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Aldin Grout Papers, 1833-2002 (Bulk: 1833-1894)
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Collection number: MS 797

Abstract:
Aldin Grout was among the first American missionaries to the Zulu nation. After experiencing a religious conversion in his early twenties, Grout dedicated his life to the ministry, studying at Amherst College (1831) and Andover Theological Seminary (1834) before accepting an appointment from the American Board of Christian and Foreign Missions. In Nov. 1835, Grout and his new wife Hannah sailed for South Africa, arriving in Port Natal in June, and building their first outpost among the Zulu, who were in a temporary lull in their long war with Boer settlers. Although Hannah died barely a year later, Grout and his second wife Charlotte remained at the mission station at Umlozi for over thirty years. After settling into retirement in Springfield, Mass., in 1870, Grout took part in the ABCFM effort to translate the Bible into Zulu (1883) and wrote about his missionary experiences for a general audience. Aldin Grout died in Springfield on 1894.

In nearly fifty letters to his in-laws, Grout provided a remarkable commentary on his missionary activities in colonial South Africa, his personal religious convictions, and the lives of the Zulus to whom he ministered. The collection also includes a handful of fragmentary autobiographical and historical sketches written after Grout's retirement, a handful of letters from his wives and fellow missionary workers, Hannah and Charlotte, and some photographs of Groutville, S.A., and other materials from Grout's great-great-granddaughter Norine Lee (formerly Phillips).

Terms of Access and Use:

The collection is open for research.

Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Biographical Note
Rev. Aldin Grout

Rev. Aldin Grout

Son of Joel Grout (1765-1835) and Asenath Wilder (1767-1868), born at Pelham, Mass., on Sept. 3, 1803. Grout married a young woman from Holden, Hannah Davis, on Nov. 17, 1834, shortly before his first trip to Africa. Born Feb. 26, 1805, the daughter to Ethan and Eliza Davis of Holden, Hannah was said in the History of Holden, to "mind was impressed with the importance of personal religion" early in life, pursuing her education through Mrs. Fiske's boarding school in Keene, N.H., and preparing for missionary work at the Ipswich Female Seminary. Hannah's brother Elnathan was a graduate of Williams College and the Theological Institute at Hartford, Conn., originally intended to pursue missionary work in South Africa, but relented, eventually taking on work as a home missionary in Indiana and Michigan for two years, after which he served as pastor to churches in Ashburnham, Fitchburg, and Auburn, working as an active member of the American Peace Society.

The young couple arrived in Cape Town on Feb. 5, 1835, and after several months there, moved to Port Natal on May 21, 1836. Hannah did not long outlive the birth of a daughter, Oriana Relief Grout (b.1835), dying at Port Elizabeth on Feb. 24, 1836.

Forced to abandon his mission by the renewal of conflict between the Zulus and English colonists in 1838, Grout returned home and remarried on Nov. 23, to another young woman from Holden, Charlotte Bailey (b. 1812), daughter of James and Elizabeth Bailey of Holden. Returned to South Africa in March 1840. Aldin and Charlotte had at least three children, Alden P.F. Grout (b.1844), who later worked as a florist, Humphrey (b. 1846), and Eliza.

Grout retired from missionary work in 1870 and settled in Springfield, Mass. He was one of three missionaries who collaborated for the ABCFM to publish the first complete translation of the Bible in the Zulu language.

Scope and contents of the collection

In nearly fifty letters to his in-laws, Grout provided a remarkable commentary on his missionary activities in colonial South Africa, his personal religious convictions, and the lives of the Zulus to whom he ministered. The collection also includes a handful of fragmentary autobiographical and historical sketches written after Grout's retirement, a handful of letters from his wives and fellow missionary workers, Hannah and Charlotte.

Nearly all of the more recent material in the collection centers on Grout's great-great-granddaughter, Norine Lee (formerly Norine Phillips). In 1974, Lee and her husband Carl traveled to Natal to visit the site of Grout's mission, now called Groutville. The collection contains photographs from that trip, a map, and a handful of letters addressed to Lee from a missionary she met, along with materials relating to genealogical work and her efforts to locate an archive for the Grout Papers.


