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Henry Simmons Frieze papers: 1835-1920
Summary Information
Title: Henry Simmons Frieze papers
Creator: Frieze, Henry S. (Henry Simmons), 1817-1889
Dates: 1835-1920
Extent: 1.3 linear feet
Professor of Latin and acting president of University of Michigan. Correspondence, 1855-1856, to his wife, describing his travels and experiences in Europe; also material pertaining to affairs of University of Michigan, including letters from Andrew D. White of Cornell University; biographical and genealogical material on Frieze, eighteen volumes of records of European travel; and photographs.
Call number: 851370 Aa 2; UAx; UAm
Language: The materials are in English.
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid prepared by: Michigan Historical Collections staff. Updated by Lilly Carrel, 2016.

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection was transferred from the Graduate Library (donor no. 1278) in 1944. The typed copies of Frieze's diaries were given to the library by Orma Fitch Butler (donor no. 15) in 1936.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Access Restrictions for University of Michigan Records

University records are public records and once fully processed are generally open to research use. Records that contain personally identifiable information will be restricted in order to protect individual privacy. Certain administrative records are restricted in accordance with university policy as outlined below. The restriction of university records is subject to compliance with applicable laws, including the Freedom of Information Act.

Categories of Restricted Records:

  • Personnel related files , including search, review, promotion, and tenure files, are restricted for thirty years from date of creation.
  • Student educational records are restricted for seventy-five years from date of creation.
  • Patient/client records are restricted for one-hundred years from date of creation.
  • Executive Officers, Deans and Directors files . By university records policy in effect as of January 1, 2001, University records generated by the university's Executive Officers, Deans, Directors and their support offices are restricted for a period of twenty years from their date of accession by the Bentley Historical Library. The restriction is subject to applicable law, most notably the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
    • Files restricted for 10 years -- records added to a record group in this category prior to January 1, 2001 are restricted for a period of ten years from the date of creation
    • Files restricted for 20 years -- records added to a record group in this category after January 1, 2001 are restricted for a period of 20 years from the date they were added to the record group.

Restricted files are indicated in the contents list with a restriction note indicating the restriction type and the date of expiration.

  • CR (Client/Patient records, 100 years from date of creation)
  • PR (Personnel related records, 30 years from date of creation)
  • SR (Student educational records, 75 years from date of creation)
  • ER (Executive Officers, Deans and Directors records, 20 years from the date the material added to the record group)

For further information on the restriction policy and placing FOIA requests for restricted material, consult the reference archivist at the Bentley Historical Library or the University of Michigan Freedom of Information Office website at: http://www.umich.edu/~urel/foia.html

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.


Copyright is held by the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, Henry Simmons Frieze papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Henry Simmons Frieze was born in Boston on September 15, 1817. He was educated at Brown University where he supported himself through his skills as an organist. Upon graduation in 1841, Frieze served as an instructor at Brown University and its grammar school. On August 16, 1847 Henry Frieze married Anna Brownell Roffee, of Providence, Rhode Island. The couple had eight children including daughters Carrie J. Frieze (1859-) and Adelaide Roffee Frieze (1851-1900), known as Addie. Henry and Anna moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1854, when he was called to succeed Professor Haven as professor of Latin language and literature at the University of Michigan.

In 1869, Frieze was selected acting president of the University of Michigan and served until 1871, when James B. Angell took office. During Frieze’s tenure, women were first admitted to the university. Also while acting president, Frieze worked to improve the connection between the university and high schools in the state through the establishment of a diploma system. In this system, schools that had been approved by a faculty committee could send students with diplomas for admission without examination.

Frieze also served as acting president on two other occasions when Angell was involved in diplomatic assignments from June 1880 to February 1882 and from October 1887 to January 1888. During the earlier of these periods, the university established schools of political science and mechanical engineering and also a professorship of music leading eventually to the formation of the University School of Music.

Henry S. Frieze died on December 7, 1889 and his wife, Anna Frieze, died on January 12, 1891.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Frieze papers are comprised of personal and professional materials, including correspondence to colleagues and family; travel diaries and letters to his wife, Anna, written while traveling in Europe, 1855-1856 and 1872-1873; lectures and essays; papers from his years as a student at Brown and as a Latin instructor; various papers on his views of university education and his ideas for curriculum improvements; biographical material on the Frieze family; and photographs. For additional details on correspondents, see the Selective Index to Correspondence, which includes Frieze’s wife, Anna, daughters Carrie and Addie, James B. Angell, President James A. Garfield, and other notable people.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Europe -- Description and travel.
  • Travelers.
  • Voyages and travels.
  • Ann Arbor (Mich.) -- Cemeteries.
  • Ann Arbor (Mich.) -- Dwellings.
  • Ann Arbor (Mich.) -- Streets.
  • Cemeteries -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • Classrooms -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • Dwellings -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • Interiors.
  • Organs.
  • Streets -- Michigan -- Ann Arbor.
  • Tombs and sepulchral monuments.
  • Washtenaw Avenue (Ann Arbor, Mich.)
  • Photographs.
  • Daguerreotypes.
  • Women's resources.
  • Cornell University.
  • Frieze, Henry S. (Henry Simmons), 1817-1889.
  • University of Michigan. Chemical Laboratory.
  • University of Michigan. Dept. of Classical Studies.
  • University of Michigan. President.
  • Frieze, Henry S. (Henry Simmons), 1817-1889.
  • Frieze Memorial Organ.
  • University Hall (University of Michigan)
  • Angell, James Burrill, 1829-1916.
  • Barbour, Levi L. (Levi Lewis), 1840-1925.
  • Boise, James Robinson, 1815-1895.
  • Brooks, Phillips, 1835-1893.
  • Bröunnow, F. (Franz), 1821-1891.
  • Butler, Orma Fitch.
  • Cooley, Thomas McIntyre, 1824-1898.
  • Cutcheon, Byron M., 1836-1908.
  • Douglas, Silas H. (Silas Hamilton), 1816-1890.
  • Frieze, Adelaide R. (Adelaide Roffee), 1851-1900.
  • Frieze, Anna, 1823-1891.
  • Frieze, Carrie J., 1859-
  • Garfield, James A. (James Abram), 1831-1881.
  • Harris, Samuel Smith, 1841-1888.
  • Haven, E. O. (Erastus Otis), 1820-1881.
  • Reid, Whitelaw, 1837-1912.
  • Rogers, Randolph, 1825-1892.
  • Schurz, Carl, 1829-1906.
  • Tappan, Henry Philip, 1805-1881.
  • Tappan, Julia Livingston.
  • Tyler, Moses Coit, 1835-1900.
  • White, Andrew Dickson, 1832-1918.
  • Williams, George Palmer, 1802-1881.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Correspondence and other papers [series]
Box   1  

