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Grant Family Papers, 1778-1913 (Bulk: 1830-1870)
5 boxes (2.25 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 66

Abstract:
The Grant family papers include correspondence, diaries, account books and financial/legal papers, biographical and genealogical material, printed material, dating from 1778 to 1913. Topics include education, maintenance of Connecticut homestead, banking in Ohio, starting businesses in Nebraska and Illinois, and accounts of Mary Grant's experiences as a missionary in India and her death from cholera.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Restrictions on use:

Copyright to unpublished materials may be owned by the creator, or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note

The Grant family Papers represent three generations, including educators, missionaries, a banker, pioneer lawyer, social reformer, writer and lecturer. Zilpah Polly Grant Banister, 1794-1894, was born in Norfolk, Connecticut. She was a pioneering educator and founder of Adams Female Seminary in Derry, NH, 1824, and Ipswich Female Seminary with Mary Lyon, 1827. She married William Banister, 1841. Her brother, Elijah Grant, was a town officer, who married Elizabeth Phelps Grant, 1809-1875. They had 8 children. Elijah Phelps Grant was a lawyer, philosopher, social reformer, and banker in Carleton, OH, and John Grant a teacher at Yale and founder of his own private school. Other family members were bankers, homesteaders in CT, pioneers in Nebraska and Illinois. Mary Z. Grant Burgess was a missionary in India.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

It is clear from their content and their provenance, however, that they are actually the papers of her brother Elijah Grant, his wife Elizabeth Phelps Grant, their children, and the descendents of the eldest son, Elijah Phelps Grant. The correspondence consists mainly of letters exchanged within the family from the l830s to the l860s. Most of Zilpah Grant's letters were written to her nephews Marcus and John after she had married and given up teaching. John Grant, who taught at Yale and later established his own private school, sought her counsel as a former school principal. Correspondence of other family members relates to such topics as the maintenance of the original Connecticut homestead, banking in Canton, Ohio, and the starting of businesses in Nebraska and Illinois.

The early financial records, beginning in the l770's, are mostly from the settlement of the estate of Elijah Grant's uncle Samuel Cowles, of Colebrook, Connecticut, who died in l843. Account books belonging to Elijah Grant (l822-56) Elijah P. Grant (l866-67), James M. Grant (l868); Jennie Wallace (l890-97) and William Wallace (l90l-07) add to the fragmentary family financial record.

Notebooks, lectures, essays, and newspaper articles by Elijah P. Grant span the period from his college days at Yale to old age. One of his college notebooks contains transcriptions of letters describing the death of Mary Zilpah Grant Burgess who died of cholera in India where she and her husband were missionaries. The balance of the collection consists of diaries, a few photographs, compositions, and legal papers relating to various family members.

Portions of the Grant Family Papers have been digitized for the Five College Digitization Project Web site.


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

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Restrictions on use:

Copyright to unpublished materials may be owned by the creator, or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use" must also be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection as owners of the physical property.

Preferred Citation

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

Grant Family Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

The Grant Family Papers were a gift of Mary R. Wallace, descendant of the Grant family, in 1959.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

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

Email Reference Form: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/emailform.html
URL: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/

Language
English
Bibliography

Additional biographical information on Zilpah Polly Grant Banister can be found in Notable American Women, 1607-1950; a biographical dictionary. Edward T. James, editor (1971).