Charles Adolphus Jewell Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Creator - Correspondent
Abbot, Theophilus Capen, 1826-1892
Creator - Correspondent
Jewell, Charles Adolphus, 1839-1909
Charles Adolphus Jewell papers
Date [inclusive]
0.1 Cubic feet , 3 folders

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

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Biographical Note

Charles Adolphus Jewell II was born September 8, 1839 near East Jaffray, New Hampshire. His father was a mill owner and cattle trader. In 1842, the family migrated to southern Michigan, settling near the town of Lime Creek. Charles later attended the newly formed Michigan Agricultural College, and in 1862, was a member of the second graduating class. Shortly thereafter, he joined the Union Army, serving in the Eighteenth Michigan Volunteer Regiment until July, 1865. He married Regina Kenyon in 1867 and moved west in 1869 to homestead in Colo, Iowa. The marriage produced six children, three of who died within 18 months after their birth. In the early 1880's the Jewell family moved to Missouri, where Regina died in 1882. In 1883 Charles married Selena Harris Brown, a widow with three sons from a previous marriage. Charles and Selena had four children: Walter, Grant, Bessie, and Ruth Ellen. The family returned to Michigan in 1889, and bought a farm just south of Hudson. Utilizing his training in scientific agriculture, Charles experimented with different farming techniques in cooperation with Michigan Agricultural College. He was also instrumental in establishing the first rural delivery service in Michigan. He died in August, 1909, and is buried in Hudson.

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Scope and Contents note

The Charles A. Jewell papers consist of original correspondence and a manuscript compilation of transcribed letters and family history.

The first group of correspondence (1860-1862) consists of original letters written by Charles to his family while he was attending Michigan Agricultural College, and a letter to Jewell's parents from Theophilus C. Abbot, Professor of English during this period discuss the courses he was taking, his instructors and their teaching methods, dormitory life, recreational activities, and the life-threatening epidemics that swept through the student body in the early 1860s on the MAC campus.

The second group of correspondence consists of Charles Jewell's letter to his family after he left home and joined the Union Army. His letters describe everyday experiences such as scarcity of food and lack of adequate clothing, and discuss how the war was affecting the people at home as well as the soldiers fighting the war. One letter written after the assassination of Lincoln reflects the grief and bitterness felt by the troops at their loss of the President as a leader. In a letter dated August 19, 1864, Jewell complains that he might be transferred to a negro regiment.

The spiral-bound manuscript (xerox copy) edited by Charles A. Jewell II's granddaughter, Ruth Jewell Nelson, contains transcripts of letters written by Charles Jewell and others between 1860 and 1865; letters and family anecdotes written by family members (1912-1941); and genealogical data on the Jewell family (1642-1979). None of the original letters in the collection appear in transcript form in the manuscript.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections December 1987

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Revision Description

  October 2004

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. In accordance with the request of the donor, the Civil War letters contained in the manuscript may be quoted but not published or photocopied. The donor states,". . . the right to publish them in their entirety is reserved to my family." This restriction does not apply to the original letters in the collection which do not appear in the manuscript.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Custodial History

Gifts of Harlow Ingall and Ruth Clement Jewell Nelson.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Michigan Agricultural College.
  • Michigan State University. Class of 1862.
  • United States Postal Service.
  • United States. Army. Michigan Infantry Regiment, 18th (1862-1865).


  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Manuscripts

Geographic Name(s)

  • Lime Creek (Mich.)
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Regimental histories

Personal Name(s)

  • Jewell, Charles Adolphus, 1839-1909


  • College students -- Michigan -- East Lansing

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Collection Inventory

Drawer Folder

Correspondence - M.A.C. 1860-1862 

F.D. 1

Correspondence - Civil War 1862-1865 

F.D. 2

"The Charles Adolphus Jewell Family Lineage" 1980 

F.D. 3