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John Metcalf Garfield papers

Call Number: MS 968

Scope and Contents

The papers of John Metcalf Garfield consist primarily of diaries, notebooks, and account books. There is, first, a series of five notebooks recording expenses and lectures at Yale College, 1812-1816. In two of these are included diary entries for the years 1815-1816 and 1823-1825, while a separate volume continues the diary combined with Garfield's ecclesiatical itinerary for 1826-1828 and a record of baptisms, marriages, and funerals for 1826 to 1872. Notes on sermons and Greek literature conclude this series of notebooks.

The next group of volumes contains records of Garfield's teaching from 1816 through 1830, both of private students and in the New Haven Female Seminary, which he founded in 1819. Included are accounts, grades, and other records. There are also a few items from the Albany Female Seminary.

The final two items in the collection are a lease from Garfield to Robert Morrison for property in New Haven, and a household account books kept by Garfield's wife, Ann (Lyon) Garfield (d. 1872).

The papers are described in greater detail on the following pages. They were purchased in 1940.


  • 1812-1872


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are 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Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain.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

Purchased in 1940.


1 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Half of the papers consist of a diary (1815-1816) and notes kept while Garfield was a student at Yale University. Later material documents his activities as a teacher and as a clergyman. Included are notes on sermons, on classical literature, account books, a record of baptism, marriages and funerals (1826-1872), and papers on the New Haven Female Seminary and the Albany Female Seminary. Also included is the account book (1821-1825) of his wife, Ann Lyon Garfield.

Biographical / Historical

JOHN METCALF GARFIELD, eldest son of Timothy and Eunice (Pond) Garfield, was born 21 July, 1790, in Grafton, Mass.

After graduation from Yale in 1816 he began the study of law with Seth P. Staples of New Haven. At the close of his second year, he became a teacher in the Lansingburgh (N. Y.) Academy, and after a year spent there, took charge of the Grammar School in Troy, N. Y.

In 1819 he established a Female Seminary in New Haven, which he conducted successfully until 1831, where he was appointed Principal of the Albany Female Seminary. During this time he pursued theological studies, and was ordained deacon in the Prot. Episc. Church by Bishop Brownell, in Hamden, Conn., 11 Aug., 1822, and was admitted to the priesthood, by the same prelate, in Meriden, 4 June, 1823. From this time he regularly officiated in neighboring towns until his removal from the State.

Mr. Garfield continued in his position in Albany until 1849, when he returned to New Haven. Here he resided until his death, and for the greater part of the time had charge of a church of colored people in the city.

He married, 22 Nov., 1816, Ann, eldest daughter of Nathaniel Lyon, of New Haven, and had two sons and six daughters. He died 10 March, 1872, and his wife two days later.

(Yale University Obituary Record, 1860-1879, page 49)

Guide to the John Metcalf Garfield Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Janet Elaine Gertz
July 1983
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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