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Charles L. Stevenson papers, 1841-1846, 1925-1979

5 linear feet

Papers, 1925-1979, of Charles L. Stevenson, professor of philosophy at the University of Michigan, and his wife, Louise Destler Stevenson. Correspondence with philosophers George E. Moore and Ludwig Wittgenstein; Stevenson-Destler courtship letters; student letters from Yale in the 1920's; also manuscripts and lecture notes on philosophy; diaries of Louise Stevenson; draft of her novel; and sermon books 1841, 1845-1846 of his great grandfather, the Rev. Isaac D. Williamson, New York state clergyman.

The Charles L. Stevenson papers consist of his student notebooks from Yale, Cambridge and Harvard Universities; course materials and notes for his lectures in philosophy courses at the University of Michigan and professional correspondence, including letters with Ludwig Wittgenstein and George E. Moore; professional writings; and personal and family papers. The collection is divided into the following series: Personal/biographical; Correspondence; Education: Yale, Cambridge, Harvard; Course materials and lecture notes: Yale, University of Michigan; Writings and Research Notes; Miscellaneous; Louise Destler Stevenson Papers; and Other Family Members.


Henry Grimes Marshall papers, 1862-1865

212 items (0.5 linear feet)

The Henry Grimes Marshall papers consist of letters written by Marshall to his family while serving with the Union Army, including time spent as an officer in the 29th Connecticut Infantry Regiment (Colored). Marshall's letters describe the events taking place around him as well as his thoughts about African American regiments, women's roles in war, and his reactions to the war.

Henry Marshall is among those writers whose letters provide insight into the workings of the mind, but also the workings of the heart. As a result, his surviving correspondence ranks among the outstanding collections in the Schoff Civil War Collections, providing a sensitive and deeply introspective view into the experience of a white officer in a "colored" regiment. An exquisite writer, Marshall was also among the most punctual of correspondents, rarely allowing a week to pass without sending something to his family at home. As a result of this fidelity and his meticulous eye for detail, it is possible to reconstruct nearly every day of Marshall's life under arms, the swings in his emotions, and the sudden changes in fortune that marked his career.

The high point of the collection is a remarkable series of letters written while Marshall was captain of Co. E, 29th Connecticut Infantry (Colored). Unlike the vast majority of white Americans, Marshall saw African-Americans as capable soldiers, brave and willing, and though afflicted with an unrelenting paternalism and sense of his own racial superiority, he generally refrained from swinging to the romantic extremes of many white abolitionists or the vicious extremes of his more racist compatriots. Marshall provides good accounts of daily life in camp, the inevitable rumors circulating among the soldiers, and opinions of officers. Of particular value are the ruminations on African American troops and their officers, living conditions while on duty guarding plantations in South Carolina or in the trenches before Petersburg, and the heavy labor while working at construction of the Dutch Gap Canal.

Among the military engagements described by Marshall are Fredericksburg, the sieges of Suffolk and Petersburg (particularly the battles of New Market, Darbytown Road and the Darbytown and New Market Roads), and the capture of Richmond. Furthermore, Marshall was involved in a number of minor skirmishes, many of which are exceptionally well documented. Overall, the best accounts are those for New Market Heights, where African American troops again distinguished themselves, and for a smaller, but significant skirmish during the Petersburg Campaign on October 12 and 13, 1864.

Marshall's letters are made more valuable in that his observational scope extends beyond the military, to report on such things as contraband children's schools (April 30, 1863), "shouts" and religious services (1864 July 5), and the local civilianry. An educated man with a keen interest in botany, he frequently sent home lengthy descriptions of southern flowers, often enclosing samples and seeds, and he left a rare record of the reading material available to a soldier. Marshall was also a keen observer of the religious life in his regiment, writing scathing attacks on his regiment's chaplain, whom Marshall felt was suspect of character.


Kenneth P. Davis papers, 1930-1974

35 linear feet

Educator and forester; correspondence, articles, reports, consulting files, and printed material concerning interests in forest management, forest fire control, use planning, forestry education, and participation in several land use lawsuits, including suit on the multiple use plan for Sylvania area, Ottawa National Forest; and photographs.

