Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Frederick Batchelder Collection, 1834-1878

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, November 2011

Summary Information
Title: Frederick Batchelder collection
Creator: Batchelder, Frederick, 1815-1910
Inclusive dates: 1834-1878
Bulk dates: 1834-1839, 1868-1878
Extent: 34 items
The Frederick Batchelder collection contains incoming and outgoing letters and documents related to the Connecticut minister, as well as essays he composed while attending Brown University in the late 1830s.
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:

1991. M-2662g.

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:

Frederick Batchelder Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged in the following series:

  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Documents
  • Series III: Essays

Each series is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


Frederick Lyman Batchelder was born on January 17, 1815, in Andover, New Hampshire, the son of Odlin Batchelder (1775-1860) and his wife, Huldah Searle (1776-1846). In 1827, he moved to Holliston, Massachusetts, where his brother lived, and worked for a local shoemaking business. He attended Brown University between 1837 and 1839, and Andover Theological School from 1839 to 1842. Following his ordination as a Baptist minister, he briefly led a congregation in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, before moving to Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he worked as a traveling preacher along the Grand River. In 1852, he moved to Stafford, Connecticut, where he presided over the local Baptist church and later served as a probate judge. He married Eliza Hall Willey (b. May 14, 1833) on January 1, 1862, and had two children: Frederick Prescott (b. October 24, 1864) and William Brainard (b. July 25, 1867). He died in East Milton, Massachusetts, on January 15, 1910.

Collection Scope and Content Note

Of the 34 items in the Frederick Batchelder collection, 4 are incoming and outgoing letters related to Batchelder, 3 are documents pertaining to his service as probate judge in Stafford, Connecticut, and 27 are essays he composed at Brown University in the late 1830s.

The Correspondence series contains 2 letters that Batchelder wrote in 1834, and 2 that he received in 1868 and 1878. He debated philosophical issues, such as the role of civilization in producing human happiness. One of the incoming letters, written by an elderly friend, concerns the author's religious activities and convictions.

The Documents series consists of 3 items related to Batchelder's service as a judge in Stafford, Connecticut. They pertain to two inheritance cases and a dispute over local land.

The Essays series is made up of 27 essays about philosophical, literary, and political questions, composed during Batchelder's studies at Brown University. He explored aspects of American literature, the merits of learning history, "Advantages & Disadvantages of speaking the same language with Britain," the science of magnetism, effects of the division of labor, ethical dilemmas, and the treatment of Native Americans.

Subject Terms

    • American literature--1783-1850.
    • Baptists--Clergy.
    • Brown University--Students.
    • Clergy--Connecticut.
    • Education--United States--History--19th century.
    • Ethics--United States.
    • Inheritance and succession--United States.
    • Judges--Connecticut.
    • Political science--Philosophy--History--19th century.
    • Real property--Connecticut.
    • Stafford (Conn.)
    Genre Terms:
    • Essays.
    • Legal documents.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   8, Small Collections  
    Frederick Batchelder collection [series]
    Correspondence [subseries]
    Folder   26  
     January 11, 1834-February 27, 1878
    Documents [subseries]
    Folder   27  
     June 29, 1874-October 14, 1876
    Essays [subseries]
    Folders   28-30  
     October 2, 1837-June 1839, and  undated
    Additional Descriptive Data

    Eastman, John Robie and George Edwin Emery. History of the town of Andover New Hampshire 1751-1906. Concord: Rumford Printing Company, 1910.

    Newton Theological Institution. The Institution Bulletin, Volumes 3-4. Massachusetts: Newton Center, 1910.

    Pierce, Frederic Clifton. Batchelder, Batcheller Genealogy. Descendants of Rev. Stephen Bachiler, of England, a Leading Non-conformist, Who Settled the Town of New Hampton, N. H. and Joseph, Henry, Joshua, and John Batcheller of Essex Co., Massachusetts. Chicago: 1898.