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Benjamin Hale and Mary Caroline King Hale correspondence, 1814-1862

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: SC-59

Scope and Contents

This collection is comprised mostly of correspondence from Rev. Benjamin Hale to his wife, Mary Caroline King Hale, to his sons and daughter, and to other friends and associates from 1833-1862. The correspondence is primarily related to family affairs and travel updates but a number of Hale's letters deal with Geneva College business. Hale traveled a great deal and the majority of these letters were written by him while in places like Boston, Washington, New Jersey, Albany, New York City, and Newburyport, Massachusetts. There are also a few letters written from Europe, from aboard ship, and from Geneva, NY.

The collection also includes a series of Mary Caroline King Hale's correspondence to her husband, sisters, mother, and children from 1831-1857. Most of her letters are sent from Geneva, NY.

Finally, the last series contains miscellaneous correspondence including a few letters to Benjamin Hale and Mary Caroline King Hale, letters from other members of the King and Hale families, and letters to and from David Bates Douglass. The letters associated with David Bates Douglass are from the early years of his military career at West Point and Fort Erie. Some correspondence is unsigned or the name is illegible.


  • 1814-1862


Biographical Note

Benjamin Hale (1797-1863), President of Geneva and Hobart College from 1836-1858, had a long and distinguished career as an educator, churchman, architect, and author. He was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts in 1797 to Thomas Hale and Alice Little Hale. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1818, earned a Master's degree in 1821, and was ordained in 1822. In the early years of his career he was the principal of the first vocational trade school in the U.S. in Gardner, Maine. He later taught at Dartmouth College from 1827-1835 before accepting the post of President of Geneva College in 1836. Hale married Mary Caroline Alsop King in 1823.

Mary Caroline Alsop King (1799-1867) was born in Saco, Maine on January 27, 1799. She was the daughter of the Honorable Cyrus King and Hannah (Storer) King. She and Benjamin Hale were married on April 9, 1823 and had seven children:

Caroline Alice Hale (1826-1837)

Benjamin Hale, Jr. (1827-)

Mary King Hale (1830-1838)

Sarah Elizabeth Hale (1832-1913)

Thomas Hale (1834-)

Cyrus King Hale (1838-)

Josiah Little Hale (1841-)

Their daughter Sarah Elizabeth Hale married Malcolm Douglass, son of David Bates Douglass, civil engineer and college professor.

For more detailed information on the Hale, Douglass, and King families see the finding aid for the Douglass-Hale A papers, 1788-1911.


0.5 Linear Feet (1 box)


The collection is arranged in three series:

  1. Correspondence of Benjamin Hale
  2. Correspondence of Mary Caroline King Hale
  3. Miscellaneous correspondence, 1814-1859


Box 1: Archives Storage, Range 22B, Section 6


The donor and date of donation for this collection are unknown.

Related Materials

More correspondence as well as journals of both Benjamin Hale and Mary Caroline King Hale are available in the Douglass-Hale papers A, 1788-1911. This collection also includes materials from other members of the Hale, King, and Little familes.

The papers of David Bates Douglass can be found in the Douglass-Hale papers, 1790-1850.
Benjamin Hale and Mary Caroline King Hale correspondence, 1814-1862: A Finding Aid
Kaitlyn Standfest '18 with the Archivist Katie Lamontagne
March 2017
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Archives and Special Collections Repository

Warren Hunting Smith Library
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva New York 14456 U.S.A. US (United States)