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Clark/Field Families Collection

Identifier: mss-967

Scope and Content

The Clark/Field Families Papers consist of two cartons of miscellaneous family manuscripts dating from 1795 to 1848. The collection includes scattered correspondence, some business papers, a few diaries and account books, drafts of various orations and speeches, local government and county court records, and assorted other paper material. There are papers of some interst relating to the local history of Middletown, Poultney, Brandon, and Rutland, Vermont, as well as scattered items relating to such diverse Vermont subjects as the Battle of Hubbardton, education, Freemasonry, state politics in the 1840s and 1850s, the Rutland & Washington Rail Road Company, insurance, and Thomas Davenport. With the exception of two folders (1-70 and 1-71) of nondescript historical autographs and signatures collected by Henry clark, nearly all of the papers touch directly on the careers of the successive male generations of two, interrelated families. The collection includes brief letters from such notable nineteenth-century Vermonters as James Meacham, Ahiman L. Miner, William Slade, George F. Houghton, Charles K. Williams, Hiland Hall, John G. Smith, and Eliakim P. Walton, as well as a considerable number of signed governor's commissions to members of the Clark family.

The arrangement of the collection is chronological, with loose manuscripts in Carton One and bound volumes in Carton Two. Pieces of some special interest in Carton One are in individual folders, with separate descriptions of the inventory.


  • 1795-1948


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights:

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.


The Clark/Field Families Papers include material from five generations of two families. The individuals most prominently represented in the collection are:

Jonas Clark- Born in Connecticut in 1775, Jonas Clark moved to Middletown, Vermont, with his father, General Jonas Clark, in 1791. The younger Clark taught himself the law while working as a stonemason, gaining admittance to the Vermont bar in 1809. He represented Middletown in the Vermont House in 1808-09, 1813, 1815-22, and 1825-26, and in the Vermont Constitutional Conventions of 1843 and 1850. He also served as State's Attorney of Rutland County from 1816 to 1829. Clark died in 1854.

Merritt Clark- Merritt Clark was born in Middletown, Vermont on February 11, 1803, the son of Jonas and Betsy Stoddard Clark. An 1823 graduate of Middlebury College, he was at various times a Middletown merchant, postmaster of Middletown and Poultney, organizer and cashier for 40 years of the Poultney Bank, a member of the Vermont Board of Education, and a justice-of-the-peace for 44 years. He helped found the Rutland and Washington Railroad in 1847, and as its first president played a major role in bringing rail connections with Albany to Rutland County. A leading Vermont Democrat in the 1850s, Clark ran unsuccessfully for Congress (1850) and Governor (1854 and 1855). While a resident of Middletown he served in the Vermont House in 1832-33 and 1839; after moving to Poultney he was a member of the state House (1865-66), Senate (1863-64 and 1868-69), and 1870 Constitutional Convention. Merritt Clark died in 1898, at the age of 95.

Henry Clark- Henry Clark, son of Merritt and Laura L. Langdon Clark, was born in Middletown, Vemront, in 1828. He served as secretary of the Vermont Senate from 1861 to 1872, and was publisher/editor of a number of Rutland newspapers in the 1870s. He was also president of the Rutland County Agricultural Society and a trustee of the University of Vermont, from which he received an honorary M.A. in 1867. An avid Vermont historian and Vermontania collector, as well as a staunch Mason, Clark spoke and wrote widely on Vermont, Masonic, and American history. He died in 1899.

William M. Field- Born in Salisbury, Vermont, on September 5, 1813, William M. Field represented Brandon in the Vemront House in 1849-50 and the state Senate in 1856-57. After more than two decades as a merchant in Brandon, Field moved to Rutland in the early 1860s. He served as a Rutland County sheriff from 1861 to 1878, and became president of the Rutland Savings Bank in 1879, resigning shortly before his death in 1890.

Frederick Arnold Field, Sr.- The son of William M. Field, Frederick A. Field was born in Brandon, Vermont, on June 7, 1850. He was an assistant postmaster (1872-88) and postmaster (1888-92) of Rutland, a U.S. Marshall for the district of Vermont (1898-1903), and held a variety of elective and volunteer public offices in Rutland. In the 1890s he went into the real estate and insurance business, eventually founding the Turland firm of Field and Son. He also served as trustee and president of the Rutland Savings Bank in the 1920s and 1930s. Field married Lillie Clark of Poultney, Vermont, on June 3, 1873. He died in 1935, at the age of 85.

Frederick Arnold Field, Jr.- Frederick A. Field, Jr. was born in Rutland on April 21, 1881. A graduate of Amherst College, he served in the U.S. Army in World War I, and developed a successful career in insurance in Rutland. Field died in 1936.


2 cartons, 1 oversized bound volume

Language of Materials



The Clark/Field families papers consist of two cartons of miscellaneous family manuscripts dating from 1795. The materials span five generations in the two families. The collection includes scattered correspondence, some business papers, a few diaries and account books, drafts of various orations and speeches, local government and county court records, and assorted other paper materials.

Physical Location

Library Research Annex; contact for access.

Aquisition Information

The Clark/Field Field papers came to the Wilbur Collection as a purchase from Frederick A. Field of East Wallingford, Vermont, in November 1985.

Separations List

  1. "Souvenir of Mt. Killington." Oversize oblong photo album of hike up Mt.Killington, ca. 1900. For cataloguing as a Large Bound Manuscript.
  2. Record book and scrapbook of Killington Steam Fire Engine Co. No. 3, Rutland, Vermont,1868-1886. For cataloguing as a Small Bound Manuscript.
  3. Collection of 49 pieces of Rev. Samuel Williams manuscripts, 1730's-1810's. For additionto the Samuel Williams Papers.
  4. Collection of Indian Flints found in the 1920's by Frederick A. Field, III, along the OtterCreek near Leicester Junction, Vermont (38 pieces). Transferred to the AnthropologyDepartment, UVM.
  5. Patent issued to Albert W. Gray of Middletown, Vermont, for an improved corn sheller,signed by Andrew Jackson, as President, March 31, 1836. For cataloguing as an oversized (37.5cm) Manuscript File piece.
Guide to the Clark/Field Families Papers, 1795-1948
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Vermont Libraries, Special Collections Repository

Silver Special Collections Library
48 University Place, Room B201
Burlington Vermont 05405 U.S.A. US
(802) 656-2138
(802) 656-4038 (Fax)