Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Stevens mss., 1749-1916, consist of papers of William Arnold Stevens, 1839-1910, his wife, Mrs. Caroline (Clarke) Stevens, 1834-1916, and members of their respective families.

The papers of William Arnold Stevens include his diaries, September 1, 1850-June 30, 1859, when he was attending school in Fairmount, Ohio, 1850-1854, and working, 1854-1858, for Mr. Harrison, a glass merchant of Cincinnati; the secretary's book of the Fairmount Lyceum, September 3, 1852-July 7, 1855, of which Stevens was an active member; essays on various subjects, both of Stevens' Fairmount school days and of his college days at Denison University from which he graduated in 1862; his diaries, July 28-August 30, 1863, and July 8-August 18, 1864, his duplicate commission and letters, while he was a delegate of the U.S. Christian Commission, serving with the Army of the Cumberland; travel diaries and letters, 1867- 1868, when he was studying at the Universities of Leipzig and Berlin and travelling in Germany, Switzerland, France, and England.

In 1876 Stevens married Caroline Clarke of Springfield, Ohio. The collection contains travel diaries and letters of their trips abroad, one in the summer of 1876 to England, Wales, Italy, Switzerland, and France, the other in 1882 and 1883 to Egypt, Palestine, and other parts of the Near East in addition to Greece and other parts of Europe. Also included are summer vacation diaries of William Arnold Stevens, 1890- 1909, most of the summers having been spent on the coast of Maine; letters between Stevens and his wife when either of them was absent from home; account books and memorandum books of Stevens; and letters to Stevens from former students, colleagues and friends, some of them in regard to his edition of the Select Orations of Lysias, which was published in 1876. From 1877 until his death in 1910 Stevens was a professor at the Rochester Theological Seminary, Rochester, New York. Diaries of Caroline (Clarke) Stevens, October 21, 1876-February 10, 1879, are included in the collection.

Among other members of the Stevens family represented in the collection are Solomon Stevens, 1769-1855, of Townsend, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, grandfather of William Arnold Stevens; John Stevens, 1798-1877, father of William Arnold Stevens, clergyman, teacher, editor, and agent of the American Baptist missionary union; and George Edward Stevens, 1841- , brother of William Arnold Stevens.

The papers of Solomon Stevens consist of deeds, notes, receipts, etc., and a copy of his will, dated April 16, 1850.

For John Stevens there are letters and papers relating to his various positions and memorandum books, August 12, 1835- March 3, 1859. Born in Townsend, Massachusetts, he graduated at Middlebury College, Vermont, in 1821 and studied at Andover Theological Seminary. After being a classical tutor at Middlebury College from 1825 to 1828, he moved to Ohio, where he served for seven years as editor of the Baptist Weekly Journal. From 1838 to 1843 and again from 1859 until his retirement in 1875 Stevens was a professor at Denison (formerly Granville) University. In the interval between these two periods, 1843-1856, he was district secretary of the American Baptist Missionary Union.

George Edward Stevens is represented in the collection by his journal, October 5-November 28, 1854, while he was still in school, and letters, most of which were to or from his brother, William Arnold Stevens. He began working on April 14, 1856, for George S. Blanchard & Co., of Cincinnati, publishers and wholesale booksellers, a firm in which he later became a partner. On November 17, 1870, he married Emily Clarke, 1839- , whose sister later became the wife of William Arnold Stevens.

Emily Clarke had been previously married, 1862, to Charles L. Petts, who died in 1866. He was a travelling salesman for Barrett & Petts, booksellers and stationers of Springfield, Ohio, until 1864, when he became a partner in the firm of E. Gilman of Boston, which dealt in "Family and Bakers' Flour." Some of his papers are in the collection, including letters, January 31, 1860-January 7, 1866, in regard to property which he owned in Kansas, and letters, January 14, 1862-August 27, 1866, to his wife. From January 14, 1862-February 4, 1864; these were written from various Ohio towns while Petts was travelling as a salesman, with the exception of two letters, July 16 and 19, 1863, when he was at Camp Chase with the Clark County, Ohio, Militia, which had been called out because of Morgan's raid.

In addition to the Stevens and Petts papers, the collection contains letters and papers, 1801-1857, of the Clarke and Strong families to which Mrs. Caroline (Clarke) Stevens and Mrs. Emily (Clarke) Stevens belonged. Represented are their parents, Oliver Clarke III, 1795-1854, teacher, merchant, and banker, and Mrs. Elizabeth (Strong) Clarke, 1798-1876; Alexander Hanson Strong, 1814?-1840, lawyer and brother of Mrs. Elizabeth (Strong) Clarke, and Eunice Strong, teacher and sister of Mrs. Elizabeth (Strong) Clarke.

Oliver and Elizabeth (Strong) Clarke were originally residents of Southampton, Massachusetts, who took up residence in Decatur, DeKalb County, Georgia, following their marriage in 1827. In 1838 they moved to Springfield, Ohio. A group of their letters, 1827-1832, from Georgia to Elizabeth (Strong) Clarke's New England relatives is included in the collection.

From Alexander Hanson Strong, who practiced law in Hamilton, Georgia, 1836-1837, and in Vicksburg, Mississippi, 1838-1839, there are letters to Oliver and Elizabeth (Strong) Clarke and to other relatives.

Eunice Strong taught in Springfield, Ohio, during the 1830's. The collection contains some of her letters from there to her family in Massachusetts.

Some of the mss. in this collection are in an oversize folder. A folder of biographical and genealogical material on the Stevens, Arnold, Clarke and Strong families is in the first box.

Collection size: 1,401 items

Related manuscripts: Stevens mss. II

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.