The John Dunbar Papers: Writings from the Western Frontier (1834-1836)

On May 5, 1834, Rev. John Dunbar set out with two other men for a missionary exploration of the unknown region beyond the Rocky Mountains, on behalf of the First Presbyterian Church of Ithaca, NY.  The mission was to be called "The Oregon Mission."  Eighteen days later, however, when the men arrived in St. Louis, […]

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Isabel Chapin Barrows: Love and Tragedy in the 19th Century

It was late summer.  The year was 1862.  William Wilberforce Chapin, a young seminary student at Andover, writes to Miss Katie Belle Hayes in New Hampshire: Dear Miss Hayes.  When I bode you goodbye at Andover I was expecting to spend the first week of vacation in making a tour through Vermont and Canada.  Therefore […]

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Smug Musings and Humble Landing Places

Sometimes when I am processing archival materials, I muse smugly to myself, “Oh, you silly people from the early 1900’s. Whatever were you thinking! How grand it is to live in more enlightened times.” At times, such lofty musings are founded, say the time when I opened up a folder housing pictures of missionaries in […]

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