Collection ASM0429 - Alvan Stewart diary

Identity elements

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Name and location of repository

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Alvan Stewart diary


  • 1831 (Creation)


1 Box

Name of creator

Biographical history

Alvan Stewart was born in South Granville, New York, September 1, 1790. From the age of five he lived on a farm in Westford, Vermont, and attended district schools in the county. He entered the University of Vermont in 1809, leaving in 1812 to take a teaching position in Canada. He was arrested in Canada as a spy after the outbreak of war and was for a time held as a prisoner. Upon his release he returned to the States, continuing to teach and beginning the study of law in Cherry Valley, New York. After a few years in Kentucky, Stewart returned to Cherry Valley where he acquired the reputation as a brilliant lawyer. In 1832, after travels abroad which are detailed in these diary pages, Stewart moved with his family to Utica, where he continued to practice law, but devoted a great deal of time to temperance and anti-slavery causes. In 1835 he formed and became president of the New York Anti-Slavery Society where he raised money, organized meetings, and held public debates. Several times his planned affairs were broken up by angry mobs. Stewart argued that slavery was in violation with the Constitution and should be abolished. After a brief attempt at a political career, receiving only a few hundred votes for New York governor, Stewart retired to a more private life, though remaining a member of the New York Anti-Slavery Society. Stewart died in New York City, May 1, 1849.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Alvan Stewart diary contains approximately 200 handwritten pages of a diary by New York lawyer and abolitionist Alvan Stewart (1790-1849). The diary chronicles Stewart's travels from May to September 1831, including a sea voyage from New York to Liverpool, his travels through England and France, and the return voyage.

System of arrangement

Chronologically as follows:

May 16 - June 10, 1831

Across the Atlantic,

New York to Liverpool

June 11 - June 18, 1831

Landing in Liverpool;

Travel to London

June 19 - June 26, 1831


June 27 - June 30, 1831

From London to Paris

July 1 - July 8, 1831


July 9 - July 14, 1831


July 15 - July 21, 1831

From Paris to Havre

July 22 - September 1, 1831

Return across the Atlantic,

Havre to New York

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open for research.

Physical access

Items from this collection are kept on-campus and may be requested from the first floor Kislak Center in the Otto G. Richter Library at University of Miami.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Alvan Stewart Diary Finding Aid © 1998 University of Miami. Requests to reproduce or publish materials from this collection should be directed to

Languages of the material

  • English

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Related archival materials

Special Collections, Digital Resources and Online Exhibits: "The Alvan Stewart Papers".

Information about related materials is available at

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