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Clayonian Literary Society Lecture Committee records

Identifier: 0101

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.


  • 1865 - 1937
  • Majority of material found within 1865 - 1896


Conditions Governing Access

Advance notice required for access.

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.

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.


1.25 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials



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.


Gift of Mrs. Jeanne Hutchings, 1986.

Finding Aid of the Clayonian Literary Society Lecture Committee records
Jacqueline Morin, Sue Luftschein
2014 April
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository

Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States