Arthur Newton Peaslee was born April 16, 1867 in Weare, New Hampshire to Robert and Persis B. (Dodge) Peaslee. He was fitted at the Arms Academy in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, and graduated from Bates College in 1890. He later earned a B.D. degree from the Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1896 and a master's degree from Harvard University in 1897. In addition, he studied at the University of Berlin and Oxford University in 1901 and the Sorbonne in 1914.
Peaslee had a long and distinguished career as a minister and a teacher. He taught Latin and Greek in Ashley, Massachusetts and at the Cathedral School of St. Paul in Garden City, Long Island and served as master of the St. George's School in Middletown, Rhode Island from 1907 until at least 1930. In addition, he was rector of the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Haverhill, Massachusetts from 1897 to 1899; assistant rector of Trinity Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts from 1899 to 1901; victor in Middletwon, Rhode Island from 1902 to 1906, and rector of St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Manchester, New Hampshire from 1906 to 1907. He married Margaret Thayer Graham in 1926.
In 1954, Peaslee donated his book collection of more than one hundred volumes to Coram Library at Bates College. In addition, his estate gave the College $20,000 to establish a fund for the purchase of books. Peaslee died in Providence, Rhode Island on August 9, 1957.
Arthur Peaslee's older brother, Robert James Peaslee, an attorney and judge, was born in Weare, New Hampshire, on September 23, 1864. He studied at Cushing Academy in Ashburnham, Massachusetts and graduated from the Arms Academy in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts in 1885. He graduated from Boston University School of Law in 1886. He practiced law in Springfield, Massachusetts for a short period of time, before relocating to Manchester, New Hamphshire where he eventually established his own office. In 1898, he was appointed as a judge of New Hampshire. In 1901, he was appointed to the Superior, or trial, Court, and six years later he was appointed to the Supreme Court as associate justice. In 1924, he was made Chief Justice, a position which he held until September 1934 when he retired. Following his retirement from the bench, he served as an advisor to the legal firm of Demond, Woodworth, Sulloway, Piper and Jones of Concord, New Hampshire.
Robert Peaslee taught law courses at the university level for many years, first at Dartmouth College and later at Boston University. He received honorary degrees from both these schools as well, receiving from Dartmouth a Master of Arts in 1898 and a Doctor of Law in 1926 and from Boston University a Doctor of Law in 1927. In addition, Peaslee served in a variety of civic and religious roles, including clerk, junior warden and senior warden of the Grace Episcopal Church of which he was a member for nearly half a century; president of the Currier Gallery of Art; president of the New Hampshire Historical Society; trustee of the Manchester Institute of Arts and Sciences; trustee of the Balch Hosptial; trustee of the Holderness School for Boys at Plymouth, New Hampshire; senior director of the Amoskeag National Bank; director of the Amoskeag Trust Company; trustee of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company; and a member of the American Law Institute. In 1893, he married Nellie Dorcas Kimball, who died in 1915. He then married Sarah Congdon Hazard. He died in Boston on August 23, 1936.
The collection includes Arthur Peaslee's English translation of Dante's Divine Comedy, as well as notes for and transcripts of lectures he delivered on this topic and essays and notes on Dante's La Vita Nuova and La Convito. It is unclear whether Peaslee's translation was ever published.
The collection also includes miscellaneous manuscripts and typescripts of original literary works by his brother, Robert Peaslee, including what appears to be an autobiographical account of his boyhood and a collection of travel photos from England and the Netherlands; typescripts of various letters dating from 1893 to 1896; and a typescript of a short essay on James Joyce written by Paul Elmer More.
The collection is arranged alphabetically by author.
The collection is open for research.
The collection is the physical property of Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library. Bates College holds literary rights only for material created by College personnel working on official behalf of the College, or for material which was given to the College with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication or other purposes that exceed fair use.
These records are indexed under the following headings in the Bates College Library catalog. Researchers wishing to find related materials should search the catalog under these index terms.
Dante Alighieri, 1265-1321--Criticism and interpretation
Joyce James, 1882-1941--Criticism and interpretation
More, Paul Elmer, 1864-1937
Peaslee, Arthur Newton--Archives
Peaslee, Robert James
No provenance information available. Accession No.: xx-045.
Arthur N. and Robert Peaslee papers, Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College.
Partial arrangement and description by Kurt Kuss, Special Collections Librarian, 2002.
Final arrangement and description by Kat Stefko, 2006.
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Page author: Jim Hart
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