Approximately forty letters to Samuel Witt Eaton from friends of his Yale College days make up the bulk of this small collection. His correspondents include Timothy Dwight (1828-1916), James Hadley (1821-1872), and John A. Porter (1822-1866), author of almost half of the lettters. There are, in addition, one letter from Eaton's wife, two from his brother Sereno, and one letter written by Eaton to John A. Porter. Topics discussed in these letters include theology and the ministry, education, and life at Yale and in New Haven.
Other materials in the collection deal with the Civil War. Among these are notes by Eaton on his service in the Union Army, letters from Samuel B. Morse and J.L. Pickard concerning his commission, a list of monies sent home by members of the 7th Wisconsin Infantry, and a clipping about pickets and chaplains. The remaining items in the collection are a list of appointments for the 1842 Yale commencement, a list of books by Eaton, and a sketch of Eaton.
These papers were donated to Yale University by Mrs. Henry W. Hincks in 1947 and 1948.