Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Levi H. Elwell family letters

Abstract

The Levi H. Elwell family letters (dated 1875-1910; 0.90 cubic feet; 2 boxes) comprises letters sent between the members of the Elwell family that document their daily lives while living in Massachusetts and New Yorkin the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Levi H. Elwell family letters
Date
1875-1910 (inclusive)
Extent
0.90 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Letters.
Correspondence.
Family.
Education, Higher.
Women in higher education
Teachers.
Language teachers.
Philology.
Gossip.
Marriage
Parent and child.
Domestic Life -- United States
Arrangement
Collection is arranged by subject. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0852: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Levi H. Elwell family letters, 1875-1910, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Levi Henry Elwell (1854-1916) was born in Northampton, Massachusetts to Levi Henry Elwell (1820-1866) and Harriet Adaline Ross (1823-1898). He received a bachelor's degree from Amherst college in 1875, and a master's from Amherst in 1878. After receiving his bachelor's he taught at Poughkeepsie Military Institute in New York for a year, then from 1876-77 he studied Sanskrit and comparative philology at Yale. In 1877, he returned to Amherst as an instructor in Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit until 1890, when he was made assistant professor of Greek and instructor in Sanskrit, and then in 1893, becoming associate professor of Greek and instructor in Sanskrit, which he held until his death. He was secretary and treasurer of his college class from 1875 to 1916, trustee of the Amherst Academy Fund from 1898 to 1916, and secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Academy.
In his personal life, he married Abigail Miner Nickerson (1858-1936) in 1883, and together the couple had three surviving children, Marion Freeman Elwell (1884-1977), Florence Ross Elwell (1888-1947), and James Henry Elwell (1896-1957). Marion and Florence both attended Vassar College, Marion graduated in 1907 and Florence in 1911. Marion became a teacher and eventually moved to San Mateo, California and Florence moved to Iowa temporarily before returning to Massachusetts. James graduated from Amherst College in 1919, worked as a farmer, married his first wife Ethel Claire White (1905-1947) in the early 1940s, and then married his second wife Alice K. McCallion (1917-2016) in 1949.
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 Levi H. Elwell family letters (dated 1875-1910; 0.90 cubic feet; 2 boxes) comprises letters sent between the members of the Elwell family that document their daily lives while living in Massachusetts and New Yorkin the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The majority of the letters are written by Levi Elwell to his wife, Abbie, where he discusses his daily life as a teacher at Amherst, lectures from other professors, antics that his students get up to, spending time with friends, trips he takes, plans to visit each other, their families, opinions on politics, advice on Abbie's college schedule, languages they are learning, and their plans for the future. Abbie writes to Levi after their marriage, discussing life at home when he is away, how their daughters are faring, personal health, and local gossip. Their daughters also write to the family when they are away at Vassar College, discussing their classes, exams, proposed semester schedules, trips taken with friends, personal health, and school gossip.
The Levi H. Elwell family letters collection is 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
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

Levi H. Elwell to Mother, 1875-1877

  • Box 1, folder 1
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Levi H. Elwell to Abbie Nickerson-Elwell, 1877-1881

  • Box 1, folder 2
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Levi H. Elwell to Abbie Nickerson-Elwell, 1882

  • Box 1, folder 3-4
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Levi H. Elwell to Abbie Nickerson-Elwell, 1883-1889

  • Box 1, folder 5
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Levi H. Elwell to Abbie Nickerson-Elwell, 1890-1903

  • Box 1, folder 6
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Letters to Abbie Nickerson-Elwell, 1899

  • Box 1, folder 7
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Abbie Nickerson-Elwell to Levi H. Elwell, 1882-1890

  • Box 1, folder 8
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Sympathy letters to Levi H. Elwell, 1898-1899

  • Box 1, folder 9
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Marion F. Elwell to family, 1903

  • Box 2, folder 1
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Marion F. Elwell to family, 1904-1906

  • Box 2, folder 2
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Marion F. Elwell to family, 1907-1908

  • Box 2, folder 3
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Family to Marion F. Elwell, 1890-1904

  • Box 2, folder 4
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Friends to Marion F. Elwell, 1894-1905

  • Box 2, folder 5
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Florence Elwell to family, 1908

  • Box 2, folder 6
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Family to Florence Elwell, 1902-1908

  • Box 2, folder 7
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Friends to Florence Elwell, 1902-1910

  • Box 2, folder 8
To top

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UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center is open by appointment only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Materials must be requested at least 5 days before your appointment.

Researchers must have an SCRC Researcher Account to request materials. View account set-up and use instructions here.

Questions? Contact SCRC via our Contact Form.

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You may come across language in UK Libraries Special Collections Research Center collections and online resources that you find harmful or offensive. SCRC collects materials from different cultures and time periods to preserve and make available the historical record. These materials document the time period when they were created and the view of their creator. As a result, some may demonstrate racist and offensive views that do not reflect the values of UK Libraries.

If you find description with problematic language that you think SCRC should review, please contact us at SCRC@uky.edu.