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Joseph Estabrook Letter

 Collection
Identifier: MS-3494

Joseph Estabrook wrote this letter to his cousin, Colonel John Wood, on December 25, 1835 from Knoxville, Tennessee. In it, he describes his wife’s continuously declining health and inquires, at length, about many members of his extended family. He also discusses his position as president of East Tennessee College, writing fondly of the college on the hill and comparing it to Amherst and Yale.

Dates

  • 1835 December 25

Language

The material in this collection is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

0.1 Linear Feet

Abstract

Joseph Estabrook wrote this letter to his cousin, Colonel John Wood, on December 25, 1835 from Knoxville, Tennessee. In it, he describes his wife’s continuously declining health and inquires, at length, about many members of his extended family. He also discusses his position as president of East Tennessee College, writing fondly of the college on the hill and comparing it to Amherst and Yale.

Biographical/Historical Note

Joseph Estabrook was born in Lebanon, New Hampshire to Hobart and Ann (Hyde) Estabrook on December 7, 1792. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1815 and entered Princeton to pursue a career in the ministry, but a throat affliction forced him to abandon this calling. He became a teacher instead and began working as the principal of Amherst Academy in 1817. When the school was reorganized as Amherst College in 1821, Estabrook became a professor of Greek and Latin. Throughout his time at Amherst, he was known as something of an eccentric, using snuff prodigiously and shocking the townsfolk by firing a gun on Sunday. Estabrook married Nancy Dickinson (1806-1846) in 1823 and the couple moved to Staunton, Virginia in 1824. Here, Estabrook served as the principal of a school for girls. He came to Knoxville in 1834 as the President of the Knoxville Female Academy and became the President of East Tennessee University in 1840.

During his administration, Estabrook relaxed discipline, created a faculty of scholarly professors, and oversaw the building program that led to the construction of the East and West College buildings. Courses of instruction became more organized, catalogs were published for the first time, an alumni association was formed, and the first literary societies, Philomathesian and Chi Delta, were created. The school also assumed its military character during this time. Estabrook resigned in 1850 to found the Salt Works at Oliver Springs, Tennessee. He married Angelina Matilda Wiley (born 1834) on April 9, 1853 and the couple had one son, Joseph Jr., who died in a fall at the age of 13 months. Joseph Estabrook died on May 18, 1855 in Knoxville and was buried next to his son. Both were moved to the Oliver Springs Cemetery in 1888.

Arrangement

This collection consists of a single folder.

Acquisition Note

Thomas W. Broadhead donated this letter to Special Collections on April 26, 2011.

Related Archival Materials

Interested researchers may wish to consult MS.3368, Nancy Dickinson Estabrook Diary.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480