Skip to main content

Diary of the Reverend Samuel Tupper

Identifier: MSS 0097-Item 0110

Scope and Content Note

Reverend Samuel Tupper's American Civil War diary documents his volunteer relief work with the U. S. Christian Commission in May and June, 1865. The log book was issued by the Commission and provided delegates with eighteen printed pages of regulations for discharging their duties, blank space to record their daily work, and memoranda pages to detail names of soldiers assisted.

Tupper left Worcester, Massachusetts, and began his duties near Alexandria, Virginia, where he ministered to Union soldiers. He recorded many daily diary entries including information about sermons, duties, and post-war conditions for civilians. He also recorded about a dozen names of soldiers and units with which he had worked.

The manuscript is bound in leather. "U. S. Christian Commission" is embossed in gold on the front cover. The front cover and the first three signatures are loose and the spine is broken. The first eighteen pages are printed text with organizational information about the U.S. Christian Commission, with instructions to its delegates. The remaining 110 pages have printed headings and lines. Approximately ninety-five pages are filled with autograph notes, primarily in ink.


  • Creation: 1865 May 24-June 30


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Biographical and Historical Note

Reverend Samuel Tupper left Worcester, Massachusetts, for the "Camp of 9th Army Corps near Alexandria" in May 1865. There he served as a delegate of the U. S. Christian Commission, a Union relief organization formed to provide comfort and supplies to the armies and navies not furnished by the federal government. It received its support primarily from churches.

The U. S. Christian Commission was charged with "visiting hospitals, camps, and battle-fields, for the instruction, supply, encouragement, and relief of the men of our army, according to their various circumstances; distributing stores, where needed, in hospitals and camps; circulating good publications amongst our soldiers and sailors; aiding Chaplains in the ministrations and influence for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the men under their care; encouraging special and stated meetings for prayer amongst men in the field and in the hospital; encouraging soldiers and sailors to communicate freely and frequently with their friends, aiding them to do it, etc." Formed in New York in 1861, the organization collected more than $2.5 million in cash, in addition to large quantities of supplies during the four years of the Civil War.

Biographical and historical information derived from the collection.


1 volume (18, 110 pages) ; 17 cm


This is an American Civil War diary belonging to Reverend Samuel Tupper, describing his volunteer work with the U. S. Christian Commission in diary entries created between May 24 and June 30, 1865, near Alexandria, Virginia.



Materials Available in Alternative Format

A digitized copy of the journal is available at the University of Delaware Digital Institutional Repository.

Related Materials in This Repository

This item forms part of MSS 0097 Diaries, Journals, and Ships' Logs collection.

Publication Note

University of Delaware. Library. Self works : diaries, scrapbooks, and other autobiographical efforts : catalog of an exhibition, August 19, 1997-December 18, 1997 : guide to selected sources. Newark, Del. : Special Collections, Hugh M. Morris Library, University of Delaware Library, 1997.

Shelving Summary

  1. Item 0110: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0097


Processed and encoded by Lynda Gillow, June 2007.

Finding aid for Diary of the Reverend Samuel Tupper
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2007 June 27
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

181 South College Avenue
Newark DE 19717-5267 USA