Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Alexander Family Papers, 1818-1956
BANC MSS P-N 105 FILM  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (106.00 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Overview
 
Table of contents What's This?
Description
Include papers of William P. Alexander, pioneer missionary to the Sandwich Islands (letters and journals); letters written by his wife, Mary Ann (McKinney) Alexander; and papers of their son William DeWitt Alexander, including letters from Hiram Bingham, James Dwight Dana, George Davidson, Nathaniel Bright Emerson, Chester S. Lyman, Susan Lincoln Tolman Mills, William E. Safford, Cyrus Thomas, etc.
Background
Both William Patterson Alexander (1805-1884) and Dwight Baldwin (1798-1886) were pioneer missionaries to the Sandwich Islands. In December, 1830, Dr. Baldwin, having just completed his medical studies at Harvard, married Charlotte Fowler and set sail with three other bridal, missionary couples aboard a whaler from New Bedford, Massachusetts (The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions had recently decreed that only missionaries accompanied by their wives should be sent out.). In November 1831, William P. Alexander and his bride of less than a month, Mary Ann McKinney, also sailed from New Bedford on a whaler, in company with eight other missionary couples. In each case bride and bridegroom were practically strangers to each other, for neither couple had even met each other until a few weeks before embarking together, not only on a long and perilous journey, but upon a life-long association in strange and savage lands far from family and friends. However, both of the marriages turned out to be singularly happy, and the families, united by their mutual labors and also by marriages of their children, unusually close-knit and harmonious.
Extent
Number of microfilm reels: 6
Restrictions
Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Availability
Collection is open for research.