Collection ID: A.W92

Collection context


Works, Adam Clark, 1834-1908
11 boxes and 9 archival boxes, 1 artifact box, and 1 scroll box.
English .
Preferred citation:

[Item title, item date], Adam Clark Works Papers, A.W92, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester


Scope and Content:

The Adam Clark Works Papers contain correspondence from his family and friends. Also included are diaries belonging to Adam Clark Works, his first wife, Mrs. Elida I. (Van Sickle) Works, his second wife, Mrs. Ellen (Mihill) Works, his daughter, Ruth Elida Works, and his brother, George Washington William Works. The collection also contains memorabilia, photographs and a china figurine, "Three O'Clock in the Morning." The bulk of his papers are from the 1860's. The family correspondence includes letters from his mother, Mrs. Julia (Coolidge) Works Crouch, his brothers, George Washington William Works, Robert Miller Works, Obadiah Works, his halfbrothers, James Chesterfield Crouch, Benjamin F. Crouch, and his uncle, George Griswold, who raised him after his father, George W. Works, died in 1839. The collection includes courtship and marriage letters, from both wives of Adam Clark Works. His first wife, Elida, died in 1869 after a prolonged illness. Her letters are filled with descriptive detail concerning methods of medical treatment at the Castile Water Cure Sanatorium in 1868. Adam Clark Works' in-laws, Mary and Henry C. C. Van Sickel (or Van Sickle), referred to as "Ma" and "Pa," and the Rev. Norris and Mellissa (Lamson) Mihill (or Mihills) carried on an extensive correspondence with him. The sisters of his second wife, Ellen, Mrs. Emma (Mihill) Marsh and Mrs. Caroline (Mihill) Lengfeld also wrote often. Adam Clark Works' correspondence also includes letters from many friends. Several were from former students and teaching acquaintances. The Rev. Herbert Franklin Fisk, President of Genesee Wesleyan Seminary (1868-72) and Principal of the Preparatory School at Northwestern University wrote frequently. Another close friend that he corresponded with throughout his adult life was James M. Hodge, a professor of natural science at Fort Edward Collegiate Institute, Fort Edward, N.Y. and later a partner in Ogelsby and Hodge, Plumbers, Gas & Steam Fitters of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He also corresponded with Joel Dorman Steele (1836-1886), author of several scientific and historical books. Of special interest are the letters from Robert H. Skinner, which give a detailed account of the Civil War from his enlistment in the 77th Regiment, N.Y. Volunteers, Company D, from November 7, 1861 until his release on March 12, 1863. Lt. Skinner's letters describe his company's march to Washington, the camp conditions, Army supplies, military engagements, medical treatment of the wounded, and the attitude of the men toward the war.

The original organization of this collection included the following list of correspondence with indexed dates:

Inclusive Dates of Correspondence from Select Individuals:

Herbert Franklin Fisk: 1872-1880

James M. Hodge: 1860-1881, 1896, 1906

Robert H. Skinner: 1861-1863, 1871, 1883

Joel Dorman Steele: 1868-1869, 1878 (Indexed)

Joel Dorman Steele to Adam Clark Works: August 28, 1868

Joel Dorman Steele to Adam Clark Works: September 26, 1868

Joel Dorman Steele to Adam Clark Works: February 24, 1869

Joel Dorman Steele to Adam Clark Works: March 21, 1869

Joel Dorman Steele to Adam Clark Works: September 2, 1878

Biographical / Historical:

Adam Clark Works (1834-1908) was educated at Fort Edward Collegiate Institute, Fort Edward, NY, and Union College, and he began teaching at Fort Edward Collegiate Institute on August 13, 1857. He taught mathematics until 1868 and natural science until June, 1872, at the Institute. He went to Genesee Wesleyan Seminary, Lima, N.Y., in September, 1872, as a teacher of natural science until his death, June 17, 1908.

Acquisition information:
The papers were given to the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections by Miss Ruth L. Works in October 1969, June 1970 and January 1971. The addition of a diploma was received from Miss Works, December 9, 1980. The three photographs and Ingelow Public programfound in folder 22 of box 9 were donated June 12, 1981.

The collection is broken into five series:

Series I: Family correspondence, 1850-1918

Series II: Correspondence with friends, 1854-1908

Series III: Family diaries, 1854-1907

Series IV: Family memorabilia, 1851-1928

Series V: Artifacts

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard



The Adam Clark Works papers are open for research use. Researchers are advised to contact the Rare Books Special Collections & Preservation Department prior to visiting. Upon arrival, researchers will also be asked to fill out a registration form and provide photo identification.


In consultation with a curator, reproductions may be made upon request. Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from a curator. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions.


[Item title, item date], Adam Clark Works Papers, A.W92, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Rush Rhees Library
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Rochester, NY 14627, United States
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