Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Emily A. Bellair Autograph Album, 1861-1878

Finding aid created by
Cheney J. Schopieray and Meg Hixon, November 2011

Summary Information
Title: Emily A. Bellair autograph album
Creator: Bellair, Emily Arndt, b. ca. 1840
Inclusive dates: 1861-1878
Bulk dates: 1861-1864
Extent: 1 volume
The Emily A. Bellair autograph album contains signatures and poetry of many of Emily's acquaintances in the early 1860s. Emily Bellair was from Detroit.
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:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2007. M-4574.1.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


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:

Emily A. Bellair Autograph Album, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Emily Arndt was born ca. 1840 in Michigan, and married Joseph O. Bellair, a Detroit clerk, sometime before 1860. Bellair served as a first lieutenant in Co. F of the First Michigan Sharpshooters in the Civil War. The couple continued to reside in Detroit and had several children, including William, Virginia, Octave, Eugenia, and Lola. Emily's brother, Albert F. R. Arndt, served as a lieutenant in the 3rd Michigan Cavalry Regiment during the Civil War.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Emily A. Bellair autograph album contains signatures and poetry of many of Emily's acquaintances throughout the early 1860s. She received the book, whose decorative cover bears the title "Wreaths of Friendship," from W. E. Gentle, who inscribed a two-page letter proclaiming the pair's friendship. Family members also contributed autographs and poetry, including several poems dedicated specifically to Emily that explored themes of friendship and parting. Her brother, Albert F. R. Arndt, wrote a poem from Cairo, Illinois, after he had "gone off to the seat of War." (March 16, 1862). The final page contains a copy of "Auld Lang Syne," as well as several shorter poems that are darker in mood than the other verses.

The autograph album also contains six black and white illustrations:

  • "Escape of Carrara"
  • "Wreaths of Friendship," depicting a ship in a stormy sea
  • "The Bird Trap"
  • "The Bride"
  • "Kishna"
  • Unlabeled: A scene with a tree-lined pond
Subject Terms

    • Autograph albums.
    • Detroit (Mich.)
    • Friendship--poetry.
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Poetry.
    • Arndt, Albert F. R.
    • Gentle, W. E.
    Genre Terms:
    • Autograph albums.
    • Poetry.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    Emily A. Bellair autograph album,  1861-1878, bulk  (bulk 1861-1864) [series]