Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Ebenezer Thresher papers

Abstract

The Ebenezer Thresher papers (dated 1824-1864, undated; 0.09 cubic feet; 4 folders) comprise a diary, bank notes, photographs, and letters that document the life and religious work of Ebenezer Thresher II in New England and Ohio during the mid-nineteenth century.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Ebenezer Thresher papers
Creator
Thresher, Ebenezer, 1798-1886
Extent
0.09 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Baptists -- Clergy.
Baptists -- Education.
Baptists -- Sermons.
Church membership.
Letters.
Religion
Religious education
Slavery and the church -- Baptists.
Arrangement
Collection is arranged by format. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0194: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Ebenezer Thresher papers, 1824-1864, undated, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Ebenezer Thresher II (1798-1886) was born in Stafford, Connecticut to Ebenezer Thrasher (1756-1832) and Hannah Blodgett (1762-1840). Thresher was a Baptist preacher who served at the First Baptist Church in Portland, Maine and the First Baptist Church of Ohio in Dayton. In 1827, he married his first wife, Elizabeth Fenner (1802-1860). Together the couple had at least seven children, Elizabeth (1829-1852), Thomas Fenner (1831-1907), Sarah (1833-1880), Mary (b. 1835), Helen Maria (1937-1895), Maria (b. 1840), and Ebenezer III (1842-1913). Thresher's wife, Elizabeth, passed away in 1860, and in 1861, he remarried to Martha Snyder (1823-1884). They had two children together, Mary Martha (b. 1865) and Laura Henderson (1867-1951). Thresher moved from Portland, Maine after being forced to resign from his congregation and spent time in Massachusetts giving sermons along the New England Coast. In the early 1840s Thresher moved the family west to Ohio and began to work at a sawmill, eventually becoming a partner in Thresher, Packard, and Company, who built railroad cars until, his retirement in 1874. Ebenezer was active in the Baptist church, he was corresponding secretary for the Northern Baptist Education Society and was appointed trustee of Denison University in 1857.
American Letters collector Wade Hall (1934-2015) was a native of Union Springs, Alabama. Starting in 1962, he lived in Louisville, where he taught English and chaired the English and Humanities/Arts programs at Kentucky Southern College and Bellarmine University. He also taught at the University of Illinois and the University of Florida. He held degrees from Troy State University (B.S.), the University of Alabama (M.A.), and the University of Illinois (Ph.D.). He served for two years in the U.S. Army in the mid-fifties. Dr. Hall was the author of books, monographs, articles, plays, and reviews relating to Kentucky, Alabama, and Southern history and literature. His most recent books include A Visit with Harlan Hubbard; High Upon a Hill: A History of Bellarmine College; A Song in Native Pastures: Randy Atcher's Life in Country Music; and Waters of Life from Conecuh Ridge.
Scope and Content
The Ebenezer Thresher papers (dated 1824-1864, undated; 0.09 cubic feet; 4 folders) comprise a diary, bank notes, photographs, and letters that document the life and religious work of Ebenezer Thresher II in New England and Ohio during the mid-nineteenth century. The diary covers a three year span in Ebenezer's life, 1829-1832, where he describes sermons given, marriages presided over, the health of his wife, the birth of his children, and thoughts on his work as a preacher. The bank notes are mainly written by Ebenezer, promising to pay specific amounts of money to persons and institutions, but there is one bank note written to Ebenezer for pew rental at the First Baptist Church of Ohio. There are two photographs in the collection, one is a portrait of Ebenezer, the other is a portrait of his daughter Laura from his second marriage. The letters are primarily written between Ebenezer and his brother, James Thresher, while Ebenezer attended Columbia College in Virginia. Ebenezer describes his impression of southerners, how they were prejudiced against northerners and that their economy, manners, and customs were miserable. There is a letter from Ebenezer's son, Thomas, the describes how he was expelled from Denison University for drinking and gambling in 1850. Additionally, there are letters to Ebenezer appointing him to preach in Portland, Maine and letters from Ebenezer welcoming his son and son's new wife home.
The Ebenezer Thresher papers are part of the Wade Hall Collection of American letters, which includes correspondence and diaries from all over North America covering the time period of the Civil to Korean Wars. The materials were collected by Wade Hall and document everyday men and women.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Access The collection is open to researchers by appointment.
Use Restrictions
The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.

Contents of the Collection

Ebenezer Thresher diary, 1829-1832

  • Box 257, folder 10
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Ebenezer Thresher bank notes, 1847-1866

  • Box 257, folder 11
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Ebenezer Thresher photographs, undated

  • Box 257, folder 12
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Ebenezer Thresher letters, 1823-1864

  • Box 257, folder 13
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Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

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