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Hillard Family Papers

Call Number: MS 1168

Scope and Contents

The Hillard Family Papers consist of letters, business papers, and a journal of Moses Hillard (1780-1837) and members of his family. Moses Hillard's letters and journal vividly document his experiences as a sailor and later a ship's captain from 1799 through the 1820s (they recount such events as the seizure of his ship by French privateers in 1800, harassment by the British before and during the War of 1812, and the sinking of another ship during a storm in 1817), as a farmer, and as collector of school taxes in Preston, Connecticut. For a more detailed discussion of Hillard's life as revealed by his papers, see the attached article by Archibald MacLeish, great-grandson of Moses Hillard.

Other items in the collection include legal and financial papers of Moses Hillard and other family members; there is an agreement between the master and the crew of the schoonerAntelope, accounts of sales, bills, freight lists, invoices, port regulations, and other shipping papers, as well as school tax lists and related items. There are, in addition, approximately twenty-five letters from Rev. Elias Brewster Hillard, Moses Hillard's youngest son, to members of his brother William's family. These letters, written during E.B. Hillard's study at Yale and Andover, are accompanied by genealogical notes provided by the Hillard family.


  • 1799-1855


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Archibald MacLeish, 1948.


0.75 Linear Feet (2 boxes, 1 folio)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Correspondence, journals, and legal and financial papers of the Hillard family of Preston, Connecticut. Moses Hillard, 1780-1837, a sailor, ship's captain, farmer, and tax collector, and his son, Elias Brewster Hillard, 1825-1895, a minister, are represented in the papers.

Biographical / Historical


ELIAS BREWSTER HILLARD, son of Captain Moses and Martha (Brewster) Hillard, of Preston, Connecticut, was born in that town on September 6, 1825. His father, Moses Hillard, 1780-1837 was a sailor, ship's captain, farmer, and tax collector. During Elias's College course his residence was in Norwich, Connecticut.

After graduation he was for two years principal of the Lewis Academy in Southington, Conn., and a little later entered the Yale Divinity School. In 1852 he removed to the Andover Theological Seminary, where he finished the course in July, 1854. On March 15, 1855, he was ordained as pastor of the Congregational Church in Hadlyme, Connecticut, and on September 10th married Julia, daughter of Judge Frederick Whittlesey (Yale College 1822), of Cleveland, Ohio. He was dismissed from his pastorate on April 15, 1860, and on May 16 was installed over the Congregational Church in Kensington Society, in the township of Berlin, Connecticut. He left this post on March 2, 1867, and was settled two months later over the Congregational Church in South Glastonbury, Connecticut, where he remained until November, 1869. Thence he went to Plymouth, Connecticut, where during a pastorate of twenty years he came into special prominence throughout the State as a leader in movements of temperance reform. His last pastorate (1889-1893) was in Conway, Massachusetts, and the closing months of his life were spent in Farmington, Connecticut, where he died on March 1, 1895, in his 70th year, of heart failure, following pneumonia. His wife survived him, with five daughters and two sons.

From Yale University Obituary Record, 1890-1900, p. 303.

Guide to the Hillard Family Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Janet Elaine Gertz
August 1983
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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