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Park family papers

 Collection
Call Number: MS 384

Scope and Contents

The Park Family Papers are composed of correspondence and other papers of Park family members and of correspondence and other documents collected and preserved by Park family members for their autograph or historical value. The Park family is composed of several generations of clergymen and educators. Theologian and professor Edwards Amasa Park, his son William Edwards Park, and his granddaughter Bryn Mawr College President Marion Edwards Park are represented in the papers. In addition the papers contain letters and papers of Anna Maria Edwards Park, the wife of Edwards Amasa Park and great-granddaughter of Jonathan Edwards, and of related members of the Burr, Edwards, and Reeve families. Also represented in the papers are Sara Billings Edwards, the wife of William Edwards Park, and her family. Her father was the theologian and editor Bela Bates Edwards and her mother was Jerusha William Billings, who conducted a school for girls in Andover, Massachusetts, and was the sister of Elizabeth Storrs Billings Mead, the president of Mount Holyoke College from 1890 to 1901.

In addition to the family materials the papers contain a large collection of documents including correspondence, minutes, voting records, reports, and printed material relating to the history, faculty, and administration of Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, and of Andover Theological Seminary. Particularly numerous are the personal and professional papers of Eliphalet Pearson, the academy's first principal and seminary founder, and of Samuel Farrar. The papers also include numerous documents of John Hoff Duke of Charleston, South Carolina, estate papers of Augustine Prevost, papers relating to the early history of Wrentham, Massachusetts, and six autograph albums containing letters and documents signed by American and European authors, scientists, statesmen, and clergymen.

Edwards Albert Park and Marion Edwards Park donated their family's papers to the Yale University Library between 1935 and 1960. An inventory of the papers received through 1954 is included in this register as Appendices A and B. This inventory describes all material in Edwards Albert and Marion Edwards Park's donation, including some material transferred to other collections. Most though not all material relating to Burr, Reeve, and Edwards family members is now found in either the Burr Family Papers (MS 303) or the Reeve Family Papers (MS 686) in the Manuscripts and Archives Department or in the Jonathan Edwards Papers in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

The Park Family Papers are arranged in two series: I. CORRESPONDENCE AND PAPERS, 1715-1903 and II. FAMILY PAPERS, 1701-1929.
Both series contain papers of Park family members and papers collected and preserved by Park family members, though Series II contains a higher proportion of family papers. The contents of Series I are thoroughly indexed in Appendix A, which is arranged alphabetically by personal or corporate name, or Appendix B, which is organized by topic. Materials described on one list are not listed on the other, and most items in Series II are not included on these lists.

Series I is arranged in chronological order. The majority of the materials in boxes 1-4 relate to the personal life and professional career of Eliphalet Pearson. These materials are detailed in Appendix B. A few additional letters to Pearson are listed in Appendix A. Pearson's correspondence, as well as that of Samuel Farrar (boxes 5 and 6), concerns Phillips Academy and Andover Theological Seminary. Topics and frequent correspondents include Leonard Woods, Jedidiah Morse, Samuel Phillips, Moses Stuart, Samuel Abbot, Jonathan French, Benjamin B. Wisner, and several benefactors of the schools. In addition the series includes Pearson sermons and petitions, subscription lists, organizational papers, memoranda, reports, minutes, wills and statistics relating to the schools. Additional Pearson correspondence and papers concern the American Society for the Education of Pious Youth for the Ministry, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Other correspondents include Pearson's first and second wives, his father-in-law Edward A. Holyoke, and his son Henry B. Pearson.

Scattered through boxes 1-5 are additional items not related to Pearson, the academy, or the seminary. There are numerous documents relating to Augustine Prevost and his estate. There are also letters, notes, and sermons concerning Nathanael Emmons and Samuel Hopkins, perhaps collected by Edwards Amasa Park when editing the collected works of these men. Several early documents relate to Wrentham, Massachusetts in the 1700s.

