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Sidney Brooks (AC 1841) Papers, 1834-1864
1 archives box (.5 Linear feet)
Collection number: MA.00329

Abstract:
Sidney Brooks of Harwich attended Phillips Academy in Andover before attending Amherst College from 1837 to 1841. His papers include thirty-five letters, a ledger of his expenses, and writings from his school days.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

There is no restriction on access to the papers for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Requests for permission to publish material from the 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

Sidney Brooks was born in Harwich on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in 1813 to Obed Brooks and Sally Weekes. He attended Phillips Academy in Andover before attending Amherst College from 1837 to 1841. After graduating at the age of 28, Brooks taught at Chatham Academy for three years. He founded Pine Grove Seminary, a classical and nautical secondary school, in Harwich in 1844 and served as its principal for 20 years. In 1859, he married Susan S. Whittaker of Cornish, New Hampshire. During the Civil War, Brooks visited battlefields and military hospitals as a delegate of the United States Christian Commission, a group providing supplies and religious services to Union soldiers. From 1866 to 1872, he taught for the Massachusetts Nautical School, part of the State Reform School, aboard the ship George M Barnard. In 1869, the Pine Grove building was sold to the town of Harwich and later became Harwich High School. It is now the site of the Brooks Academy Museum and Harwich Historical Society. In 1872, Brooks became the US Deputy Shipping Commissioner in Boston, where he died in 1887.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains thirty-three letters and draft letters written by Sidney Brooks and two received by him, dated 1835 to 1864, and a detailed ledger of expenses for his years at Amherst, 1837 to 1841. Correspondents include his father Obed Brooks, his brothers Henry Cobb Brooks and Obed Brooks, Jr., his sisters Sarah Godfrey Brooks, Harriett Newell, and Tamesin Brooks, and his wife Susan. Other writings included here, largely notes and drafts of lectures and assignments, concern astronomy, theology, and rhetoric, and include translations of portions of Genesis and the Odyssey. Some documents with multiple drafts were written for a lecture to the Porter Rhetorical Society of the Theological Seminary at Andover, and are dated 1834 and 1835. Others dated during his time at Amherst are drafts of speeches given at the weekly speaking exercises for students, which Brooks describes in his letter to his brother Obed of November 29, 1837. Brooks' account ledger evidences his membership in several student societies and their fees at the time, and his purchase of assigned textbooks. Correspondence with his family touches on several topics of interest in the early life of the College, including Fourth of July celebrations, cane traditions, and the aforementioned speaking exercises. Two later letters sent to Brooks by Amherst College students Samuel F. Miller (AC 1848) and J. M. Manning (AC 1851) in 1846 and 1848, respectively, suggest some ongoing involvement with the College after graduation. A series of letters written to his wife Susan and his sisters in 1864 chronicle Brooks' visit to a military hospital with the Christian Commission and his encounters with Abraham Lincoln.

The collection is arranged into three series:

  1. Correspondence (1835-1864)
  2. Writings (1834, 1837, undated)
  3. Account book (1837-1841)

Below the series level, series 1 is split into two sub-series (outgoing and incoming correspondence), and series 2 has 1 sub-series (Coursework).


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

There is no restriction on access to the papers for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Requests for permission to publish material from the 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 Sidney Brooks (AC 1841) Papers [Box #, Folder #], Amherst College Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library.

History of the Collection

Gift of Robert Gorham Davis, 1978

Processing Information

Processed 2016 November by Leah Early; assessment and Series 2 rearrangement 2017 August by Jennifer Bolmarcich.


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

Contents List
Brooks, Sidney, 1813-1887 (AC 1841), Series 1: CORRESPONDENCE
1835-1864
10 folders
Box 1: folder 1-10
Subseries A: Outgoing Correspondence
1835-1864

