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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 510

Shinn, Q. H. (Quillen Hamilton), 1845-1907. Papers, 1866-1934.


Papers of Civil War soldier and itinerant missionary Quillen Hamilton Shinn including diaries, sermons, printed missionary letters, Civil War and temperance writings, letters, and biographical material.


  • Creation: 1866-1934.


20 boxes

This collection consists of diaries, 1866-1907; Shinn's unpublished novel, The Optimist; sermons, 1874-1891; printed missionary letters, 1882-1907; Civil War and temperance writings; letters to his wife, 1875-1907; letters by family members, 1885-1934; and biographical material.

Biographical / Historical

Quillen Hamilton Shinn (1845-1907) served the Union during the Civil War and was a Confederate prisoner of war until the war ended. He graduated from St. Lawrence University in 1870 and served Universalist parishes in Tyngsboro, Dunstable, Lynn, Foxboro, and Mansfield, Massachusetts; Gaysville and Rutland, Vermont; Plymouth and Rochester, New Hampshire; Deering and Westbrook, Maine; and Omaha, Nebraska. From 1891 to 1907 Shinn worked as an itinerant missionary throughout the United States, establishing numerous parishes.


Organized into the following series:

  1. Series I. Diaries, 1866-1907
  2. Series II. The Optimist and writings on the Civil War
  3. Series III. Sermons and miscellaneous writings
  4. Series IV. Correspondence
  5. Series V. Accounts of Shinn's missionary activities and summer work
  6. Series VI. Family biographical materials
  7. Series VII. Photographs

Acquisition Information

Gift of Burnell O'Brien and Elena Gardella; received: 1983.

Related Materials

For related collection, please see bMS 494.

Shinn, Q. H. (Quillen Hamilton), 1845-1907. Papers, 1866-1934: A Finding Aid.
Andover-Harvard Theological Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard Divinity School Library, Harvard University Repository

Special Collections at Harvard Divinity School Library preserves and makes accessible primary source materials documenting the history of religion and theology, with particular historical emphasis on American liberal religious traditions. Though the historical strengths of the collections have been in the field of Christianity, other religious traditions are increasingly reflected, in step with Harvard Divinity School's evolving focus on global religious studies. Known as Andover-Harvard Theological Library since 1911, it was renamed the Harvard Divinity School Library in 2021.

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