Clayonian Literary Society Lecture Committee records Edit


Finding Aid Author
Jacqueline Morin, Sue Luftschein
Finding Aid Date
2014 April
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of Description


  • 1865 – 1937 (Creation)
  • 1865 – 1896 (Creation)


  • 1.25 Linear Feet (Whole)
    3 boxes

Agent Links



  • Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Clayonian Literary Society Lecture Committee records, Collection no. 0101, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

  • Abstract

    The Clayonian Literary Society was charged with inviting notable persons of the day to speak at its meetings. George Long Hutchings, a banker, was chairman of the Clayonian Society of Newark, New Jersey at least until 1871. Some of the club's speakers included G. W. Curtis, Anna E. Dickinson, Bret Harte, and Frederick Douglass, among many other authors, musicians, actors, abolitionists, and activists. The collection is comprised of "acceptance" as well as "rejection" letters of the luminaries who were invited to address the literary society, as well as many signed receipts.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    Advance notice required for access.

  • Acquisition

    Gift of Mrs. Jeanne Hutchings, 1986.

  • Scope and Content

    The Clayonian Literary Society Lecture Committee records consists of letters, receipts, and a small amount of ephemera. The bulk of the letters is addressed to George L. Hutchings. Represented in the letters are responses from authors and speakers regarding dates and locations of speaking engagements, as well as fees. Persons of note include Clara Barton, George William Curtis, Anna E. Dickinson, Bayard Taylor, and Wendell Phillips, among many other authors, musicians, actors, abolitionists, and activists. The collection also includes Hutchings' personal and business letters and ephemera.

  • Historical and Biographical Note

    The Clayonian Literary Society was founded in Newark, New Jersey in 1861. Its mission was "the improvement, mental, social and moral, of its members, especially the cultivation of the intellectual faculties, by Composition, Debate, and other literary exercises" ("Constitution and by-laws", 1867). This was achieved through weekly meetings held from October 1st through July 1st, in which members presented essays, heard invited speakers, and held critical debates. George Long Hutchings, to whom the bulk of the correspondence is addressed, was the chairman for a number of years of the Society. A New York banker who later continued his career in East Orange, New Jersey, Hutchings was born in 1845 in London, England while his parents were travelling en route from India where they had been serving as missionaries. Little else is known about Hutchings except that which was provided in a brief New York Times obituary also included in the collection. Married three times, he had a son, Dewitt Hutchings, who married Allis Miller and they lived in the Glenwood Hotel (later called the Mission Inn) in Riverside, California. The inn had been founded by Allis's parents, Frank and Isabella Miller; several generations of Millers ran the hotel until 1956 when the children of Allis and Dewitt Hutchings sold the inn shortly after their death. Jeanne Hutchings, the widow of Allis and Dewitt's son, Frank, is the source of the collection.