Henry Ward Beecher

Henry Ward Beecher Letters
1846, 1947, 1949, n.d.
1 folder

Manuscripts & Rare Books Division
Indiana State Library

Finding Aid by: Edythe Huffman, Apr. 2013


Biographical Note:

Henry Ward Beecher was born June 24, 1813 in Litchfield, CN.  He was born to Lyman Beecher, the Presbyterian preacher, and Roxana Ward Foote.  He was a graduate of Amherst College and Lane Theological Seminary, in OH.  He became pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Lawrenceburg, IN, in 1837 and married Eunice White Bullard there in that year.  They had 11 children, many of whom did not live to maturity. In 1839 he became the pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis.  During his tenure, the church moved its first permanent facilities in 1840 and became the largest Presbyterian congregation in Indiana.  He served on the executive committee of the Indiana Historical Society and was a member of the Indianapolis Benevolent Society.  Her served as a trustee of Wabash College and was editor from 1845-47 of the Indiana Farmer and Gardener, renamed the Western Farmer and Gardener after a merger in 1846.  He because pastor of the Plymouth Congregation Church in Brooklyn, NY, in Oct. 1847.  Beecher died Mar. 8, 1887, and is buried in the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY.


“Henry W. Bucker” [Henry Ward Beecher].”  1850 United States Federal Census. Apr. 8, 2013. http://search.ancestrylibrary.com
“Henry W.  Beecher”. 1860 United States Federal Census. Apr. 8, 2013. http://search.ancestrylibrary.com
“H. Ward Beecher.”  1880 United States Federal Census. Apr. 8, 2013. http://search.ancestrylibrary.com
“Beecher, Henry Ward.” Wright-Nelson Family Tree.  Apr. 8, 2013. http://search.ancestrylibrary.com
“Beecher, Henry Ward.” New York, Find a Grave Index, 1660-2012.  Apr. 8, 2013. http://search.ancestrylibrary.com
Isley, William L., Jr.  "Beecher, Henry Ward." Encyclopedia of Indianapolis, 1994.
“Beecher, Henry Ward.” Carswell Family Tree.  Apr. 8, 2013. http://search.ancestrylibrary.com

Scope and Content:

The collection consists of a letter to Bro. Branierd, a letter to an unidentified recipient, a 6 page document about Mr. Beecher and the agricultural press and a 2 page typed document recounting of his attendance at a commencement at Wabash College at Crawfordsville, IN, from a letter from Guildford, NC.

The letter to Bro. Branierd, 7-22-1846 from Indianapolis [IN]  requests that he assist James Yander, whose mother has donated the money, in purchasing Communion plates, tankards and cups.  He also discusses the growth of the Second [Presbyterian congregation] and requests minutes from various assemblies in 1838 and 1839.  He mentions the Circ. Obs., a new paper.

The letter to an unidentified recipient, 7-24-1847 from Indianapolis [IN], regards an unsatisfactory lot of plants, both in the way they did not thrive in his garden and in the way they were packaged and mislabeled by the company.  He discusses his attempts to sell unordered plants and how he and others were disappointed in the company and products.  Shimbley and Co. is mentioned.  He thinks that the State Horticultural [Society] should investigate the matter.

“Henry Ward Beecher and the Pioneer Agricultural Press’ is a 6 page typed copy, on onionskin paper.  Several newspapers are mentioned, beginning in 1822.  Henry Ward Beecher edited the Indiana Farmer and Gardener, which was first published in Feb. 1845.  The author quotes Rev. Beecher’s words and discusses contemporary commentary.  The author then writes a brief biography of Rev. Beecher.  The paper was renamed the Western Farmer and Gardener in 1846.  Schuyler Colfax, the subject of another collection in Manuscripts, wrote positively of the publication.  Rev. Beecher was still listed as editor in Feb. 1847 but he moved to New York later in 1847.

“Beecher at Crawfordsville: A Commencement Reception at the Hoosier Athens Attended by the Eminent Divine” is quoted from a letter from Guilford, CN to the New York Herald.  The letter writer was a student at Crawfordsville between 1840 and 1846, and  Mr. Beecher was a trustee of Wabash College for many years.  Mr. Beecher and United States Senator E. A. Hannegan, an Irishman from Covington, Ind. attended one party after a commencement .  Senator Hannegan was noted for intellectual and oratorical brilliancy, and the two traded wit and intellectual pyrotechnics all evening, to the enjoyment of the attendees.

Photocopy Policy:

Manuscript material CANNOT be photocopied or digitized in its entirety. Photocopies and/or digital reproductions (i.e. scans, digital photographs) cannot exceed 25% of a COLLECTION or FOLDER within a collection. In some cases, photocopying may not be permitted due to the condition of the item. Please check with the Manuscript Librarian for possible alternatives.

Collection Inventory

Folder and Item Listing:

Folder 1. 

7-22-1846 Henry Ward Beecher to Bro. Branierd, ALS
7-24-1847 Henry Ward Beecher to Sir, ALS
1949 “Henry Ward Beecher and the Pioneer Agricultural Press” [speech or paper?], T
[n.d.] “Beecher at Crawfordsville” [newspaper article?], T

Collection Information:

Size of Collection: 1 folder
Collection Dates: 7-22-1946, 7-24-1847, 1949, [n.d.]
Provenance:  Purchased from Paul C. Richards, 1970 (letter of 1846)’, Purchased from Paul C. Richards, 7-1969 (letter of 1847). Donated by Donald Carmony, 1-1950 (paper, Henry Ward Beecher and the Pioneer Agricultural Press)
Beecher at Crawfordsville, date unknown.
Access: The Collection is Open for Research Use
Restrictions:  None
Reproduction Rights: Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscripts and Rare Books Division, Indiana State Library.
Language: Materials are entirely in: English
Alternate Formats: None
Related Holdings: V55, L36, L64
Collection Notes: None

MA BA 5-6-2013