Skip to main content

Dutton Family Papers

 Collection
Call Number: RG 63

Scope and Contents

This collection is valuable for the documentation it provides concerning a New Haven area clergy family during the period 1800 to 1880. Daily events and family relationships are revealed in substantive family correspondence. Letters were most often exchanged when a family member had left the New Haven area to live in the Midwest. Mary Dutton, daughter of Aaron, for example, lived in Cincinnati, Ohio for a number of years. Letters exchanged with her parents reveal a conflict between her desire to continue her work there and her parents' desire to have their daughter living at home. Mary eventually returned to Connecticut and headed a girls' school in New Haven. The general correspondence in the collection is not extensive but includes letters from Charles Beecher, George Edward Day, and Increase Tarbox.

The notebooks and diaries of Series II highlight various facets of the lives of Mary and Samuel Dutton. Of particular interest are Samuel's notebooks from his student days at Yale. Notes on sermons preached in the Yale College Chapel are included, as well as class notes. Pocket diaries of Samuel Dutton for the years 1861 to 1864 are available. A series of account books of Mary Dutton with Austin and Gilbert, grocers, provide interesting detail on New Haven life during the period 1855 to 1865.

The bulk of the collection is comprised of manuscript sermons written by Aaron and Samuel Dutton during their pastorates in Guilford and New Haven. These sermons touch on topics such as slavery, the Civil War, "Millerism," temperance, and immigration. The sermons span the careers of both Duttons and thus provide an opportunity for tracing the development of their thought over a number of years.

The writings other than sermons in Series III are also of interest. Those of Aaron Dutton include college compositions and "disputes" from his Yale years, essays on theological subjects, and drafts of articles on subjects such as slavery, Congregationalism, and missionary work. The writings of Samuel Dutton include college compositions, speeches delivered before the Linonian Society, an address delivered at the Yale Commencement of 1833, reviews of works by Horace Bushnell, and others. Historical information regarding the North Church in New Haven is available in an 1860 statement of Dutton to its United Society.

The personal items and memorabilia of Series IV include a portrait of Aaron Dutton and the memorial sermon preached at the funeral of Samuel Dutton's wife.

Dates

  • 1800-1880

Language

English

Conditions Governing Access

Open to qualified researchers.

Arrangement

  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Notebooks and Diaries
  3. III. Writings
  4. IV. Personal Items and Memorabilia

Extent

9 Linear Feet (18 boxes)

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/divinity.063

Overview

The collection is valuable for the documentation it provides concerning a New Haven area clergy family during the period 1800 to 1880. Daily events and family relationships are revealed in substantive family correspondence. Of particular interest are Samuel Dutton's notebooks from his student days at Yale. The bulk of the collection is comprised of manuscript sermons written by Aaron and Samuel Dutton during their pastorates in Guilford and New Haven. These sermons touch on topics such as slavery, the Civil War, "Millerism", temperance and immigration. The sermons span the careers of both Duttons, who were known for their abolitionist stances, and thus provide an opportunity for tracing the development of their thought over a number of years. Aaron Dutton was born in Watertown, Connecticut on May 21, 1780. He served as minister of the First Congregational Church in Guilford, Connecticut from 1806 until 1842, at which time he resigned due to the dissension in the congregation regarding his abolitionist stance. In 1843, he went to Iowa in service of the American Home Missionary Society. He died in New Haven in 1849. His son, Samuel William Southmayd Dutton was born in Guilford, Connecticut on March 14, 1814. After receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale in 1833, he held positions as teacher, tutor, rector, minister (North Church, New Haven, Connecticut), publisher and editor. He was a noted champion of the antislavery cause. He died in Millbury, Massachusetts in 1866.

Biographical / Historical

1780 May 21
Born in Watertown, Ct.
1803
B.A., Yale
1803-1804
Preceptor of Woodstock Academy, then pursued study of theology under Timothy Dwight
1805
Licensed to preach
1806
Married Dorcas Southmayd. Their children were:Mary Dutton (1807-1887), Dorcas Southmayd Dutton Gilbert (1810-1849), Thomas Dutton (1812-1885), Samuel William Southmayd Dutton (1814-1866), Aaron Rice Dutton (1816-1885), John Southmayd Dutton (1818-1834), Anna Dutton (1820-1831), Matthew Henry Dutton (1822-1841)
1806-1842
Minister of First Congregational Church, Guilford. Besides his pastoral duties he also prepared many young men for college.
1825-1849
Member of Yale Corporation
1842
Resigned from position in Guilford, due to dissension in congregation regarding his abolitionist stance. The party which stood by him formed the Third Congregational Church of Guilford in November, 1843.
1843
Went to Iowa in service of American Home Missionary Society. He was invited to the pastoral charge of the church in Burlington, capital of the IowaTerritory. Illness prevented him from accepting the postion.
1849
Died in New Haven
1814 Mar 14
Born in Guilford, Ct., son of Aaron and Dorcas Southmayd Dutton
1833
B.A., Yale
1833-1834
Taught at Mount Hope College, Baltimore, Md.
1834
Rector of Hopkins Grammar School, New Haven
1836-1838
Tutored at Yale and pursued theological studies
1838
Married Harriet Waters, who died in 1864; daughter of Asa Waters of Millbury, Ma.
1838-1866
Minister at North Church, New Haven, Ct. Was a noted champion of the antislavery cause
1842
Published A History of the North Church in New Haven
1843
New Englander established, of which Dutton was an associate editor; contributed 46 articles
1865
D.D., Brown University
1866 Jan
Died in Millbury, Ma.
The discourse delivered at his funeral by the Rev. Leonard Bacon has been published. A sketch of his life appeared in the Congregational Quarterly for April, 1866.
Title
Guide to the Dutton Family Papers
Author
Compiled by Martha Lund Smalley
Date
1980
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Yale University Divinity School Library Repository

Contact:
409 Prospect Street
New Haven CT 06511 US
(203) 432-5301