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CHANEY, GEORGE LEONARD, 1836-1922.
George Leonard Chaney papers, 1856-1908, 1896-1904

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322

404-727-6887

rose.library@emory.edu

Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8z3w3


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Chaney, George Leonard, 1836-1922.
Title: George Leonard Chaney papers, 1856-1908, 1896-1904
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 639
Extent: 1 linear feet (3 boxes) and 1 oversized papers folder (OP)
Abstract:Papers of Unitarian minister and author George Leonard Chaney, including photographs, writings, and printed material.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Source

Purchase, 1985.

Citation

[after identification of item(s)], George Leonard Chaney papers, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Processing

Processed by Dennis Taylor, DLIM graduate assistant, 1986.


Collection Description

Biographical Note

The Reverend George Leonard Chaney (December 24, 1836-April 10, 1922), Unitarian minister and church leader, was the son of James and Harriet Webb Chaney of Salem, Massachusetts. He entered Harvard College in 1855 at the age of nineteen and graduated in 1859, at which time he entered the Meadville Theological Seminary, Meadville, Pennsylvania. After his graduation from that institution in 1862, Chaney became minister of the Hollis Street Unitarian Church in Boston. When the Civil War broke out, Chaney left the Hollis Street Church to minister to soldiers at camp hospitals of the United States Sanitary Commission and at the war's conclusion in 1865, he took a year's leave of absence from his church to visit Europe.

When Chaney returned to the United States, he again preached at the Hollis Street Church until 1875. At that time he left with his wife, the former Caroline Carter of Leominster, Massachusetts, and young son Carter, for Hawaii to visit Carter relatives, among them Henry A. P. Carter. an advisor to King David Kalakawa. Upon returning from the trip. Chaney published what would be the first of several books. Aloha! (1880), a travel book about the customs and church history of Hawaii; resumed the pastorate at Hollis Street; and began his presidency of Boston's Industrial School Association, a group which introduced woodworking and manual training to school children. In 1877 Chaney resigned as minister of the Hollis Street Church and assumed the charge of the First Parish Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a charge he kept until 1880.

During the decades of the 1880s and 1890s Chaney continued to preach the Gospel and aid education in a number of ways. For example, in 1881, Chaney went to Atlanta where he established the Unitarian Church of Our Father. Mrs. Chaney worked also, alongside her husband, to form a branch of the Women's Alliance. Through Chaney's long partnership with Edward Everett Hale and James Freeman Clarke, he formed the Southern Conference of Unitarian and Other Christian Churches, and in 1889 he accepted an appointment as Southern Superintendent of the American Unitarian Association. As superintendent, he organized and preached to Unitarian churches in New Orleans, Chattanooga, Dallas, Richmond, and other southern cities. Chaney helped establish in 1882 the Southern Unitarian, a monthly religious paper, which he edited for several years. While in the south, he worked to establish a school for industrial education in Atlanta. and aided the Hampton Institute and schools for blacks in Richmond and Charleston. From 1893 to1900 he served on the boards of trustees of Tuskegee Normal Institute and Atlanta University. Chaney spent the remaining years of his life in Salem, Massachusetts. Biographical source: Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, 10 (1924): 242; and Becker. L. “The Unitarian Church in Atlanta, 1882-1900," History research paper, Emory University, 1966.

The Reverend George Leonard Chaney (December 24, 1836-April 10, 1922), Unitarian minister and church leader, was the son of James and Harriet Webb Chaney of Salem, Massachusetts. He entered Harvard College in 1855 at the age of nineteen and graduated in 1859, at which time he entered the Meadville Theological Seminary, Meadville, Pennsylvania. After his graduation from that institution in 1862, Chaney became minister of the Hollis Street Unitarian Church in Boston. When the Civil War broke out, Chaney left the Hollis Street Church to minister to soldiers at camp hospitals of the United States Sanitary Commission and at the war's conclusion in 1865, he took a year's leave of absence from his church to visit Europe.

When Chaney returned to the United States, he again preached at the Hollis Street Church until 1875. At that time he left with his wife, the former Caroline Carter of Leominster, Massachusetts, and young son Carter, for Hawaii to visit Carter relatives, among them Henry A. P. Carter. an advisor to King David Kalakawa. Upon returning from the trip. Chaney published what would be the first of several books. Aloha! (1880), a travel book about the customs and church history of Hawaii; resumed the pastorate at Hollis Street; and began his presidency of Boston's Industrial School Association, a group which introduced woodworking and manual training to school children. In 1877 Chaney resigned as minister of the Hollis Street Church and assumed the charge of the First Parish Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a charge he kept until 1880.

