Main content

Benjamin S. Stivers commonplace book


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Stivers was born in Sussex County, New Jersey to Randal Stivers (1765-1841) and Eunice Holton (1780-1845). Benjamin was appointed postmaster in Branchville, New Jersey, December 15, 1841. According to his obituary, Stivers was self-educated and "wrote with clearness and energy both in prose and verse."

A ruled volume with worn covers consisting of poems and prose by Benjamin S. Stivers spanning the years from 1836 to 1843. Following the first four leaves of the volume are sixty-nine numbered pages; the remainder is blank. The handwritten poems, lines, and prose with calligraphic flourishes are comprised of reminiscences, lines written for others' albums, acrostics, stories, and a song. There are poems regarding American Indians entitled, The Cherokee resolve and Removal of the Cherokee. Other works in the book include: Things I love, The schoolmaster's soliloquy, Our solar system, The Indian's toilet, The march of reform, and An adventure. There is also a political song entitled, New Jersey hurrah song: written for a Whig celebration at Branchville. A short biography of a local man known as Uncle Phillip, a believer in superstitions and witchcraft is written on pages sixty to sixty-six. The profile of Uncle Phillip appears to be written in a different hand and has a note at the end indicating the work was published in 1852. Stivers' obituary is pasted on page thirty-eight attributed to B. B. Edsall of the Sussex register. Some of Stivers' poems were published in local newspapers. Pasted on the inside front cover are newspaper clippings of two poems written in volume, Removal of the Cherokee and Content, where art thou. Pasted on the inside back cover is a clipping "Anniversary ode, written for the celebration of the Fourth of July, 1843" by Stivers. Written on the cover of the volume is B. S. Stivers's scrap book and on the second leaf is written Benjamin S. Stivers's scrap book.

Sold by White Fox Rare Books and Antiques (West Windsor, Vermont), 2016.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Donna Brandolisio
Finding Aid Date
September 2016
Access Restrictions

Access to this item is subject to staff review.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Collection Inventory

Request to View Materials

Materials can be requested by first logging in to Aeon. Then, click on the ADD button next to any containers you wish to request. When complete, click the Request button.

Request item to view
Benjamin S. Stivers commonplace book, 1836-1844.
Volume 1

Print, Suggest