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Israel E. Trask Papers, 1812-1855, 1938
0.5 Linear feet 1 archive box
Collection number: MA.00339

Abstract:
The Israel E. Trask Papers document the professional and personal life of Israel E. Trask (1773-1835), early Amherst College Trustee (1821-1835) and Mississippi plantation owner.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

In general, there is no restriction on access to the Israel E. Trask Papers for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Requests for permission to publish material from the Israel E. Trask Papers should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Amherst College Archives and Special Collections

Biographical / Historical

Israel Elliot Trask was born in Brimfield, Massachusetts in 1773, the eldest son of Dr. Israel and Sarah (Lawrence) Trask. Trask studied law in Richmond, Virginia, finishing his law studies in Windsor, Vermont. Trask entered the United States Army as a Captain before moving to Natchez, Mississippi to practice law in 1801. Trask married Elizabeth Carter, daughter of Jesse and Sarah (Parish) Carter of Natchez, Mississippi. Around 1812, Trask and family returned to Brimfield, Massachusetts where Trask built one of the first cotton textile factories in Western Massachusetts. Trask was elected to the State Legislature and was a member of the convention for revising the State Constitution in 1820 and served on the Judiciary Committee. The Trasks moved to Springfield, Massachusetts in 1821. Israel Trask served as a Trustee of Amherst College from 1821 until 1835. Israel Trask continued to visit and be involved in the running of his Mississippi plantations, co-owned and managed with his brother James L. Trask, until his death in Woodville, Mississippi in 1835.

Elizabeth Carter Trask died in Bergen, New Jersey in 1860.

Citations:

Tyler, W.S. History of Amherst College During the First Half Century, 1821-1871. Clark W. Bryan and Company, 1873.

Rothman, Adam. Slave Country: American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South. Harvard University Press, 2005.

Scope and Contents

The Israel E. Trask Papers document the professional and personal life of Israel E. Trask, the bulk of the material spanning the period 1812-1855. Much of this collection is personal and business-related correspondence reflecting Israel Trask's roles as father, husband, Mississippi plantation owner, slaveholder, Amherst College trustee and New England citizen engaged in local politics and educational institutions. This collection also contains correspondence and materials related to Israel Trask's involvement in Foreign Missions and the Monson Academy.

This collection is arranged into four series:

  1. Series 1: Correspondence, 1812-1855, undated
  2. Series 2: Material Related to Foreign Missions, 1821-1834, undated
  3. Series 3: Material Related to Monson Academy, 1820-1826
  4. Series 4: Miscellaneous, undated

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

In general, there is no restriction on access to the Israel E. Trask Papers for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Requests for permission to publish material from the Israel E. Trask Papers should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection: [Identification of item], in Israel E. Trask Papers [Box #, folder #], Amherst College Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library

History of the Collection

The collection of Israel E. Trask Papers was a gift of Mrs. Laidlaw Williams to the Amherst College Library in 1967.

Custodial history:

The Israel E. Trask Papers were removed from the Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection and described as a discrete collection in 2017.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Amherst College Archives and Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
PO Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000

Phone: (413) 542-2299
Fax: (413) 542-2692

Email Reference Form: http://www.amherst.edu/library/archives/askus
URL: http://www.amherst.edu/library/archives
Language
English
Related Materials

Related business papers of Israel E. Trask are housed in the Baker Library at Harvard Business School.


Contents List
Series 1: Correspondence
1812-1855, undated


Series 1: Correspondence is arranged chronologically and reflects Israel Trask’s multiple roles as father, husband, Mississippi plantation owner, slaveholder, Amherst College trustee and New England citizen engaged in local politics and educational institutions. The papers include correspondence to and from Israel E. Trask and others. A significant number of the letters are from James L. Trask, Israel E. Trask’s brother, about Israel Trask’s estate, business affairs, land purchases, the education of children, and affairs of Amherst College. Much of the material deals with the Carter-Trask plantation at Woodville, Mississippi, the lives of enslaved persons working on the plantations, and the economies of cotton and other crops. Other subjects covered are inland navigation, riverboat travel, and overland travel to the Ohio-Mississippi waterway, slavery, and land settlement. Correspondence from Israel Trask to his wife, Elizabeth Carter Trask, most of these written to her in Springfield, Massachusetts, when he was at or on his way to or from Mississippi, detail family life, their children’s educations, news of friends in Natchez, Mississippi and New Orleans, Louisiana, and describe plantation life, news of enslaved plantation workers and plantation business. The letters include several references to the enslaved persons who worked at the plantation. Two of the enslaved, Caesar and Lucy, were sent north to work for the family in Brimfield, Massachusetts. A letter from James L. Trask written on October 4, 1828, mentions Lucy claiming her freedom, although later correspondence suggests that she did not leave the family. A letter from Israel Trask to Elizabeth Trask, written on January 6, 1829, suggests that Caesar did claim his freedom and left. A January 31, 1825 letter from Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask mentions the purchasing of a young enslaved boy. Several letters written in 1831 describe the lead up to and the damage caused to the plantation by the 1831 Barbados-Louisiana hurricane.
This series also includes a typed transcript of some of the correspondence by the donor Mrs. Laidlaw Williams.

