Skip to main content

Barnum Family Papers

Identifier: mss-187

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains over 500 handwritten sermons given by Samuel Barnum at New Haven, CT, Salisbury, NH, Durham, NH, Cornwall, VT, Jericho Center, VT, and Weybridge, VT. There are also related writings by Samuel Barnum and a complete list of sermons with the date and place each was given, 1878-1928. The red numbers listed after each sermon probably indicate attendance. Susan Barnum, daughter of the donor, has checked most of the sermons against the index included in the collection. Samuel Barnum's sermon titles use the abbreviation X to stand for Christ and related words based on Christ (ex. "Xn" for Christian and "Xty" for Christianity).

The collection also contains 187 letters written by Thomas Rossiter Barnum during the time he lived in Burlington and worked at the UVM Library (1893-1896).

Family photographs are present alongside some explanatory notes provided by the donor.


  • 1878-1928



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 / Historical

Samuel Horace Barnum was born on April 7, 1852 in West Springfield, Massachusetts. He graduated from Yale University in 1875, and from Yale Theological Seminary in 1879. He moved to Salisbury, New Hampshire on November 9, 1879, where he remained until May 1882, when he received a call to go to Durham, New Hampshire. Samuel was ordained and installed in Durham on April 24, 1883. He married Susan P. Little on July 13, 1882 in Salisbury, New Hampshire. The couple had six children: Gertrude, Alice, Charles, Clara, Horace, and Walter. Samuel served as the pastor of the Congregational Church in Cornwall, Vermont from 1890 to 1907. He worked as a Congregational minister for 48 years, serving congregations in Salisbury and Durham, New Hampshire, and Cornwall, Jericho Center, and Weybridge, Vermont. Samuel died on October 16, 1939 in Groton, Connecticut.

Thomas Rossiter Barnum was born on May 4, 1857 in Phillipston, Massachusetts. He attended the Hopkins Grammar School in New Haven, Connecticut, and graduated from Yale in 1879. After graduation, Thomas worked at the Astor Library in New York City, and was later appointed librarian at the University of Vermont. In 1918, he was appointed curator of a special collection of Yale memorabilia in the Yale University Library, and remained in that position until his retirement. Thomas died on January 20, 1938 in East Haven, Connecticut.

Charlotte Cynthia Barnum was born on May 17, 1860 in Phillipston, Massachusetts. She attended Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Connecticut, and graduated from Vassar College in 1881. From 1881 to 1886, Charlotte taught at Betts Academy in Stamford, Connecticut, and at Hillhouse High School. From 1883 to 1885, she did computing work for the Yale Observatory, and revised James Dwight Dana's System of Mineralogy. Charlotte was also an editorial writer for Webster's International Dictionary from 1886 to 1890, and taught astronomy at Smith College for the academic year 1889–90.

Charlotte was the first woman to receive a PhD in Mathematics from Yale, graduating in 1895. In 1901 she moved to Washington D.C. to work as a computer for US Naval Observatory. In 1914, she returned to New Haven, where she did editorial work for Yale Peruvian Expeditions, the Yale University Secretary's office, and the Yale University Press. Throughout her life, she was involved in social and charitable organizations and activities. Charlotte died on March 27, 1934 in Middletown, Connecticut.

Clara Louisa Barnum was born on March 5, 1866. She taught and tutored Latin in New Haven, where she remained for most of her life. She died on January 3, 1953 in New Haven, Connecticut.


3.75 Linear Feet (3 cartons)

Language of Materials



The collection contains many sermons given by Samuel Barnum, letters written by Thomas Rossiter Barnum, and some family photographs.


Library Research Annex; contact for access.

Guide to the Barnum Family Papers
2023 December
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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)