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President's Office Records. Heman Humphrey

 Record Group — Box: RG 003-1
Identifier: RG 003-002

Scope and Contents

Series 1: Correspondence - mostly contains letters to and from Heman Humphrey. The folder of correspondence directly related to Humphrey is arranged in chronological order. The majority of the correspondence pertains to College business but includes at least four letters from before and after Humphrey's time at Amherst College. One letter from 1824 describes the fight to obtain the College's charter. Another, signed by a James Humphrey, indicates contrition for having violated the school's drinking rules. This folder also includes a fragment, possibly of a diploma, including Humphrey's signature.

The second folder in this series contains correspondence written by Amherst College students. One fragmentary letter, presumably written by Loyal Case Kellogg (AC 1836) in 1834, indicates disatisfaction with the strict rules on tobacco consumption put in place by Amherst College faculty. The other four letters in the folder are from 1843 and were written by Edward Augustus Russell (AC 1844). One letter was written to a friend, two others to his mother, and one to his sister - all four describing college life. It is unclear the connection to the Humphrey subgroup of presidential records, though Russell does indicate in the letter to a friend: "...President Humphrey who read my letters which he said were satisfactory..."

Series 2: Administrative Material - contains resolutions of the Board of Trustees during Humphrey's tenure. Topics addressed include punishment for crimes committed and the comportment of the students. This series also includes leave of absence slips signed by Humphrey.

Series 3: Addresses and Sermons - comprises original compositions by Humphrey in both printed and manuscript form. This series includes the manuscript draft for "Sketches of the Early History of Amherst College," a pamphlet produced by the Trustees in 1905. The 1905 pamphlet is also included (Box 1 Folder 9). Other writings include Humphrey's inaugural address and the address given at the dedication of Johnson Chapel.


  • 1822-1905
  • Majority of material found within 1822-1861


Conditions Governing Access

There is no restriction on access to the President's Office Records. Heman Humphrey for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the President's Office Records. Heman Humphrey 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.


7 folder

Language of Materials



This collection, a part of the President’s Office Records, contains the correspondence, administrative material, addresses, and sermons of Heman Humphrey while he served as Amherst College’s second president.


This subgroup is arranged in three series:

  1. Series 1: Correspondence, 1822-1861
  2. Series 2: Administrative Material, 1827-1841
  3. Series 3: Address and Sermons, 1822-1905

Custodial History

The provenance of the first seven presidents' record groups is cloudy. With a single exception there is no record of when or how these documents entered the College Archives. These records were distributed through the Archives. Most items were in biographical files of individual presidents; some items were filed in the "General Files" (subject files). The College Archives holdings were searched and the records of the first seven presidents were brought together under this larger Record Group (RG 003 Office of the President).

Related Materials

  1. "Sketches of the Early History of Amherst College" published in 1905 by the College. Written by Heman Humphrey.
  2. MA.00212 Heman Humphrey Sermons, 1813-1861
  3. Non-Alumni Biographical Files

Separated Materials

Typescript transcriptions of letters, addresses and other administrative information were removed and added to the control file. Also removed: a duplicate copy of "Sketches of Amherst College" by Heman Humphrey.

Processing Information

This collection was originally part of the Early President's Office Records. In preparation for digitizing parts of the collection for the Bicentennial project, the Early President's Office Records was folded into the President's Office Records to create a single records group (RG 003). Each president received their own subgroup under this new records group.

Rachel Jirka, college archivist
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299