Contents List

Box 1

Folder 1: November 10, 1793
To Myron Holley (Williamstown) from Milton Holley (Salisbury)
Milton, who is at home in Salisbury, writes to Myron and asks for news of school. He tells Myron that he will visit Williams soon and bring textbooks.

Folder 2: December 29, 1793
To Luther Holley (Salisbury) from Milton Holley (Williamstown)
Milton informs his father that he has safely arrived at school and that he will be studying geography until vacation. He likes the town and his rooming situation, and has paid his board to Mr. Dewey.

Folder 3: January 2, 1794
To Luther Holley (Salisbury) from Milton Holley (Williamstown)
Milton tells his father that a storm has delayed Horace's trip home from school, and that he himself will be home for vacation in two weeks after he's finished his study of geography. He includes a list of schooling expenses such as tuition, room rent, sweeping, etc.

Folder 4: November 14, 1794
To Milton Holley (Salisbury) from Ephraim Judson (Williamstown)
No significant news. Judson thanks Milton for his letter dated July 9, 1794, and mentions Milton's upcoming trip to New York.

Folder 5: November 15, 1794
To Milton Holley (Salisbury) from Thomas Fitch (Williamstown)
Thomas waxes rhapsodic regarding the act of corresponding with friends, an especially needful activity when "study becomes tiresome or insiped [sic]."

Folder 6: January 3, 1795
To Milton Holley (Salisbury) from Thomas Fitch (Williamstown)
Fitch expresses joy at hearing from Milton, and invites him to an exhibition at the College on January 20.

Folder 7: March 23, 1796
To Milton Holley (Dover) from Thomas Fitch (Williamstown)
Thomas invites Milton to Williamstown for the vacation, and comments on Milton's description of Genesee.

Folder 8: April 20, 1796
To Milton Holley (Dover) from Ephraim Judson (Williamstown)
The address indicates that the Holley family has moved from Salisbury to Dover. Judson writes that College life is very pleasant. He is thinking about his future departure into the professional world and wonders what course he will eventually decide to pursue.

Folder 9: April 21, 1796
To Milton Holley (Dover) from Thomas Fitch (Williamstown)
Milton is about to depart on a land-surveying expedition to Ohio (this trip kept him away from home from April 28 to November 16). Fitch wishes him good luck and asks him not to forget their friendship while he's away.

Folder 10: January 3, 1797
To Luther Holley (Dover) from Milton Holley (Williamstown)
Milton has returned to Williams after a prolonged absence. President Fitch told him that he may study philosophy with the rest of the junior class after vacation if he studies algebra, geometry and conic sections now. He complains of the shortage of books at the College and asks his father if he can send some. Milton also asks his father to permit Myron to stay at Williams and extols both the virtues of an education and his brother's abilities. Finally, he requests that his mother send him stockings and shoes for an upcoming ball. A p.s. includes the news that he will sell his watch to his classmate, Moses Curtis.

Folder 11: February 20, 1797
To Sarah Holley (Dover) from Milton Holley (Williamstown)
Milton sends a deeply affectionate letter to his mother and tells her that he and Myron are rooming at Mr. Skinner's house and boarding with the Starkweather's.

Folder 12: February 27, 1797
To Luther Holley (probably Dover) from Myron Holley (Williamstown)
Milton and Myron are back at school after a vacation. As they had planned, they are studying philosophy with the junior class and will soon begin taking general history with Dr. Priestly. Myron mentions that President Fitch had been quite ill but has made a full recovery.

Folder 13: March 23, 1797
To Milton Holley (Williamstown) from Sarah Holley (Dover)
Sarah tells Milton about his father's agreement with Mr. Porter for some land at Genesee. She hopes that Luther will like the new land enough to move there, since she dislikes living in Dover.

Folder 14: March 28, 1797
To Luther Holley (Dover) from Milton Holley (Williamstown)
Milton tells his father that he believes the Genesee investment will be a profitable one. He thanks his father for sending him to school and promises to use the opportunity well. He also promises to take care of his father in old age and expresses his gratitude for all of the advantages he has enjoyed. Milton thinks of his impending entrance into the adult professional world and his inexperience, and asks his father for guidance and advice.

Folder 15: April 21, 1797
To Luther Holley (Dover) from Milton Holley (Williamstown)
Milton expresses satisfaction with his intellectual pursuits and hopes he has gained his father's approval. He has just finished studying philosophy and will now begin astronomy. Money is a problem, and Milton gives his father a detailed list of his expenses. He offers to sell his and Myron's furniture if Myron doesn't return to Williams.

Folder 16: May 11, 1797
To Luther Holley (Dover) from Myron Holley (Williamstown)
Luther has told Myron that he thinks a Williams education is too expensive. Myron pleads with his father to let him stay, citing all the advantages of an education at Williams: quality of professors and library, importance of student interaction, and intellectual caliber of his classmates.

