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SCUA

Religion (57 collections) SCUA

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American Friends Service Committee. Western Massachusetts

American Friends Service Committee Records, 1975-2005.

24 boxes (36 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 459

Established in 1968 in response to the war in Vietnam, the AFSC office in western Massachusetts did not limit its focus to draft and military counseling, instead the organization broadened its focus over time to include educational and outreach programs for a variety of peace and socal justice issues. Today the chapter focuses on economic justice, campaigns against U.S. military intervention, and actions to combat racism and classism. With an emphasis on serving the community of western Massachusetts, the program is equally committed to calling attention to issues of both national and local importance. Recent campaigns range from ending the war in Iraq and supporting peace in Columbia to preventing the construction of a new jail in Chicopee.

The collection consists chiefly of subject files that together provide a picture of the various issues in which the western Massachusetts AFSC was involved. Topics range from the organization’s earliest focus, the Vietnam War, to the first Gulf War, landlord/tenant relations, immigration, and landmines. The collection also includes materials relating to public figures, some of whom traveled to the region to speak.

Subjects

  • Activists--Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts--Economic conditions
  • Peace movements--Massachusetts
  • Social justice--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • American Friends Service Committee. Western Massachusetts

Austin, Samuel

Digital (+)Finding aid

Samuel Austin Collection, 1718-1920.

2 boxes (1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 937

An historian and educator, Samuel Austin (1816-1897) was known for his long association with the Friends Boarding School in Providence, R.I. (later renamed the Moses Brown School). An alumnus who married an alumna, Elizabeth H. Osborn, Austin taught at the Boarding school for decades and was instrumental in gathering and preserving documents relating to the school. He wrote and lectured regularly on the history of Friends’ education and on the Boarding School, and its noted teachers and alumni.

A product of the historical work of Samuel Austin, the collection contains both essays, notes, and talks on the Friends’ Boarding School in Providence and on Moses and Obadiah Brown, and some significant original documents used by Austin in his research. Noteworthy among the original materials are a fascinating series of records from monthly and quarterly meetings in and near Rhode Island, mostly in 1787-1793; a rich series of epistles received by Smithfield Monthly Meeting from other meetings in New England (1718-1767); some key printed epistles from Yearly Meetings, including those on war (London, New England, and Philadelphia Yearly) and slavery (London and Philadelphia). Of equal note are a series of letters from Elisha Thornton (a New Bedford merchant, educator, and antislavery advocate), a lengthy letter on doctrine from John Wilbur, and a 1765 sermon from Rachel Wilson.

Subjects

  • Antislavery movements
  • Brown, Moses, 1738-1832
  • Friends Boarding School (Providence, R.I.)
  • Peace movements--Rhode Island
  • Quaker women--Rhode Island--18th century
  • Quakers--Education--Rhode Island
  • Rhode Island--History--18th century
  • Society of Friends--History--Rhode Island

Contributors

  • Thornton, Elisha, 1748-1816
  • Wilbur, John 1774-1856

Types of material

  • Correspondence
  • Minutes (Administrative records)

Babbitt, Elwood, 1922-

Elwood Babbitt Papers, 1974-2000.

2 boxes (3 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 517
Elwood Babbitt, 1970.  Photo by Gary Cohen
Elwood Babbitt, 1970. Photo by Gary Cohen

Clairvoyant from his youth, Elwood Babbitt developed his psychic abilities at the Edgar Cayce Institute, and by the mid-1960s, was well known in Western Massachusetts through his readings and lectures, often opening his home to other seekers. Charles Hapgood, a professor at Keene State College, worked closely with Babbitt studying the physical effects of the medium’s trance lectures, and by 1967, he began to take on the painstaking process of transcribing and copying them. With communications purporting to come from Jesus, Albert Einstein, Mark Twain, and the Hindu god Vishnu, among others, these lectures formed the basis for several books by Hapgood and Babbitt, including Voices of Spirit (1975) and Talks with Christ (1981). Babbitt ultimately established a non-profit, alternative school, the Opie Mountain Citadel, which was essentially run out of Babbitt’s home in Northfield.

The collection consists of proofs of publications, lectures, some correspondence, film reels, and transcripts of spiritual communications for which Babbitt was the medium.

Subjects

  • Channeling (Spiritualism)
  • Hapgood, Charles H
  • Mediums–Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Babbitt, Elwood, 1922-

Brown, Moses, 1738-1832

Digital (+)Finding aid

Moses Brown Papers, 1713-1840.

