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Clark Family papers

Identifier: Clark Family papers

Scope and Contents

The Clark family papers span the mid-19th century from 1820-1876 consisting primarily of correspondence, business records, a journal of Spencer M. Clark (1811-1890) from a journey to Europe in 1855, personal papers, and manuscript poems of George Hunt Clark (1809-1881). The correspondence and business records primarily relate to mining. Some personal papers come from South America where the Clarks and Silliman had contacts. Manuscript poems included in the collection by George Hunt Clark include “The News” (1856). One series also consists of newspaper clippings related to the Civil War.


  • 1820-1870


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the John M.K. Davis Reading Room of the Watkinson Library, Trinity College Library, Hartford, Connecticut. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws when using this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Digital surrogates may be provided to researchers, in accordance with the duplication policy of the Watkinson Library.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information (e.g. social security numbers) in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Biographical / Historical

The Clark family papers derive from the activities of the Clark Family; a prominent family from Hartford and Granby, Connecticut who ran manufacturing and copper mining businesses spanning the 19th century. Spencer M. Clark (1811-1890) became a clerk in the Bureau of the Treasury in 1856, rising steadily to the position of Superintendent of the National Currency Bureau in 1862. Clark was removed from his position in 1868 after he put himself on a five dollar note, instead of the explorer William Clark. Also included in the collection are materials from his brother, George Hunt Clark (1809-1881), a poet, businessman, and Trustee of Watkinson Library, as well as his brother, Ezra Clark Jr., a manufacturer who frequently corresponded with Benjamin Silliman (1816-1885), professor of chemistry at Yale University who specialized in mineralogy and copper mining.


2 Cubic Feet (5 flat boxes)

Language of Materials


Spanish; Castilian


There are six series:

Series 1: Papers of Spencer M. Clark, 1851-1857

Series 2: Papers of Ezra Clark Jr., 1850-1876

Series 3: Papers of George Hunt Clark, 1856-1858

Series 4: Family Business Correspondence and Papers, 1848-1856

Series 5: Miscellaneous Family Correspondence and Handwritten Papers, 1851-1878

Series 6: Civil War Newspaper Clippings, 1861-1865.

Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by sender.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source Unknown

Processing Information

Some processing may have been conducted in 2018 at the time that the ArchivesSpace finding aid was created.
Guide to the Clark family papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020-01-06: Title changed by Eric C. Stoykovich from "Clark Family Collection" in accord with DACS 2.3

Repository Details

Part of the Trinity College Archives Repository

Watkinson Library
300 Summit St.
Hartford CT 06106 USA