(folders 1-9)

Box   1  
Letters from James B. Angell to the Frieze family

(folder 9-a)

Box   1  
Letters from Lois T. Angell to Carrie Frieze 1881

(folder 9-b)

Box   1  
Letters from A.D. White 1880-1881

(photocopies; originals at Cornell University)

(folder 9-c)

Travels [series]
Box   1  
Diary and jotting books of European trip 1855-1856 (15 notebooks)

(folder 18; notebooks no. 1-15)

Box   1  
Typescript of diary and jotting books of European trip 1855-1856 (2 volumes)

(typescript made in 1919 when originals were still in family possession)

(folders 10-11)

Box   1  
Pictures and memorabilia of European trip 1855-1856 (2 folders)

(folders 29-30)

Box   1  
Diary of European trip with historical notes 1872-1873

(folder 12)

Box   1  
Sketch book of Italy

(folder 25)

Writings, lectures, etc [series]
Box   1  
Address at Brown University 1841

(folder 13)

Box   1  
Lecture notes undated

(folder 14)

Box   1  
Papers entitled, "The reading of the Scriptures" and "The future of Christianity" undated

(folder 15)

Box   1  
Essay: "French's statue of Gen. Cass"

(folder 16)

Box   1  
Draft of essay re cartoons

(folder 17)

Box   1  
College essays 1838-1841

(folder 20)

Brown University [series]
Box   1  
Report concerning Frieze's service to Brown

(folder 21)

Box   1  
Minutes of Brown Music Group

(folder 26)

Box   1  
College financial statements 1838, 1839, 1941

(folder 27)

Box   1  
Catalogs of Brown University 1842-1843, 1846-1847

(folder 28)

Miscellaneous [series]
Box   1  
Biographical and genealogical material

(folder 22)

(Includes correspondence to Carrie Frieze, 1894-1903)

Box   1  
Re courses of study in the fine arts

(folder 23)

Box   1  
Draft of plan of studies and examinations for advanced students

(folder 24)

Box   1  
Date book 1854

(folder 31)

Box   2  
Frieze's copy of C. Plini Secundi Naturalis Historiae

(with Frieze's marginal notes)

Visual Materials [series]

Portraits; photograph of Frieze home on Washtenaw Avenue in Ann Arbor, Michigan; interior photograph of University Hall showing the Frieze Memorial Organ, and interior photograph of classroom in which Frieze taught; and photographs of Frieze's tombstone.

Box   2  
Album of University of Michigan faculty

(see also oversize folder UAm and UAx photos)

Box   2  
Portraits of Frieze (3 folders)
Box   2  

(photographs of Frieze's home on Washtenaw Ave.; his recitation room at the university; and his cenotaph)

Additional Descriptive Data
Selective index to correspondents
Angell, James Burrill, 1829-1916.
  • 1890 and folder 9-a
Barbour, Levi L. (Levi Lewis), 1840-1925.
  • Feb. 2, 1888, Feb. 11, 1888
Boise, James Robinson, 1815-1895.
  • Jan. 2, 1856, Apr. 29, 1856, Nov. 5, 1871, Apr. 25, 1881, Nov. 9, 1881, Nov. 7, 1882, Mar. 6, 1885, Apr. 17, 1887, 1888
Brooks, Phillips, 1835-1893.
  • Oct. 28, 1881, Oct. 9, 1884
Brðunnow, F. (Franz), 1821-1891.
  • Feb. 1856
Cooley, Thomas McIntyre, 1824-1898.
  • 1881
Cutcheon, Byron M., 1836-1908.
  • Feb. 14, 1885
Douglas, Silas H. (Silas Hamilton), 1816-1890.
  • Nov. 7, 1881
Garfield, James A. (James Abram), 1831-1881.
  • June 21, 1880
Harris, Samuel Smith, 1841-1888.
  • 1880-1884 throughout
Haven, E. O. (Erastus Otis), 1820-1881.
  • Mar. 19, 1881
Reid, Whitelaw, 1837-1912.
  • Mar. 12, 1881
Rogers, Randolph, 1825-1892.
  • Oct. 11, 1857, Aug. 17, 1866, Feb. 6, 1869
Schurz, Carl, 1829-1906.
  • Apr. 5, 1881
Tappan, Julia Livingston.
  • Nov. 28, 1882, Jan. 1883
Tyler, Moses Coit, 1835-1900.
  • 1881, 1888
White, Andrew Dickson, 1832-1918.
  • Throughout
Frieze, Anna B. R. (Anna Brownell Roffee), 1823-1891.
  • Throughout
Frieze, Carrie J., 1859-
  • Throughout
Frieze, Adelaide R. (Adelaide Roffee), 1851-1900.
  • Throughout