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Asa Blair papers

Call Number: MS 84

Scope and Contents

The Reverend Asa Blair Papers consist primarily of letters he wrote to his wife, Mira Ann (Raymond) Blair, as he traveled in the United States seeking a climate to improve his health. Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. are among the cities Blair visited, and he commented extensively on both the locale and the inhabitants. In a letter of May 1, 1822, for example, he wrote "that Washington is behind no other place in wickedness-" Even some of the members of congress had stimulated too much to walk straight & swore like pirates." Blair also wrote of slavery and the lack of interest in religion in the Southern cities. Of special interest is his letter of December 2, 1822, in which he speaks of using opium to combat his illness.

Also included in the papers are letters to Mira (Raymond) Blair (1827-1848), and legal documents of Mira R. Blair and John Raymond, her father.


  • 1809-1848


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Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain.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


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Pastor, Congregational Church, Kent, Connecticut. Chiefly letters to his wife during a trip to the South (1822) in which he describes Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D. C. and Mount Vernon. A letter of Dec 2, 1822, describes the use of opium during his illness. Also in the collection are the correspondence of his wife Mira A. Blair and miscellaneous legal documents.

Biographical / Historical

Asa Blair, the second son of Captain Asa and Mehitable (Carnahan) Blair, of Blandford, Massachusetts, and grandson of Deacon Robert and Hannah (Thompson) Blair, of Western (now Warren) and Blandford, was born on May 12, 1784. He did not enter Yale until the Senior year. After graduation he studied theology with the Rev. Ebenezer Porter (Dartmouth Coll. 1791), of Washington, Connecticut, and was licensed to preach in 1811 by the Litchfield South Association of Ministers. On May 26, 1813, he was ordained and installed as pastor of the Congregational Church in Kent, in the immediate vicinity of Washington, where he exercised a useful ministry for about nine years. He received one hundred and seventy members to the church. Failing health led him on the approach of winter in 1822 to seek a Southern climate; and he died, on January 13, 1823, in Georgetown, South Carolina, in his 39th year, from typhus fever, after nineteen days' illness. He married Myra [sic] Ann, daughter of Dr. John Raymond, of Kent, who survived him with one son.

From Dexter's Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale's College.

Guide to the Asa Blair Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Nancy Fappiano
May 1981
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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