Restrictions

Researchers may not use the original journal; instead they are to use the microfilm version contained in the collection.

Abstract

Papers of Alfred North (1807-1869), Presbyterian missionary, minister, and printer. North served abroad for the American Board in Singapore (1836-1843) and in Madura, India (1843-1847). He subsequently worked as a minister in New York, Kansas, Missouri, and Wisconsin until his death in 1869. The collection is arranged in three series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE; 2) JOURNAL, 1835-1836; and 3) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS. The bulk of the materials comprise letters (1857-1869) to A.P. Marvin, a longtime friend and fellow minister, regarding religious issues. North's journal describes his ocean voyage to Singapore by way of the Cape of Good Hope, the Dutch settlement of Cape Town, and the settlement of Singapore. Also included are research materials created by Mary North Shimkin for her family history entitled Descendants of John North of Farmington, Connecticut (1987).

Biography

Alfred North was born in Exeter, New Hampshire on March 10, 1807. In 1832, he went to Utica, New York, where he attended a denominational school, studied religion, and trained to be a printer.

He became a Presbyterian missionary and, in 1835, was assigned to Singapore by the Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. For eight years he served as superintendent of the printing department at the Singapore Mission, teacher, and preacher. After the Singapore mission closed in 1843, North moved with his wife, Minerva, and four children to the Madura Mission in India. Shortly after his arrival, he lost his wife to cholera.

North returned to the United States in 1847 and focused on preaching. He worked in Trenton, Middlefield, Pittsford, and Attica, New York; Kansas City, Kansas; Tipton, Missouri; and Chilton, Wisconsin. Alfred North died on March 3, 1869 of pneumonia.

For an extensive biographical essay on Alfred North, see Mary North Shimkin's family history Descendants of John North of Farmington, Connecticut (1987) in this collection.

Scope and Content

Accessions Processed in 1993

The ALFRED NORTH CORRESPONDENCE primarily contain the letters of a Presbyterian minister from New England regarding religious matters. The collection is arranged in three series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) JOURNAL, and 3) MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS.

The CORRESPONDENCE series comprises two subseries, each arranged chronologically. The "Letters from Alfred North" subseries contains sixty-one letters (1856-1869), arranged chronologically, from Alfred North to A.P. Marvin, a longtime friend and fellow Protestant minister. North wrote about issues of church and pulpit, the interpretation of scripture, and the problems associated with the expansion of the Protestantism in Kansas and Missouri. Also included in the subseries is a letter written in 1844 by North to his father, Dr. Nathan North, which describes a cholera epidemic at the American Mission in Madura, India, where he lived with his family. In the letter, North describes the death of his wife from the disease. A part of this letter was published in Transactions & Studies of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia ser.5, vol.5, no.1 (1983): 13-17.

The "Miscellaneous letters" subseries contains letters created by authors other than Alfred North. Included is a letter from North's bookbinder (20 March 1843); a letter from a student at the Madura mission to Alfred's mother (8 December 1846); a letter from North's sister, Anna, to Mr. Dickinson shortly after Alfred's death (10 April 1869); a letter from A.P. Marvin to Anna (9 April 1869); and three letters from Mary A. Marvin, A.P. Marvin's daughter, to Thomas H. North, Alfred's son, regarding the return of his father's letters.

The JOURNAL of Alfred North (1835-1836) begins with his embarcation at Boston on July 20, 1835 aboard the bark "Rosabella" bound for China via the Cape of Good Hope. North, a prolific, thoughtful writer, describes life aboard ship, the Dutch settlement of Cape Town, the passage to Batavia by way of Java, and the settlement of Singapore. His duties at the mission in Singapore included managing the printing department and preaching. North's detailed descriptions often reflect his interest in human nature and evolution, in language, and in religious interpretation.

The MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS series contains a sample of North's printing press work, a file of research materials created by Mary North Shimkin for her family history entitled Descendants of John North of Farmington, Connecticut (1987), and a copy of the published family history.

CORRESPONDENCE

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11 Letters from Alfred North, 1832 - 1869.
12 Miscellaneous letters.

JOURNAL, 1835-1836

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13 Journal, 1835 - 1836.
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MISCELLANEOUS MATERIALS

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14 Sample of Alfred North's printing.
15 Research materials created by Mary Shimkin.
16 Shimkin, Mary North. Descendants of John North of Farmington, Connecticut, 1987.



Finding aid generated: 2005-10-31