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Labaree family papers

Call Number: MS 596

Scope and Contents

The Labaree Family papers bring together items pertaining to two generations of the Labaree family and the related Schauffler family. The older generation is represented by Benjamin Labaree (1801-1883) and his wife, Eliza Paul Capen (1804?-1835). Preserved here are twenty-four letters (1831-1835) exchanged between them during their courtship and short marriage, containing serious discussions of religion and marriage, and three letters to Eliza's mother, the second of which gives an account of Eliza's death. Benjamin Labaree's unpublished autobiography covers the same period of time and fleshes out the story of their experiences as missionaries and teachers on the Tennessee frontier. He also describes his earlier life as a teacher in North Carolina in the 1820s and his study at Dartmouth College and Andover Theological Seminary. Both the letters and the autobiography reveal a continuing interest in the lives and customs of the people among whom he lived, and particularly in the effects of slavery on both blacks and whites. Labaree also incorporates into his autobiography some family history, recounting the capture by Indians of his grandfather in the 1740s.

Five school notebooks of Eliza P. Capen are included in the collection; these were presumably compiled while she was a teacher at Miss Gilpah Grant's Ipswich Academy, ca. 1829-1830. With these is a transcript of her notes on pedagogy, reprinted in The New England Quarterly for September 1947.

The Labaree-Schauffler family is represented by Benjamin Labaree's great-grandson, Leonard Woods Labaree, a typescript of whose abridgment of "The Christian Fiend" by Rachel Capen Schauffler is included here. This work consists of transcripts of letters to and from Schauffler and Labaree family members and others during World War I. Labaree in his introduction speaks of it as a "common record... of the general experience and a cross-section of the military service...." Included are letters from men in training camps and at the front and from nurses and other women serving overseas.

Other items in the Labaree Family papers are a sermon by Dr. Codman and a sketchbook of James McIntosh, both presumably possessions of Eliza or Benjamin Labaree, and several newspaper clippingsaboutthe Schauffler family. Typed manuscripts of Benjamin Labaree and the correspondence have been made.

These papers were given to Yale University by Leonard Woods Labaree in 1939 and 1948.


  • 1801-1954


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.


1 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The principal figures in these papers are Benjamin Labaree and his wife, Eliza Paul Capen Labaree. Their papers consist of courtship letters and other correspondence (1831-1835), his autobiography written in 1879 and five of her school notebooks compiled while she was at the Ipswich Academy (ca. 1829-1830). Also in the papers is a sketchbook by James McIntosh, and a collection of family letters (1917-1919) edited by Leonard Woods Labaree and abridged by Rachel Capen Schauffler.

Biographical / Historical

For a chart outlining the genealogical relations of the Labaree-Schauffler family, please consult the Genealogical Chart.

Guide to the Labaree Family Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Janet Elaine Gertz
February 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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