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Alpheus Felch Papers, 1817-1896

6 linear feet — 6 oversize volumes — 1 oversize folder

Lawyer, Member of Michigan Supreme Court, 1842-1846, Democratic Governor of Michigan, 1846-1847, and holder of numerous other public offices; papers include correspondence and other papers documenting his career in public service.

The Alpheus Felch papers details the active life of this nineteenth century Michigan public servant. Not only are public issues discussed in the correspondence files but the researcher will also gain an understanding of some of the personal problems associated with public service. The collection also includes several files of other family members.


American Red Cross, 91st Division death reports, 1917-1931 (majority within 1919)

41 items

Colin V. Dyment, Lt. A.R.C., 91st Div. wrote these American Red Cross, 91st Division (World War I) death reports for the benefit of bereaved family members. Written in 1919 and with varying degrees of detail, they describe the circumstances of the deaths of men in the 91st Division - almost exclusively during the Meuse-Argonne and Belgian offensives, September-November, 1918.

The American Red Cross 91st Division death reports consist of 29 reports, each of which documents the deaths within a particular company or companies, battalion, or detachment within the 91st. Every page bearing an American Red Cross letterhead, the documents begin with a list of deceased soldiers' names and emergency contacts and are followed by a description of each man's death. The reports comprise 332 pages and relate the wartime deaths of 781 men.

The author of the reports, Colin V. Dyment, Lieutenant A.R.C, was a "searcher" within the 91st Division. His reports each proceed in a chronological fashion, beginning in the first phase of the Meuse-Argonne offensive and ending variously - as the final deaths suffered by each unit occurred at different times. Some of the units lost their last man in the second phase of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, and others not until their service in Belgium.

With as much detail as he was able, Dyment related the military context, troop movements, geographical surroundings, and precise events that led to the death of the soldiers. The descriptions are at times narrative, sometimes including last words, final dialogues with other men, physical descriptions of the men, and exact burial locations (when known). Where he did not bear witness, he attempted to include the contact information of officers or soldiers who had, so that bereaved family members might query them for information about their loved ones. The individual reports often read like stories, telling of the same battles with a focus on different companies, battalions, and detachments.

One report of non-combat casualties describes a train wreck near Bonnieres, France, in which a French freight train crashed into the rear of a military troop train. The 91st suffered the loss of 30 men from the Machine Gun Company and Medical Detachment of the 362nd Infantry unit.

This collection arrived at the Clements Library with twelve additional items: typescript copies of nine letters and two postal cards from Harry B. Critchlow of the 363rd Ambulance Company, 316th Sanitary Train, 91st Division and one typescript document entitled "Who Won the War," written by William H. Johnston in collaboration with General John J. Pershing. These additional materials relate directly to the 91st Division, but their relationship, if any, to the death reports is unclear.

Harry B. Critchlow of Portland, Oregon, sent these letters to his parents and to his brother Walter, mainly in August 1917, while at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, and Fort Riley, Kansas. In them, he described life in military camp and the activities of his fellow soldiers. In a letter dated June 19, 1918, from Camp Lewis, Washington, he anticipated his deployment overseas. Following the War, he sent two postal cards from France, assuring his family that he was still alive.

William Johnston's typescript copy "Who Won the War" is made up of transcripts of letters between himself and General John J. Pershing, regarding the accuracy of Pershing's portrayal of the 91st Division in his memoir of the war.


Amy Kirby papers, 1824-1825

8 items

The Amy Kirby (later Amy Kirby Post) collection consists of courtship letters written to Charles Willets describing their relationship as well as Kirby's life as a Quaker.

Seven of these letters are courtship letters from Amy Kirby to Charles Willets, each one longer than the one before, until by the seventh, every page has cross-hatching. Her love for Charles developed over the course of the correspondence, and by her last letter, she wrote happily and assuredly about becoming his wife. The eighth, and final, letter is a beautiful testament of her love from Amy to Charles' parents after she had learned of her intended's death.

