Guide to the John and James Masten Letters, 1845 and 1848
Norwich University Archives
158 Harmon Drive
Northfield, VT 05663
Phone: (802) 485-2947
Fax: (802) 485-2173
Summary Creator Masten, John V., 1825-1848 Title John and James Masten Letters Dates 1845 and 1848 Extent 3 Items About the Collection The letters from John V. Masten in Norwich, VT, were written to his father Cornelius Masten in Penn Yan, New York, on 26 August and 9 December 1845. In the August letter, John mentions his brother James. He gives his opinion of Samuel Colt’s Electric Submarine Battery which had been demonstrated to President John Tyler the previous year. John Masten mentions goings-on at Norwich University, a rival institution in the same town, then headed by Truman Ransom. He asks his father about the possibility of an appointment to West Point. The December letter also bears mentions of rivalry of the two Norwich, VT, institutions. In this letter John mentions trying
to acquire a mercantile situation. The letter from James Masten, 17 May 1848, was written to his father from Buffalo, NY, and contains information about his current pursuit of studies. James also mentions an interesting piece of equipment he refers to as a “grain drill.”
About John and James Masten
John V. Masten (1825-1848) and his brother James Masten, were students at Alden Partridge’s American Literary, Scientific & Military University in 1845. This institution should not be confused with Norwich University (chartered in 1834) or its forerunner the American Literary, Scientific & Military Academy (founded by Alden Partridge in 1819). Following Alden Partridge’s resignation from the presidency of Norwich University in September of 1843, he would go on to establish a separate and distinct institution in the same town of Norwich, Vermont. John and James Masten were attending this latter institution.
John and James Masten were the sons of Cornelius Masten (1787-1850) and Maria Van Vosburgh Masten (1789-1866). John Masten served as a volunteer in the Mexican War and was killed at Chihuahua on 14 March 1848.
The following subjects are represented in this collection. If you are researching these topics, try using these search terms in the library catalog:
Masten, John V., 1825-1848.
American Literary, Scientific, and Military University
American Literary, Scientific and Military University -- Students.
American Literary, Scientific and Military University -- Alumni and alumnae.
Norwich University -- History -- 19th century.
The collection is open.
Many items in the University Archives are one-of-a-kind resources that are not likely to be available anywhere but here. For this reason, forming citations for archival sources is a little different than for books and periodicals. If you need to cite anything from this collection, follow the format below: Identification of specific item; Date (if known); John and James Masten Letters, Box and/or Folder and/or Item Identification; Norwich University Archives, Kreitzberg Library, Northfield, VT. Here’s an example from the collection:
Letter from John Masten to C. Masten, 26 August 1845. John V. Masten Letter, Norwich University Archives, Kreitzberg Library, Northfield, VT.
Extent: 3 Items Collection Location: Archives, Small Collections II - Alumni Language(s) of Material: English
Repository: Norwich University Archives, Kreitzberg Library, 158 Harmon Dr., Northfield, VT 05663 USA, Phone: 802.485.2947, Fax: 802.485.2173, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Alden Partridge Correspondence for July-December 1845 (Box 8 of the Alden Partridge Records) contains a circular from the American Literary, Scientific & Military University dated 31 July 1845. The Alden Partridge Records in the University Archives contains additional details about this rival institution to Norwich University.
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