Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
William Brunton Journal, 1880-1885

Blandina Diedrich Collection

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, December 2011

Summary Information
Title: William Brunton journal
Creator: Brunton, William
Inclusive dates: 1880-1885
Extent: 1 volume
Abstract:
The William Brunton journal contains an autobiographical sketch and diary notes that Brunton, a Unitarian minister from Boston, composed for his son, Herbert Rogers Brunton, about the boy's childhood. He described his son's temperament and daily activities during his first 10 years of life.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

Donated by D. N. Diedrich, 2005. M-4420.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

William Brunton Journal, Blandina Diedrich Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Biography

William Brunton was born in Sheffield, England, in the mid-19th century, and had four siblings: Mary, Eliza, John, and Riley. He worked as an errand boy and in a mill during his youth, and graduated from the Unitarian Home Missionary College in Manchester, England, in 1869. In December 1871, he emigrated to the United States, where he led several congregations in New York and Massachusetts before attending Harvard Divinity School. After his graduation in 1879, he resided in Boston and in Fairhaven, Massachusetts. He retired in February 1905, and died on March 10, 1906. He and his wife, Elma Amelia Summer ("Nellie") of Braintree, Vermont, married in October 1872, and had one son, Herbert.

Herbert Rogers Brunton was born in Vermont on March 18, 1876, and lived with his family in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Boston Dental College (now part of Tufts University) in 1897 and practiced dentistry in Malden, Massachusetts, where he lived with his wife Ethel and their two children, Robert and Barbara.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The William Brunton journal contains an autobiographical sketch and diary notes that Brunton, a Unitarian minister from Boston, composed for his son, Herbert Rogers Brunton ("Bertie"), about the boy's childhood. He described his son's temperament and daily activities during his first 10 years of life.

The volume, entitled "Remembrances of The Early Days of Herbert Rogers Brunton," is approximately 100 pages long. Its first 17 pages consist of William Brunton's autobiographical sketch about his childhood in England and first years in the United States. He described his schooling, his early entry into the work force, his alcoholic father, and his early religious training in Manchester, England. William moved on to an examination of Herbert's personality and kept semi-regular diary entries from April 4, 1880-December 31, 1885. The diary concerns Herbert's development, primarily through anecdotes. Herbert, described by his father as a "Mother's boy," frequently traveled to the family's farm near his grandparents' home in Braintree, Vermont (purchased in March 1880), and often voiced a dislike of schooling despite frequently excelling in his studies. The diary also recounts the family's health and activities, such as Nellie's many illnesses and annual Christmas celebrations. Several personal letters, written to Herbert and to Nellie by her parents, have been bound into the second half of the volume, along with a receipt for a suit and cap from a clothing company. A few poems are posted into the later pages. Additional material includes two children's sketches, sketches "done by Mamma when you had the scarlet fever 1885," and a manuscript poem, "For His Grave."

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customs.
    • Brunton, Herbert, b. 1876.
    • Childhood.
    • Children--United States.
    • Clergy--Massachusetts--Boston--Biography.
    • Family life.
    • Fatherhood.
    • Unitarian churches--Clergy--Biography.
    Genre Terms:
    • Diaries.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    William Brunton journal,  1880-1885
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Bibliography

    "William Brunton." The Christian Register. 22 March 1906.