25 photographs (in 1 folder)
The prints are illustrative of significant moments in the history of Michigan from pre-history to World War II.
25 photographs (in 1 folder)
The prints are illustrative of significant moments in the history of Michigan from pre-history to World War II.
3 linear feet
The record group consists of such organizational records as minutes of meetings, constitution and by-laws, treasurer's books, inventories of the Alpha Nu Library, membership book, and scattered correspondents and business papers. Correspondents in the papers include Lewis Cass, April 1846, Robert McClelland, January 1846, Henry R. Schoolcraft, December 1845,and Ezra C. Seaman. Also included are volumes of the manuscript periodical, "The Sybil," which date (with several gaps), from 1843 to 1931. Most of "The Sybil" are from the early period of Alpha Nu, 1843 to 1854.
6 linear feet — 6 oversize volumes — 1 oversize folder
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.
3 linear feet
The Christopher Van Deventer papers contain 622 items, including 569 letters, 38 financial and legal documents, 6 newspaper clippings, 5 diaries, an essay, a map, a photograph, and a printed item. The papers span 1799-1925 (bulk 1810 and 1835).
The Correspondence and Documents series contains Van Deventer's incoming and outgoing letters, receipts, certificates, and other documents, spanning 1799-1900. The materials cover various stages of his career, including his role as deputy quartermaster general in the early stages of the War of 1812, his imprisonment in Quebec and attempted escape, his friendship with John C. Calhoun and involvement in national politics, and the scandal which ended his public career.
The series opens with several letters and memoranda about the neutrality of the United States leading up to the War of 1812, including a manuscript essay signed "Gilbert" and entitled "Ought the United States to abandon Neutrality by forming an alliance with either Belligerent?" and the urgency of reconciliation with both Great Britain and France (filed after 1809). Samuel de Veaux, the commissary of Fort Niagara, also contributed several letters on the topic, stating in one, "the maintainance [sic] of a strict neutrality will be at the expense of the honour, the dignity, and the independence of the nation" (March 6, 1810). Upon the outbreak of the war, most letters and documents concern war efforts and Van Deventer's duties with the Quartermaster Department. These include requests concerning British fortifications at Niagara (June 28, 1812), the use of receipts to track expenditures, the construction of boats at Sackets Harbor (February 11, 1813), and a reconnaissance report concerning Fort George ().
After Van Deventer's capture at the Battle of Stony Creek on June 6, 1813, the collection documents his imprisonment in Quebec from July 1813 to February 1815. Letters received by Van Deventer include assurances from friends that they will get him exchanged (July 9, 1813), updates on his daughter (August 20, 1813), and details of his finances back in New York. Van Deventer also wrote frequently to friends and family members, describing his state of mind and the conditions of his imprisonment. On October 31, 1813, he noted that he was in "close confinement…limited by bolts and bars and locks" along with about 45 other American officers. He also provided a report of American officers confined with him, including names, ranks, corps, and remarks, and noted that they were "arrayed in a suite of upper rooms" with four men per room (November 4, 1813). Several letters contain references to a failed attempt to escape that he tried in late 1813. On December 25, 1813, he wrote, "I now am as miserable a condition as a man can be: in solitary confinement…deprived of my servant cut of[f] from converse with my countrymen." Van Deventer's imprisonment seemed to take an increasing toll on his mental state; on March 26, 1814, he wrote, "You tell me not to be discouraged--'hope!' ha, ha, ha, 'hope,' hope for what?" He also wrote in one letter that he had resolved "to practice the Stoic principle that 'whatever is independent on choice, is nothing to me'" (May 24, 1814).
After ca, February 1815, the date of Van Deventer's release, the collection primarily concerns correspondence relating to his career as chief clerk in the War Department; American politics, including the presidential candidacy of John C. Calhoun; the scandal related to Rip Raps shoal contract; and scattered personal and financial letters. In his role in the War Department, Van Deventer corresponded on numerous military matters. On January 16, 1818, he discussed the peacetime establishment of the United States Army and its reduction in size (January 15, 1818). Around 1819, he noted his support of Andrew Jackson's attacks on the Seminoles in Florida, stating, "we do affirm that neither the Constitution nor the laws have been violated by marching our forces into Florida" .
