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Laurenus Clark Seelye Papers, 1820-1995 (Bulk: 1875-1924)
26 boxes (12.75 linear ft.)
Collection number: RG 32

Abstract:
First president of Smith College. Contains biographical material, correspondence, sermons, speeches, lectures, publications, photographs, and family papers of Henrietta Chapin Seelye. Correspondents include President Marion LeRoy Burton, Harry Norman Gardiner, Arthur L. Gillett, John M. Greene, Mary Augusta Jordan, William H. Lanning, Alice (Lord) Parsons, Herbert A. Wilder, Andrew Carnegie, President William McKinley, and John D. Rockefeller, Jr, among others.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The are open to research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives. Single photocopies may be made for research purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Permission to publish material from the Laurenus Clark Seelye Papers must be requested from the Smith College Archives. Official Smith correspondence and documents is copyrighted by the Smith College Archives. Provenance and copyright ownership of family materials is unknown and researchers are responsible for determining any question of copyright.

Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

Laurenus Clark Seelye was born on September 20, 1837, in Bethel, Connecticut. He was the youngest child of Abigail Taylor Seelye and Seth Seelye, who married in 1817. Seth Seelye was a merchant, farmer, and deacon. Seelye's sisters, Hannah and Elizabeth, were not educated. L. Clark and his brothers, Thomas, Samuel, Julius, and Henry, were all educated. Three of the sons, Samuel, Julius, and L. Clark, went on to become ministers, Thomas became a physician, and Henry a farmer and later an attorney. Julius served as the president of Amherst College. Seelye most likely attended the Center District School in Bethel. He was schooled in Woodbury, attended the Old Hadley Academy, and afterwards spent some time in Danbury to complete his education. At the age of twelve he started home schooling under his brother Samuel. He entered Union College at the age of sixteen where he received a B.A. and graduated as valedictorian with highest honors. After Union, he attended Andover Seminary but left due to ill health. He traveled throughout the Mediterranean and across Europe in hopes of getting well; while in Germany, he decided to complete his education in Heidelberg.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Laurenus Clark Seelye Papers cover 1820 - 1995. The majority of the materials are from 1875 - 1924, when Seelye did most of his work. The bulk of the material is correspondence and written sermons and lectures. Other types of materials represented in this collection include news articles, photographs, manuscripts and published works, notebooks, scrapbooks, journals, and memorabilia.

The correspondence ranges in date from 1860 - 1934, and is divided by family and professional life. The family correspondence is mostly from the 1860s between various members of the family. The professional correspondence is divided into the following sections: Smith College (1872-1934), Non-Smith College (1876-1924), and Employment opportunities (1862-1872). The Smith College correspondence consists of familiar names, including President Marion LeRoy Burton, Harry Norman Gardiner, Arthur L. Gillett, John M. Greene, Mary Augusta Jordan, William H. Lanning, Alice (Lord) Parsons, and Herbert A. Wilder. The correspondence provides a good record of the early days of Smith College, as well as a look at the people after whom Smith College buildings and monuments are named. Names of note in the Non-Smith College correspondence are Andrew Carnegie, President William McKinley, and John D. Rockefeller, Jr. The letters in this segment cover everything from money to religion. One weakness of the correspondence is that quite a few of the first names of correspondents are not apparent or are completely unknown.

The series of lectures comprises the largest portion of history in this collection. All of these works were written by Seeleye and give incredible insight into his religious and secular views. The sermons range from 1859-1910 and include the city in which the sermon was given. Speeches are divided into religious, Washington's Birthday, and secular categories. Seeleye's lectures are divided into subject. His lectures on English Literature were given between 1864 - 1875.


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

The are open to research according to the regulations of the Smith College Archives. Single photocopies may be made for research purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Permission to publish material from the Laurenus Clark Seelye Papers must be requested from the Smith College Archives. Official Smith correspondence and documents is copyrighted by the Smith College Archives. Provenance and copyright ownership of family materials is unknown and researchers are responsible for determining any question of copyright.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Laurenus Clark Seelye Papers, Box #, Smith College Archives.

Additional Formats

Images from this collection are also available online as part of the Five College Archives Digital Access Project.

History of the Collection

Processing Information

Processed by Brigid Byrne, '99.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Archives
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: nyoung@smith.edu
URL: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/archives

Language
English.