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

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Aldin Grout Papers (MS 797). Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries.

History of the Collection

Gift of Norine Lee, Nov. 2013.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, Nov. 2013.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Special Collections and University Archives
W.E.B. Du Bois Library
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003-9275

Phone: (413) 545-2780
Fax: (413) 577-1399
Link to SCUA
Language
English
Related Materials

The original manuscript of Grout's "Incidents in the early history of the mission to the Zulus" was donated to Special Collections at the Yale Divinity School Library (RG 30).

Stevens, Harold, God's Bush Pilot (Griffin, Ga. : Vision Publishing, 2002) is housed with SCUA's book collections.


Contents List
American Board of Christian and Foreign Missions, telegram to Aldin Grout
1883 Sept. 3
1p.
Box 1:1

Birthday greetings

American Zulu Mission Annual. Durban, S.Afr. : John Singleton and Sons
1901-1902
49p.
Box 1:2

Bailey, Elizabeth, On the death of Mrs. Hannah D. Grout
1836 June
2p.
Box 1:3

Dana, J. Jay, letter to Frank H. Foster
1894 Oct. 22
3p.
Box 1:4

Reminiscences of brother Grout.

Grout, Aldin, Autobiographical writings
1880-1883
5 items
Box 1:5

Grout, Aldin, autobiographical sketch
1880 June
3p.

Grout, Aldin, autobiographical sketch
ca.1880
6p.

Grout, Aldin, autobiographical sketch
ca.1880
4p.

Grout, Aldin, Reflections on publication of Zulu Bible
ca.1883
12p.

Grout, Aldin, autobiographical fragment
undated
4p.

Reminiscences of arrival in Natal. Second sheet only of longer piece.

Grout, Aldin, biographical information
1971-1995
4 items
Box 1:6

Includes article from Dictionary of South African Biography and materials from Amherst College; genealogy of Grout family.

Grout, Aldin, Incidents in the early history of the mission to the Zulus (photocopy)
ca.1880
Box 1:7
Location of originals:

The original manuscript is housed at the Yale Divinity School Library Special Collections

Grout, Aldin, Incidents in the early history of the mission to the Zulus (typescript)
ca.1880
Box 1:8
Location of originals:

The original manuscript is housed at the Yale Divinity School Library Special Collections

Grout, Aldin, Journal (fragment)
1834-1835
10p.
Box 1:9

Written from time of leaving Boston to arrival in Natal

Grout, Aldin, letter to Elnathan Davis (Cape Town, S.A.)
1835 Mar. 12
4p.
Box 1:10

Grout, Hannah Davis, letter to Elnathan Davis (Cape Town, S.A.)
1835 Mar. 16
4p.
Box 1:10

Grout, Aldin and Hannah Davis Grout, letter to Elnathan Davis (Cape Town, S.A.)
1835 May 20
4p.
Box 1:10

Grout, Aldin, letter to Elnathan Davis (Bethelsdorp, S.A.)
1835 Oct. 27
4p.
Box 1:10

Grout, Aldin, letter to Elnathan Davis (Bethelsdorp, S.A.)
1835 Dec. 4
3p.
Box 1:10

Grout, Aldin, letter to Elnathan Davis (Bethelsdorp, S.A.)
1836 Feb. 24
7p.
Box 1:11

Grout, Aldin, letter to Elnathan Davis (Port Natal, S.A.)
1836 July 29
4p.
Box 1:11

Grout, Aldin, letter to Ethan Davis (Bethelsdorp, S.A.)
1836 Feb. 25
16p.
Box 1:12

Grout, Aldin, letter to James and Elizabeth Bailey (Cape Town, S.A.)
1840 May 13
5p.
Box 1:13

Grout, Aldin, letter to James Bailey (Umlosi, S.A.)
1840 Nov. 10
3p.
Box 1:13

Grout, Aldin, letter to James and Elizabeth Bailey (Umlosi, S.A.)
1841 Sept. 5
4p.
Box 1:14