The collection also contains approximately 12 letters written to Van Deventer by John C. Calhoun between 1818 and 1836. These concern such topics as political appointments (September 2, 1821), Calhoun's predictions of doom for the John Quincy Adams administration (August 12, 1827), the growing rift between Calhoun and President Andrew Jackson (May 12, 1830), and several letters concerning the Rip-Raps affair, including Calhoun's pledge of support of Van Deventer against charges of military contract fraud (March 25, 1825). In a letter dated July 23, 1827, Calhoun responded to Van Deventer's suggestion that Calhoun should visit the north "with the view to remove unfavorable impressions" of him there, commenting that he did not want to undertake such a task simply for the sake of popularity. In addition, Calhoun noted that he foresaw "a great crisis" in United States public affairs. In another letter, of March 24, 1833, he addressed the nullification crisis, writing, "I have no doubt the system has got its death wound. Nullification has dealt the fatal blow." Also included are approximately 15 letters relating to Calhoun's candidacy for president in 1824, including Van Deventer's endorsement of him (), and a discussion of the upcoming election (September 21, 1824).
Also included are numerous letters and documents relating to the Rip Raps military contract scandal, including substantial correspondence between Van Deventer and Elijah Mix, an assertion of confidence in Van Deventer's character by James Monroe (November 27, 1826), numerous letters of support from friends and colleagues, and a printed report by the U.S. House of Representatives (May 22, 1822). The materials cover many aspects of the scandal and its aftermath.
Also present in this series is a copy of Charles S. Smith's printed map, Map of the City of Quebec (New York: 1796), located in Box 1.
The Diaries series contains five brief, loose-leaf diaries covering the following periods: April 26-May 5, 1819; January 10-March 3, 1825; October 13, 1825-July 3, 1826; July 4-November 3, 1826; and December 2, 1826-April 7, 1827. Entries are terse and business-like in nature and track Van Deventer's activities as chief clerk in the War Department, including the correspondence and reports he received, colleagues with whom he spoke on various matters, and documents that he wrote and sent. In a few entries, he mentioned comments made by John C. Calhoun; for example, on January 10, 1825, he noted that "Mr Calhoun remarked on Mr [DeWitt] Clinton's speech, that Mr Clinton had put himself on his Mr Calhouns ground--that the Radical party was wholly demolished…." In an entry of November 23, 1825, he discussed public perceptions and popularity of Calhoun in Washington, D.C.
The David Bates Douglass Papers contain 1,191 letters, documents, and manuscripts relating to many aspects of Douglass's family and professional life between approximately 1812 and 1873. The collection is broad, encompassing incoming letters from scientific and military associates of Douglass, with drafts and retained copies of some his responses; long love letters to his future wife, Ann Ellicott (later Douglass); letters between Ann and Douglass; letters between Ann, Douglass, and the children; correspondence to and from a larger extended family; and several letters pertaining to the scandal at Kenyon College. Douglass's interests in internal improvements, natural history, systems and theories of academic scientific exchange, the education of his daughters and sons, the complex and numerous relationships and family connections through which early nineteenth-century American communities were built, and the Military Academy at West Point are very well-documented.
The David Bates Douglass Papers include materials pertinent to the War of 1812 and British-American relations in the New Nation period (1789-1830). Many of the early letters (1812-1814) include Douglass's own accounts of the Siege of Fort Erie, the Battle of Lundy's Lane, the daily experiences of soldiers as they marched, the lack of provisions so frequently a problem in the Napoleonic Era, and the efforts to fortify various parts of Fort Erie during and after the end of the war. Several copies of Douglass's drafts of a memorial of the War of 1812, written later in his life, provide additional context to his published account, The Campaign of 1814 (Wales: Cromlech Press, 1958). A particularly notable part of the collection is the volume, Reminiscences of the War of 1812 -- a set of Douglass's lectures, copied letters, and copied war orders [written in pen and ink in what appears to be Andrew Douglass's hand]. Despite Douglass's service in the war, his letters show the still-interconnected nature of British and American people in this period, both in matters such as creating borders, but also in religious and intellectual life. Charles, Douglass's eldest son, went to Seminary at Oxford, served in the Anglican Church, and wrote and published in England. Douglass himself worked with British engineers on the U. S. Canada boundary project and corresponded with other scientists and intellectuals from England, sharing information, specimens, and equipment.
