Aaron Baker Clark and Sarah Booth Clark papers
Spanning the entirety of the Clark family’s time on the reservation, the papers chiefly contain accounts of life with the Lakota people. Diary entries from both Aaron and Sarah Clark note weather observations, illnesses, schoolwork, housework, travel, and births, deaths, and marriages. The diaries also record religious events on the reservation, specifically baptisms, confirmations, and convocations. In addition, there are several handwritten brief dictionaries (Dakota to English) and accounting records included.
The papers also contain photographs and correspondence. The former capture the Clark family and the Rosebud Reservation, while the latter reveal Reverend Clark's concern surrounding the funding of sectarian schools. Clippings in the collection provide context for Reverend Clark's letters.
Printed volumes in the collection consist of works belonging to the Clark family written both in English and Dakota. These materials range in content: dictionaries, religious texts, poetry, geography, history, chess, and romance.
- Majority of material found within 1876-1925
- Clark, Aaron Baker, 1855-1933 (Author)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
6.67 Linear Feet (9 boxes)
Language of Materials
A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog
Aaron Baker Clark (1855-1933)
He was born on January 27, 1855, to Aaron and Harriet Patience Clark. A graduate of the University of Vermont (class of 1876), he served as assistant principal of the Vermont Episcopal Institute (1874-1881) and as principal of the Vergennes graded schools (1881-1883). Following these positions, he later attended the General Theological Seminary of New York (1884-1886).
Clark became a deacon in the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1886 and served as rector of the Greenwith and Schuylerville parishes in the Diocese of Albany, New York, until 1888. In 1887, he was ordained into the priesthood by Bishop Doane of the Western New York District. He acted as the rector of St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church in Belmont, New York, from 1888 to 1889.
Accepting a call to the Deanery of Niobrara in Dakota Territory to serve under Right Reverend William Hobart Hare, Clark—along with his wife, Sarah Booth Clark, and two sons, John and David—was received at the Rosebud Reservation in May 1889. The family's arrival came not long after the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which diminished the reach of the Rosebud Sioux lands.
From 1887 to 1889, the Rosebud Mission was without a permanent Episcopal missionary. During the Clark family’s first year, the reservation consisted of fourteen chapels, churches, and stations. By this time, there were 260 communicants and 1,195 baptized Christians on Rosebud land. Conducting services in Sioux and English, Reverend Clark added to these figures throughout his time with the Lakota people.
Clark remained on the Rosebud Reservation for nearly three decades before undertaking direction of the Church at Hot Springs, South Dakota, in 1917. Five years later, he became missionary in charge at Gethsemane in Sisseton, South Dakota. Circa 1927, Clark served at the Good Shepherd Church in Wailukee on the island of Maui. He died on May 18, 1933, and was buried in Todd County, South Dakota.
Sarah Booth Clark (1861-1951)
The couple had three sons: John Booth Clark (1887-1967), David William Clark (1889-1970), and Hobart Hare Clark (1894-1934).
These materials have been arranged and described according to national and local standards. For more information, please refer to the Beinecke Manuscript Unit Processing Manual.
- Dakota language -- Dictionaries
- Dakota language -- Texts
- Diaries -- United States
- Episcopal Church -- Missions -- South Dakota
- Episcopal Church -- Rosebud Mission
- Indians of North America -- Education
- Indians of North America -- Languages
- Indians of North America -- Religion -- 19th century
- Indians of North America -- Religion -- 20th Century
- Indians of North America -- South Dakota
- Lakota Indians -- Missions
- Lakota dialect
- Missionaries -- South Dakota -- 19th century
- Missionaries -- South Dakota -- 20th century
- Photographs -- United States
- Rosebud Indian Reservation (S.D.)
- South Dakota -- Religion
- South Dakota -- Religious life and customs
- Clark, Aaron Baker, 1855-1933 (Author)
- Clark, Sarah Booth, 1861-1951 (Author)
- Clark, Walter Kinsley (Bookseller)
- Clark, Alice Kinsley (Bookseller)
- Guide to the Aaron Baker Clark and Sarah Booth Clark Papers
- Sarah Lerner
- January 2019
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
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