The Davis collection documents his various activities as a teacher, consultant, and practicing forester. The collection has been arranged into the following series: Biographical / Personal; Correspondence; Writings; University of Michigan Student, 1932-1933; University of Michigan Faculty, 1949-1966; Yale University Faculty, 1967-1974; Society of American Foresters; Conferences and Programs attended; International Forestry; Consulting File; Forest Management; Forest Cutting Practices Study, 1944-1957; Continuous Forest Inventory Study, 1959-1960; Nashwaak Pulp and Paper Company Case, New Brunswick, 1967-1972; Other topics; Photographs.


Laura Prime Jay diaries, 1890-1893

3 volumes

This collection is made up of 3 diaries kept by Laura Prime Jay between January 1, 1890, and May 30, 1893. Jay discussed her life in New York City, her social activities, and visits to New Haven, Connecticut; Rye, New York; and Northeast Harbor, Maine.

This collection is made up of 3 diaries kept by Laura Prime Jay between January 1, 1890, and May 30, 1893. The first two volumes contain daily entries dated January 1, 1890-December 31, 1890, and the third volume contains daily and sporadic entries dated January 1, 1891-Mary 30, 1893. Jay dedicated the diary to her cousin, Edith Van Cortlandt Jay, and wrote brief statements regarding her reasons for maintaining a diary.

Most entries focus on Jay's daily life in New York City, where she attended school, took dancing lessons, and participated in social activities, often accompanied by her brothers Pierre and John and her cousin Edith. She attended religious services at Saint Thomas's Church with her family. Jay recorded the names of the books she read and reported on family illnesses and other news, such as the death of her grandfather, John Clarkson Jay, in November 1891. Jay sometimes visited New Haven, Connecticut, where she attended dances at Yale University. The Jay family, along with cousins and other relatives, spent much of their summers at "The Locusts" in Rye, New York, and at the Kimball House in Northeast Harbor, Maine, where they participated in outdoor activities such as swimming and boating. The diaries include descriptions of the family's journeys between New York City, Rye, and Northeast Harbor. In 1890, the Jays also spent time in and near Jaffrey, New Hampshire, where they climbed Mount Monadnock.

Each of the volumes, particularly the third, contains additional ephemera items laid or pasted in, including monthly lists of Christian feast days and other holidays. Most of the ephemeral items are programs from church services and musical performances. Additional items include dance cards, visiting cards, invitations, a receipt, and seating charts from social dinners.

One sheet of paper laid into the third volume contains drawings of a man (possibly a monk), a soldier ("Tritan"), and a woman. The third volume also has a colored illustration of three people in a canoe next to the heading "This Old House Gay at Last." Newspaper clippings pertain to events at Yale University and to the death of John Clarkson Jay.


Marble family papers, 1834-1851 (majority within 1841-1851)

52 items

The Marble family papers consist of letters written by Susanna Bishop Marble, with contributions from other family members, describing life in New Haven, Connecticut.

This correspondence consists of 52 letters, 46 of which were written by Susanna Bishop Marble to her daughter, Jane Louisa Marble Day (Mrs. Henry Noble Day) in Hudson, Ohio, over a ten year period from 1841-1851. Forty-four of these letters were co-authored by at least one other family member, and sometimes all four -- Simeon Marble (2 letters); Edwin Marble (22 letters); Mary H. Marble (43 letters); and Julia Marble [Edwin's wife] (4 letters). The letters cover local New Haven County events, especially acts of arson (of which there are a fair number); deaths and illnesses; religious occasions; and the various proposed railroad routes through New Haven. Several letters mention the murder of a man named Osborn in 1845, for which a free black man was accused. A white man, Andrew P. Potter, was found guilty of the murder and was hanged in 1846 -- the first hanging in New Haven County in over 50 years. The trial attracted hundreds of spectators. Other topics include student vandalism at Yale College, homeopathic medicine, building and sidewalk improvements, the telegraph, abolition, missionary work, and women's fashions. The letters describe day to day life with passing references to the Mexican War, the Millerites, and gold mining. Since most letters are co-authored by at least three family members, they provide a good sense of family interaction, much like a family shared telephone call today.

Jane Louisa Marble Day wrote four of the letters in the collection to her husband, Professor Henry Noble Day, and her brother Edwin wrote one letter to Day.