Grout, Aldin, letter to James and Elizabeth Bailey (Inkanyezi, S.A.)
1841 June 23
3p.
Box 1:14

Grout, Aldin, letter to James and Elizabeth Bailey (Port Natal, S.A.)
1842 Oct. 22
3p.
Box 1:15

Grout, Aldin, letter to Elizabeth Bailey (Umgeni River, S.A.)
1842 Nov. 14
3p.
Box 1:15

Grout, Aldin, letter to James and Elizabeth Bailey (Umgeni River, S.A.)
1843 Oct. 17
3p.
Box 1:16

Grout, Aldin, letter to James and Elizabeth Bailey (Cape Town, S.A.)
1844 Mar. 18
3p.
Box 1:17

Grout, Aldin, letter to James and Elizabeth Bailey (Cape Town, S.A.)
1844 Apr. 16
1p.
Box 1:17

Grout, Aldin, letter to James and Elizabeth Bailey (Cape Town, S.A.)
1844 Apr. 29
3p.
Box 1:17

Grout, Aldin, letter to James and Elizabeth Bailey (Pietermaritzburg, S.A.)
1844 Aug. 20
3p.
Box 1:17

Grout, Aldin, letter to James and Elizabeth Bailey (Pietermaritzburg, S.A.)
1844 Oct. 4
2p.
Box 1:17

Grout, Aldin, letter to James and Elizabeth Bailey (Umvoti River, S.A.)
1844 May 7
3p.
Box 1:18

Grout, Aldin, letter to Elizabeth Bailey (Umvoti River, S.A.)
1844 Nov. 10
3p.
Box 1:18

Grout, Aldin, letter to James Bailey (Umvoti River, S.A.)
1844 Nov. 10
3p.
Box 1:18

Grout, Aldin, letter to James and Elizabeth Bailey (Umvoti River, S.A.)
1844 Dec. 29
3p.
Box 1:18

Grout, Aldin, letter to James Bailey (Umlozi, S.A.)
1846 Feb. 13
3p.
Box 1:19

Grout, Aldin, letter to Elizabeth Bailey (Umvoti River, S.A.)
1846 Mar. 4
3p.
Box 1:19

Grout, Aldin, letter to James Bailey (Umvoti Station, S.A.)
1848 Sept. 27
4p.
Box 1:20

Grout, Aldin, letter to James Bailey (Umvoti S.A.)
1850 May 25
3p.
Box 1:21

Grout, Aldin, letter to James and Elizabeth Bailey (Umvoti S.A.)
1853 Oct. 20
4p.
Box 1:22

Grout, Aldin, letter to Elizabeth Bailey (Umvoti, S.A.)
1853 Oct. 22
4p.
Box 1:22

Grout, Aldin, letter to James Bailey (Umvoti, S.A.)
1854 Apr. 22
4p.
Box 1:23

Grout, Aldin, letter to Elizabeth Bailey (Umvoti, S.A.)
1854 June 23
4p.
Box 1:23

Grout, Aldin, letter to James Bailey (Umvoti, S.A.)
1854 Aug. 30
4p.
Box 1:23

Grout, Aldin, letter to James Bailey (Umvoti, S.A.)
1854 Oct. 3
4p.
Box 1:23

Grout, Aldin, letter to James and Elizabeth Bailey (Umvoti, S.A.)
1854 Nov. 25
4p.
Box 1:23

Grout, Aldin, letter to James Bailey (Durban, S.A.)
1854 Dec. 13
3p.
Box 1:23

Grout, Aldin, letter to James Bailey (Umvoti, S.A.)
1855 Apr. 14
4p.
Box 1:24

Grout, Aldin, letter to James Bailey (Umvoti, S.A.)
1855 July 28
4p.
Box 1:24

Grout, Aldin, letter to Elizabeth Bailey (Umvoti, S.A.)
1855 July 28
4p.
Box 1:24

Grout, Aldin, letter to James and Elizabeth Bailey (Umvoti, S.A.)
1856 Nov. 1
4p.
Box 1:25

