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Elisha Lord Cleaveland papers

Call Number: MS 139

Scope and Contents

These papers of Elisha Lord Cleaveland deal largely with his ministry in the Third Congregational Church of New Haven, Connecticut, from 1833 until his death in 1866. Three quarters of the papers consist of sermons by Cleaveland in a series numbered up to 1,402; approximately 1,300 are preserved here. Other writings by Cleaveland include notes on various subjects, and a number of lectures, some bound in notebooks and apparently intended for use at Andover Theological Seminary.

Three diaries, a record of ministerial duties, and a journal provide insight into Cleaveland's ministry. All five volumes detail church activities, texts of sermons preached and heard, visits to parishioners, and so forth, as well as occasional personal matters such as his reading, his health, and visits to neighboring towns. Some family events are recorded, including the prolonged illness and death of his brother, John, in December 1863 (folder 4). While routine church duties form the bulk of the contents of these volumes, there are some unusual items. The record of ministerial duties provides an account of Cleaveland's visits to a condemned criminal and of his feelings while officiating at the execution (folder 3a, Jul 1846), and an account of a daughter's mystical experience (Feb 1848).

Other miscellaneous items contained here are: an account book of the Third Congregational Society of New Haven; a personal account book; clippings about the Third Society and copies of other newspaper articles; and a certificate recording Trumbull Cleaveland being made a church member.


  • 1834-1866


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Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain.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

Gift of Ruth Cleaveland Monroe, 1959.


Arranged in two parts: Diaries, accounts, and related materials; Sermons.


11 Linear Feet (32 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The papers deal chiefly with his ministry in the Third Congregational Church of New Haven and include diaries, account books, clippings, lecture notes, and sermons. The 1,300 sermons make up three-fourths of the papers. His diaries (1850-1864) are largely a record of his ministerial duties, but also contain an account of his brother's death (December 1863) and of his visits to a criminal condemned to be executed (July 1846). The lecture notes were apparently intended for use at the Andover Theological Seminary.

Biographical / Historical

Elisha Lord Cleaveland was born in 1806 and died in New Haven, Connecticut on February 16, 1866. He was a clergyman and author. He graduated from Bowdoin college in 1829, Andover Seminary in 1832, and attended Yale Theological Seminary.

Source: The Geneology of the Cleveland and Cleaveland Families, by Edmund Janes Cleveland, 1899.

For a chart outlining the genealogical relations of the Cleaveland family, please consult the Genealogical Chart.

Guide to the Elisha Lord Cleaveland Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Marguerite S. Witkop and Janet Elaine Gertz
August 1980
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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