After having given Charles permission to initiate a correspondence while she was out visiting with Scipio friends, Amy's first letter appeared to indicate a change of heart. Although she admitted that she felt "what I may romantically call a pang at receiving" his declaration of love, she asked Charles to "dismiss me from thy remembrance without a sigh" (1824 March 9). She gave no satisfactory reason, and Charles refused to be put off. He proved himself capable of reading between the lines, and his next foray at least supplied an explanation -- however unsatisfactory. Amy confessed, "When I replyed to thy first, I did not think it prudent to announce a dedication of heart, without the knowledge of my parents -- as it was the most probable, the hand would next be required -- I therefore informed them, alone, with the circumstance, and found their approbation unattainable -- it still is and I trust ever will be -- and now Charles please, unreluctantly, relinquish the idea, for it is my duty to obey, and thine to submit" (1824 April 3). Amy went on to intimate that she felt strongly for Charles, but warned him, "think not that I intend by these acknowledgments to rekindle thy affection... I must bid adieu to thee forever..."

By the time Amy wrote again, in October, the situation had brightened, about as inextricably as it had shadowed over. Without the letters written by Charles it is difficult to deduct what the points of contention were. It appears that Amy doubted his sincerity somewhat, or else felt that she had to let Charles convince her of his sincerity for the course of a few months before she would allow herself to be persuaded of his honorable intentions. In any case, her parents no longer presented an obstacle, except that Amy could not bear the thought of parting from them or leaving Locust Grove. She handed her suitor a challenge: "therefore until thou canst teach me to believe, that Skaneateles is adjacent to Locust Grove, and that I can be happier, without parents than with, more comfortably separated from brothers and sisters, than together, and finally more happy with thee, than with anyone else, I can not I believe consent to become a Willets. . ." (1824 October 26).

He must have taught her, and quickly, for by the next spring, she was thawing: "Oh how often do I wish that the enduring ties of native home, would loose their power to charm, and then my heart, perhaps would dare to acknowledge that it gave thee the prefferance..." (1825 April 5). Amy was frank about her feelings for Charles, and stated, "I seam to think that what the hart dictates need not be repressed" (1825 January 30). In her last letter to him, she boldly shifted her focus to the physical realm: "the pressure of thy hand is indelibly stampt on my heart -- thou must never my dear C expose me or this to any one, I should blush to think that any one knew it but him to whom my hand is to be given. I fear I have written to warmly..." (1825 May 16).

The health of Charles, her family, and herself typically got a mention in Amy's letters. She put on weight, changing from 92 to 103 pounds, only to lose it all when she was confined with a cold for two weeks. She was concerned about Charles' cough, and recommended Anderson's drops. She took a molasses and butter mixture for her own sore throat. Amy also told Charles about what various Friends were up to socially, and speculated about which couples would next announce their engagements. His parents came to call on her, and she was relieved that they knew of their son's "prospect" and approved of his choice (1825 May 16).

Amy also wrote about some of the contention already surfacing amongst Quakers about their religious faith and practice. The theological disputes between reformers, led by Hicks, and the Orthodox Friends were further complicated by traveling Evangelical ministers from England, including Anna Braithwaite, who visited Hicks in January and March of 1824. Amy wrote to Charles, "it is likely you have heard of Anna Braithwaite's letter stating the antick notion doctrin professed by Elias Hicks and his reply, which is now published and to crown all Ann Shipley comes out with another printed letter affirming to the truth of A. B. statement after Elias had contradicted it, I think we grow worse and worse and what will be the end of this I know not but I believe the two women will tell more lies than one man..." (1824 October 26). The publication of Braithwaite's A letter from Anna Braithwaite to Elias Hicks on the nature of his doctrines (Philadelphia, printed for the reader, 1825) was the beginning of a pamphlet war between reformers and English Evangelicals that was still going on after the 1827-1828 separation.

When Braithwaite returned to America in 1825, Amy again expressed her own decided opinion: "O have the heard that Anna Braithwait is comeing again to America has got liberty of the monthly mg most folks are very sorry but for my part I am rather glad that she is comeing but I have little doubt but what she herself will be sorry for the truth apprehend will this time be told on her certificates" (1825 May 16). Apparently when Anna did arrive at Jericho in January of 1826 the meeting could not agree to endorse her traveling certificate as was customarily done, and finally it was just recorded as being received, without the typical approbation or the condemnation Amy had hoped for.