Grout, Aldin, letter to James and Elizabeth Bailey (Umvoti, S.A.)
1856 Dec. 9
12p.
Box 1:25

Grout, Aldin, letter to Elizabeth Bailey (Umvoti, S.A.)
1859 Sept. 13
4p.
Box 1:26

Grout, Aldin and Charlotte Bailey, letter to James and Elizabeth Bailey (Umvoti, S.A.)
1860 Jan. 23
4p. (inc.)
Box 1:27

Grout, Aldin, letter to Elizabeth Bailey (Umvoti, S.A.)
1863 Feb. 14
4p.
Box 1:28

Grout, Aldin, letter to Elizabeth Bailey (Umvoti, S.A.)
1863 Apr. 30
4p.
Box 1:28

Grout, Aldin, letter to Elizabeth Bailey (Umvoti, S.A.)
1866 Mar. 17
4p.
Box 1:29

Grout, Aldin, letter to Frank H. Foster (Springfield, Mass.)
1872 Oct. 28
4p.
Box 1:30

Grout, Aldin, letter to Frank H. and Eliza Foster (Springfield, Mass.)
1877 Sept. 1
4p.
Box 1:31

Grout, Aldin, letter to Frank H. Foster (Springfield, Mass.)
1877 Dec. 5
4p.
Box 1:31

Grout, Aldin, letter to Frank H. Foster (Springfield, Mass.)
1878 Aug. 7
4p.
Box 1:32

Grout, Aldin, letter to Frank H. and Eliza Foster (Springfield, Mass.)
1878 Nov. 8
4p.
Box 1:32

Grout, Aldin, letter to Frank H. Foster (Springfield, Mass.)
1879 May 10
4p.
Box 1:33

Grout, Aldin, letter to Frank H. Foster (Springfield, Mass.)
1879 June 28
4p.
Box 1:33

Grout, Aldin, letter to Frank H. and Eliza Foster (Springfield, Mass.)
1880 July 19
4p. (inc.)
Box 1:34

Grout, Aldin, letter to Edward B. Marsh (S.l.)
ca.1880
1p.
Box 1:35

Grout, Aldin, letter to Frank H. Foster (Springfield, Mass.?)
undated
12p.
Box 1:36

Grout, Aldin, letter to Frank H. and Frederick M. Foster (Springfield, Mass.?)
ca.1880
2p.
Box 1:36

Grout, Aldin, Memoir of death of Hannah Davis Grout (pp.25-47)
ca.1880
24p.
Box 1:37

Section from memoir on missionary work in South Africa.

Grout, Aldin, Last will and testament
1890 Apr. 10 (1974)
3p.
Box 1:38

Grout, Charlotte Bailey and Aldin Grout, letter to James and Elizabeth Bailey (Montgomery, Mass.)
1839 Oct. 8
3p.
Box 1:39

Description of Aldin's pulpit in Montgomery, Mass., while awaiting Africa.

Grout, Charlotte Bailey, letter to James and Elizabeth Bailey (Montgomery, Mass.)
1839 Nov. 25
3p.
Box 1:39

Grout, Charlotte Bailey, letter to James Bailey (Durban, S.A.)
1856 June 23
4p.
Box 1:40

Grout, Charlotte Bailey, letter to James and Elizabeth Bailey (Cincinatti, Ohio)
1858 Apr. 12
4p.
Box 1:41

Grout, Hannah Davis, letter to Elnathan Davis (Holden, Mass.)
1832 Apr. 5
2p.
Box 1:42

Grout, Hannah Davis, letter to Elnathan Davis (Ipswich, Mass.)
1833 June 22
2p.
Box 1:43

Grout, Hannah Davis, letter to Elnathan Davis (Ipswich, Mass.)
1833 Dec. 18
2p.
Box 1:43

Grout, Hannah Davis, letter to Teresa Davis (Cape Town, S.A.)
1835 Mar. 18
1p.
Box 1:44

Grout, Lewis, Rev. Alden Grout's genealogy, as traced by the Rev. Lewis Grout. . .
1895 Jan. 4
11p.
Box 1:45

