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Box 1


Contains 41 Results:

Letter, H[arvey] Farley, Springwater, New York, to "Miss [Sarah]Stilson," Nunda, New York, [1861] March 17

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 1
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-1
Scope and Contents

The author, the Livingston County school commissioner, confirms a teaching appointment for Stilson for the coming term.

Dates: [1861] March 17

Letter. C. K. Sanders, Nunda, New York, to "Miss [Sarah] Stilson," [Nunda, New York], 1861 April 7

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 3
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-3
Scope and Contents

The author, a local newspaper editor and publisher, acknowledges an item submitted by Stilson for the Nunda News.

Dates: 1861 April 7

Letter. [Oliver Waldo West], Dansville, New York, to "Ma Petite Hindoo Demoiselle" [Sarah Stilson], Nunda, New York, 1861 April 7

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 5
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-5
Scope and Contents

West recalls the circumstances of his first meeting Sarah Stilson, at Mt. Morris Teachers Institute in October 1860; responds to Stilson's theories about marriage; explains the game of baseball (with attendant diagram); muses on nature and religion.

Dates: 1861 April 7

Letter. [Sarah Stilson], Nunda, New York, to "Associate ruler[?] of the 'Two Gut News'" [Oliver Waldo West], 1862 May 6

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 6
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-6
Scope and Contents

Stilson comments at length on West's letter of 27 April.

Dates: 1862 May 6

Letter. L[yman] D. Stilson, "Battlefield of Williamsburg Va," to "Dear Cousin S[arah Stilson]", 1862 May 8

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 7
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-7
Scope and Contents

The author (1839-1912) was a cousin of Sarah Stilson's and, when the letter was written, a member of Co. D, 49th New York Infantry. Stilson relates his and his regiment's actions from 4 to 7 May 1862, including service at the Battle of Williamsburg (5 May 1862); he goes on to describe the field of Williamsburg in the aftermath of the battle.

Dates: 1862 May 8

Letter. [Oliver] W[aldo West], Dansville, New York, to "Dear Sis" [Sarah Stilson], Rochester, New York, 1862 August 17

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 8
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-8
Scope and Contents West mentions his efforts, since 31 July, raising what would become Co. K, 130th New York Infantry. Orders have now been received to go into camp at Portage in Livingston County. In response to a previous letter of Stilson's in which she admitted she had been close to urging him to enlist, West states that "women have no right to press themselves out of all bounds of propriety and fitness and make themselves ridiculous in "pushing" their sons, their brothers, their lovers, their friends and...
Dates: 1862 August 17

Letter. [Sarah Stilson], Rochester, New York, to "My dear Soldier Brother" [Oliver Waldo West], 1862 August 20-22

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 9
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-9
Scope and Contents Replying to West's letter of 17 August, Stilson voices her dismay at the view of the war expressed therein, and encourages him to be more optimistic, citing the North's inherent strength and the patriotism of its people, and the desperation of the South's most recent conscription act. She defends the role of women in the war effort: "Don't think that we northern 'women who can't fight' are non caring and perfectly at ease thru' all you soldiers' sufferings. If there's anything we can do we...
Dates: 1862 August 20-22

Letter. [Sarah Stilson], Rochester, New York, to "My orderly correspondent and Quadratic soldier friend" [Oliver Waldo West], Suffolk, Virginia, 1862 September

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 10
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-10
Scope and Contents Stilson celebrates the news of the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, declaring: "I never have been "Abolitionist" until lately, but I am now. There! If I've incurred your everlasting displeasure and aroused your wrath to the annihilating pitch,—I stand annihilated, but am Abolitionist (!) . . . . Thank God and Lincoln! Emancipation to the enslaved! "Unconstitutional" no longer! Liberty universal where there is victory." She discourages West's ambition to be an officer: "Don't aspire to...
Dates: 1862 September

Letter. [Oliver] Waldo [West], Suffolk, Virginia, to "Mon amie of the Empire State" [Sarah Stilson], Rochester, New York, 1862 October 6

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 11
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-11
Scope and Contents West describes a forced march to the Blackwater River undertaken by four companies of the 130th New York, 3-4 October 1862; declines to condemn Stilson for her newfound abolitionism: "You may be an Abolitionist but you are ma petite Abolitioniste . . . . You may be an apostate, political or otherwise, but in your apostacy you write letters, long ones and good ones, to me and your thoughts are kindred with mine, though their flowers and petals may have a different hue and shape." In reply to...
Dates: 1862 October 6

Letter. [Oliver Waldo West], near Suffolk, Virginia, to [Sarah Stilson], Rochester, New York, 1862 October 9-10

