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Herman Landon Vaill papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 1615
Scope and Contents

The Herman Landon Vaill Papers contain Vaill family correspondence, and diaries, other writings, and financial records of clergyman and teacher Herman Landon Vaill. Most letters are from Vaill to his wife Flora Gold Vaill, 1818-1847, with smaller concentrations of letters to Vaill from Flora Gold Vaill, 1818-1846, and from his father Benjamin Vaill, 1819-1837. Most other correspondence, 1816-1869, is between Vaill and his children, siblings, and cousins, and among members of the related Vaill, Gold, and Dudley families. Vaill’s correspondence concerns his work as a clergyman and teacher; relationships with family, colleagues, and students; and his association with the abolition, women’s rights, and temperance movements. Family correspondence includes letters about the Foreign Mission School, Cornwall, Connecticut, responses of the Vaill and Gold families to marriages of Cherokee students John Ridge and Elias Boudinot to white women, and references to the upbringing of Boudinot’s children following the deaths of their parents in 1836-1839.

Diaries, 1819-1870, contain brief entries on Vaill’s daily activities, and several series of daybooks, 1820-1870, list personal expenses, income, and accounts with creditors, with related notes. Diaries and daybooks contain occasional references to associates including Lyman Beecher, Joseph Harvey, Daniel Bourbon Brinsmade, John Brown, Mary Ann Day Brown, the Foreign Mission School, John Ridge, and Elias Boudinot.

Other writings by Vaill include business records on sales of iron stoves and cookware, 1848; notes on visits to district schools in Litchfield, Connecticut, including names of teachers and school committee members, teacher salaries, and student attendance statistics, 1853-1854; and writings on theology and notes on the Bible, undated. A volume of financial records summarizes income, property, and expenses, 1825-1843, with annotations by Vaill family descendants, 1928.

The collection is accompanied by a box, or small trunk, with domed lid, hasp, and lock, probably made about 1820-1840 and likely of American manufacture. The box is covered with wallpaper, probably block printed, with a pattern containing a pedestal supporting a three-tiered fountain, a floral bouquet, and a striated arched form, suggesting a gazebo in a garden.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Between the Covers on the Walter Jennings Memorial Fund, 2020.


Organized into four series: I. Vaill Family Correspondence, 1816-1869. II. Writings, 1819-1870. III. Financial Records, 1820-1870. IV. Other Papers, 1820-1840.

Related Materials

Herman Landon Vaill collection (MS 519), Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library.

1816 - 1928
Majority of material found within 1816 - 1870
5.79 Linear Feet (10 boxes + 1 art)
Related Names
Vaill, Herman Landon, 1794-1870
Language of Materials