Douglass's papers showcase relationships in the development of intellectual, religious, and scientific communities in New Nation America. Douglass and his associates were instrumental in the foundation and growth of several lyceums, thus playing a role in public scientific education, and they were particularly avid in promoting the field of mineralogy. Thirty-six letters (1820-1825) in the collection detail Douglass' participation in the Lewis Cass Expedition of 1820, including its planning, findings, and importance to larger political issues of the time. Twenty-four letters (1820 -1825) from Cass include observations on Native Americans and on the natural history of the region. Valuable letters from Torrey (1820-1823), Barnes (1821-1823), Schoolcraft (1824), and Silliman (1820-1821) relate to the planning of the expedition and to the research carried out by its participants. Along with the correspondence concerning the establishment of lyceums and the exchange of specimens, the letters help to highlight certain communities engaged in early nineteenth-century networks of scientific communication in the U.S. Douglass also corresponded with other intellectuals of the time, including the geologist Mary Griffith (1821-1825) and the mineralogist Parker Cleaveland (1828). The collection also includes notes and correspondence regarding Douglass's work on the U.S.-Canadian boundary in Lake Erie (1819), his survey and assessment of New England coastal defenses (1815-1820), the construction of the Pennsylvania Canal (1824), his work on the Morris Canal (1829), discussions of linking the Ohio River and the Chesapeake, and his much-celebrated work on the Greenwood Cemetery (1839).
The collection contains materials pertinent to scholars of family, gender, and/or class in nineteenth-century America. The majority of the collection is tied together through the correspondence of Douglass and his family. Roughly 40 early letters from Douglass to Ann (1813-1815) show common epistolary courtship practices, such as choosing pen names from popular romantic literature, poetry, or plays, copying poems or excerpts from books, and Douglass's own expressions of romantic love. Ann's letters (105 of them, ranging from 1826 to 1849) display the wide range of women's responsibilities to the ever-changing nineteenth-century household, showing especially women's role in connecting the family to various social communities. Glimpses into early childhood education can be seen throughout this collection, first under Ann's stewardship and Douglass's long distance instruction through letter-writing, and later in the children's letters about their experiences of girls' and boys' boarding schools in New Jersey, New York, and Ohio. In one example (February 28, 1831), Douglass wrote to Andrew, giving him advice on how to pursue an education, but also on how to behave in virtuous ways. In another example (March 4, 1831), Andrew told his father about mean boys who bullied him. Letters from Charles and Andrew chronicle as well some of their experiences of higher education at Kenyon College. The Douglass family's letters provide evidence for examinations into the gender expectations placed on girls and boys, women and men, and the ways that those expectations changed over time. Many letters also provide material for examining family economies, revealing a family striving for middle class comforts while living with indebtedness, the constantly changing financial states of early nineteenth-century American families, and the reliance upon extended kinship networks to avoid the perilous position of penury. For example, in a letter from Ann, Ellen, and Mary to Douglass (October 18, 1844) Ellen discussed her desire to have more schooling, which they cannot afford, while Ann worried over providing winter clothing for all of the smaller children.