Andrew T. Goodrich family correspondence, 1802, 1810-1813, 1816

7 items

Seven letters exchanged by members of the Goodrich family primarily concern news from New Haven, Connecticut, in the early 19th century. Andrew T. Goodrich, a publisher in New York City, also provided his mother and sister with thoughts on his church and recent War of 1812 victory celebrations.

Seven letters exchanged by members of the Goodrich family primarily concern news from New Haven, Connecticut, in the early 19th century. Andrew T. Goodrich, a publisher in New York City, received 3letters and 1 fragment from his mother Eunice and sister Sarah, and wrote 1 letter each to Sarah and his mother. Eunice Goodrich also wrote 1 letter to Andrew's sister Frances.

Andrew's incoming correspondence includes a 3-page letter from his sister Sarah M. Goodrich, in which she presented her opinions on an unidentified mutual acquaintance (August 4, 1810). She wrote of her high regard for the man, influenced by his mannerisms and religious views, and expressed her pleasure upon hearing that her brother felt the same way. She also included a brief poem. In a second letter, (September 21-25, 1816), Sarah described activities on board the the sloop Franklin as she traveled from a New York harbor up the Hudson River. Andrew's mother Eunice (2 pages) shared social news from New Haven, Connecticut, where his family continued to live after he moved to New York City. Eunice Goodrich addressed an additional letter (1 page, written in 1802) to her daughter Frances ("Fanny"), and lamented the death of her son Charles. Andrew also received a copied fragment of a letter regarding his brother's death.

Andrew T. Goodrich's letter to his mother concerned a recent business opportunity, and the effects of their separation (November 16, 1811). In a letter dated October 24, 1813, Andrew discussed a recent sermon by John Brodhead Romeyn; a potential substitute preacher, Alexander McLeod, who would only preach if they permitted him to use a Scottish psalter (Goodrich noted he would rather sell his pew and quit the church); and celebrations of recent War of 1812 victories.


Benjamin Ropes Nichols papers, 1800-1831

17 items

The Benjamin Ropes Nichols papers are letters written home from Nichols as a student at Harvard from 1800-1804, and later as a married man living in Boston from 1824-1831.

The letters comprising this collection fall into two discrete groups representing the periods of time when Nichols was separated from his family: those written while he was at college (1800-1804) and those written from Boston (1824-1831).

Benjamin's college letters give a strong impression of student life at Harvard shortly after the turn of the century. Of particular interest are his father's letter of advice on the proper conduct of a young man preparing to enter college (dated [1800]), Benjamin's apparently sincere apology for not having followed this advice (19 Sept. 1800), two letters describing student unrest following the expulsion of a classmate (1 and 14 Sept. 1800), and a letter regarding vandalism at the chapel (23 Nov. 1802).

Two of the letters written from Boston (11 and 16 February 1829) concern the Nichols' attempts to locate a suitable wetnurse following Mrs. Nichols' giving birth to twins.


Charlotte and Martha Wray papers, 1839-1872

0.25 linear feet

This collection contains the incoming and outgoing correspondence of Charlotte and Martha Wray, sisters who lived in Washington County, New York; Detroit, Michigan; and Iowa in the 19th century. The letters span Martha's time as a schoolteacher in Detroit, Michigan; Charlotte's work as a teacher in Albany, New York; and Charlotte's experiences in Iowa prior to the Civil War.

This collection contains approximately 110 letters, of which Charlotte Wray wrote about 90 to her sister Martha. Additionally, Martha and Mary Jane Wray each wrote 1 letter, and Charlotte and Martha Wray received about 18 letters from cousins and other family members. Charlotte's letters discuss her experience as a schoolteacher and her life in Albany, New York, and in Iowa, where she lived after the late 1840s. Charlotte's letters also include content on the arrival of new immigrants, her declining health, and her husband's medical practice during the Civil War.

