Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Daniel Grosvenor Letters, 1819-1848

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, July 2012

Summary Information
Title: Daniel Grosvenor letters
Creator: Grosvenor, Moses G. (Moses Gill), 1796-1879
Inclusive dates: 1819-1848
Bulk dates: 1819-1833
Extent: 19 items
This collection contains 17 letters that former Congregational minister Daniel Grosvenor of Petersham, Massachusetts, wrote to his son, Reverend Moses Gill Grosvenor, and to a relation, Payson Grosvenor, between 1819 and 1833. He provided local news, shared advice, and commented on his religious views. Also included is a descriptive travel letter by "Lansingh" from Darien, Georgia (1838), and a satirical essay by Charles J. Wood entitled "Portrait of an Alarmist" (1848).
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:

Donated by Oliver Grosvenor, 1973. M-1641.

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:

Daniel Grosvenor Letters, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically, with an undated essay placed at the end.


Daniel Grosvenor was born in Pomfret, Connecticut, on April 20, 1750, the son of Ebenezer Grosvenor (1713-1793) and Lucy Cheney (1720-1792). He had nine siblings: Ebenezer (1739-1788), Elizabeth (b. 1740), Oliver (b. 1743), Asa (1766-1834), Lucy (b. 1747), Lemuel (b. 1752), Ezra (b. 1755), Chloe (b. 1757), and Nathan (b. 1764).

After graduating from Yale College in 1769, Daniel Grosvenor served as pastor of the Congregational Church at Grafton, Connecticut (1774-1787), and Paxton, Massachusetts (1794-1802). He left each on account of health problems. Grosvenor lived in Petersham, Massachusetts, until his death on July 22, 1834. He married Deborah Hall (1756-1841) on May 9, 1776, and they had ten children: Daniel Bulkeley (1777-1822), Jonathan Prescott (1779-1854), David Hall (1779-1842), Deborah Hall (b. 1781), Ebenezer Oliver (b. 1783), Lucy Williston (1785-1861), Ira Rufus (b. 1787), Elizabeth Sophia (b. 1789), Cyrus Pitt (1792-1879), and Moses Gill (1796-1879). Moses Gill Grosvenor graduated from Dartmouth College in 1822, studied at the Andover Theological Seminary between 1823 and 1825, and later lived in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and Acworth, New Hampshire.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 17 letters that former Congregational minister Daniel Grosvenor wrote to his son, Reverend Moses Gill Grosvenor (16 letters), and to a relation, Payson Grosvenor (1 letter), between 1819 and 1833. Also included is a travel letter by "Lansingh" from Darien, Georgia (1838), and a satirical essay by Charles J. Wood entitled "Portrait of an Alarmist" (1848).

Grosvenor frequently commented on the health of family members and on the affairs of acquaintances in Petersham, Massachusetts. His reports often concerned illnesses and deaths, and he sometimes mentioned his attendance at funerals. Grosvenor wrote about religious topics, such as devotion to God, and gave news of the local church. He reflected on his advanced age, discussed the effects of his children leaving his household, and anticipated his own death. Daniel and his wife Deborah jointly wrote a portion of the later letters. Grosvenor's final letter, addressed to Payson Grosvenor, "Eunice," and "Sarah," concerns his brother's death. Two of Grosvenor's letters include additional copied correspondence: a letter from Alvan Whitmore, who discussed commerce around New Orleans, Louisiana (September 19, 1818, copied in Grosvenor's letter of January 27, 1819), and a letter from D. H. G. Newton to Moses Gill Grosvenor, his uncle.

The final items in the collection are a descriptive travel letter by "Lansingh" to Miss Angelina Warden, from Darien, Georgia (April 19, 1838), and a 3-page essay attributed to Charles J. Wood entitled "Portrait of an Alarmist" (February 1848). The satirical piece criticizes a noted "alarmist" and his opinions on the Irish and Catholics, and the possibility that arguments over slavery might dissolve the union.

Subject Terms

    • Congregationalists--United States.
    • Massachusetts--Religious life and customs.
    • New Orleans (La.)
    • Petersham (Mass.)
    • Slavery--United States.
    • United States--Politics and government--1845-1849.
    • Grosvenor, Daniel, 1750-1834.
    • Grosvenor, Deborah Hall, 1756-1841.
    • Grosvenor, Payson.
    • Newton, D. H. G.
    • Wood, Charles J.
    Genre Terms:
    • Essays.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Daniel Grosvenor letters [series]
    Box   1  
     January 27, 1819-February 1848
    Additional Descriptive Data

    "The Grosvenor Line." Encyclopedia of Massachusetts: Biographical-Genealogical. Boston: The American Historical Society, 1916. 153-163.