The Douglass Papers also concern Native American life in different parts of the U. S. and Black life in northern communities. For example, John Bliss wrote several letters to Douglass (1820-1834) discussing negotiations with the Sioux and Chippewa in Missouri. In a few letters to Ann during his survey of Lake Erie, and in his bundles of notes (1819), Douglass gave descriptions of his interactions with Native American tribes in upper Michigan. In another, Douglass tried to obtain dictionaries of Native American languages so that he could better communicate with people from Native American tribes. Cass's letters (1820) also give information regarding his observations of Native American tribes in the Detroit area. Sarah Douglass described a Black traveling preacher who gave sermons to the girls at her boarding school in New York and Ann told Douglass about a Black medicine woman who used her nursing skills to heal a group of people in New York during an outbreak of severe disease, another frequent topic displayed throughout the collection. In many ways, the everyday nature of the David Bates Douglass papers, filled with clothing orders, professions of familial love, the financial troubles of a growing family, the religious experiences and affiliations of middle class men and women, and letters from children practicing their penmanship makes this collection invaluable to the study of early U. S. history.
7 linear feet (263 papers)
The student papers are organized alphabetically by author in two series, which are similar in date range and topics covered. Topics of papers concern Michigan social and political history; Michigan biography and bibliography; local community history and University of Michigan history. A topical index to the papers is available in the first box of the collection.
The Fort Wayne Indian Agency collection consists of a letterbook kept by Indian agents John Johnston and Benjamin Franklin Stickney; an English to Ottawa dictionary, likely written by Stickney; and a memorandum book kept by Johnston during his time at Fort Wayne.
The Fort Wayne Indian Agency Letter book (189 pages) was compiled by agents John Johnston (April 15, 1809-November 30, 1811) and Benjamin F. Stickney (April 18, 1812-October 1, 1815), who documented all accounts, disputes, complaints, and other occurrences that transpired between the soldiers at the fort and the Native Americans. The letterbook records the agency business during the critical years before and during the War of 1812, when Fort Wayne was a vital part of American frontier defenses. The volume is comprised of copies of letters, speeches, circulars, and documents, to and from the agents and various departments of the United States government. The correspondents include Presidents Jefferson and Madison; Secretary of State James Monroe, Secretaries of War Henry Dearborn, John Armstrong, and William H. Crawford; the governor of Indiana Territory, William Henry Harrison; and Michigan governors William Hull and Lewis Cass; as well as several Indian chiefs (listed in Additional Descriptive Data). The entries contain lists of supplies received at Fort Wayne, lists of supplies and gifts extended to the Indians, receipts for work done at the garrison, reports on Indian activities, speeches addressed to the Indians, accounts of the war on the frontier, and reports about other conflicts in the area. The volume concludes with a 13-page "statements and observations relating to the Indian department" which summarizes Stickney's efforts during the War of 1812. For a complete transcription of the letterbook, along with a thorough index, see:
Thornbrough, Gayle. Letter Book of the Indian Agency At Fort Wayne, 1809-1815. Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 1961.
The English to Ottawa dictionary (40 pages) contains phonetic spellings for English words in the language of the Ottawa Indians (the Ottawa speak a dialect of Ojibwe). The book, likely composed by Stickney, contains words for mammals, fowl, birds, fish, reptiles, elements (earth, water, wood, stone, clay, etc.) plants, trees, body parts and facial features, food, maladies, medicine, feelings (love, malice, envy etc.), celestial features, weather, clothes and other goods, numbers, colors, and useful phrases. In addition to providing information on the Ottawan language, the dictionary relates concepts and terms that were important to the Americans. This volume was likely never published.
John Johnston kept the Fort Wayne memorandum book (145 pages) during his tenure as Indian agent at Fort Wayne, from 1802-1811. The volume contains both personal and official material. The first entry was March 20, 1801, when Johnson was appointed by General Henry Dearborn to be a clerk in the War Department. He arrived at Fort Wayne on September 20, 1802. The volume contains several lists of supplies for Fort Wayne and for gifts to the Indians, and records bills and accounts from the Indian agency and the War Department. Many of the accounts concern Indian agent William Wells (1802-1803). Johnston also made notes on his daily responsibilities, of enquiries into food and supplies, and on people traveling to and from Fort Wayne and Washington D.C.; Dayton, Ohio; and Detroit, Michigan. Several entries relate to Native Americans, and discuss Little Turtle's adopted son and the husband of Little Turtle's daughter. Among Johnston's personal notes are financial records for planting his farm and orchard in 1808. The memorandum book provides information about life in the Indiana Territory in the early 19th century.
