Guide to the Richard Calvin Stanley diary, 1864 | MC095

Summary Information

Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library
Stanley, Richard Calvin
Richard Calvin Stanley diary
1.0 volume
An 1864 diary kept by Richard Calvin Stanley, Bates College professor of Chemistry and Geology, during his trip to New York City and Washington D.C. as a delegate of the Sanitary Commission, a private organization that provided comfort to Union soldiers during the Civil War.

Preferred Citation

Richard Calvin Stanley diary, Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College.

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Historical Note

Richard Calvin Stanley was Calder Professor of Chemistry and Geology at Bates for 23 years from 1866-1889. He was born in 1835 and raised in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1858 becoming a high school teacher and principal before coming to Bates. He helped shape the Bates science department during its formative years, arriving shortly after the founding of the college. Stanley published in 1877 a history of the school's founding, "Historical Sketch of Bates College." He was also the State Assayer from 1875 to 1883.

Scope and Content Note

This diary was kept by Stanley from March 8-June 1, 1864, during a trip to New York City and Washington, D. C. taken while he was Principal of the High School in Nashua, New Hampshire. Stanley records his daily activities in these cities during the Civil War. Stanley visits his college friend, Walter Gibson, in New York and writes about his opinion of New York during the era. Gibson has just gotten out "of Rebeldom," and Stanley is concerned that his friend is too focused on making money in New York. Stanley also mentions various activities such as voting and listening to notable speakers such as Dr. Thompson and Henry Ward Beecher in New York.

Eventually Stanley goes to Washington D.C. as a "delegate of the Sanitary Commission." The Sanitary Commission was a private organization that worked to provide aid and comfort to soldiers in the Union Army. Stanley writes about army camp and hospital life in the area around Washington. He also writes about notable Washington politicians that he encountered. Stanley mentions a personal encounter with Abraham Lincoln. He also writes about the debates he witnessed in Congress mentioning such prominent figures as Thaddeus Stevens and Charles Sumner, as well as several "notorious Copperheads" (Southern sympathizers). Stanley frequently records notable daily activities such as attending a "negro prayer meeting" in Washington.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

 Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library

70 Campus Avenue
Lewiston, Maine, 04240

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

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.

Acquisition and Custody Information

No provenance information available. Accession No.: xx-075.

Processing Information

Processed by Kurt Kuss, Special Collections Librarian.

Additional description by Timothy Larson (Class of 2005), 2005.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Bates College (Lewiston, Me.)--Faculty
  • New York (N. Y.)--Description and travel
  • United States Sanitary Commission
  • Washington, D. C.--Description and travel

Geographic Name(s)

  • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865

Personal Name(s)

  • Stanley, Richard Calvin--Archives
  • Stanley, Richard Calvin--Diaries

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