The earliest items in the collection include a 1-page essay by Mary Jane Wray, Charlotte and Martha's sister, titled "of Solitude" and dated September 18, 1839, and a poem Charlotte wrote about her sister. The correspondence begins on May [15], 1842, with a letter from Martha about her arrival and teaching in Detroit. When Mary Jane traveled to Detroit in 1844, she wrote home about the birth and first weeks of her son Van (August 25, 1844).

Charlotte wrote approximately 20 letters to Martha after moving to Albany, New York, around October 1845, where she taught school. She gave news about her life and friends in Albany, such as her intent to turn down a marriage proposal (January 19, 1846) and student expenses at the New York State Normal School (March 15, 1846). In a later letter from Albany, written around the summer of 1846, she explained her reasons for leaving the school, based on the belief that she could earn more money sewing.

After June 22, 1847, Charlotte wrote approximately 70 letters to Martha describing her married life with Thomas. They moved to Garnavillo, Iowa, in the summer of 1847. She informed her sister about life in Iowa, including her travels, the experiences of other new immigrants, and her homes in Garnavillo, Farmersburg, and Monona. Charlotte also discussed married life and her husband's medical practice. She reflected on the Civil War in two letters, mentioning the draft, financial aspects of the war, and her husband's wartime medical practice (August 21, 1862, and February 1863). Following Charlotte's death around March 1863, Martha received 7 letters from her brother-in-law, who described Charlotte’s final sickness and death (March 31, 1863) and the devastating impact on the family.


Chase S. Osborn Papers, circa 1870-1949 (majority within 1889-1949)

149.9 linear feet ((in 152 boxes)) — 3 oversize volumes — 1 oversize folder

Governor of Michigan, writer, businessman; papers include correspondence, business records, speeches, writings, visual materials, diaries.

The Osborn collection consists of correspondence, diaries, business papers, scrapbooks, photographs, and other materials accumulated during his life. Materials prior to 1889 are scarce possibly because of a fire which destroyed Osborn's home; thereafter and up to the time of his death in 1949, the Osborn papers are voluminous, documenting each of this man's varied activities. Although his career as elected public official was limited to one term as governor, the collection reflects the importance of his life in areas beyond politics alone. His voice was heard, in letters and speeches and monographs, speaking out on the issues of the day - prohibition, conservation, the New Deal, and of course his life-long interest in the development of Michigan's Upper Peninsula economy and natural resources.


Currier family letters, 1819-1844 (majority within 1835-1844)

7 items

This collection contains 7 letters related to members of the Currier family of Freeport, Maine, and Amesbury, Massachusetts. Sally Currier, Ann Currier, and Sarah Ann Currier received letters from family members and friends regarding news from Freeport and Bangor, Maine, as well as news of student life at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

This collection contains 7 letters related to members of the Currier family of Freeport, Maine, and Amesbury, Massachusetts. Sally Currier received the first letter from her sister-in-law, Polly Collins of South Hampton, New Hampshire, who sent condolences on the death of Currier's husband (May 10, 1819). Sarah Ann Currier of Amesbury, Massachusetts, received 5 letters from cousins and acquaintances, who wrote about their daily lives in Maine and shared family news. J. Follansbee addressed one letter to Sarah Ann, care of Joseph Follansbee of Washington, D. C., and described his life at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania (January 9, 1843). Anne M. Dunn sent Currier a copy of a letter written by Joshua Follansbee to Dr. Daniel and Martha Sewall concerning the death of his "dear Louisa," including a description of her final illness (February 3, 1844). Mary A. Cushing of Freeport, Maine, wrote of local schools in an undated letter. One additional letter to Ann Currier, then living with Sarah Soule of Amesbury, contains updates on family and friends in Freeport (December 31, 1840).


Department of Medicine and Surgery (University of Michigan) theses, 1851-1878

57 microfilms (1449 theses)

Theses written by University of Michigan Medical School students; subjects concern the theory and treatment of specific diseases, as well as the psychology of medicine, attitudes toward women and child rearing, the social standing of the physician, and medical practices during the mid-nineteenth century.