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Charles E. Parker Papers

Identifier: mss-045

Scope and Content Note

The Charles E. Parker collection consists of five cartons, three boxes, and two oversized envelopes. Because it includes the papers of other family members, it covers the time period of 1810-1943. There is a large amount of correspondence both personal and business oriented. Photographs are another large part of this collection. These are largely photos of people and of the Vergennes and Lake Champlain area. Many of the photographs are prints from the glass negatives which are contained in the three boxes of this collection. The Business Correspondence and Business Documents sections contain information about the numerous companies in which Parker invested. Probably the most interesting portions of the Charles E. Parker collection are those dealing with the Civil War. Personal Correspondence through the years of 1860-1863, and the militia and journal series all contain information about the Civil War. Folder II-3, Militia: Drawings, contains drawings that Parker made of General Butler's plan to build a canal to divert the Mississippi River and render Vicksburg vulnerable to attack. The militia folders contain company rosters and supply records. Another interesting section is Folder 43 in Carton 1 which contains correspondence pertaining to a railroad car coupling device which Parker invented and then tried to patent. It is interesting to note that this collection contains no information about the public offices Mr. Parker held. 69 stereoviews have been removed and placed in the library's stereoview collection. The two oversized folders include Charles Parker's diploma from Dartmouth and his commissions from the state militia.


  • 1810-1943



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.

Biographical Note

Charles Edmund Parker (1839-1923) was a prominent citizen of Vergennes, Vermont. He was born on February 21, 1839, to Henrietta and William (1803-1868) Parker. His father, an important citizen, served as mayor and state legislator, as well as engaging in mercantile pursuits until his death. Henrietta Parker was originally Henrietta Miller of Wallingford, Vermont. Her line of descent may be traced back to John Alden. In 1856 Charles entered Norwich Military Academy, and then in 1858 he went to Dartmouth College, which he graduated from in 1860. With the onset of the Civil War, Charles was commissioned as a first lieutenant and adjutant of the Seventh Vermont Infantry in the fall of 1861. A promotion to the Captain of Company E. came though on December 9, 1862. The Seventh Vermont served in the Department of the Gulf from 1862 to 1866, but poor health led to Parker’s permanent return to Vermont in 1863. He served in the State Militia for the remainder of the war. In 1866 Charles Edmund Parker married Agnes W. Ripley of Rutland. She was the daughter of William Y. Ripley, the pioneer marble dealer of Rutland. Her brothers included the Generals Edward H. and William Y.W. Ripley. Charles became an active member of the community participating in both business and social activities in Vergennes. He was involved with several companies including Falardo and Parker, manufacturers of sashes, doors, and blinds, the Vergennes Electric Light Company, Strong and Parker, which sold a road grader, and the Vergennes Steam Launch Co. He invested extensively in companies throughout the U.S. in addition to his own companies in Vermont. Parker also served the town in which he lived. In 1885 he was elected mayor. Several times he served as the superintendent of schools, and in 1894 he represented Vergennes in the state legislature. Other organizations benefited from his assistance including the St. Paul's Episcopal Church, of which he was a senior warden, the Vergennes Library, and the Vergennes Dramatic Club.


10 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Charles Edmund Parker (1839-1923) was a prominent businessman of Vergennes, Vermont, Civil War veteran, and politician. The collection covers 1810-1943 and includes family and civil war era correspondence, militia records, business records, and photographs.


Library Research Annex; contact for access.

Related Materials

The Parker Family Papers at the Henry Sheldon Museum -

General Physical Description note

Five cartons, three boxes, two oversized folders

Guide to the Charles E. Parker Papers
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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)