COLLECTION GUIDES

1848-1904; bulk: 1861-1889

Guide to the Collection

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Representative digitized documents from this collection:

Restrictions on Access

Use of the originals is restricted. This collection is available as color digital facsimiles (see links below). Black and white microfilm is also available for use in the library.


Collection Summary

Abstract

This collection consists of the papers of Frederick N. Knapp of Plymouth, Mass., clergyman, teacher, and superintendent of the Special Relief Department, U.S. Sanitary Commission, during the Civil War.

Biographical Sketches

Frederick Newman Knapp (1821-1889)

Frederick N. Knapp was born in Jamaica Plain, Mass. on 19 Nov. 1821, the son of Jacob Newman Knapp and Louisa (Bellows) Knapp. In 1822, the family moved to Walpole, N.H. Knapp graduated from Harvard in 1843 and Harvard Divinity School in 1847. He was a Unitarian minister in Brookline, Mass. from 1847-1855, but had to step down after he was badly injured in an omnibus accident. During the Civil War, he served as superintendent of the Special Relief Department, U.S. Sanitary Commission. The Commission was organized in 1861 to assist sick and wounded Union soldiers, and the Special Relief Department focused on helping soldiers return to civilian life and supporting disabled veterans and their families. After the war, Knapp preached in Yonkers, N.Y. and then in Plymouth, Mass. from 1869-1874. In 1867, he founded a Home School for Boys (first in Sutton, Mass., then Plymouth). He was also chairman of the Plymouth School Committee and an honorary member of the Grand Army of the Republic. In 1855, Knapp married Lucia Alden Bradford, and the couple had four children: Louisa Bellows Knapp, Frederick Bradford Knapp, Sarah Perkins Knapp, and Maria Bradford Knapp. He died on 12 Jan. 1889.

Henry Bromfield Rogers (1802-1887)

Henry B. Rogers was the son of Boston merchant Daniel Denison Rogers. He graduated from Harvard in 1822 and Litchfield (Conn.) Law School in 1823. He practiced law in Boston for a few years, then became a philanthropist, working with many charitable and educational organizations. During the Civil War, he served as a relief agent with the U.S. Sanitary Commission, helping sick and wounded Union soldiers. In 1832, Rogers married Anna Powell Mason Perkins, and they had one daughter, Annette Perkins Rogers.

Collection Description

This collection consists of the papers of Frederick N. Knapp of Plymouth, Mass., clergyman, teacher, and superintendent of the Special Relief Department, U.S. Sanitary Commission, during the Civil War. Included are personal and professional letters, as well as orders, vouchers, receipts, reports, and printed matter related to Knapp's work with the commission. The papers document general aid to soldiers, battlefield relief, burial of the dead, care of the dying, provisions for sick and wounded soldiers and prisoners, aid to discharged soldiers, work on transports and at hospitals, and many other subjects.

Among the correspondents are J. B. Abbott, John A. Anderson, George A. Blake, James Freeman Clarke, Thomas Hill, William A. Hovey, Frederick Law Olmstead, and many others, including soldiers and their families. Knapp family members represented include Knapp's wife Lucia (Bradford) Knapp, his brother Francis Bellows Knapp, his son Frederick Bradford Knapp, and his cousins Henry W. Bellows and Susan Newman Knapp. The collection also contains letters to Amy M. Bradley; Knapp's unpublished manuscript for his "History of the Special Relief Department"; miscellaneous notes and extracts on the work of the U.S. Sanitary Commission; and correspondence and diaries (1861-1864) of Henry B. Rogers, relief agent for the commission.

Correspondence in the 1870s and 1880s relates primarily to family matters and to Knapp's work as a teacher and founder of Mr. Knapp's Home School for Boys in Plymouth, Mass.

Arrangement

Oversize papers in this collection have been removed to an oversize folder (in drawers) but are digitized at their original location.

Acquisition Information

Acquired by purchase, 1964.

Restrictions on Access

Use of the originals is restricted. This collection is available as color digital facsimiles (see links below). Black and white microfilm is also available for use in the library.

Other Formats

The collection is also available on microfilm, P-801 (3 reels). See the Microfilm Reel List below.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Correspondence, etc., 1848-1889digital content

Arranged chronologically.