Ireland, William Rutherford, letter to Norine Lee (Chicago, Ill.)
1974 Oct. 14
1p.
Box 1:46

Ireland, William Rutherford, letter to Norine Lee (Chicago, Ill.)
1974 Oct. 30
2p.
Box 1:46

Ireland, William Rutherford, letter to Norine Lee (Chicago, Ill.)
1975 Feb. 27
2p.
Box 1:46

Map of South Africa
ca.1974
2p.
Box 1:47

Miscellaneous
1980
3 items
Box 1:48

Includes photocopies from publications on missions in South Africa; letter from Smithsonian regarding the Grout memoir.

Newspaper clippings on and by Aldin Grout
1880-1894
3p.
Box 1:49
Grout, Aldin, A Zulu learning to read (Congregationalist)
1880 Nov. 3
3p.

Grout, Aldin, Gospel daylight breaking on the Zulus (Weekly Evangelist)
1881 Apr. 9
1p.

Grout, Aldin, Publication of the Bible in Zulu
1883
1p.

Grout, Aldin, Teaching a Zulu chief to read
1886 Dec. 8
2p.

Kilbon, George B., He hath done what he could (Springfield Daily Union)
1883 Sept. 3
1p.

Tribute to the late Rev. Alden Grout (Springfield Republican)
ca.1894
1p.

Exploring the wilds of Africa (Springfield Republican)
undated
4p.

Newspaper clippings: T.M. Howell, A visit to Amherst (Ontario County Times)
1881 July 13
1 item
Box 1:50

Newspaper clippings
1971-2002
7 items
Box 1:51

Photographs: Grout, Aldin
undated
1 photograph
Box 1:52

Photographs: Grout, Charlotte Bailey
undated
1 photograph
Box 1:52

Photographs: Grout, Hannah Davis
undated
1 photograph
Box 1:52

Photographs of Groutville, S.A., by Norine Lee
1974
1 photograph
Box 1:53

Road sign for Groutville (S.A.)
1974
1 photograph

"Our" rented bug (Volkswagen parked by sign for bridge over Umvoti River)
1974
1 photograph

Groutville, same church (back view)
1974
1 photograph

Groutville, cemetary behind the church
1974
1 photograph

Groutville, same old man and a couple of passers by
1974
1 photograph

A small village on the way to the game reserve, "The old man and the new"
1974
1 photograph

Rev. Steven's plane: this little bug took us all over. Fantastic plane and pilot.
1974
1 photograph

Zulu village
1974
1 photograph

School room (69 children), teacher far right. Rev. Stevens and Carl on the left.
1974
1 photograph

Cattle corral in village. Carl in So. Africa.
1974
1 photograph

Chicken coop, 15" high
1974
1 photograph

Typical Zulu kraal in Natal (postcard)
1974
1 photograph

Umvoti Mission, Groutville, Natal, South Africa
1974
1 photograph

Aldin Grout monument (Umvoti, S.A.)
1974
1 photograph

Seelye, Julius H.; William S. Tyler; and Edward Hitchcock, telegram to Aldin Grout
1889 Sept. 3
1p.
Box 1:54

Stevens, Harold, Circular letter to Carl and Norine Phillips
ca.1974 May 20
1p.
Box 1:55

With manuscript note

Stevens, Harold, Circular letter to Carl and Norine Phillips
ca.1974 Sept. 17
1p.
Box 1:55

With manuscript note

Tyler, William S., letter to Frank H. Foster
1894 Dec. 20
8p.
Box 1:56


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
  • American Board of Christian and Foreign Missions
  • Dingane, King of the Zulu, approximately 1793-1840
  • Missionaries--South Africa
  • South Africa--Description and travel--19th century
  • South Africa--History--1836-1909
  • Zulu (African people)
  • Zulu (African people)--History
  • Zulu (African people)--Kings and rulers

Contributors
  • Grout, Charlotte Bailey
  • Grout, Hannah Davis
  • Grout, Lewis, 1815-1905

Genre terms
  • Correspondence
  • Photographs


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