Out of the six letters that make up this collection, five date from 1862-1863 and are addressed to Frank Metcalf, teacher and soldier in the Union Army during the Civil War. These letters are from friends and family in New York, and relay local news, in particular updates on area schools and students. The final letter dated June 30, 1866 is from Hannah J. McLintock, to her brother, John.
The collection is open for research.
Frank Metcalf taught at the Whitestown Seminary in New York before serving in the Union Army during the Civil War. He continued to maintain a connection to his former students from Oneida County even during his service, receiving letters from them that contained news about their education and about area schools and teachers.
The collection contains six letters written during and immediately after the Civil War, the first five addressed to Frank Metcalf serving in the Union Army and the last to a man named John.
Letters to Frank were sent from former students, his sister, and his cousin to where he was stationed in the South. Those from his students focus primarily on their schooling (they either attend or plan on attending the Rome Academy) and the state of local education. Family and friends alike inform Frank of a new teacher's institute, new programs and teachers at the Seminary and the Academy, as well as of the facilities. Also mentioned are small pieces of news from around town. One letter from his cousin mentions marriages and the recent Mass she attended, making her respect the priest for the abolitionist tones of the sermon.
Very little is mentioned about the war or Frank's life as a soldier, save for a few words here and there about the weather and mud in the South. In one letter written to Frank during January of 1863 by former student Ella, she observes "...the life of a soldier is irksome at the best -- but at least you may console yourselves with the thought that you are not mere lookers on in this great struggle but, rather, that you are acting the noble parts of heroes in the strife."
Finally, the collection includes a single letter from Hannah J. McLintock to her brother, John, written in 1866. In it she addresses her "very Dear Brother," who is living elsewhere with his wife, children, and their brother David. The letter is written in response to a bottle of wine that John sent to his mother, who is ill, and requests that he try to write to her more often. It is not clear what, if any, connection there is between Frank Metcalf and the McLintocks.
Acquired from Vincent DiMarco in June 2007.
Collection was processed by Mary E. Fahey in July 2007.
For other personal accounts of the Civil War in the Special Collections and University Archives, see:
Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:
Frank Metcalf Letters (MS 529). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.