Terms for the sale of a plantation from Israel E. Trask to James L. Trask
1812 May 2

Box 1: folder 1
C. Prentiss to Israel E. Trask
1813 October 2

Box 1: folder 1
Josiah Stebbins to Israel E. Trask
1814 December 27

Box 1: folder 1
A.L. Dawson to Israel E. Trask
1815 August 4

Box 1: folder 1
Terms of sale in the joint purchase of 300,000 acres of land with Israel E. Trask, David M. Odger, and Jonathan Thompson
1815 October 9

Box 1: folder 1
Jonathan Thompson to Ezra Weeks
1815 October 10

Box 1: folder 1
Jonathan Thompson to Israel E. Trask
1816 January 6

Box 1: folder 1
S. Perkins [?] and Nichols to Israel E. Trask
1818 August 26

Box 1: folder 2
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1818 October 9

Box 1: folder 2
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1818 October 12

Box 1: folder 2
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1818 October 22

Box 1: folder 2
Andrew Norton, Librarian of Harvard University, to Israel E. Trask expressing thanks for the donation of books
1818 October 27

Box 1: folder 2
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1818 October 30

Box 1: folder 2
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1818 November 14

Box 1: folder 2
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1819 January 18

Box 1: folder 2
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1819 February 12

Box 1: folder 2
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1819 March 30

Box 1: folder 2
E. Cornelius to Israel E. Trask
1819 July 27

Box 1: folder 3
Lyman Harding to Israel E. Trask
1820 February 18

Box 1: folder 3
Joseph Head Jr to Israel E. Trask
1820 April 7

Box 1: folder 3
Leonard Woods to Israel E. Trask
1820 May 23

Box 1: folder 3
Elizabeth Harding to Israel E. Trask
1820 August 8

Box 1: folder 3
James L. Trask to Israel E. Trask
1820 August 16

Box 1: folder 3
Elizabeth Harding to Winthrop Harding
1820 September 3

Box 1: folder 3
E. Cornelius to [Israel E. Trask?]
1820 October 12

Box 1: folder 3
Edward Hooker to Israel E. Trask
1820 November 20

Box 1: folder 3
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1820 December

Box 1: folder 3
Elizabeth Harding to Israel E. Trask
1821 May 1

Box 1: folder 4
James Bycen to Israel E. Trask
1821 May 2

Box 1: folder 4
Jonas King to Israel E. Trask
1821 May 11

Box 1: folder 4
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1821 May 26

Box 1: folder 4
Jonas King to Israel E. Trask
1821 June 18

Box 1: folder 4
Jacob to Israel E. Trask
1821 June 21

Box 1: folder 4
Rufus Graves to Israel E. Trask
1821 August 3

Box 1: folder 5
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1821 October 12

Box 1: folder 5
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1821 October 13

Box 1: folder 5
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1821 November 5

Box 1: folder 5
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1821 November 26

Box 1: folder 5
Jonas King to Israel E. Trask
1822 January 3

Box 1: folder 6
Mr & Mrs Osgoods to the Trasks
1822 March 11

Box 1: folder 6
Jonas King to [?], copy
1822 August 24

Box 1: folder 6
J.W. Evarts to Israel E. Trask
1822 September 23

Box 1: folder 6
Serene E. Dwight to Israel E. Trask
1822 September 25

Box 1: folder 6
James L. Trask to Israel E. Trask
1823 February 24

Box 1: folder 6
Leonard Woods to Israel E. Trask
1823 April 2

Box 1: folder 6
Jonas King to Israel E. Trask
1823 June 2

Box 1: folder 6
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1823 June 4

Box 1: folder 6
J.H. Sy[?] to Israel E. Trask
1823 August 24

Box 1: folder 7
Austin Dickinson to Israel E. Trask
1823 August 29

Box 1: folder 7
C. Hall to Israel E. Trask
1823 October 7

Box 1: folder 7
A. Packard to Israel E. Trask
undated

Box 1: folder 7
John H. Rice to Israel E. Trask
1823 November 8

Box 1: folder 7
Jonas King to Israel E. Trask
1823 November 10

Box 1: folder 7
Laura Jacob to Israel E. Trask
1824 January 12

Box 1: folder 7
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1824 January 16

