Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Robert College records, 1858-2018

Series I: Origin: Robert College Prior to, 1863

These records contain information related to the formation of Robert College. They document the founders' attempts to define the mission of a Christian college within the Ottoman Empire, their efforts to obtain permission to purchase land, and gain necessary permits to build upon the site.

There is correspondence between Cyrus that details Hamlin's many difficulties college a reality. The letters also reflect his somewhat strained relationship with E. Joy Morris, the American Minister in Istanbul. Christopher Robert's letters provided direction and encouragement to Hamlin, and in addition relate some events of the American Civil War as viewed from New York. Included is a single file of letters from Hamlin's brother, Hannibal, who worked in the Treasury Department and thus provided Cyrus with some account of the war from his post in Washington.

The records contain correspondence between Robert and Hamlin regarding the purchase of instructional materials, a list of Robert's donations, and the items purchased. The expenses of the college's first year are part of the financial record. Included is correspondence from Hamlin relating to the 1862 murder of Rev. William Merriam, an American missionary in Turkey. There is also a narration of the origins of the college (undated) prepared by Christopher Robert.

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Subseries I.1: General

Box 1 Folder 1 Correspondence to Christopher Robert from James H. Dwight, 1858

Box 1 Folder 2 Correspondence to Cyrus Hamlin(?) from Christopher Robert, 1858

Box 1 Folder 3 Correspondence to Hamlin from David B. Coe and Milton Badger, 1859

Box 1 Folder 4-5 Correspondence to Hamlin from Robert, 1859

Box 1 Folder 6 Correspondence to Hamlin from Robert, 1859

(includes offer to Hamlin to head the college)

Box 1 Folder 7 Correspondence to Hamlin from Robert, 1859

Box 1 Folder 8-9 Correspondence to Robert from Hamlin, 1859

Box 1 Folder 10 Correspondence to Robert from Hamlin, 1860

(includes a description of objectives of Robert College)

Box 1 Folder 11-12 Correspondence to Hamlin from Robert, 1860-1861

Box 1 Folder 13-15 Correspondence to Robert from Hamlin, 1861

Box 1 Folder 16-19 Correspondence to Hamlin from Robert, 1861-1862

Box 1 Folder 20-23 Correspondence to Robert from Hamlin, 1862

Box 1 Folder 24 Correspondence to Robert from Hamlin re Morris/ Merriam affair,, 1862

Box 1 Folder 25 Correspondence to Robert from Hamlin, 1862

(includes summaries re Morris's role in negotiating with Turkish Government)

Box 1 Folder 26-28 Correspondence to Hamlin from Robert, 1863

Box 1 Folder 29-30 Correspondence to Robert from Hamlin, 1863

Box 1 Folder 31 Miscellaneous correspondence to and from Robert, 1862-1863

Box 1 Folder 32 Correspondence to George Perkins and Henry Schauffler from Hamlin,, 1862-1863

Box 1 Folder 33-35 Correspondence to Robert from Perkins, 1861-1865

Box 1 Folder 36 Correspondence to Schauffler from Robert, 1859

Box 1 Folder 37 Correspondence to Robert from Schauffler, 1858-1865

(comments on Chernaud problem as well as policy matters)

Box 1 Folder 38-39 Schauffler, Perkins, Hamlin correspondence to trustees re Chernaud affair,, 1864-1865

Box 2 Folder 40 Statements about the college plus endorsements from Americans in Turkey; letters of support for the college, 1860, 1862, 1860, 1862

Box 2 Folder 41 "Historic Statement of the Origin of the Proposed College" written by Hamlin, 1861 or 1862, 1861, 1862

Box 2 Folder 42 Correspondence re land acquisition, 1861

Box 2 Folder 43 Printed version of Robert College's objectives: translation of an article appearing in a French newspaper,, 1861

Box 2 Folder 44 Correspondence to Robert re purchase of equipment, 1861

Box 2 Folder 45 Correspondence to Robert from Rufus Anderson and William(?) Goodell,, 1861-1863

Box 2 Folder 46 Copy of documents relating to the establishment of an American College in Istanbul,, 1862-1863

Box 2 Folder 47 Letter to the Honorable E. Joy Morris from Hamlin, 1862

Box 2 Folder 48 Petitions for permission to build the college, 1862

Box 2 Folder 49 Correspondence includes letters re negotiations for land acquisition,, 1862

Box 2 Folder 50 Correspondence re negotiations for land, 1862

Box 2 Folder 51 Copy of documents sent to Secretary of State Seward re claims of college against the Turkish Government, [1862]

Box 2 Folder 52 Letter to Robert re Hamlin's conduct over Reverend Merriam's murder,, 1863

(written by James Clarke of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions)

Box 2 Folder 53 Official letters to Robert re Reverend Merriam's murder, 1863

Box 2 Folder 54 Correspondence to Reverend David B. Coe from A.L. Chapin (President of Beloit College),, 1863

Box 2 Folder 55 Letter to [Hamlin] from Samuel Morse, 1863

Box 2 Folder 56 Financial statements, 1860-1864

(include expenses for the first college year)

Box 2 Folder 57 Narrative of the origin of Robert College prepared by [undated] Robert

Box 2 Folder 58 Letter from Hamlin to "Saicus" of the Levant Herald [undated]

Subseries I.2: The Personal Papers of Cyrus Hamlin

In addition to documenting the founding of the College, this record group contains some personal papers of Cyrus Hamlin. They include his earlier activities in Maine as well as his longtime involvement in the Near East. The personal papers are chronologically arranged. They include sermons (1837-1839, 1841, 1843, 1858 and undated); lectures on Africa and "the conflict of Science and Religion"; a minute book recording visits among the Irish immigrants in Maine; and the management of an evening school for Irish Catholics, 1836-1844.

There is a journal of Hamlin's travels in Turkey as a teacher and missionary, 1840-1844, and another journal of a brief trip to Salonica and the Balkans in 1844.

Among the other papers are accounts of his work at the seminary in Bebek prior to the founding of the college; a letter to his children, 1848; and a memorandum of his visit to his patients afflicted with cholera during the 1860s that includes their symptoms and treatment.

These journals and documents are noteworthy because they contain more detailed accounts than those in Hamlin's published memoir, My Life and Times (1893).

Box 3 Folder 1 to 9 Hamlin, sermons, 1837-1896

Box 3 Folder 10-11 Hamlin, lectures, 1834, 1837, 1834, 1837

Box 3 Folder 12 Hamlin, minute book of visits among the Irish, 1836-1847 and travels in Turkey as teacher and missionary, 1840-1846, 1836-1847, 1840-1846

(more detailed than the accounts in My Life and Times)

Box 3 Folder 13 Hamlin, records of seminary at Bebek, 1840s-1850s

Box 3 Folder 14 Hamlin, letter to his children, 1848

Box 3 Folder 15 Memo on visits to cholera patients, 1860s

Box 3 Folder 16 Correspondence to Hamlin from his brother Hannibal Hamlin, 1859-, 1862

Box 3 Folder 17 Correspondence to Hamlin, 1860

Box 3 Folder 18 Hamlin, family correspondence, early, 1860s

Box 3 Folder 19 Mary Hamlin, notes, 1874

Box 3 Folder 20 Account of a memorial service for "Susie", [undated]