This series consists of the professional, personal, and family correspondence of Frederick N. Knapp; correspondence of Henry B. Rogers; orders, vouchers, receipts, reports, printed matter, and other papers related to the U.S. Sanitary Commission; and newspaper clippings. Among the correspondents are J. B. Abbott, John A. Anderson, George A. Blake, John S. Blatchford, Emma J. Brintzinghoffer, John B. Burns, James Freeman Clarke, G. R. Davis, Darius Forbes, Elisha Harris, William A. Hovey, Julia McCarthy, Edward B. Northrop, Frederick Law Olmstead, Louise A. Webster, and many others, including soldiers and their families.

Knapp family members represented in this series include Knapp's wife Lucia (Bradford) Knapp, his brother Francis Bellows Knapp, his son Frederick Bradford Knapp, and his cousin Henry W. Bellows. The series also contains letters to "the soldiers' friend," Miss Amy M. Bradley; letters to Knapp's cousin Susan Newman Knapp; and correspondence between Knapp and Thomas Hill, his Harvard classmate and president of Harvard.

Box 1Folder 1digitized
digitized1848, 1853
Box 1Folder 2digitized
digitizedJan.-Oct. 1861
Box 1Folder 3digitized
digitizedNov. 1861
Box 1Folder 4digitized
digitizedDec. 1861
Box 1Folder 5digitized
digitized1861
Box 1Folder 6digitized
digitizedJan. 1862
Box 1Folder 7digitized
digitizedFeb. 1862
Box 1Folder 8digitized
digitizedMar. 1862
Box 1Folder 9digitized
digitizedApr. 1862
Box 1Folder 10digitized
digitizedMay 1862
Box 1Folder 11digitized
digitizedJune 1862
Box 1Folder 12digitized
digitizedJuly-Sep. 1862
Box 1Folder 13digitized
digitizedOct.-Nov. 1862
Box 1Folder 14digitized
digitizedDec. 1862
Box 1Folder 15digitized
digitized1862
Box 1Folder 16digitized
digitizedJan. 1863
Box 1Folder 17digitized
digitizedFeb.-Mar. 1863
Box 1Folder 18digitized
digitizedApr. 1863
Box 1Folder 19digitized
digitizedMay 1863
Box 1Folder 20digitized
digitizedJune-Sep. 1863
Box 1Folder 21digitized
digitizedAug.-Dec. 1863
Box 1Folder 22digitized
digitized1863
Box 1Folder 23digitized
digitizedJan.-Apr. 1864
Box 1Folder 24digitized
digitizedMay-July 1864
Box 1Folder 25digitized
digitized1-19 Aug. 1864
Box 1Folder 26digitized
digitized20-31 Aug. 1864
Box 1Folder 27digitized
digitizedSep. 1864
Box 2Folder 1digitized
digitized1-20 Oct. 1864
Box 2Folder 2digitized
digitized21-24 Oct. 1864
Box 2Folder 3digitized
digitized25-31 Oct. 1864
Box 2Folder 4digitized
digitized1-13 Nov. 1864
Box 2Folder 5digitized
digitized14-30 Nov. 1864
Box 2Folder 6digitized
digitizedDec. 1864
Box 2Folder 7digitized
digitized1864
Box 2Folder 8digitized
digitizedJan. 1865
Box 2Folder 9digitized
digitizedFeb. 1865
Box 2Folder 10digitized
digitizedMar. 1865
Box 2Folder 11digitized
digitizedApr. 1865
Box 2Folder 12digitized
digitizedMay-July 1865
Box 2Folder 13digitized
digitizedSep.-Dec. 1865
Box 2Folder 14digitized
digitizedJan.-May 1866
Box 2Folder 15digitized
digitizedJune-Sep. 1866
Box 2Folder 16digitized
digitizedOct.-Dec. 1866
Box 2Folder 17digitized
digitized1866
Box 2Folder 18digitized
digitizedJan.-June 1867
Box 2Folder 19digitized
digitizedJuly-Dec. 1867
Box 2Folder 20digitized
digitized1867
Box 2Folder 21digitized
digitizedJan.-July 1868
Box 2Folder 22digitized
digitizedAug.-Dec. 1868
Box 3Folder 1digitized
digitizedJan.-Apr. 1869
Box 3Folder 2digitized
digitizedMay-July 1869
Box 3Folder 3digitized
digitizedAug. 1869
Box 3Folder 4digitized
digitizedSep.-Dec. 1869
Box 3Folder 5digitized
digitizedCorrespondence, 1860s
Box 3Folder 6digitized
digitizedNotes, memoranda, etc., 1860s
Box 3Folder 7digitized
digitized1870-1871
Box 3Folder 8digitized
digitizedJan.-Feb. 1872
Box 3Folder 9digitized
digitizedMar. 1872
Box 3Folder 10digitized
digitizedApr.-Dec. 1872
Box 3Folder 11digitized
digitized1874
Box 3Folder 12digitized
digitized1875-1876
Box 3Folder 13digitized
digitized1877-1879
Box 3Folder 14digitized
digitized1870s
Box 3Folder 15digitized
digitized1882-1886
Box 3Folder 16digitized
digitized1887
Box 3Folder 17digitized
digitized1888-1889
Box 3Folder 18digitized
digitizedMiscellaneous undated papers