Box 1: folder 7
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1824 March 12

Box 1: folder 7
James L. Trask to Israel E. Trask
1824 July 1

Box 1: folder 8
Heman Humphrey to Israel E. Trask
1824 October 20

Box 1: folder 8
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1824 October 24

Box 1: folder 8
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1824 November 18

Box 1: folder 8
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1824 December 4

Box 1: folder 8
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1825 January 10

Box 1: folder 9
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1825 January 31

Box 1: folder 9
George Poindexter to Israel E. Trask
1825 February 22

Box 1: folder 9
Legal contract between George Poindexter and Israel E. Trask regarding payment for maintainance and education of son Albert
1825 February 22

Box 1: folder 9
J. Holbrook to Israel E. Trask
1825 April 25

Box 1: folder 9
John Homans to Israel E. Trask
1825 May 26

Box 1: folder 9
John Hooker resolutions from canal meeting regarding river travel in Massachusetts
1825 May 26

Box 1: folder 9
Appointment of delegates to attend a Brookfield meeting about the proposed canal between the Connecticut River and Boston
1825 May 30

Box 1: folder 9
Heman Humphrey to Israel E. Trask
1825 June 29

Box 1: folder 10
Wm. Dearborn to Israel E. Trask
1825 July 7

Box 1: folder 10
Wm. Dearborn to Israel E. Trask
1825 July 18

Box 1: folder 10
Simeon Colton to Israel E. Trask
1825 November 28

Box 1: folder 10
Jonas King to Israel E. Trask
1826 May 28

Box 1: folder 10
Heman Humphrey to Israel E. Trask
1826 July 13

Box 1: folder 10
E. Cornelius to Israel E. Trask
1826 October 21

Box 1: folder 10
Heman Humphrey to Israel E. Trask
1827 January 2

Box 1: folder 11
J.B. Waterbury to Israel E. Trask
1827 January 3

Box 1: folder 11
James L. Trask to Israel E. Trask
1827 January 20

Box 1: folder 11
L.M. Sargent to Israel E. Trask
1827 February 26

Box 1: folder 11
Jonas King to Israel E. Trask
1827 September 7

Box 1: folder 11
Jonas King to Israel E. Trask
1827 September 13

Box 1: folder 11
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1827 October 19

Box 1: folder 11
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1827 November 18

Box 1: folder 12
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth and William and Edward Trask
1827 December 5

Box 1: folder 12
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth and William and Edward Trask
1827 December 21

Box 1: folder 12
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1827 December 28

Box 1: folder 12
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1828 January 29

Box 1: folder 12
James L. Trask to Israel E. Trask
1828 April 25

Box 1: folder 12
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1828 August 17

Box 1: folder 13
James L. Trask to Israel E. Trask
1828 October 4

Box 1: folder 13
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1828 December 26

Box 1: folder 13
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1829 January 6

Box 1: folder 13
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1829 January 22

Box 1: folder 13
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1829 February 9

Box 1: folder 13
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1829 February 17

Box 1: folder 13
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1830 January 8

Box 1: folder 14
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1830 December 27

Box 1: folder 14
L.R. Marshall to James L. Trask
1831 February 26

Box 1: folder 14
James L. Trask to Israel E. Trask
1831 August 18

Box 1: folder 14
James L. Trask to Israel E. Trask
1831 August 29 - 31

Box 1: folder 14
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1831 November 21

Box 1: folder 14
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1831 December 1

Box 1: folder 15
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1831 December 15

Box 1: folder 15
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1832 January 3

Box 1: folder 15
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1832 January 7

Box 1: folder 15
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1832 February 4

Box 1: folder 15
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1832 February 20

Box 1: folder 15
James L. Trask to Israel E. Trask
1832 April 6

Box 1: folder 16
W.I. Wilder to Israel E. Trask
1832 June 10

Box 1: folder 16
James L. Trask to Israel E. Trask
1832 July 25

Box 1: folder 16
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1832 November 12

Box 1: folder 16
Israel E. Trask to Elizabeth Trask
1833 May 27

Box 1: folder 16
Joseph G. Cogswell to Israel E. Trask
1834 April 17

Box 1: folder 16
William E. Trask to Israel E. Trask
1834 August 26

Box 1: folder 17
James L. Trask to Israel E. Trask
1835 February 1

Box 1: folder 17
James L. Trask to Israel E. Trask
1835 February 3

Box 1: folder 17
E.A. Morris, executor of Israel E. Trask estate, to John R. Onderdonk
1839 July 11