Norris Family Papers, 1815-1960

3 linear feet — 1 oversize folder

Norris family of Ypsilanti and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Papers of Mark Norris, Ypsilanti businessman and postmaster; papers of his wife, Roccena Vaill Norris, local teacher and woman's rights advocate; papers of their son, Lyman, attorney and regent of the University of Michigan, 1883-1884; papers of Lyman's son, Mark Norris, Grand Rapids attorney and Grand Master of the Knights Templar in the United States; papers of Lyman's daughter Maria Norris, Grand Rapids physician; papers of Mark's son, Abbott Norris; and related papers of other family members, notably the Whittelsey family of Connecticut.

The Norris family papers consists of three linear feet of correspondence, business papers, and scrapbooks. The bulk of the papers are letters among various family members which contain a wealth of information about 19th century daily life, social conditions, business affairs, and local and state politics. This collection is especially useful in researching: women's history; Norris family and kinship interrelationships; early area settlement and local history; university student life at the University of Michigan and elsewhere; 19th century economic conditions and political issues; and 20th century Freemasonry.


Patterson Family papers, 1825-1931

3 linear feet (in 4 boxes)

New York State and Ann Arbor, Michigan family; family correspondence, business papers, student notebooks, photograph albums.

The Patterson family papers have been arranged as much as possible by family member name. To avoid confusion and because the name George Washington Patterson was passed down from father to son, the series names have been given a Roman numeral to distinguish one family member from another.


Richard Cary Morse papers, 1852-1886 (majority within 1853-1863)

3.5 linear feet

The Morse papers consists of letters from various members of the well known Morse Family of New England, with the greatest part of the correspondence between Richard Morse, Sr. and his son Richard Morse, Jr. including many letters written while Richard junior was at school.

About half of the correspondence in the Morse papers consists of letters between father and son, written mainly while Richard junior was at Andover and Yale. The senior Morse insisted that the boy write often and at length as a way of maintaining a close relationship with his family, describing academic and recreational activities, expressing his opinions on all sorts of matters, recording the substance of sermons and lectures he attended. His own letters to his son were similarly detailed. The correspondence is a particularly rich source of data on the content and tenor of conservative Protestant preaching during this era, as well as on details of a classical private education. Perhaps its greatest value, however, is as a record of the father-son relationship and the changes it went through as Richard junior matured. It shows how the young man gradually took on his own opinions and tastes, and became less shy about expressing them even when they brought him into disagreement with his father -- who was clearly a strongly opinionated and very controlling parent. (He advises his son minutely on food, exercise, study, religious practice, dress, companionship, sleep habits, reading, career choice, etc.) Richard's New England experience brought him into contact with liberal political and social views which were much at odds with Morse conservatism, and while he never strayed very far from the fold, his conservatism became more tempered than his father's, his perspective broader and outlook more flexible. The letters record the process of this separation and personal development.

The 100-odd letters to and from siblings are briefer, less revealing, though far from rote and mechanical. They depict warm affection between brothers and sisters and the protective, advising role taken on by elder toward younger. Those from older sisters at home show the busy doings of the New York household and the many comings and goings of various family members, for the Morses were great travelers, both in America and abroad. Eldest sister Elizabeth Morse Colgate wrote especially detailed and loving letters, advising Richard on matters of clothing, manners, and general behavior and catching him up on family activities. Brother Sidney offered his opinions on conduct appropriate to young men, and especially advised Richard on matters of academics and personal finances. Older sister Charlotte seems to have styled herself as a religious guide for her younger brother, while Mary and Louisa occupy a less prominent role with regard to Richard, at least as expressed in surviving family correspondence. Richard, in turn, looked out for those who came after him, and his younger sister Rebecca and brothers Willie and Nollie sought his advice on all kinds of matters, from politics to reading choices to composition themes.

Harriott Messinger Morse does not seem to have developed a close relationship with stepson Richard, and this eventually led to strained feelings between father and son, for he blamed Richard for the failure. A few later letters between siblings indicate that the other Morse children had their problems with her as well, and the father seems to have responded with some bitterness toward his children and the sad results of their "liberal" education. In Richard's case, particularly, there may have been some truth in this, for the boy developed a close relationship with Miss E.D. Apthorp, a fervent abolitionist, during his education at her Hartford school which continued into his college years. The Morse papers contain 7 letters to Richard from Apthorp, only 4 from his stepmother--and the Apthorp letters are far warmer, more personal and engaging. Richard's former teacher encouraged him in his efforts to enter the Civil War service, in open opposition to his parents' wishes.

