Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Clarke family letters

Abstract

The Clarke family letters (dated 1855-1899; 0.55 cubic feet; 2 boxes) comprise letters that document the family's relationships as they spread out across Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Iowa prior to, during, and after the Civil War.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Clarke family letters
Extent
0.55 Cubic Feet
Subjects
Letters.
Pennsylvania
Arrangement
Collection is arranged alphabetically by recipient for the first six folders, the additional folders are arranged chronologically. The Wade Hall Collection of American Letters has been processed into discrete collections based on provenance.
Finding Aid Author
Sarah Coblentz
Preferred Citation
2009ms132.0109: [identification of item], Wade Hall Collection of American Letters: Clarke family letters, 1855-1899, University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
The Clarke family, located in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, is comprised of James Clarke (1783-1867) and Jane Patton (1788-1863) as the heads of the family. They had seven children together, Mary Ann Clarke (1812-1833), Jane Patton Clarke (1813-1892), Robert William Clarke (1816-1895), Martha Jane Clarke (1818-1914), James Patton Clarke (1820-1821), James Cunningham Clarke (1823-1893), and John Patton Clarke (1825-1900). Some of their children stayed within Pennsylvania and other moved further away to states like West Virginia and Iowa.
Robert William Clarke initially moved to Blairsville, Pennsylvania for school when he was 17 and stayed there for 21 years as a civil engineer. In 1840, he married Caroline King (1819-1880) in Erie, Pennsylvania. Together they had six children: Mary, James, Jane, Thomas, Robert, and Sarah. In 1855, Robert and family moved to Des Moines, Iowa where he helped to locate the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad for 100 miles east of Council Bluffs along with a number of other surveys in the area. In 1867, he was a member of the city council and in 1878; he was elected as Justice of the Peace.
James Cunningham Clarke stayed within Pennsylvania, only moving towns to Greensburg, Pennsylvania. In 1853, he married Isabella Armstrong Keenan (1830-1863) with whom he had three children: Isabella, Janet, and Mary. James was the president of the Greensburg Banking Company and an attorney at law.
John Patton Clarke moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio and then settling on a farm in Burning Springs, West Virginia. His first marriage was to Matilda Powless (1837-1915) and together they had one child, Paul Powless Clarke. In 1867, John married Nancy Jane Graham (1848-1894) with whom he had eight children: Elizabeth, Jane, Martha, Isabella, James, John, Lessie, and George.
Martha Jane Clarke also stayed in Pennsylvania, and in 1840, she married John P. Ford (1810-1889). Together they had seven children: William, James, Robert, Albert, Jane, Amelia, and Anabel.
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 Clarke family letters (dated 1855-1899; 0.55 cubic feet; 2 boxes) comprise letters that document the family's relationships as they spread out across Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Iowa prior to, during, and after the Civil War. Many of the letters are sent from James C. Clarke to his brother John P. Clarke, however there are letters to James C. Clarke from his niece, Belle Clarke (John's daughter). There are a number of letters written to John P. Clarke by family members, especially his sister Jane P. Moore, his brother Robert W. Clarke, and his nephew William C. Ford. The letters primarily discuss the health of family members, small business matters, education, and the weather.
The Clarke family letters 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

General family correspondence, 1862-1896

  • Box 87, folder 1
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Letter from James C. Clarke to Belle Clark, 1892

  • Box 87, folder 2
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Letter from R. W. Clarke to J. W. [James William] Clarke, 1894

  • Box 87, folder 3
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Letters from James C. Clarke to John P. Clarke, 1855-1892

  • Box 87, folder 4
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Letters to John P. Clarke, 1864-1895

  • Box 87, folder 5
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Letter from James C. Clarke to N. J. [Nancy Jane] Clarke, 1892

  • Box 87, folder 6
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John P. Clarke letters, 1854-1855

  • Box 87A, folder 1
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John P. Clarke letters, 1861-1864

  • Box 87A, folder 2
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John P. Clarke letters, 1865-1866

  • Box 87A, folder 3
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John P. Clarke letters, 1867-1869

  • Box 87A, folder 4
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John P. Clarke letters, 1870-1872

  • Box 87A, folder 5
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John P. Clarke letters, 1873-1876

  • Box 87A, folder 6
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John P. Clarke letters, 1877-1879

  • Box 87A, folder 7
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John P. Clarke letters, 1880-1882

  • Box 87A, folder 8
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John P. Clarke letters, 1883-1884

  • Box 87A, folder 9
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John P. Clarke letters, 1885-1886

  • Box 87A, folder 10
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John P. Clarke letters, 1887-1889

  • Box 87A, folder 11
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John P. Clarke letters, 1890-1893

  • Box 87A, folder 12
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John P. Clarke letters, 1894-1896

  • Box 87A, folder 13
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John P. Clarke letters, 1897-1899

  • Box 87A, folder 14
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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.

Requests

No items have been requested.