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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Ebenezer Alden Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1838-1878
Creator: Alden, Ebenezer (-1899)
Extent: 2.50 linear inches.
Collection Number: MSC0349
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Student at Andover Theological Seminary, member of the Iowa band, Congregational minister in Tipton, Cedar County, Iowa, and Marshfield, Massachusetts. Reports, letters, and student papers.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: This collection was purchased by University of Iowa Libraries in 1977.

Preferred Citation: Ebenezer Alden Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

Ebenezer Alden attended Andover Seminary. He was ordained November 5, 1843 in Denmark, Iowa. Alden served as Congregationalist minister in Tipton, Iowa from 1844 to 1848. While he was in Iowa, he was a member of the Iowa Band. For thirty-five years, beginning in 1850, he was pastor of the First Congregational Church of Marshfield, Massachusetts, and was pastor or pastor emeritus up to the time of his death on January 4, 1899.

For further biographical information on Alden, see the Books At Iowa essay.

This collection is made up of letters, reports, and addresses. Of special interest is a four-page letter written to Reverend Alden while he was at Andover Seminary, June 8, 1841, which describes life on steamboats as "wicked" and "degrading." Also of interest is a report by Alden on western boatmen. The collection includes information on the American Bethel Society for Sailors. Also present here is information on the Millerites. A series of quarterly, monthly, and annual reports from Tipton, 1844-1845, provides information about a small town frontier mission, which includes such topics as slavery, temperance, the "Big Woods," the bleak prairie, and fever and sickness.
The collection is comprised of 37 items making up 257 pages.

Browse by Series:

  • Box 1:
  • Addresses given while a student at Andover Theological Seminary
  • "The Schoolmen" (11 p.), March 31 - 1842
  • "Liberality among learned men" (6 p.), January 12 - 1842
  • "The connexion of biography with philosophy and theology" (4 p.), October 23 - 1841
  • "The tendency of extreme democracy is to despotism" (4 p.), July 6 - 1842
  • "Importance of an acquaintance with Mental Philosophy to the Minister of the Gospel" (4 p.), undated - n.d.
  • "Weakness of Scepticism" (7 p.), undated - n.d.
  • "Familiarity with Great Men" (7 p.), November - 1842
  • "Our obligations to Monastic institutions" (4 p.) - 1838
  • "Is the secular enterprise of New England subversive of morals?" (3 p.), undated - n.d.
  • "Latimer as a preacher" (8 p.), undated - n.d.
  • Address on the Jesuits (4 p.), February 10 - 1841
  • ALS, Alden to Rev. Mr. Foster, from Marshfield, Massachusetts, November 3 - 1852
    Regarding the religious views of Daniel Webster (4 p.)
  • "Change in the day of the Sabbath," an address read before the Northern Association (8 p.), May 7 - 1845
  • A declamation, "Influence of 'internal improvements' upon morals and religion" (7 p.), November - 1842
    Deals with the moral influence of railroads and refers to transportation of people to Millerite Camp Meetings on the Sabbath. Also, a letter to the editor of the Vermont Statesmen on the Millerites signed "Lynx" (1 p.)
  • Lecture notes from courses at Andover Theological Seminary - 1840-1842
    Taught by Leonard Woods and Moses Stuart. Bound notebook, 20 cm, 73 leaves. Holograph. Signatures on first and second pages
  • Letter from Ebenezer Alden to his uncle (Henry B. Alden) and aunt in Randolph, Massachusetts
    Typewritten transcription
  • Notes on the collection which were included at the time of purchase
  • Professor Shepard's lectures on sermonizing (71 p.) - 1843
  • Remarks about John Magoun, Esq. (4 p.) - 1806, 1878
  • "Remarks on announcing my intention of leaving Tipton," made to the Church (4 p.), August 20 - 1848
  • "Report before the Society of Inquiry" on boatmen (9 p.)
    Includes a letter to Alden from North Bridgewater, Massachusetts, June 8, 1841, on steamboats, riverboats, flatboats and Sabbath-breaking (4 p.)
  • Reports from Tipton, Iowa (ca. 80 p.) - 1844-1846

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Personal Names:
Alden, Ebenezer, 1819-1899

Congregational churches


Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa -- Tipton

Genre/Form of Materials:

Clergy and the Church