Folder 17: June 18, 1797
To Milton Holley (Dover) from Moses Curtis (Williamstown)
Milton is lonely back at Dover and misses his friends and studies. Curtis is a particularly expressive writer and his letter is an entertaining review of social life at Williams, including a consolation on the lack of eligible young ladies in Dover.

Folder 18: June 21, 1797
To Luther Holley (Dover) from Myron Holley (Williamstown)
Myron has arrived back at school and is studying logic and Latin.

Folder 19: June 22, 1797
To Milton Holley (Dover) from Elijah Mills (Williamstown)
Milton is unhappy about his current situation and Mills gives him advice and support. Mills discusses his upcoming graduation and can't believe that college is nearly over.

Folder 20: July 11, 1797
To Milton Holley (Dover) from Martin Field (Williamstown)
Field brings news of social life at Williams. He tells Milton that all the Williamstown ladies miss him and that all of his friends at Williams are doing well.

Folder 21: July 29, 1797
To Milton Holley (Dover) from E. Hunt Mills (Williamstown)
Mills writes of upcoming examinations, the five- week vacation and his graduation from Williams into the "troubled world." Milton is invited to attend Commencement exercises.

Folder 22: August 24, 1797
To Milton Holley (Dover) from Moses S. Curtis (Williamstown)
Curtis is fearful of the rapidly approaching examination period, but writes warmly of "the ladies" of Williamstown. Myron is apparently lovesick, Curtis says, but he "cannot tell whether it is for the ladies or religion."

Folder 23: November 7, 1797
To Milton Holley (Dover) from William Billings (Williamstown)
Billings catches Milton up on local news. He discusses various marriages and breakups, and tells Milton that the Williamstown ladies miss him. He envies Milton's independence and wishes that he too were searching for a mate and establishing himself in business instead of remaining under the direction of the College faculty.

Folder 24: November 26, 1797
To Milton Holley (Dover) from Moses Curtis (Williamstown)
A very entertaining, comical letter from Curtis, urging his absent friend to write.

Folder 25: December 10, 1797
To Milton Holley (Dover) from Thomas Fitch (Williamstown)
Fitch thanks Milton for the letter Milton sent by his brother, Myron. He also tells of students Bradford Marcy and Daniel Tomlinson, the one who left College and the other who has joined Fitch's class. He also expresses his opinion of Locke and Edward, the works that his class is reading.

Folder 26: December 27, 1797
To Milton Holley (Dover) from Moses Curtis (Williamstown)
Curtis sends general news of Williams life in his usual witty style. He invites Milton to an exhibition on January 16 and thinks the visit with his old College friends will do Milton good.

Folder 27: January 6, 1798
To Luther Holley (Albany) from Myron Holley (Williamstown)
Myron mentions that Horace had been ill and had been bled, but that he recovered quickly and is doing well in geography. Myron once again reminds his father of the advantages of a Williams education. He also invites his father to come to the exhibition on January 16 and tells him that he will be prepared to enter the senior class the following fall.

Folder 28: January 1797 [probably 1798]
To Milton Holley (Dover) from Horace Holley (Williamstown)
Horace mentions to his brother his studies in history and geography, but writes more evocatively concerning the exhibition ball that took place January 16th. It appears that there were two balls that evening, one held by the scholars and a second run by the townspeople.

Folder 29: April 15, 1798
To Milton Holley (Dover) from Moses Curtis (Williamstown)
Milton had been ill that winter and Curtis comforts him. Curtis is confused and agitated about what course he will pursue after college and his letter contains frenzied philosophizing on the nature of man. He is anxious to join the professional world, whereas Milton laments being unable to pursue his intellectual interests.

Folder 30: April 16, 1798
To Milton Holley (Dover) from Horace Holley (Williamstown)
Horace expresses his appreciation of Milton both as a brother and as a friend. He is enjoying his studies but is also quite homesick and eagerly anticipates his next vacation.

Folder 31: April 22, 1798
To Luther Holley (Dover) from Myron Holley (Williamstown)
Myron updates his father on what he's studying and discusses the work he must yet complete before reentering in the fall. He indicates his plans to come home for vacation in a few weeks and makes transportation arrangements.

Folder 32: May 14, 1798
To Milton Holley (Dover) from William H. Williams (Williamstown)
Williams misses rooming with Milton and wishes to keep in touch.

Folder 33: November 11, 1798
To Myron Holley (Williamstown) from Milton Holley (Dover)
The brothers had had a disagreement in an earlier letter, and Milton assures Myron that all is once again well between them. Milton follows with a discussion of the conflict Americans feel between their desire on the one hand to establish a national character, and their inclination, on the other, to imitate European mannerisms.

Folder 34: April 29, 1799
To Milton Holley (Dover) from Thomas Fitch (Williamstown)
Fitch apologizes for not writing sooner and blames his tardy correspondence on exam stress. He also thanks Milton for his sympathy on the death of his father.

John Milton Holley (1777-1836) Papers, 1793-1799

Biographical Note
Scope and Content Note