3 linear feet
The Frank B. Woodford papers consist of correspondence, speeches, scrapbooks, book reviews and manuscripts of unpublished writings; also research materials concerning Lewis Cass, Augustus B. Woodward, Gabriel Richard, and Alexander J. Groesbeck, and papers relating to the Civil War in Michigan, the development of Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, the Detroit Public Library, the Detroit Free Press, and the building of the Mackinac Bridge. The collection is organized into four series: Correspondence; Writings and related material; Scrapbooks and newspaper clippings; and Other materials.
1 microfilms (positive)
The George Johnston letterbook provides a chronology of the events in his life. Included are copies of letters from Chippewa Indian chiefs appealing to the President of the United States to honor its past treaties with the Indians. There are also many letters describing the copper deposits of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, including letters to copper mining companies (i.e. the Native Copper Association and the Bruce Mining Company) urging them to exploit the natural resources of the Upper Peninsula. Letters to Henry Schoolcraft, Johnston's brother-in-law, indicate something of his interest in Michigan's copper resources. Of interest are the series of letters written to Secretary of War, Lewis Cass, Henry R. Schoolcraft, and H.C. Gilbert defending his claim to receive land under the treaty of 1855. Johnston addressed letters to the following individuals: Lewis Cass, Zachariah Chandler, Peter Dougherty, Bishop Samuel McCoskry, Robert McClelland, Henry R. Schoolcraft, Charles Stuart, and C.C. Trowbridge.
The Green Clay collection (45 items) contains letters and administrative documents related to the Kentucky militia under General Green Clay during the War of 1812. The collection consists of 20 letters, 8 military orders, 9 military documents (such as muster rolls, supplies and baggage disbursement, disciplinary actions, and receipts), 7 legal and financial documents, and 1 map.
The bulk of the collection consists of letters and orders documenting administrative decisions related to Clay's Kentucky militia. Several items are letters between Clay and General Samuel South (1767-1833), who lead the Kentucky Mounted Volunteers during the War of 1812. Clay also communicated orders to Colonel William Dudley, commander of the 13th regiment of the Kentucky Militia. These discuss raising and managing the militia, and relaying information on supplies and concerns over baggage train logistics, such as letters from the Brigade Quarter Master David Trimble and Colonel William E. Boswell (April 17, 1813 and April 20, 1813 respectively). An undated item describes the clothing supplies for 2000 militiamen. Three items concern military disciplinary actions. The first is a court martial summons for Lieutenant John Henderson of Captain Cushing’s artillery company, who was accused of behavior unbecoming of an officer (August 1, 1813). The other two are letters discuss the court martial charges of John McCurtry for desertion. In the letter from November 10, 1814, John's brother, Joseph McMurtry, explains to General Clay that an injury kept John from marching with the militia to Ohio, and in the letter from June 16, 1815, Joseph McMurtry argues that the desertion charges were politically motivated. Another notable item is Clay's letter resigning from the 2nd Division of the Kentucky Militia, in order "to give place to younger men, more capable to bear the fateagues of a campaign in distant Regions" (June 14, 1814).
In addition to letters and orders, the collection holds 6 muster rolls that document the 10th and 13th Kentucky regiments. These items contain officer lists, dates of commissions, general remarks, and basic data on sick leave and discharges.
The map is of Jersey Field in Montgomery County, New York, and is entitled: Patent dated April 12th 1770 deed of partition of 94,000 acres of land on the north side of the Mohawk River in the county of Tryon. This item is located in the Clements Library Map Division.
The collection also contains six documents that are not related to the Kentucky militia or the War of 1812, including letters regarding payments of debts, transfers of land deeds, and a testimony in a land dispute between James Hendricks and Green Clay (April 16, 1807). Another notable item is a letter from Lewis Cass, governor of the Michigan Territory, discussing the return of a man named Tanner after his capture by Native Americans (September 30, 1818).