I. Chapin Bartlett Papers,1858-1928

Abstract

Much of the correspondence in this collection pertains to Bartlett's family life, yet it also provides insights into life at Centre during the years just before the Civil War. As the Civil War drew nearer, Bartlett's letters reflect the Northern-Southern antagonisms at Centre, and the growing disagreement between Unionist and Secessionist both in the town of Danville and on campus. Upon graduating from Centre in 1861, Bartlett joins the Confederate army serving under John Hunt Morgan. After the war, Bartlett begins a family, becomes a successful business man, and was active in social and fraternal organizations.

Descriptive Summary

Title
I. Chapin Bartlett Papers,1858-1928
Creator
Bartlett, I. Chapin, 1842-1893
Extent
0.1 linear feet, 3 folders
Subjects
Bartlett, I. Chapin, 1842-1893
Centre College|Students
Finding Aid Author
Processed by: Processed by; machine-readable finding aid created by:Thomas Enneking
Repository
Centre College

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Irving Chapin Bartlett was born on December 19, 1842 in Clarksburg, Virginia (now West Virginia), the son ofPhipps Waldo and Emily Byrd Chapin Bartlett. In 1844 the family moved to Kentucky where young Bartlettreceived his education, attending schools in Flemingsburg and Covington.
Bartlett entered Centre College in the fall of 1858. During his years as a student, Bartlett lived the life of a fairlytypical student. He joined the Chamberlain Literary Society on campus, and during his senior year he served ascensor for the society. For a while he boarded at the home of the college president, L. W. Green. Bartlettcompleted the full classical course and graduated on June 27, 1861.
Upon graduation, Bartlett joined the Confederate Army and served under John Hunt Morgan. He was woundedin 1863 during an engagement at Edgefield, Tennessee, the wound being serious enough for Bartlett to bedischarged. By this time Bartlett had risen to the rank of lieutenant. His obituary referred to him as Colonel buttime and Kentucky's fondness for the title probably account for the higher rank.
Bartlett moved to Louisville and took a position with the Second National Bank. After several years he left tobecome a partner in the wholesale whiskey firm of John Callahan & Company. The choice of the whiskeybusiness is ironic in the light of his letter home from Centre talking about a meeting of students to boycott storesselling liquor. Later, Bartlett moved to an office with Bartley, Johnson & Company, another whiskey firm.OnDecember 19, 1884, Bartlett married Ella Glazebrook, the daughter of a prominent Louisville businessman,Austin Glazebrook. The couple had one son, Austin Glazebrook Bartlett.
Bartlett was active in social and fraternal organizations, particularly the Masons, becoming a 33 Mason. He alsoserved for a time as Eminent Commander of the Louisville Commandery of the Knights Templar. During a tripto French Lick, Bartlett took ill. He died there of heart failure on July 10, 1893. He was buried two days later inCave Hill Cemetary in Louisville. He was survived by his wife, son, and parents. Sources Centre College Catalogues, especially the 1890 edition Louisville Courier-Journal, 11 July 1893, and History of Kentucky, Vol. III. Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1928
Scope and Content
All but one of the letters in this collection fall between the years 1858 and 1861, the other letter having beenwritten in 1863. The gaps between letters, such as the one between February 27, 1859 and June 3, 1859,indicate that either Bartlett was a poor correspondent or that not all of his letters were saved. Since the letterswere written to family they tend to be chatty, asking of friends or relatives. However, the collection does provideinsights into life at Centre during the years just before the Civil War. Bartlett writes about hunting trips, hisclasses, a student being expelled for intoxication and the rivalry between his literary society, the Chamberlains,and the Deindogians. As the Civil War drew nearer, Bartlett's letters reflected the Northern-Southernantagonisms at Centre, which were felt so keenly throughout Kentucky. He described the growing disagreementbetween Unionist and Secessionist both in the town of Danville and on campus. Generally, the studentsseemed to favor the Confederacy, despite the strong Union support in the area as evidenced by theestablishment nearby of Camp Dick Robinson, a Union training camp, in the summer of 1861 while Kentuckystruggled to remain neutral. Overall, the collection is rich although small and containing gaps in time. While thecollection cannot provide a complete record of life at Centre between 1858 and 1861, it does give one theflavor of those times.

Contents of the Collection

Calendar of Letters n.d.

Unknown, probably mother. Undated, probably December 3, 1860.

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Folks. October 31, 1858.

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Parents, Aunts and Sisters. November 7, 1858.

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Mother. November 18, 1858.

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Uncle. December 6, 1858.

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Father. December 12, 1858.

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Father. January 3, 1859.

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Aunt. January 23, 1859.

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Mother. January 26, 1859.

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Aunt. February 20, 1859.

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Father. February 27, 1859.

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Father. June 3, 1859.

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Mother. June 8, 1859.

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Mother. September 18, 1859.

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Father. October 11, 1859.

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Father. October 16, 1859.

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Father. April 30, 1860.

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Mother. October 22, 1860.

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Uncle. November 22, 1860.

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Mother. December 2, 1860.

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Father. February 7, 1861.

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Father. February 24, 1861.

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Uncle. March 31, 1861.

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Composition. Undated.

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Materials pertaining to but not written by I. Chapin Bartlett n.d.

Application by Bartlett for membership into the Kentucky Society of the Sons of the American…

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Article biographizing Bartlett as part of the "History of Kentucky - The Blue Grass State," Vol. III…

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