Abel Leavenworth Papers Finding Aid

Entrance to the Bennington Museum

Abel Leavenworth surronded by sons. From left to right: Samuel Edgar, Clarence Greenman, Philip Reynolds, and William Stowell. Taken in Castleton, Vermont.

Collection Summary


Abel Leavenworth Papers

ID No.



Bennington Museum, Bennington, VT, USA


Leavenworth Family


This collection is open to the public by appointment.


4 cubic feet.

Span Dates

1791-1927 (bulk dates 1850-1877)


Collection material in English


Please consult the repository for information about duplication or publishing of any materials from this collection.

Aquisition Information

Gift of William Stowell Leavenworth

Use Restrictions

This collection is not restricted. The Bennington Museum is not the copyright holder for this collection and therefore researchers need to obtain the copyright holder’s permission before publication or dissemination.


The Abel Leavenworth Papers consist of the papers of the Leavenworth family. The bulk of the material is correspondence addressed or sent by Abel Leavenworth during his time as the principal of the Bolivar Academy in Bolivar, MO or during his time in the Civil War. Other materials include various items related to his father, father-in-law, and children. Majority of collection is related to education system in Vermont and the Civil War.

Processing History

The collection was partially processed by Blair Williams as a part of an internship in the Summer of 2012.

Biographical History

Abel Edgar Leavenworth was born to Abel and Anna (Hickok) Leavenworth on September 3, 1828 in Charlotte, Vermont. He completed his secondary education at the Hinesburgh Academy before attending the University of Vermont where he graduated in 1856. Before his graduation he took over the Bolivar Academy in Bolivar, Missouri in 1852 where he met his future wife Mary Evelina Griggs. The couple was married in 1853 in Corning, New York before returning to Missouri. A disagreement over local politics regarding slavery in Kansas caused the young Leavenworth family to return to Vermont where Leavenworth continued his career in education by taking charge of Academies in Hinesburg, Brattleboro, and New Haven, Vermont. He would resign his post at New Haven to join Company K in the 9th Regiment of the Vermont Volunteers. During the course of the war he served in various positions ending the war as a Captain and Assistant Adjutant General of the District of Appomattox after leading the skirmish line into the Confederate Capitol of Richmond, Virgina. After being mustered out on June 13, 1865, Leavenworth continued his career in education becoming the principal of the State Normal School in Randolph before purchasing the building and equipment of the Rutland County Grammar School being appointed the principal of the State Normal School at Casleton which is now Castleton State College. Abel Leavenworth died on June 13, 1901.

Return to Top

Scope and Content Note

The Abel Leavenworth Papers contain a diverse amount of materials from appointments and deeds to the large correspondence Abel Leavenworth conducted during his time in Missouri and as a soldier in the Civil War. While the bulk of the latter Civil War correspondence is mainly between Abel Leavenworth and his wife, Leavenworth's sisters migrated to various locations in the Western United States including Michigan, Illinois, and California. The collection also includes Significant parts of the collection are devoted to official records maintained by Leavenworth during his work as an assistant inspector general in General Issac J. Wistar's brigade as well as information on Company K of the 9th Regiment in the Vermont Volunteers. As a result of the war, Leavenworth would later suffer from ill health and there are a number of records regarding his attempt to obtain a vetern's pension as well. Additionally, Leavenworth was heavily involved in education in the State of Vermont and conducted a number of certification exams for teachers as well as directing various academies in the latter half of the 1800s.

Return to Top

Arrangement Notes

The arrangement of the Abel Leavenworth Papers various depending on the series. Correspondence is arranged chronologically while the remainder of the collection has largely been left in its original order with a few exceptions regarding military records included amoungst personal correspondence. These records have been placed in the military records series where appropriate.

Return to Top

Series Descriptions

Series 1: Military Records

Contains military orders and records gathered by Abel Leavenworth during his service in the Civil War. Includes tthe commissions recieved from the Governor of Vermont to 1st Sergeant, 1st Lieutenant, and Captain.

Series 2: Correspodence

Includes correspondence from 1833 to 1903. The Civil War correspodence of Abel E. Leavenworth can be viewed here.

Series 3: Photographs

Photographs of the Leavenworth Family in the latter part of the 19th Century. Includes photos of Abel E. Leavenoworth, his sons Clarence, William, and Philip, his sister Louisa M. Leavenworth, as well as grandchildren. Digital versions located here.

Return to Top