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J. J. Blaisdell papers

 Collection
Identifier: MC 20

Scope and Contents

This collection contains addresses and writings, biographical information, photographs, correspondence, and memorial documents for J. J. Blaisdell. There is a small amount of materials related to his sister, Sarah Blaisdell, and his wife, Susan Allen Blaisdell, as well as correspondence about him between his son, James A. Blaisdell and the college archivists.

Dates

  • Majority of material found within 1859-1896, 1998

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research; however, certain materials are very fragile and require Archives staff for handling, or use may be restricted altogether.

Biographical / Historical

Born in Canaan, New Hampshire on February 8, 1827, Joshua James (but called James Joshua) grew up in nearby Lebanon, New Hampshire. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1846, and afterward became a Congregational pastor. In 1853 he married Susan Ann Allen. He came to Beloit to teach Rhetoric and Philosophy in 1859. He based his teachings on Platonism and Christianity. With his lectures on "Ethics," "Logic," and "Evidence of Christianity," he taught to both his classes and the public. He treated his students as individuals, not conforming to the traditional teaching methods of the time. People described his personality as genial yet puritanical, and he opposed change.

Blaisdell also became involved in several community activities. In 1864 he became chaplain of the 40th Wisconsin volunteers in the Hundred Days' service in Memphis. He took on the responsibility of the Beloit schools in 1864. He was a member of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters, and became vice president of letters in 1894-95. He was also the President of the Wisconsin Children's Home Society 1893-96, Chairman of the Committee on Reformation of Penitentiaries for the State Conference of Charities and Corrections, and one of the directors of the YMCA. In 1873 he was awarded a Doctorate of Divinity from Knox College and Dartmouth. He authored the book Visions of a Citizen, which was published after his death in October 1896.

(biography adapted from from Robert K. Richardson's unpublished Beloit College history manuscript)

Extent

1.5 Linear Feet (2 boxes, loose volumes)

Overview

J. J. Blaisdell was one of Beloit College's five "Old Guard" members and a professor of Rhetoric, English Literature, and Philosophy from 1859 until his death in 1896. He was also an ordained minister and an early environmentalist. This collection contains addresses and writings, biographical information, photographs, correspondence, and memorial documents for J. J. Blaisdell. There is a small amount of materials related to his sister, Sarah Blaisdell, and his wife, Susan Allen Blaisdell, as well as correspondence about him between his son, James A. Blaisdell and the college archivists.
Title
J. J. Blaisdell papers
Status
Completed
Author
Michelle Tom
Date
January, 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Beloit College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
700 College St.
Beloit WI 53511 USA
608-363-2485