II. History of the Special Relief Department, U.S. Sanitary Commission, [1865-1867]digital content

This series contains Frederick N. Knapp's unpublished manuscript on the work of the Special Relief Department, U.S. Sanitary Commission. The manuscript consists of draft pages describing various aspects of the Commission, including edits and annotations. Some portions are written in other hands, including J. B. Abbott's.

NOTE: For additional manuscript material on the history of the Commission, see the notes and extracts on Dr. George A. Blake and the U.S. Sanitary Commission (Box 4, Folder 42).

Box 4Folder 1digitized
digitizedNotes on chapters, pages, etc.
Box 4Folder 2digitized
digitized"Concerning the records and system of the Special Relief Office"
Box 4Folder 3digitized
digitized"Statement concerning the work of the Special Relief Office"
Box 4Folder 4digitized
digitized"Miscellaneous work that was added & 'side issues'"
Box 4Folder 5digitized
digitized"Work which we tried to make the Govt. do, &c. &c."
Box 4Folder 6digitized
digitized"Special Relief"
Box 4Folder 7digitized
digitized"Kinds of work of the Special Relief Desk in November 1862"
Box 4Folder 8digitized
digitized"Blocks in our wheels and 'Bothers'"
Box 4Folder 9digitized
digitized"Our relations with different Officers of the Govt."
Box 4Folder 10digitized
digitized"Statistics"
Box 4Folder 11digitized
digitized"Means of assisting"
Box 4Folder 12digitized
digitized"Sanitaria"
Box 4Folder 13digitized
digitized"Mostly Extracts on Hosp. Transports"
Box 4Folder 14digitized
digitized"Ahead of Time"
Box 4Folder 15digitized
digitized"Special Relief work at Convalescent Camp near Alexandria, Va."
Box 4Folder 16digitized
digitized"Prisoners"
Box 4Folder 17digitized
digitized"Letter service"
Box 4Folder 18digitized
digitized"Hospital visitors at the West"
Box 4Folder 19digitized
digitized"Reduced fare tickets"
Box 4Folder 20digitized
digitized"Burial of dead"
Box 4Folder 21digitized
digitized"Pension Agency"
Box 4Folder 22digitized
digitizedWives' and mothers' claims
Box 4Folder 23digitized
digitizedDisabled soldiers, veterans
Box 4Folder 24digitized
digitized"Letters of Gratitude, &c."
Box 4Folder 25digitized
digitizedExtracts of letters from the field
Box 4Folder 26digitized
digitized"Incidents of Hosp. Directing, Louisville, Kentucky"
Box 4Folder 27digitized
digitized"Flying Relief"
Box 4Folder 28digitized
digitized"Belle Plain"
Box 4Folder 29digitized
digitized"Relief work at Fredericksburg May 1864"
Box 4Folder 30digitized
digitized"Gettysburg"
Box 4Folder 31digitized
digitizedNorth Carolina, South Carolina
Box 4Folder 32digitized
digitized"Winchester, Va."
Box 4Folder 33digitized
digitized"Ware Fund"

III. Notes and extracts, 1864-1904digital content

This series includes notes by Lucia (Bradford) Knapp on the life and work of her husband Frederick N. Knapp; unidentified miscellaneous notes on Civil War hospitals; and an undated manuscript containing copies of correspondence, extracts of reports, and other material related to Dr. George A. Blake and the work of the U.S. Sanitary Commission in Louisiana, Texas, and Alabama, 1862-1865. The manuscript is in Blake's handwriting, and a cover sheet includes the note: "Part used by Mr. Knapp."

