of Daniel Barringer (Princeton University Class of 1879). The correspondence contains letters which deal with scientific and business activities in mining and meteorology, including those of several companies which Barringer founded or developed, such as the Hanover Bessemer Iron and Copper Company, El Palmarito Leasing Company, the Texas Iron Association, and the Meteor Crater Exploration & Mining Company (general manager, George M. Calvocorresses, a major correspondent). The collection reflects Daniel Barringer's accomplishment in being the first to advance the theory that Meteor Crater was caused by the fall of a meteoric cluster, probably a small comet. There are also letters by fellow college classmate Woodrow Wilson, whose correspondence indicates that Daniel Barringer was not only a friend but also a personal adviser on mining and geological matters. A guide to the letterbooks is available in the repository.

  • Barringer, Daniel Moreau. An address, delivered before the alumni and graduating class of the University of N. C., Wednesday, June 3, 1840. Raleigh: Printed at the office of the Raleigh Star, 1840.
  • ------. Speech of D. M. Barringer, of North Carolina, on the tariff. [Washington]: J. & G. S. Gideon, printers, [1846].
  • Southgate, Nancy and Felicity Barringer. A Grand Obsession: Daniel Moreau Barringer and His Crater. Flagstaff, Ariz.: Barringer Crater Co., 2002.