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COLLECTION Identifier: Mss:821 1782-1820

Griswold family papers

Stanley Griswold (1763-1815) was a clergyman, editor, politician, and proprietor of the Connecticut Land Company. The Griswold family papers consist of daybooks, ledgers, accounts, receipts, and correspondence of Stanley Griswold and his son Henry W. Griswold, dated 1782-1842, including records of Stanley Griswold's investment in the Connecticut Land Company.

Dates

  • 1782-1823

Language of Materials

English

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite. Please contact specialcollectionsref@hbs.edu for more information regarding access procedures.

Extent

7 linear feet (2 volumes, 3 boxes)

The Griswold family papers consist of daybooks, ledgers, accounts, receipts, and correspondence of Stanley Griswold and his son Henry W. Griswold, dated 1782-1842. Included are notebooks kept by Stanley Griswold while was a student at Yale College from 1782 to 1796; records of expenses and goods he traded in New Milford, Connecticut; and letters and documents related to his position as minister of the First Congregational Church in New Milford. There are also receipts and letters concerning Griswold's investment in the Connecticut Land Company and papers pertaining to his position as acting governor of Michigan Territory and later a federal judgeship. The collection contains letters from Griswold to his wife while he was traveling through various towns in the Illinois Territory, Missouri, and Kentucky, which reference Native Americans, his impression of Shakers, and a visit to the plantation of Illinois Territorial Governor Ninian Edwards (1775-1833), where he estimated between thirty and forty people were enslaved. Griswold also mentions buying an indentured African American in Shawneetown, Illinois, although he was opposed to slavery.

Biographical / Historical

Stanley Griswold (1763-1815) was a clergyman, editor, politician, and proprietor of the Connecticut Land Company.

He was born in Torrington, Connecticut, on November 14, 1763. Griswold served in the state militia during the American Revolutionary War, and graduated from Yale College in 1786. He was briefly a teacher before beginning his study of theology, and in 1789 he became a minister at the First Congregational Church in New Milford, Connecticut. In 1803 Griswold moved to Walpole, New Hampshire, where he served as an editor of The Political Observatory, a Democratic newspaper.

In 1805 President Thomas Jefferson appointed him the first Secretary of the Michigan Territory, and his term lasted until 1808; during that time, Griswold was also appointed acting governor in William Hull's absence, with duties encompassing the positions of Superintendent of Indian affairs and commander-in-chief of the militia. After disagreements with the Hull over Griswold's alleged interference with the militia led to a trial and fine, he left office and moved to Ohio, where he was appointed to an empty Senate seat vacated by Edward Tiffin in 1809. Following special election later that year to fill the seat, Griswold moved to the Illinois Territory, where he was appointed a federal judge (1810-1815).

Griswold married Elizabeth Flagg (1770-1822) and their children included soldier Henry W. Griswold and James F. Griswold (1790-1811). Griswold died on August 21, 1815, in Shawneetown, Illinois.

Henry W. Griswold (1795?-1834) graduated from West Point in 1815. He served in the United States Army, attaining the rank of Captain, until his death in 1834.

Physical Location

MANU

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Griswold family papers were received by Baker Library Special Collections with the Heard Collection.

Processing Information

Processed: August 2018

By: Brooke McManus

Preservation and description of 18th century material in this collection were supported by the Colonial North American Project at Harvard University.
Link to catalog
Title
Griswold family. Griswold Family Papers, 1782-1823: A Finding Aid
Author
Baker Library
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
EAD ID
bak00651

Repository Details

Part of the Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University Repository

Baker Library Special Collections holds unique resources that focus on the evolution of business and industry, as well as the records of the Harvard Business School, documenting the institution's development over the last century. These rich and varied collections support research in a diverse range of fields such as business, economic, social and cultural history as well as the history of science and technology.

Contact:
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