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 12
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-12
Scope and Contents West discusses military preferment, and the regiment's need for drill. Fears the Emancipation Proclamation will lengthen the war, because it will make many Southerners "still more furious and full of fight." As for emancipation itself: "I wish . . . that every human being on the Earth had the utmost possible extent of liberty—if that would add to the sum total of his happiness and the happiness of his fellow men . . . . But come down here and see with your own eyes the 'poor, oppressed,...
Dates: 1862 October 9-10

Letters. "Lyra" [Sarah Stilson], Rochester and Lima, New York, to "Capt. H" [Henry J. Gifford], 1862 November 13, 1863 January 24

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 13
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-13
Scope and Contents

Henry J. Gifford (b. c1837), of Bergen, Genesee County, New York, was then time captain of Co. D, 33rd New York Infantry. The earlier of the drafts was Stilson's first letter to Gifford, whom she knew only through the descriptions of an unidentified correspondent. The second draft is a response to Gifford's reply, below (MSN/CW 5061-14).

Dates: 1862 November 13, 1863 January 24

Letter. H[enry] J. Gifford, camp near White Oak Church, Virginia, to "my mythical friend Lyra" [Sarah Stilson], Lima, New York, 1862 December 20

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 14
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-14
Scope and Contents

Though there is some mention of the battle of Fredericksburg, most of the letter is given over to an extended self-description by Gifford for Stilson: his appearance, education, "qualities of heart," religious beliefs, and so on.

Dates: 1862 December 20

Letter. "Lyra" [Sarah Stilson], Lima, New York, to "My patriotic soldier friend" [Oliver Waldo West], Suffolk, Virginia, 1862 December 24

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 15
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-15
Scope and Contents Stilson responds to comments in West's letters of November and December (now lost); mentions acquaintances now in the army (including the artist and photographer Andrew J. Russell, Co. F, 141st New York Infantry); speaks of reading Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.'s novel Elsie Venner and the poetry of Elizabeth Barrett Browning (some of whose poems she apparently enclosed); expresses dismay over the recent defeat at Fredericksburg: "I am afraid it is one of two things, either that we must give up...
Dates: 1862 December 24

Letter. "Quad" [Oliver Waldo West], Fort Nansemond, near Suffolk, Virginia, to [Sarah Stilson], Lima, New York, 1862 December 31-1863 January 2

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 16
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-16
Scope and Contents West responds to Stilson's letter of 24 December, above. Discusses the character of the regimental surgeon Benjamin Kneeland; speculates on the emergence of a military dictator ("I can very easily conceive of circumstances quite possible to us, when a Caesar would be welcome and necessary, viz: When the Government . . . shall have lost the confidence of the people and become weak and powerless, and it only is a question whether a Northern general or a Southern general shall conquer and rule...
Dates: 1862 December 31-1863 January 2

Letter. "Lyra" [Sarah Stilson], Lima, New York, to "Friend [Oliver Waldo] West", Suffolk, Virginia, 1863 January 17

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 17
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-17
Scope and Contents Stilson discusses the enclosed poem, John Greenleaf Whittier's "The Battle Autumn of 1862"; she also discusses a poem of her own entitled "Twenty-One", which is included in the letter and which was written for West's 21st birthday, 4 January 1863; she comments on receiving letters ("Oh! I enjoy getting letters. What a strange throb there is to an unread letter! Get a letter just as you are going into battle—put it into your vest pocket with the seal unbroken—and go and fight—how you'll hear...
Dates: 1863 January 17

Letter. [Oliver] W[aldo West], Fort Nansemond, Virginia, to 'My dear lyra" [Sarah Stilson], Lima, New York, 1863 January 29-February 3

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 18
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-18
Scope and Contents West responds to Stilson's letter of 17 January, above. Describes an engagement at Kelly's Store, Virginia, near Suffolk, on 30 January 1863; continues to be critical of the Emancipation Proclamation ("You know that the President, wherever our forces 'held occupied and possessed' Southern states or portions thereof, especially refrained from freeing the slaves: but where we did not have power, and where he could not, there he declares the slaves free . . . . If that isn't crawling through a...
Dates: 1863 January 29-February 3

Letter. [Sarah Stilson], Lima, New York, to "My dear Brother Quad" [Oliver Waldo West], Suffolk, Virginia, 1863 April 10

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 19
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-19
Scope and Contents

Stilson speaks of teaching and of playing chess, and talks of the sexes: "So the poets do dare say that the longing to love and be loved is the strong passion of a woman's heart, do they? . . . Well, all right, I presume they know, but then you don't know but I may be an exception to all women. I may have no desire to love and be loved, you know? Suppose you ask the poets where the case stands."

Dates: 1863 April 10

Document. Whitman Metcalf, Certificate of church membership, 1863 May 12

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 20
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-20
Scope and Contents

A note written for Sarah Stilson, certifying Stilson's membership in the Baptist church at Nunda, New York. Metcalf was the church's pastor. The certificate enabled Stilson "to avail herself of the half fare ticket" to attend the meeting of the American Baptist Missionary Union in Cleveland.