Box 1: folder 17
Raynolds Morris to John R. Onderdonk
1840 May 25

Box 1: folder 17
M.L. Meeker to James L. Trask
1851 November 26

Box 1: folder 18
James L. Trask to Israel Trask
1851 December 27

Box 1: folder 18
A.T. Welch to William Trask
1852 October 5

Box 1: folder 18
James L. Trask to Mrs. E.C. Trask
1854 August 26

Box 1: folder 18
A.T. Welch to Elizabeth Trask
1855 June 10

Box 1: folder 18
A.T. Welch to Elizabeth Trask
1855 September 14

Box 1: folder 18
Typed transcript of Israel E. Trask correspondence from Folders 1-18


Box 1: folder 19
Photocopy of typed transcript of Israel E. Trask correspondence from Folders 1-18


Box 1: folder 20
Series 2: Material Related to Foreign Missions
1821-1834, undated


Series 2: Material Related to Foreign Missions contains correspondence, writing samples and other material related to the Foreign Mission School of Cornwall, Connecticut, the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and the Batticotta Seminary in the Jaffna peninsula of Ceylon, now Sri Lanka.

H. Hudson to Israel E. Trask
undated

Box 1: folder 21
Specimen of arabesque writing by Puna, son of an African king
undated

Box 1: folder 21
Letters of thanks from Cherokee students Elias Boudinot (also known as Buck Watie or Kulakinah) and David Brown of the Foreign Mission School, Cornwall, Connecticut to the Baron of Campagne
1821 January

Box 1: folder 21
David Brown and Elias Boudinot (Cherokee students of the Foreign Mission School, Cornwall, Connecticut) to Reverend Elias Cornelius; includes Elias Boudinot's correct projections of the 1822 August 2 lunar eclipse
1821 March 20

Box 1: folder 21
List of members of the Foreign Mission School, Cornwall, Connecticut; includes students' native names, adopted names, and country/tribe
1821 May 1

Box 1: folder 21
[?] to Israel E. Trask, writing from Cairo, Egypt
1823 March 30

Box 1: folder 21
Receipt of donation of twelve dollars by Israel E. Trask to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions for the education and support of a child in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka)
1824 January 10

Box 1: folder 21
Israel Trask (student of the Batticotta Seminary in the Jaffna peninsula of Ceylon) to Israel E. Trask
1829 December 20

Box 1: folder 21
Trustees of the Ministerial Fund of the First Parish in Springfield meeting agenda
1830 March 31

Box 1: folder 21
Israel Trask of Colombo, Sri Lanka to Israel E. Trask
1833 February 17

Box 1: folder 21
Israel Trask of Colombo, Sri Lanka to Israel E. Trask
1834 January 6

Box 1: folder 21
Israel Trask of Colombo, Sri Lanka to Rev. Daniel Poor, Principal of the Batticotta Seminary in Jaffna, Sri Lanka and Israel E. Trask
1834 December 10

Box 1: folder 21
Series 3: Material Related to Monson Academy
1820-1826


Series 3: Material Related to Monson Academy contains correspondence and subscription information for the Monson Academy Education permanent fund and Charity Fund.

Lyman Harding to Israel E. Trask
1820 February 22

Box 1: folder 22
E. Whitaker to Israel E. Trask about a meeting of the Trustees of Monson Academy
1825 April 18

Box 1: folder 22
Receipt of subscription by Israel E. Trask to the Monson Academy Education permanent Fund
1825 October 1

Box 1: folder 22
Simeon Colton to Israel E. Trask
1826 November 23

Box 1: folder 22
Terms of subscription to the Charity Fund of Monson Academy, with subscriber list
1826 November 28

Box 1: folder 22
Series 4: Miscellaneous
undated, 1938


Series 4: Miscellaneous includes a recipe for beer, notes on French language pronunciation and the personal reminiscences of Alice Laidlaw Williams, written in 1938.

Recipe for beer [?]
undated

Box 1: folder 23
Notes on pronunciation of French language
undated

Box 1: folder 23
Four paper wrappers, once enclosing correspondence
undated

Box 1: folder 23
Alice Laidlaw Williams typescript of family anecdotes and childhood reminiscences
1938

Box 1: folder 23

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Amherst College
  • Mississippi River Valley--Description and travel
  • Slavery

Contributors
  • Humphrey, Heman, 1779-1861
  • Trask, Elizabeth (Carter), circa 1788-1860
  • Trask, Israel Elliot, 1773-1835


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