3 boxes (1.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 930

In the early Republic, Moses Brown emerged as an ardent abolitionist, a social reformer, and one of the best known philanthropists in his native Providence, R.I. A Baptist who converted to the Society of Friends in 1774, Brown had made a fortune as a merchant, partly in the triangular trade, but a crisis of conscience brought on by the ghastly results of an attempted slaving voyage in 1765 and the death of his wife in 1773 led him to reexamine his life. Withdrawing from most of his business affairs, Brown joined the Society of Friends and emancipated his slaves. He was a founder of the Providence Society for the Abolition of Slavery in 1786 and a strong voice for peace, temperance, and universal education.

A small, but rich archive of the personal papers of Moses Brown, this collection centers on Brown’s activities in antislavery, peace, and educational reform and his connections to the Society of Friends between the 1760s and 1830s. In addition to significant correspondence with major figures in early antislavery cause, including Anthony Benezet, George Benson, William Dillwyn, and Warner Mifflin, and some material relating to the Providence Society for the Abolition of Slavery, the collection includes outstanding content on peace activism. In addition to materials from Moses Brown, the collection includes letters to Moses’ son Obadiah Brown and some fascinating letters and manuscripts relating to Moses’ friend and fellow Friend, Job Scott.

Subjects

  • Antislavery movements--Rhode Island
  • Peace movements--Rhode Island
  • Quakers--Rhode Island
  • Rhode Island--History--18th century

Contributors

  • Benson, George W., 1808-1879
  • Brown, Obadiah, 1771-1822
  • Mifflin, Warner
  • Providence Society for Abolishing the Slave-Trade
  • Providence Society for the Abolition of Slavery
  • Scott, Job, 1751-1793

Buffington, Zephania, 1771-

Finding aid

Zephaniah Buffington Account Book, 1803-1808.

1 envelope (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 226

Quaker merchant and farmer from Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Includes two major notations about a large cheese purchase and the sale of hoes in Washington County, New York. Also contains inventories of goods, notations for notes payable and notes receivable, and accounts of his farm (including amounts of cheese made, accounts of farm tools, and the keeping of cows and sheep).

Subjects

  • Bristol County (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Cheese
  • Cheesemakers--Massachusetts--Dartmouth
  • Dairying--Economic aspects--Massachusetts
  • Dartmouth (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Farmers--Massachusetts--Dartmouth
  • Hoes
  • Merchants--Massachusetts--Dartmouth
  • Quakers--Massachusetts--Bristol County
  • Quakers--New York (State)--Washington County
  • Washington County (N.Y.)--Economic conditions--19th century

Contributors

  • Buffington, Zephaniah, 1771-

Types of material

  • Account books

Chadbourne, Paul A. (Paul Ansel),1823-1883

Paul A. Chadbourne Papers, 1865-1883.

1 box (1 linear feet).
Call no.: RG 003/1 C43
Paul A. Chadbourne
Paul A. Chadbourne

After distinguishing himself as a chemist on the faculty at Williams College and serving one term in the State Senate, Paul Chadbourne was called upon in 1866 to become the second president of Massachusetts Agricultural College. Although he pressed an ambitious agenda for building a College from scratch, ill health forced him to resign only a year later. He returned to MAC after holding faculty positions in Wisconsin and at Williams, filling a second stint as president from 1882 until his death in 1883. Though brief, he set an important precedent by creating a “scientific and literary” track of study to complement the “agricultural and scientific” one, and by pushing for the financial support of poor students.

The collection includes correspondence of and about Chadbourne, drafts of speeches and sermons, published writings, biographical and genealogical material, and reports from the Massachusetts Board of Agriculture (1865-1881).

Subjects

  • Agricultural education--Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts Agricultural College. President

Contributors

  • Chadbourne, Paul A. (Paul Ansel),1823-1883

Clark, Clarence Carroll

Clarence Carroll Clark Papers, 1909-1981.

2 boxes (1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 393

Ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1911, Dr. Clark accepted the position of director of the Chapel of the Comforter in Greenwich Village, New York, a mission that abandoned its traditional Christian practices in favor of the teachings of theosophy. A prolific writer and lecturer, Clark stressed in his work the similarities between Eastern and Western religions, and emphasized his belief that unity among religions would bring about a spiritual re-awakening throughout the world. After serving as director of the Chapel of the Comforter for more than forty years, Clark retired in 1950.

Clark’s papers document his career as a professor of English, Episcopal priest, theosophist, and Director of the Chapel of the Comforter. Consisting of correspondence, lecture notes, and his writings, the collection chronicles his religious beliefs as well as his research on Emily Dickinson and her poetry.

Subjects

  • Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886
  • Religion--United States
  • Theosophy

Contributors

  • Clark, Clarence Carroll

Dana (Mass.)

DigitalFinding aid

Dana (Mass.) Collection, 1801-1938.

