Correspondence and ephemera collected by Ethan Ray Clarke, a Rhode Island Civil War regimental chaplain and small-town minister
in New York and Michigan, with the bulk of the material representative of the period of the 1860s-1880s.
Ethan Ray Clarke born on January 10, 1818, at Potowomut, Rhode Island, to an original Rhode Island settler's family. Clarke
was the second surviving son of the ten children of Ray Clarke (1782 - 1847) and Celia Greene (1776 - 1829 - a descendent
of the Revolutionary war hero, Nathaniel Greene.) Clarke was educated at Jamaica Plains, Massachusetts, and inherited property
from his grandfather, including a farm in Oxford, New York. He married Mary Elizabeth Millard, of Rhode Island, on October
29, 1840, and they moved to Oxford. He entered into the ministry in 1851 and became the first pastor of the newly erected
Oxford Free Will Baptist church. His children included Susan Celia (Mrs. William E. Marwin), Anna Augusta (Mrs. James P. Boyd),
Isabella Emily (Mrs. Arthur M. Mayhew), Mary Elizabeth (Mrs. William J. Rose), George Brayton Clarke (married Florence J.
Holley), and Ward Greene Clark (physician and professor of dental surgery at Rush University, Chicago). Two children, Jessie
(aged 15) and Ray (aged 10), died in 1864 and 1865 respectively.