Boxes 6 through 8 contain letters to Park family members and to Bela Bates Edwards. A few concern the editing of Bibliotheca Sacra and some recall trips to Europe. The letters form no continuous correspondence but rather appear to have been preserved for their autograph value. Many of these letters are listed in either Appendix A or B. These boxes also contain the collection of documents relating to John Hoff Duke of Charleston, South Carolina, which is described in Appendix B. There is also correspondence of Eliphalet Pearson's children, some of which is with Edwards Amasa Park, concerning publication of a memoir or biography of their father and the history of Andover Theological Seminary.

Boxes 9 and 10 contain six volumes of mounted autographs as well as a few loose items. The volumes are thoroughly indexed in Appendix A by the name of the creator of the letter or document. Appendix A is annotated with volume and page numbers for nearly all items found in the volumes. The volumes are arranged by subject or geographic area and include autographs by authors, clergymen, American statesmen, British and continental scientists and academicians, and American Revolutionary War figures and presidents.

Series II, FAMILY PAPERS, includes correspondence, notes, writings, memorabilia, and printed material organized by the name of individual family members. The materials for all family members are fragmentary and in most instances there are only one or two exchanges in a folder. The correspondence arranged under any individual's name includes both incoming and outgoing letters.

The largest quantity of material in the series is that of Edwards Amasa Park. It includes family correspondence, lectures, sermons, notes by others on Park's lectures, writings of others, and additional material relating to Eliphalet Pearson, Andover Theological Seminary, and topics of Edwards Amasa Park's or William Edwards Park's research. Some of this material is indexed in either Appendix A or B.

There is also a sizeable quantity of material relating to Marion Edwards Park in the series. It includes several folders of letters to her mother Sara Billings Edwards Park including those from her undergraduate years at Bryn Mawr and from her studies abroad. There are also four folders of letters from M. Carey Thomas which document Bryn Mawr's offer of its presidency to Park and the transition of leadership in the early 1920s. Thomas's lengthy letters discuss the future of various academic departments and faculty appointments.

Correspondence of William Edwards Park and his wife and family portrays the life of a Congregational minister in Gloversville, New York. The series also includes correspondence of related Billings, Edwards, and Mead family members, travel letters of various Park family members, Timothy Edwards's letterbook (1797-1813), and notebooks kept by students on lectures by Tapping Reeve and James Gould at the Litchfield Law School. Folder 245 contains a list documenting Edwards Albert Park's sizeable donation of books by and about Jonathan Edwards and the Congregational Church in New England to the Yale Library in 1912.

Dates

  • 1701-1929

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown, though much of the material in this collection is likely in the public domain. 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

Gifts of Edwards Albert Park and Marion Edwards Park, 1935-1964.

Arrangement

The Park Family Papers are arranged in two series: I. CORRESPONDENCE AND PAPERS, 1715-1903 and II. FAMILY PAPERS, 1701-1929.

Associated Materials

Associated material: Burr Family Papers (MS 303), (Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library.)

Associated material: Reeve Family Papers (MS 686), (Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library.)

Associated material: Jonathan Edwards Papers, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.)

Extent

6.5 Linear Feet (16 boxes, 1 folio)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/mssa.ms.0384

Overview

The Park family papers are composed of correspondence and other papers of Park family members and of correspondence and other documents collected and preserved by Park family members for their autograph or historical value. The papers include six volumes of mounted autograph items as well as unbound documents of American and European authors, scientists, military leaders, statesmen, and clergymen. The papers include a large collection of documents relating to the history, faculty, and administration of Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts and of the Andover Theological Seminary. Particularly numerous are the personal and professonal papers of Eliphalet Pearson. The papers also include numerous documents of John Hoff Duke of Charleston, South Carolina, as well as estate papers of Augustine Prevost and documents relating to the early history of Wrentham, Massachusetts. Papers of Park family members include intra-family correspondence and items of related Burr, Edwards, and Reeve family members. Marion Edwards Park's correspondence documents her college years at Bryn Mawr. Correspondence with M. Carey Thomas in the 1920s details the transition of leadership at the college.