Dates: 1863 May 12

Letter. [Oliver] W[aldo West], Suffolk, Virginia, to "You blessed little Pagan" [Sarah Stilson], Springwater, New York, 1863 June 7

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 21
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-21
Scope and Contents Continued sparring on gender issues, marriage, and the nature of West and Stilson's relationship, in response to Stilson's letter of 10 April, above. "I haven't the least present intention of marrying thee—so don't commence a suit for breach o' promise or write me another such angry unaccountable epistle . . . . You are just the kind of girl I like to sit down and talk or write ideality or reality to, just as the fit takes me. For you have brains to understand me and sentiment enough to...
Dates: 1863 June 7

Manuscript. [Sarah Stilson], Notes for a letter to Oliver Waldo West, 1863 June

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 22
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-22
Scope and Contents

Outline notes for a letter to West, titled "Letter to Quad June 1863". Stilson enumerates 18 points to be made in the letter, and elaborates on point 3 ("Long story of my cold stiff letter, causes &c." )

Dates: 1863 June

Letter. H[enry] J. Gifford, Camp, detachment 33rd N.Y.S.V., near Berlin, Maryland, to "Friend Lyra" [Sarah Stilson], Springwater, New York, 1863 July 17

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 23
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-23
Scope and Contents

A letter written in haste just before Gifford's regiment (the 33rd New York Infantry) recrossed the Potomac after the battle of Gettysburg.

Dates: 1863 July 17

Letter. [Oliver] Waldo [West], Camp, 130th N.Y.V., Manassas Junction, Virginia, to "My dear Lyra" [Sarah Stilson], Springwater, New York, 1863 August 13-15

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 24
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-24
Scope and Contents

West recounts the regiment's movements over the previous month through Loudon, Fauquier, and Prince William counties, Virginia; reports the 130th New York has been converted to cavalry, and is drilling as such (though still without horses); speaks of encamping near the "estate of Rev. Mr. Pollock" outside Warrenton, and of his friendship with the eldest Pollock daughter, Maggie.

Dates: 1863 August 13-15

Letter. [Sarah Stilson], n. p., to [Oliver Waldo West], [1863] September 16

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 25
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-25
Scope and Contents

Stilson speaks of assuming a teaching position, presumably at the Corning, New York Academy. Responds to details of West's letter of August 13-15, above.

Dates: [1863] September 16

Letter. [Oliver] Waldo [West], Headquarters, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, near Auburn, Virginia, to "Ma chére amie-soeur" [Sarah Stilson], Corning, New York, 1863 October 28-29

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 26
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-26
Scope and Contents West reports that the old 130th is now the 1st New York Dragoons, and that he himself has been detached to serve as an aide on the staff of Maj. Gen. Alfred Pleasanton, commanding the Cavalry Corps of the Army of the Potomac. Explains the structure of the Cavalry Corps, and voices his dismay with recent events in Virginia: "The recent movements of this army—what do they amount to? Our entire army has retired before a force of the enemy almost not more than one third of ours. And when finally...
Dates: 1863 October 28-29

Letter. [Oliver] W[aldo West], Headquarters, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac [near Brandy Station, Virginia], to "My dear 'Lyra'" [Sarah Stilson], Corning, New York, 1863 December 10

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 27
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-27
Scope and Contents

West directs a great deal of sardonic criticism at Meade and the Army of the Potomac, regarding the recent "reconnaisance in force" across the Rapidan (i.e., the Mine Run campaign of 26 November to 1 December).

Dates: 1863 December 10

Manuscript. [Sarah Stilson], Notes for a letter to Oliver Waldo West, 1863 December 15

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 28
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-28
Scope and Contents

Outline notes for a letter to West, titled "Letter to Quad". Stilson enumerates 16 points to be made in the letter, and elaborates on several.

Dates: 1863 December 15

Letter. [Oliver] W[aldo West], Headquarters, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, to "My dear Lyra" [Sarah Stilson], Nunda, New York, 1863 December 18

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 29
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-29
Scope and Contents

West sends Stilson a group photograph of Pleasanton and his staff, in which he himself appears (the taking of the picture is described in MSN/CW 5061-26, above).

Dates: 1863 December 18

Letter. [Oliver] Waldo [West], Headquarters, Cavalry Corps, Army of the Potomac, to "chére amie Lyra" [Sarah Stilson], Corning, New York, 1864 January 11

 File — Box: 1, Folder: 30
Identifier: MSN/CW 5061-30
Scope and Contents

West says that he has written his sister Mary a scolding letter, for her (apparent) gossip that he and Stilson were engaged: "Deuce take it! Almost every young lady I ever corresponded with, has been held up by some officious person or other as my 'intended'. I don't care anything about it on my own account . . . . But 'tis often quite unpleasant for a young lady to have such reports and innuendo floating about concerning her."

Dates: 1864 January 11