Henry J. Van Lennep (AC 1837) Sketches and Papers
Scope and Contents
The bulk of the collection consists of pencil sketches and watercolors of scenery, people and artifacts, chiefly Turkish but also some American. In addition, a small amount of personal papers include passports related to his travel as a missionary in Turkey, a notebook of sermons written by Van Lennep in Armenian, and portrait photographs.
- Creation: 1834-1879
Conditions Governing Access
There is no restriction on access to the collection for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes.
Conditions Governing Use
Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.
Biographical / Historical
Henry John Van Lennep (AC 1837), a noted 19th-century Christian minister, missionary, writer and educator, was born in Smyrna (present-day Izmir, Turkey) in 1815. In 1830 he was sent to the United States for his education. He prepared for college at Mount Pleasant Institute, Amherst, Mass., and Hartford (Conn.) Grammar School. After graduating from Amherst College in 1837, he attended Andover Theological Seminary for one year, then studied with Rev. Joel Hawes in Hartford and was ordained a Congregational minister in 1839. He served as a missionary with the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions for twenty-nine years beginning in 1840, in Smyrna (1840-44 and 1863-69), Constantinople (1844-54), and Tocat (1854-56). Van Lennep traveled extensively throughout the region of western Asia and Egypt. After losing his sight from cataract in 1869, he returned to the United States. He taught as a professor of natural sciences and languages at Ingham University, a women's college in Le Roy, New York (1876-78), and subsequently was co-principal, with his son E.J. Van Lennep, of the Sedgwick Institute, a small private boarding school in Great Barrington, Mass.
Van Lennep was proficient in numerous languages and was also a skillful artist, sketching (in pencil or pen and ink) scenes from his extensive travels. Many of his drawings appeared in published works, which include The Oriental Album: Twenty Illustrations, in Oil Colors, of the People and Scenery of Turkey, with an Explanatory and Descriptive Text (1862); Travels in Little-known Parts of Asia Minor: with Illustrations of Biblical Literature and Researches in Archaeology (1870); and Bible Lands: their Modern Customs and Manners Illustrative of Scripture (1875). He also executed several drawings for Professor Edward Hitchcock, including his Geology of Massachusetts (1841) and Illustrations of Surface Geology (1860).
Van Lennep was married three times: to Emma L. Bliss (1839-40), Mary E. Hawes (1843-44), and Emily Ann Bird (1850-?). He had six children. Van Lennep died in Great Barrington, Mass., in 1889.
1.25 Linear feet (1 records storage box, 1 oversize flat box)
Language of Materials
Most of the collection conists of pencil sketches and watercolors of scenery, people and objects, chiefly Turkish but also some American. In addition, a small amount of personal papers include passports related to his travel as a missionary in Turkey, a notebook of sermons written by Van Lennep in Armenian, and portrait photographs.
This collection is organized into two series:
- Series 1: Artwork, 1834-1876, undated
- Series 2: Papers, 1840-1879, undated
1 records storage box, 1 oversize flat box (1.25 linear ft.)
- Peter A. Nelson
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script