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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.

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Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain.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)
Related Names
Cleaveland, Elisha Lord, 1806-1866
Language of Materials