Box 4Folder 34digitized
digitizedLucia Knapp's notes on Frederick N. Knapp, Part 1, ca. 1904
Box 4Folder 35digitized
digitizedLucia Knapp's notes on Frederick N. Knapp, Part 2, ca. 1904
Box 4Folder 36digitized
digitizedLucia Knapp's notes on Frederick N. Knapp, Part 3, ca. 1904
Box 4Folder 37digitized
digitizedLucia Knapp's notes on Frederick N. Knapp, Part 4, ca. 1904
Box 4Folder 38digitized
digitizedLucia Knapp's notes on Frederick N. Knapp, Part 5, ca. 1904
Box 4Folder 39digitized
digitizedLucia Knapp's notes on Frederick N. Knapp, Part 6, ca. 1904
Box 4Folder 40digitized
digitizedLucia Knapp's notes on Frederick N. Knapp, Part 7, ca. 1904
Box 4Folder 41digitized
digitizedMiscellaneous notes, [1864-1865]
Box 4Folder 42digitized
digitizedNotes and extracts on Dr. George A. Blake and the U.S. Sanitary Commission, undated

IV. Henry B. Rogers diaries, 1861-1864digital content

This series consists of the Civil War diaries of Henry Bromfield Rogers, agent for the U.S. Sanitary Commission, documenting his work distributing supplies and providing assistance to soldiers. Included are observations of the sick and dying, names of wounded and discharged men, and descriptions of camp life and daily activities. The two draft volumes contain notes Rogers used to write fuller entries in the diaries.

Box 5Folder 1digitized
digitizedDiary, 21 Nov. 1861-7 Jan. 1862
Box 5Folder 2digitized
digitizedDiary, 8 Jan.-26 Apr. 1862
Box 5Folder 3digitized
digitizedDiary, 26 Apr.-31 May 1862
Box 5Folder 4digitized
digitizedDiary, 6 June-5 July 1862
Box 5Folder 5digitized
digitizedDiary, 7-9 Apr. 1863, 15-16 Jan. 1864
Box 5Folder 6digitized
digitizedDraft volume, 25 Nov. 1861-25 Jan. 1862
Box 5Folder 7digitized
digitizedDraft volume, 31 Jan.-30 June 1862

V. Oversize papers

NOTE: Oversize papers from Series I-IV have been removed to an oversize folder (in drawers) but are digitized at their original location.

OS drawers

Microfilm Reel List

Reel 1
Papers, 1848-1863
Reel 2
Papers, 1864-1872
Reel 3
Papers, 1874-1889, undated
Reel 3
Frederick N. Knapp’s manuscript history of the Special Relief Department, U.S. Sanitary Commission
Reel 3
Special Relief Office, Memorandum of the Disbursement of the Ware Fund
Reel 3
Mrs. Knapp's notes on Frederick N. Knapp
Reel 3
Misc. notes and extracts
Reel 3
Henry Bromfield Rogers diary, 1861-1864

Preferred Citation

Frederick Newman Knapp papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.

Persons:

Abbott, J. B.
Anderson, John Alexander, 1834-1892.
Bellows, Henry W. (Henry Whitney), 1814-1882.
Blake, George A.
Bradley, Amy Morris, 1823-1904.
Clarke, James Freeman, 1810-1888.
Hill, Thomas, 1818-1891.
Hovey, William Alfred, 1841-1906.
Knapp, Francis Bellows, 1820-1896.
Knapp, Frederick Bradford, 1857-
Knapp, Lucia Alden Bradford, 1834-1924.
Knapp, Susan Newman, 1799-1876.
Olmsted, Frederick Law, 1822-1903.
Rogers, Henry B. (Henry Bromfield), 1802-1887.

Organizations:

United States Sanitary Commission.
United States Sanitary Commission. Special Relief Department.

Subjects:

Clergy--Massachusetts--Plymouth.
Diaries--1861.
Diaries--1862.
Diaries--1863.
Diaries--1864.
Educators--Massachusetts--Plymouth.
Family history--1850-1899.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Civilian relief.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Health aspects.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Hospitals.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Medical care.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--War work.