Relations between the Richard Cary Morse household and the families of Samuel F.B. and Sidney Morse are touched upon but not detailed in the collection. There was evidently frequent communication and visiting back and forth, especially among the young women, and the two younger brothers and their families shared the same New York City house for some years. A few letters mention "Uncle Finley's" (Samuel F.B. Morse) travels, activities, and honors, but there is no direct correspondence with him or his family in these papers.

Richard's letters from friends during and just after college make up a valuable component of this collection. They depict the nature of male friendship, and the sorts of interests, concerns and activities typical of young men of this social class during the era. They are open with one another about loneliness, religious doubts, and other personal matters. Since the Civil War erupted during Morse's college years, young men faced difficult decisions and pressures which led them into vastly different experiences. Richard felt guilty about avoiding war duty, and conscientiously tried to keep in touch with those who went into the army. Other friends also opted out of service, expressing varying degrees of remorse over their decisions. There are a few letters from former classmates in military camp, and others which tell of friends in the service, several of whom died.

There are several small subsets of correspondence pertaining to non-family matters. Seven letters between Richard Morse senior and Guillaume de Felice offer a few details about social and religious conditions in France, the publishing business, and the conservative religious tone of the New York Observer, which regularly published pieces by Felice. A series of letters between clergyman, religious writer, and autograph collector William Buell Sprague (1795-1876) and the two Morse brothers involved in the Observer records the difficult relations which developed between Sprague and the Morses during his work on a biography of Jedediah Morse. One controversy touched upon in a few 1858 letters is the accusation by the Morses that Sprague, without their permission, removed autographs from letters given to him in relation to the biographical work. He vigorously denied this, and the truth of the matter is not evident from the correspondence. A more complicated and extended dispute, in 1867, revolved around the treatment by Sprague in the biography of a scandal in Jedediah Morse's career involving accusations of plagiarism of work by Hannah Adams. Adams was a Unitarian, Morse a well-known and fervent anti-Unitarian, and his condemnation, some felt, was more related to his religious views and former attacks on Unitarianism than the actual merits of Adams' case. Sprague wished to avoid reopening the issue, Sidney Morse felt strongly that his father should be vindicated in the biography, and Richard senior wavered back and forth indecisively, increasing Sprague's discomfort level. The arguing and negotiating goes on at great length, and evidently to no end, for the project was abandoned after being all but ready for press.

The collection also includes a book, Maria Louisa Charlesworth, Sunday Afternoons in the Nursery; or, Familiar Narratives from the Book of Genesis. (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1859). The volume is inscribed by Nollie Morse.

The Morses, with their impressive intellectual tradition and high level of education and sophistication, could hardly be considered a typical family of the time, particularly since their religious orientation, anti-urban sentiments, and lack of wealth kept them somewhat isolated from the general upper-class New York scene. This very difference contributes interest to the collection, for Richard Morse was not a typical wealthy young Yale man on his way to an illustrious career. He struggled with strongly conservative family traditions and parental opinions that were often at odds with what he encountered in his own experience, and which he wished at times to defy. In the end, Richard Cary Morse was decidedly a Morse, abandoning youthful doubts and contrary ambitions for a life of religious service, but in a form which reflected the strong influence of his school and college years -- by devoting himself to an organization formed to encourage the fellowship of Christian young men.


Ward Family Papers, 1860-1964 (majority within 1900-1940)

31.2 linear feet — 1 oversize volume — 8 oversize folders

Orchard Lake, Michigan, family, with various business interests, including lumbering and land transactions (in Michigan, California, West Virginia, and British Columbia), and also active in the development of the Orchard Lake area, especially from the 1920s to the 1940s; Correspondence files of individual family members, subject files detailing family interests and activities, business and legal records, maps, blueprints, and photographs.

The majority of the Ward Family collection is comprised of materials generated by Willis Ward and his son, Harold, and thus reflect the life of the family in the twentieth century. The strengths of the collection rest on materials which document upper-class family life in the first three decades of this century; the development of the Orchard Lake area in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s; the extensive Michigan land holdings of the Ward family; and the history of the lumber town of Deward, Michigan. The researcher should be aware that there are only limited materials in the collection which document either David Ward's business pursuits in Michigan or his personal life. The researcher should supplement those materials with use of Ward's published autobiography.

There are six series which comprise the Ward collection: Personal; Correspondence; Land Holdings; Photographs; Architectural Drawings; and Maps. Whenever possible the original order of materials in the first three series has been maintained.