21 vols. (1.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 012

Situated in the northeastern reaches of the Swift River Valley in western Massachusetts, Dana was one of four towns inundated in the 1930s to create the Quabbin Reservoir. Rural and relatively sparsely populated, Dana’s economy centered on agriculture, leavened with manufacturing wood products and soapstone quarrying.

The Dana Collections include a comprehensive records of town meetings from incorporation through disincorporation (1801-1938), plus rich records for the Congregational Church and its affiliate organizations, the Ladies Aid Society, the Orthodox Congregational Society, and the Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor. Most of the materials listed in this finding aid are held at the Swift River Valley Historical Society in New Salem, Mass., and were part of a cooperative digitization project centered on the records of the Quabbin towns.

Subjects

  • Congregational churches--Massachusetts--Dana--History
  • Dana (Mass.)--History
  • Dana (Mass.)--Politics and government
  • Dana (Mass.)--Religious life and customs
  • Dana (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Poor-Massachusetts--Dana
  • Quabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--History
  • Quabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Women--Massachusetts--Dana
  • Women--Societies and clubs

Contributors

  • Dana (Mass. : Town)
  • Dana (Mass. : Town). Overseers of the Poor
  • First Universalist Church (North Dana, Mass.)
  • Ladies' Aid Society (Dana, Mass.)
  • Orthodox Congregational Church (Dana, Mass.)
  • Young Peoples Society of Christian Endeavor

Types of material

  • Church records

Dudley, Joseph

Joseph Dudley Memoir and Diary, 1866-1893.

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 650 bd

Born in Cheshire, Conn., in 1822, Joseph Dudley learned “the marble business” from his father Elias, who had in turn been trained by David Ritter of New Haven. A staunch Methodist swept up in the religious ferment of the Second Great Awakening, Dudley joined his father’s business as a stonecutter in about 1845 and notes that he was among the first to letter tombstones in the rural Ever Green Cemetery in Woodstock, Conn., when it opened in 1848. He later worked in Meriden, Conn.

By generations, this volume has served as an account book, diary and memorandum book, memoir, geneaological record, and scrapbook, with each layer accumulated over all previous. Dudley’s memoir (beginning p. 78) includes a discussion of his upbringing in Cheshire, the tumultuous religious revivals during the 1840s and his reception into the Methodist Church and the Millerites, and much on his introduction to the marble business and work as a stonecutter through about 1853. The diary somewhat erratically covers the years 1873-1893.

Subjects

  • Gravestones--Connecticut
  • Marble industry and trade--Connecticut
  • Millerite movement
  • Stonecutters

Contributors

  • Association for Gravestone Studies
  • Dudley, Joseph

Types of material

  • Diaries
  • Memoirs

Enfield (Mass.)

DigitalFinding aid

Enfield (Mass.) Collection, 1800-1939.

8 boxes (4 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 010
Birdseye view of Enfield, ca.1915
Birdseye view of Enfield, ca.1915

Situated at the confluence of the east and west branches of the Swift River in western Massachusetts, Enfield was the largest and southernmost of the four towns inundated in 1939 to create the Quabbin Reservoir. Incorporated as a town in 1816, Enfield was relatively prosperous in the nineteenth century on an economy based on agriculture and small-scale manufacturing, reaching a population of just over 1,000 by 1837. After thirty years of seeking a suitably large and reliable water supply for Boston, the state designated the Swift River Valley as the site for a new reservoir and with its population relocated, Enfield was officially disincorporated on April 28, 1938.

The records of the town of Enfield, Mass., document nearly the entire history of the largest of four towns inundated to create the Quabbin Reservoir. The core of the collection consists of records of town meetings and of the activities of the town Selectmen, 1804-1938, but there are substantial records for the Enfield Congregational Church. The School Committee, Overseers of the Poor, the town Library Association, and groups such as the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Bethel Masonic Lodge.

Subjects

  • Enfield (Mass.)--History
  • Enfield (Mass.)--Politics and government
  • Enfield (Mass.)--Religious life and customs
  • Enfield (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Quabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--History
  • Quabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Women--Societies and clubs

Contributors

  • Daughters of the American Revolution. Captain Joseph Hooker Chapter (Enfield, Mass.)
  • Enfield (Mass. : Town)
  • Enfield (Mass. : Town). Overseers of the Poor
  • Enfield (Mass. : Town). Prudential Committee
  • Enfield (Mass. : Town). School Committee
  • Enfield Congregational Church (Enfield, Mass.)
  • Enfield Congregational Church (Enfield, Mass.). Women's Auxiliary
  • Enfield Congregational Church (Enfield, Mass.). Women's Missionary Society

Types of material

  • Account books
  • Church records
  • Photographs
  • Sermons
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