Henry S. Clubb letterbook; Payne and Swiney letterbook (1836-1840, 1865)

Collection processed and finding aid created by Philip Heslip, September 2009
Manuscripts Division, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan

Summary Information

Title: Henry S. Clubb letterbook; Payne and Swiney letterbook
Creator: Clubb, Henry Stephens, 1827-1922
Inclusive dates: 1836-1840, 1865
Extent: 1 volume
Abstract:
This letterbook spans fifty years and contains three sections: the letterbook of furniture, hardware, and dry goods retailers in Vicksburg, Mississippi; the Henry S. Clubb letterbook from January 13 to August 4, 1865, while he was Captain and Assistant Quartermaster for the 17th U.S. Army Corps; and an 1880 geographical notebook containing calculations concerning "Henderson's formula" for the determination of latitudes.
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

1980. M-1898.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copyright

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Preferred Citation

Henry S. Clubb Letterbook; Payne and Swiney Letterbook, James S. Schoff Civil War Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan

Biography

Jacob U. Payne and William P. Swiney were merchants in Vicksburg, Mississippi, in the early 19th Century. They ran a furniture, hardware, and dry goods retail business.

Henry Stephens Clubb (1827-1922) was born to Stephens Clubb, in Colchester, England. Henry was raised Swedenborgian, a sect of Christianity, and later identified as a Bible Christian, also known as a Cowherdite. Clubb worked as a clerk at the Colchester Post Office and moved to England in 1842, where he found work as a secretary to James Simpson, an early leader of England's vegetarian movement.

Clubb settled in New York in 1853 and distinguished himself as an abolitionist journalist. After reporting on the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Clubb attempted, unsuccessfully, to establish a small pro-vegetarian-abolitionist-temperance colony in Kansas on banks of the Neosho River. With much of the colony ailing, the settlement disbanded and Clubb moved back to New York to work for the abolitionist Tribune newspaper. During the Civil War, Clubb served as captain and assistant quartermaster in the 17th U.S. Army Corps (1862-1866). He survived a bullet wound at Corinth, Mississippi.

After the war, Clubb married and moved to Grand Haven, Michigan. He published the Clarion newspaper from 1857-1862, and founded the Grand Haven Herald in 1869. Clubb served as a Michigan state senator of the 29th District in Ottawa County from 1873-1874. Clubb moved to Philadelphia to become the minister of the Bible Christian congregation. He remained active in vegetarian causes and was president of the American Vegetarian Society. Clubb died in 1922 at age 95.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This letterbook spans fifty years and contains three sections, covering three separate endeavors.

The first section is the Payne & Swiney letterbook, and later the Harrison, Swiney and Co. letterbook, which documents a furniture, hardware, and dry goods retailers in Vicksburg, Mississippi. These 56 pages date from October 6, 1836 -May 24, 1840. The contents are primarily orders for goods and furniture inventories, with a few letters to customers and letters discussing business ventures.

The second section consists of the Henry S. Clubb letterbook from January 13 to August 4, 1865, while he was captain and assistant quartermaster for the 17th U.S. Army Corps. In the first letter, he explains that he has just come from Vicksburg, where he obtained this volume. He writes from Louisville, Kentucky; Charleston, South Carolina; Alexandria, Virginia; Washington, D.C.; and New Orleans, Louisiana. Many of the letters are addressed to Gen. M.C. Meigs, and contain lists of quartermaster stores, discussions of orders, and movements of his operations. These entries offer excellent insight into the challenges of being a Union quartermaster.

The third section is a geographical notebook containing calculations concerning "Henderson's formula" for the determination of latitudes. This portion is of indeterminate authorship, but apparently done in Allegan, Michigan, in the 1880s. These notes are comprised of over 80 pages of calculations interspersed with brief commentary such as:

"Thus I have deduced an original formula for finding the length of the seconds pendulum in any part of the world...I have added to our knowledge of the world upon which we dwell."

"What I claim as original in the treatment of this subject, is the discovery of the Ellipsoid of Gravity, and the relation of its constants to one another, and their application to the solution of all questions within the realm of territorial gravitation and the variations in the lengths of the seconds pendulum."

Subject Terms

Subjects:
  • Bible Christians.
  • Furniture making.
  • Meigs, Montgomery C. (Montgomery Cunningham), 1816-1892.
  • United States. Army. Quartermaster Corps.
  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
  • Vicksburg (Miss.)--History.
Contributors:
  • Payne & Swiney.
Genre Terms:
  • Calculations.
  • Letterbooks.

Contents List (Request Materials)

Request materials for use in the Clements Library
Container / Location Title
Volume   1  
Henry S. Clubb letterbook; Payne and Swiney letterbook,  1836-1840,  1865 [series]

Additional Descriptive Data

Related Materials

The Litchfield-French family papers contain two letters from a quartermaster, Lysander Carver, relating to Henry S. Clubb's dismissal from the service in 1863.

Bibliography

Clubb, Henry S. The Maine liquor law: its origin, history, and results : including a life of Hon. Neal Dow. New York: Published for the Maine Law Statistical Society, by Fowler and Wells, 1856.