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Benjamin S. Stivers commonplace book

Ms. Codex 1771

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Creator:
Stivers, Benjamin S., 1816-1844
Title:
Benjamin S. Stivers commonplace book
Date [inclusive]:
1836-1844
Call Number:
Ms. Codex 1771
Extent:
1 volume
Language:
English
Abstract:
A volume with worn covers consisting of poems and prose by Benjamin S. Stivers spanning the years from 1836 to 1843.
Cite as:
Benjamin S. Stivers commonplace book, 1836-1844, Ms. Codex 1771, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

Stivers was born in Sussex County, New Jersey to Randal Stivers (1765-1841) and Eunice Holton (1780-1845). Benjamin was appointed postmaster in Branchville, New Jersey, December 15, 1841. According to his obituary, Stivers was self-educated and "wrote with clearness and energy both in prose and verse."

Scope and Contents

A ruled volume with worn covers consisting of poems and prose by Benjamin S. Stivers spanning the years from 1836 to 1843. Following the first four leaves of the volume are sixty-nine numbered pages; the remainder is blank. The handwritten poems, lines, and prose with calligraphic flourishes are comprised of reminiscences, lines written for others' albums, acrostics, stories, and a song. There are poems regarding American Indians entitled, The Cherokee resolve and Removal of the Cherokee. Other works in the book include: Things I love, The schoolmaster's soliloquy, Our solar system, The Indian's toilet, The march of reform, and An adventure. There is also a political song entitled, New Jersey hurrah song: written for a Whig celebration at Branchville. A short biography of a local man known as Uncle Phillip, a believer in superstitions and witchcraft is written on pages sixty to sixty-six. The profile of Uncle Phillip appears to be written in a different hand and has a note at the end indicating the work was published in 1852. Stivers' obituary is pasted on page thirty-eight attributed to B. B. Edsall of the Sussex register. Some of Stivers' poems were published in local newspapers. Pasted on the inside front cover are newspaper clippings of two poems written in volume, Removal of the Cherokee and Content, where art thou. Pasted on the inside back cover is a clipping "Anniversary ode, written for the celebration of the Fourth of July, 1843" by Stivers. Written on the cover of the volume is B. S. Stivers's scrap book and on the second leaf is written Benjamin S. Stivers's scrap book.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  September 2016

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Donna Brandolisio

Access Restrictions

Access to this item is subject to staff review.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Source of Acquisition

Sold by White Fox Rare Books and Antiques (West Windsor, Vermont), 2016.

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Controlled Access Headings

Form/Genre(s)
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Codices (bound manuscripts)
  • Commonplace books
  • Manuscripts, American--19th century
  • Poems
Subject(s)
  • American poetry--19th century--Specimens
  • American poetry--New Jersey--Branchville--19th century

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Collection Inventory

Volume

Benjamin S. Stivers commonplace book, 1836-1844.

1