This collection contains material related to Alden Scovel and Mary Wait Scovel. The Scovels were related by Mary Wait's marriage to Alden Scovel's cousin, Hezekiah Gould Scovel.
The Alden Scovel Correspondence (69 items) consists of Scovel's incoming personal correspondence, dated April 24, 1820-April 29, 1850 (primarily 1820-1824). He received letters from family members, including his brother Ashley and his uncle Sylvester, who provided news from Albany, New York, and Williamstown, Massachusetts, and from other acquaintances. Charles F. Stuart described his life in Aurora, New York, and Samuel Bradstreet wrote several letters about legal issues related to disputed land holdings in northern New York State. Additional items include an invitation to a Yale alumni reunion (May 20, 1836), a certificate regarding funding that Scovel received from the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America Board of Missions (April 29, 1850), and a report about the Albany Juvenile Bible Society (undated).
The Mary Wait Scovel Papers are divided into several series. The Correspondence and Documents subseries (7 items) includes letters that she received from S. Wait in Albany, New York (March 22, 1867); C. Johnston in Memphis, Tennessee (October 7, 1870); and G. [Foierson] in Columbia, Tennessee. Her correspondents discussed personal news, Mary's order of printed cards, and the estate of James M. [Elrea?]. Other items include a patent deed (April 25, 1870), a brief undated note to Mary, and blank forms regarding membership in a lodge of the Grand United Order of Odd Fellows and the payment of fuel rations.
The Diaries, Account Books, and Commonplace Books subseries (16 volumes) consists primarily of journals dated August 27, 1838-March 16, 1885, including an unbroken series of diaries kept by Mary Wait Scovel between June 15, 1864, and March 16, 1885 (14 volumes). Scovel wrote primarily about her social life; charitable work; daily activities in Nashville, Tennessee; and travel in Arkansas and Florida. She occasionally commented on current events: several Civil War-era entries concern war news and related events, and her entry of April 30, 1875, describes a lynch mob. In addition to diary entries, the first 4 volumes contain financial records, poetry, essays, genealogical notes, and medical recipes. Volumes 6-16 include records of Mary Wait Scovel's incoming and outgoing correspondence. Some of the pre-printed diaries used by Mary Scovel were originally intended for use by military medical personnel. Enclosures include clippings, additional pages of notes, and plant material.
The Programs, Pamphlets, and Ephemera subseries (76 items) consists largely of programs from charity concerts, theatrical presentations, and celebrations, often held in support of and in honor of schools and other institutions in Nashville, Tennessee. Other items include advertisements and business cards, a menu, an unused memorandum book, and a calendar for January 1874-August 1875. The series contains a list of suggested candidates for an election held in January 1868, several advertisements regarding the benefits of sending children to kindergarten, and an advertisement for The Spirit of Arkansas, which features an illustration of a Native American man riding a grasshopper and chasing another man, with the caption "They have no G. Hoppers and Indians there!"
The Newspaper Clippings subseries (5 items) includes pages and excerpts from the Nashville Whig (), Nashville Union (April 24, 1862), The Wright County Times (Monticello, Minnesota, February 2, 1888), and the Nashville Banner (April 21, 1888), as well as a published compilation of Clippings from the Tennessee Papers with Other Interesting Items ([April 1865]). The Nashville Whig featured a printed illustration of businesses along Nashville's public square, including H. G. Scovel's storefront.