Biographical / Historical

The Park family is composed of several generations of clergymen and educators. Edwards Amasa Park was a theologian and professor at Andover Theological Seminary (1836-1881). His son William Edwards Park was a minister of the Congregational Church in Gloversville, New York, and his granddaughter Marion Edwards Park was president of Bryn Mawr College from 1922 to 1942. Edwards Amasa Park's wife was Anna Maria Edwards, a great-granddaughter of Jonathan Edwards. She was also related to members of the Burr and Reeve families. William Edwards Park's wife, Sara Billings Edwards, was the daughter of theologian and editor Bela Bates Edwards and Jerusha William Billings, who conducted a school for girls in Andover, Massachusetts, and was the sister of Elizabeth Storrs Billings Mead, the president of Mount Holyoke College from 1890 to 1901.

WILLIAM EDWARDS PARK, only son of Rev. Edwards Amasa Park, D.D., LL.D., (B.A. Brown 1826), who was Professor in Andover Theological Seminary for forty-five years, was born in Andover, Mass., July 1, 1837. His mother was Ann Maria (Edwards) Park, a great-granddaughter of Jonathan Edwards. He was prepared for college at Phillips Academy in his native town, and was a member of the class of 1860 for three years, joining '61 the last term of junior year.

After graduation he studied at home until March, 1862, when he went to St. Helena Island, S. C., as a member of the first party sent from the North by the Educational Commission for Freedmen. After four months in this work he engaged in teaching and studying law in New York City, and in the fall of 1863 entered the Andover Theological Seminary, from which he graduated in 1867. During this time, however, he spent ten months in Nashville, Tenn., as a delegate of the United States Christian Commission, and in 1865 co-operated in raising funds to rebuild Phillips Academy, which had been destroyed by fire.

He was licensed to preach in December, 1866, and devoted thirty-six years of his life to the ministry in two pastorates. He was ordained and installed pastor of the Central Congregational Church of Lawrence, Mass., November 13, 1867, and remained there eight years. June 21, 1876, he was installed over the Congregational Church in Gloversville, N. Y., where he continued in active service until 1904, and was pastor emeritus at the time of his death. The twenty-fifth anniversary of his settlement furnished an occasion for voicing the warm appreciation of the church and of the town of his achievements. His church under his influence felt a keen interest in education, and an unusually large proportion of the young men have come to Yale. He devoted much care to the foundation and development of the Public Library.

In addition to his local work he had many wider interests. He was moderator of the New York State Association of Congregational Churches on three occasions and several times of the Hudson River Association. In 1885 and at each subsequent council until 1908 he was a delegate to the National Council of Congregational Churches. For twenty-five years he was a corporate member of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, and for twenty years was a member of the New York State Home Missionary Committee and state representative of the Church Building Society. He was president of the Phillips (Andover) Academy Alumni Association, and in 1903 was elected president of the Yale Alumni Association of Fulton and Montgomery Counties, N.Y. He received the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from Marietta College in 1888.

He made seven long sojourns abroad, and had been an extensive traveler. Since 1904 he had resided in Oberlin, O., engaged in literary work. In 1907 he became associate editor of the Bibliotheca Sacra, of which his eminent father was editor from 1844 to 1884. He also wrote many articles on various subjects for newspapers, magazines, and encyclopedias, and delivered a large number of public lectures. In June, 1878, he read a paper on the "Earlier Annals of Phillips Academy," at its centennial anniversary.

Dr. Park died suddenly at his home in Oberlin, May 19, 1910, in the 73rd year of his age.

He married March 4, 1874, Sara Billings, daughter of Professor Bela B. Edwards, D.D. (B.A. Amherst 1824), of Andover Seminary, and Jerusha W. (Billings) Edwards, who survives him. Their daughter graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 1898, and their son from the Academical Department of Yale in 1900.

From Yale University Obituary Record.

Other Finding Aids

For a listing of correspondents, printed materials, and papers, please consult theCollection Inventory.
Title
Guide to the Park Family Papers
Status
Under Revision
Author
compiled by Diane E. Kaplan and William E. Brown, Jr.
Date
December 1986
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
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