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MS Am 2631

Beach, David Nelson, 1848-1926. David Nelson Beach papers, circa 1870-1831: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard College Library


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© 2008 The President and Fellows of Harvard College

Last update on 2015 January 15

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
Location: Harvard Depository
Note: This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.
Call No.: MS Am 2631
Creator: Beach, David Nelson, 1848-1926.
Title: David Nelson Beach papers,
Date(s): circa 1831-1870.
Quantity: 12 linear feet (25 boxes)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Papers of American theologian, David Nelson Beach, Sr. (1848-1926).

Processing Information:

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt
Part of the MS Storage project, 2008-2009.

Acquisition Information:

No accession number. Gift of the Reverend David Nelson Beach family, 1943.

Access Restrictions:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.
This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

David Nelson Beach Papers, circa 1870-1831 (MS Am 2631). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Historical Note

David Nelson Beach (1848-1926) was an American theologian, born at South Orange, New Jersey, the son of Joseph Wickliff Beach and Mary Angeline Walkley Beach. His brother was the missionary, Harlan Page Beach (1854-1933). David graduated from Yale College (AB 1872) and from Yale Divinity School in 1876. He became a Congregational minister with a parish at Westerly, Rhode Island. Later Beach had parishes at Wakefield and Cambridge, Massachusetts, and also in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Denver, Colorado. From 1903-1921 he was President and Professor of Sacred Rhetoric at the Bangor Theological Seminary in Bangor, Maine. He was active with the Anti-Saloon League and involved in temperance reform. He married Lilian Tappan Beach and they had children Dorothea, John, Joseph, and David Nelson Jr. before she died in 1902. In 1903 he married Dora Freeman Beach who died in 1915, and in 1916 he married Ellen Olive Walkley Beach. From 1921 to 1926 he was the pastor-at-large at Guilford and Southington, Connecticut. Beach died in Southington, Connecticut on October 18, 1926.
Beach's published writings include: Plain words on our Lord's work (1886); The newer religious thinking (1893); The intent of Jesus (1896); Statement of belief (1897); The Annie Laurie Mine (1903); and Meanings of the Battle of Bennington (1903).


Organized into the following series:

Scope and Content

Compositions are primarily autograph manuscript sermons, but also includes texts of essays, speeches, lectures, articles, and other writings. Subject files include topics of the Anti-Saloon League, Yale University Class of 1872 reunion, Beach biographical miscellany, and many other topics. This series includes correspondence, clippings, pamphlets, leaflets, drafts of compositions, and other ephemera. Collection also includes printed materials collected by Beach, small amounts of personal and professional correspondence (by date), a few letters sent to his wife, Ellen Olive Walkley Beach, and four miscellaneous photographs.

Related Material

There are Beach family papers at the Yale University Library (Record Group No. 60). The finding aid for these papers includes extensive information concerning the life of David Nelson Beach and others in his immediate family.

Separated Material

Also held by Houghton Library: David Nelson Beach family correspondence (*94M-236). Collection is unprocessed and access requires permission of curator. The bulk of David Nelson Beach's correspondence can be found in this collection.

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