Box 1: folder 1-9
Sidney Brooks to his brother
1835 Sept 02

Box 1: folder 1
Sidney Brooks to Henry Cobb Brooks
1835 Oct 30

Box 1: folder 1
Sidney Brooks to his sister
1836 Jun

Box 1: folder 1
Sidney Brooks to Tamesin Brooks
1837 Oct 18

Box 1: folder 2
Sidney Brooks to Obed Brooks, Jr.
1837 Nov 29

Box 1: folder 2
Sidney Brooks to Obed Brooks, Jr.
1838 Feb 3

Box 1: folder 3
Sidney Brooks to Obed Brooks, Esq.
1838 Jun 28

Box 1: folder 3
Sidney Brooks to Obed Brooks, Jr.
1838 Jul 19

Box 1: folder 3
Sidney Brooks to Obed Brooks, Esq.
1838 Dec 20

Box 1: folder 3
Sidney Brooks to Obed Brooks, Jr.
1839 Apr 4

Box 1: folder 4
Sidney Brooks to Obed Brooks, Esq.
1839 Apr 23

Box 1: folder 4
Sidney Brooks to Obed Brooks, Jr.
1839 Jul 10

Box 1: folder 4
Sidney Brooks to Obed Brooks, Jr.
1839 Nov 18

Box 1: folder 4
Sidney Brooks to Obed Brooks, Esq.
1840 Mar 21

Box 1: folder 5
Sidney Brooks to Obed Brooks, Jr.
1840 Nov 7

Box 1: folder 5
Sidney Brooks to Obed Brooks, Jr.
1841 Jun 19

Box 1: folder 5
Sidney Brooks to Susan Brooks
1864 Jul 11

Box 1: folder 6
Sidney Brooks to Susan Brooks
1864 Jul 12

Box 1: folder 6
Sidney Brooks to Susan Brooks
1864 Jul 13

Box 1: folder 6
Sidney Brooks to Susan Brooks
1864 Jul 16

Box 1: folder 6
Sidney Brooks to Susan Brooks
1864 Jul 18

Box 1: folder 6
Sidney Brooks fragment of letter
1864 Jul 18

Box 1: folder 6
Sidney Brooks to Sarah Godfrey Brooks
1864 Jul 21

Box 1: folder 6
Sidney Brooks to Susan Brooks
1864 Jul 22

Box 1: folder 6
Sidney Brooks to Harriet Newell (Brooks)
1864 Jul 22

Box 1: folder 7
Sidney Brooks to Tamesin Brooks
1864 Jul 23

Box 1: folder 7
Sidney Brooks fragment of a letter
1864 Jul 25

Box 1: folder 7
Sidney Brooks to Susan Brooks
1864 Jul 28

Box 1: folder 7
Sidney Brooks to Susan Brooks
1864 Aug 8; 1864 Aug 10

Box 1: folder 7
Sidney Brooks to Susan Brooks
1864 Aug 12

Box 1: folder 7
Sidney Brooks to Susan Brooks
1864 Aug 26

Box 1: folder 7
Sidney Brooks fragment of a letter
undated

Box 1: folder 7
Sidney Brooks to his sister
undated

Box 1: folder 8
Outgoing Correspondence - Transcribed
1978

Box 1: folder 9
Alternative formats available:

These transcriptions of Brooks' outgoing correspondence (originals in folders 1-8) were created by Amherst College archivist John Lancaster in 1978.

Subseries B: Incoming Correspondence
1846-1848

Box 1: folder 10
Samuel F. Miller (AC 1848) to Sidney Brooks
1846 May 18

Box 1: folder 10
J. M. Manning (AC 1850) to Sidney Brooks
1848 Feb 28

Box 1: folder 10
Brooks, Sidney, 1813-1887 (AC 1841), Series 2: WRITINGS
1834, 1837, undated
19 folders
Box 1: folder 11-30
Arrangement:

The series is arranged into folders by manuscript title and sorted alphabetically. Titles without quotations refer to the subject, and were created during processing.

Scope and content:

This series contains writings by Sidney Brooks, the bulk of which are drafts of speeches for literary exercises at Phillips Academy at Andover and at Amherst College. Two original translations, of Genesis 27 and of a section of Book 1 of the Odyssey are included, as are notes on rhetoric. While the bulk of the items are undated, the years 1834 and 1837 appear on two items and the others are surmised to be of similar genre and likewise produced during Brooks' time at the two schools.

Search Terms
Education -- History

Phrenology

"The Aurora Borealis"
undated

Box 1: folder 11
"Cape Cod"
undated

Box 1: folder 12
Human nature and ambition
undated

Box 1: folder 13
"Independence of Mind"
undated

Box 1: folder 14
"Meteors"
undated

Box 1: folder 15
"The object of life"
1837

Box 1: folder 16

This folder contains several drafts of the piece.

"Our beloved country"
undated

Box 1: folder 17
"Philosophical speculations"
undated

Box 1: folder 18
"Phrenology"
1834, undated

Box 1: folder 19
"The proper study of mankind is man"
undated

Box 1: folder 20
"A Riddle"
undated

Box 1: folder 21
Sea captain narrative
undated

Box 1: folder 22
Superstition
undated

Box 1: folder 23
"Water spouts" [an open letter to Yarmouth Register?]
undated

Box 1: folder 24
"What is productive of the greatest evil to society, Love of novelty or veneration of antiquity?"
undated

Box 1: folder 25
Sub-series A: Coursework
undated
5 folders
Box 1: folder 26-30

This sub-series contains lecture notes in addition to several recitation drafts.

Astronomy
undated

Box 1: folder 26
Bible/Religion
undated

Box 1: folder 27
Classics
undated

Box 1: folder 28
Intellectual and moral philosophy
undated

Box 1: folder 29

This folder contains 7 responses to philosophical questions, including two drafts of the piece, "Can a Christian consistently accept an appointment at Amherst College?". These essays most likely date to Brooks' senior year here at Amherst, as most of the senior curriculum focuses on intellectual and moral philosophy, as described in the 1840-1841 college catalogue.

Rhetoric
undated

Box 1: folder 30
Series 3: ACCOUNT BOOK
1837-1841
1 folder
Box 1: folder 31
Ledger
1837-1841

Box 1: folder 31

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 -- Students
  • Brooks, Harriet Newell, 1817-1876
  • Brooks, Henry Cobb, 1824-1886
  • Brooks, Obed, -1882
  • Brooks, Obed, Esq., 1781-1856
  • Brooks, Sarah Godfrey, 1827-1902
  • Brooks, Susan, 1814-1886
  • Brooks, Tamesin, 1821-1891
  • College prose, American -- Massachusetts -- Amherst
  • College students -- Correspondence
  • College students -- United States -- Finance, Personal

Contributors
  • Brooks, Sidney, 1813-1887 (AC 1841)
  • Manning, Jacob M. (Jacob Merrill), 1824-1882 (AC 1851)
  • Miller, Samuel F. (AC 1848)


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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