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Crosby family papers

Identifier: c-00268

Scope and Contents

The Crosby family papers consist primarily of diaries kept by family members in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Michigan. Hale E. and Mary Chamberlain Crosby, who lived in Concord, New Hampshire and later Ashby, Massachusetts, kept a journal recording their work, their religious and social activities. The Crosbys moved with Mary's parents, the Chamberlains, to New Buffalo, Michigan in 1844.

Their son, J. Birney Crosby, was sent from Michigan to Massachusetts in 1860 to attend school. He kept a diary describing his trip east and his school activities, which also gives a good picture of social, economic, and religious activities. Two further volumes record his enlistment in the 12th Michigan Volunteers and his service in the western theater during the Civil War. One of the diaries was kept in shorthand.

A diary kept by John A. Crosby, J. Birney's brother, describes farm work and rural life in New Buffalo, his religious activities, and his attendance at Oberlin College (1870-1871).

Thirteen other small daybooks, kept by Hale Crosby and Birney Crosby between 1890 and 1900, contain brief entries about social activities and farm work in Three Oaks and Berrien County, Michigan.

The collection also contains several receipts and letter fragments, as well as a discharge of mortgage for land owned by Hale Crosby in Berrien County (1883).


  • Creation: 1838 - 1900

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

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


Hale E. Crosby was born in Massachusetts in 1816. He married Mary Foster Chamberlain in 1838 in Concord, New Hampshire. The Crosbys lived in Concord, New Hampshire and later Ashby, Massachusetts. Hale Crosby was a farmer and also a publisher of an anti-slavery paper in New Hampshire. In the 1844, they moved with Mary's parents, the Chamberlains, to New Buffalo, Michigan. They had six children; three lived to adulthood: Josiah Birney Crosby (1842-1922), Henry Chamberlain (1852-1929) and John Abbott Crosby (1854-1917). Hale was a state legislator from Berrien County in 1857.

J. Birney Crosby enlisted with the 12th Michigan Volunteers during the Civil War.

John A. Crosby attended Oberlin College.

Hale Crosby died in 1900; Mary in 1890. They and all their children are buried in Three Oaks, Michigan.


0.25 Cubic Feet (, 7 folders)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Gift of Chamberlain Memorial Museum, date unknown. Transferred by Michigan State University Museum.

Legal Status

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

Crosby Family Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
December 1964
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US