During the decades of the 1880s and 1890s Chaney continued to preach the Gospel and aid education in a number of ways. For example, in 1881, Chaney went to Atlanta where he established the Unitarian Church of Our Father. Mrs. Chaney worked also, alongside her husband, to form a branch of the Women's Alliance. Through Chaney's long partnership with Edward Everett Hale and James Freeman Clarke, he formed the Southern Conference of Unitarian and Other Christian Churches, and in 1889 he accepted an appointment as Southern Superintendent of the American Unitarian Association. As superintendent, he organized and preached to Unitarian churches in New Orleans, Chattanooga, Dallas, Richmond, and other southern cities. Chaney helped establish in 1882 the Southern Unitarian, a monthly religious paper, which he edited for several years. While in the south, he worked to establish a school for industrial education in Atlanta. and aided the Hampton Institute and schools for blacks in Richmond and Charleston. From 1893 to1900 he served on the boards of trustees of Tuskegee Normal Institute and Atlanta University. Chaney spent the remaining years of his life in Salem, Massachusetts. Biographical source: Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, 10 (1924): 242; and Becker. L. “The Unitarian Church in Atlanta, 1882-1900," History research paper, Emory University, 1966.

Scope and Content Note

This collecton consists of letters, writings, financial records, photographs, and collected items of George Leonard Chaney, a Unitarian minister of the late nineteenth century. The collection is dated 1856 to 1908, but the bulk of material occurs within the range 1896-1904.

The collection is divided into five series. Series I consists of Chaney's correspondence. Topics include church matters; his pastorate in Atlanta, Georgia; his work in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Dallas, Texas; and family concerns. Chaney's correspondents include his family: wife Caroline, son Carter, in-laws of the Jewett and Carter families, sisters Mary and Harriet, and his mother; and colleagues and acquaintances including other Unitarian ministers, parishioners, and friends like the orator Edward Everett Hale (letter, 14 May 1890). Envelopes which contained these letters had already been separated from the items of correspondence at the time of purchase and are found at the end of this series. Series II contains handwritten sermons, a sermon notebook and issues of a tabloid entitled The Lighthouse which published a number of Chaney's sermons. Series III contains family legal, financial, and business records. Included are receipts, bills, and advertisements for hay grown on the Chaney farm in Leominster, Massachusetts. Series IV consists of photographs, most depicting family members individually but also in groups. One photograph, however, shows the James Chaney homeplace in Salem, Massachusetts. A number of tintypes show unidentified subjects. Series V, Miscellaneous and Collected Items, completes the Chaney collection. This series contains a catalog of the Meadville Theological School, programs of musical events, a marriage license, and other items.

Arrangement Note

Arranged by record type.


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Container List

Correspondence
Box Folder Content
1 1 1859 October-1859 December
1 2 1860 January-1861 December
1 3 1862 April-1865 December1
1 4 1866 January-1869 July
1 5 1870 February-1875 July
1 6 1876 January-1879 May
1 7 1880 October-1886 December
1 8 1887 April-November
1 9 1887 December
1 10 1888 January-1889 March
1 11 1890 January-December
1 12 1891 July-1895 June
1 13 1896 January
1 14 1896 February-April
1 15 1896 May-November; 1897 May-1898 December
1 16 1899 January-April
1 17 1899 July-December
1 18 1900 January-August
1 19 1900 September-December
1 20 1901 May-1903 November
1 21 1904 May
1 22 1904 July-December
1 23 1905 January-December
1 24 1906 January-1908 April
2 1 Undated letters: Caroline Chaney to George L. Chaney
2 2-3 Undated letters to George L. Chaney
2 4 Invitations and calling cards
2 5-8 Envelopes
Writings
2 9 Sermons, 1868-1884
2 10 Notes, undated
2 11 Notebook
2 12 Religious newspapers, 1882
OP1 - Broadside for book, F. Grant and Company (1875)
Family financial and business records
2 13 Bills and receipts, 1864-1905
OP1 - Broadside for sale of hay (1904)
Photographs
3 1 George L. Chaney, 1870-1874
3 2 Caroline Carter Chaney (Mrs. G.L.), 1869-1896
3 3 George Carter Chaney, 1874-1894
3 4 Chaney family, undated, and Chaney house, 1884
3 5 Jewett family, 1884-1903
3 6 George R. Carter, 1890
3 7 Unidentified photographs
3 8 Unidentified tintypes
Miscellaneous and collected materials
3 9 Meadville Theological School
3 10 Programs
3 11 Program tickets, marriage license, magazine brochures, and shopping list
3 12 Biographical information [received with collection]
OP1 - Broadside proclaiming day of fasting (1871)
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