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.