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Diary of the Reverend Samuel Tupper


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. 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

Reverend Samuel Tupper left Worcester, Massachusetts, for the "Camp of 9th Army Corps near Alexandria" in May 1865. There he served as a delegate of the U. S. Christian Commission, a Union relief organization formed to provide comfort and supplies to the armies and navies not furnished by the federal government. It received its support primarily from churches.

The U. S. Christian Commission was charged with "visiting hospitals, camps, and battle-fields, for the instruction, supply, encouragement, and relief of the men of our army, according to their various circumstances; distributing stores, where needed, in hospitals and camps; circulating good publications amongst our soldiers and sailors; aiding Chaplains in the ministrations and influence for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the men under their care; encouraging special and stated meetings for prayer amongst men in the field and in the hospital; encouraging soldiers and sailors to communicate freely and frequently with their friends, aiding them to do it, etc." Formed in New York in 1861, the organization collected more than $2.5 million in cash, in addition to large quantities of supplies during the four years of the Civil War.

Biographical and historical information derived from the collection.

Reverend Samuel Tupper's American Civil War diary documents his volunteer relief work with the U. S. Christian Commission in May and June, 1865. The log book was issued by the Commission and provided delegates with eighteen printed pages of regulations for discharging their duties, blank space to record their daily work, and memoranda pages to detail names of soldiers assisted.

Tupper left Worcester, Massachusetts, and began his duties near Alexandria, Virginia, where he ministered to Union soldiers. He recorded many daily diary entries including information about sermons, duties, and post-war conditions for civilians. He also recorded about a dozen names of soldiers and units with which he had worked.

The manuscript is bound in leather. "U. S. Christian Commission" is embossed in gold on the front cover. The front cover and the first three signatures are loose and the spine is broken. The first eighteen pages are printed text with organizational information about the U.S. Christian Commission, with instructions to its delegates. The remaining 110 pages have printed headings and lines. Approximately ninety-five pages are filled with autograph notes, primarily in ink.

University of Delaware. Library.

Self works : diaries, scrapbooks, and other autobiographical efforts : catalog of an exhibition, August 19, 1997-December 18, 1997 : guide to selected sources. Newark, Del. : Special Collections, Hugh M. Morris Library, University of Delaware Library, 1997.

  1. Item 0110: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0097

A digitized copy of the journal is available at the University of Delaware Digital Institutional Repository.


Processed and encoded by Lynda Gillow, June 2007.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2007 June 27
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Diary of the Reverend Samuel Tupper, 1865 May 24-June 30.
Item 0110
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