Calvin Pease papers  1839-1863
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Pease collection consists of 72 manuscript items spanning a 24 year period (1839-1863). The collection is diverse, comprised of letters to family members, letters to the state legislature of Vermont, commencement speeches, lectures, funeral eulogies, and above all, sermons.

The earliest documents in the Pease papers consist of letters from Pease to his brother, Thomas, discussing the state of his health and family matters. Among the lectures are ones pertaining to the temperance movement, the parental duties of a Christian household, the "Thorough Method of Learning Language," and discussions of Classical Greek culture.

In six of the sermons included in the collection, Pease made occasional reference to the horrors of slavery, often regardless of the sermon's topic, and he was an inveterate supporter of the Union cause. Slavery, he wrote, is the "cause of all our woe" (1861 May 26), and in his commencement sermon of June, 1863, he mentioned two classmates who had recently volunteered in the war, to their "everlasting honor." Elsewhere, he wrote that freedom is a slave's inalienable birth right (1863 January 4). Finally, in a 1861 sermon entitled, "The Claims of Vermont Upon her Citizens," Pease refers to William Henry Seward's speech before the U.S. Senate and Vermont's obligation to comply with volunteers.

The photographs associated with the collection include images of Calvin and Martha Pease, their five daughters, James Marsh (first President of the University of Vermont), and James Burrill Angell and son. Angell served as the president of the University of Vermont from 1866-1871, and thereafter of the University of Michigan. He was a close friend of Pease, although there is no other mention of him in this collection.

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