John Gibson Parkhurst Papers
00025

Summary Information

Repository
Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Creator
Parkhurst, John Gibson, 1824-1906
Title
John Gibson Parkhurst papers
ID
00025
Date [inclusive]
1831-1906
Extent
1.0 Cubic feet , correspondence, diaries, speeches, photographs, and scrapbooks
Language
English

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

Return to Table of Contents »


Biographical Note

John Gibson Parkhurst was born April 17, 1824 in Oneida Castle, New York. He received his education at Oneida Academy and after being accepted into the bar, rode the circuit court in New York. In 1848 he moved to Coldwater, Michigan where he continued his law practice. In 1860 he began his political career as secretary to the ill-fated Democratic Convention that met in Charleston, South Carolina. Parkhurst had two daughters, Margaret and Kate Amelia ("Kittie"). His wife, Amelia, died on July 26, 1861.

When the Civil War broke out he enlisted as Lieutenant Colonel in the Ninth Michigan Infantry Regiment, the first Michigan regiment to enter active service in the Western Department. On July 13, 1862 a detachment of the regiment was attacked at Murfreesboro by a Confederate force under Nathan Bedford Forrest. After a sharp fight, Parkhurst and his men were forced to surrender. He was exchanged in December 1862 and was commissioned as Colonel of the regiment on February 6, 1863. For the remainder of the war, the Ninth Regiment served as Provost Guard in the Army of the Cumberland seeing action at the battles of Stones River, Chickamaugua, and the Atlanta Campaign. Parkhurst received successive promotions to Provost Marshall for the 14th Army Corps and Provost Marshall for the Military District of Tennessee. On May 22, 1865 he was appointed Brevit Brigadier General "for gallant, faithful, and mentorious services."

While in Tennessee, Parkhurst remarried and after the war attempted to practice law in Nashville. Strong sectional differences, however, forced his return to Coldwater. There he again became involved in politics and was nominated for the third district Congressional seat and the Office of State Treasurer. However, he was defeated for both offices. Later he was appointed Chief Deputy Marshall of Eastern Michigan by Andrew Johnson, and served for five months before being charged with kidnapping a postal official who was involved in a scandal. President Harrison appointed Parkhurst U.S. Minister to Belgium where he served from 1888-1889. In 1894 he was appointed by President Cleveland to be Postmaster General of Coldwater. During this time Parkhurst was on the Board of Directors of the Mansfield, Coldwater, and Lake Michigan Railroad Company and was President of the Coldwater Gas Light Company. He was also active in organizing several reunions of his Civil War regiment. Parkhurst died in Coldwater in April 1906.

Return to Table of Contents »


Scope and Contents note

The largest part of the collection consists of the pocket diaries Parkhurst kept from 1847 to 1906. The early diaries (1847-1860) relate details of his court cases and only rarely mention his personal life. Records of various financial transactions are incorporated in these early diaries. The diaries of the war years (1861-1865) include battle accounts and descriptions of Parkhurst's experiences as a prisoner-of-war in 1862. In the diaries of the post-war years, Parkhurst discusses primarily his business affairs and political problems. The diaries of 1888 and 1889 are of particular interest since they cover his tenure as Minister of Belgium.

Parkhurst's correspondence mainly consists of letters written to his sisters during the war and exchanges with various government officials relating to his appointments to governmental positions.

Most of the speeches included in the collection were delivered at regimental reunions. Two are clearly political in scope: one was used in Parkhurst's own campaign and one for Horace Greeley's Presidential campaign.

The newspaper clippings largely relate to reunions but a few give biographical sketches of Parkhurst. Several also deal with political affairs of the post-war era.

Return to Table of Contents »


Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections March 1980

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824
517-355-2330
archives@msu.edu

Revision Description

  March 2009

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Custodial History

Gift of Eva Goodyear.

Return to Table of Contents »


Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • United States. Army. Michigan Infantry Regiment, 9th (1861-1865).

Genre(s)

  • Cartes-de-visite (card photographs)
  • Diaries
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Photographs
  • Postcards
  • Scrapbooks
  • Speeches, addresses, etc.

Geographic Name(s)

  • Belgium
  • Coldwater (Mich.)
  • Kentucky -- Maps
  • Tennessee
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Regimental histories

Personal Name(s)

  • Greeley, Horace, 1811-1872
  • Parkhurst, John Gibson, 1824-1906

Subject(s)

  • Atlanta Campaign, 1864
  • Campaign speeches
  • Chickamauga, Battle of, Ga., 1863
  • Diplomatic and consular service -- Belgium
  • Law -- Anecdotes
  • Military orders
  • Mill Springs, Battle of, Ky., 1862
  • Postal service -- United States -- Employees
  • Stones River, Battle of, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 1862-1863
  • United States marshals

Return to Table of Contents »


Collection Inventory

Papers 

Scope and Contents note

Box

Diaries 

1
Box Folder

 1847 

1 v. 1

 1848 

1 v. 2

 1849 

1 v. 3

 1850 

1 v. 4

 1852 

1 v. 5

 1852 

1 v. 6

 1853 

1 v. 7

 1854 

1 v. 8

 1855 

1 v. 9

 1856 

1 v. 10

 1857 

1 v. 11

 1858 

1 v. 12

 1859 

1 v. 13

 1859 

1 v. 14

 1860 

1 v. 15

 1861 

1 v. 16

 1862 

1 v. 17

 1863 

1 v. 18

 1864 

1 v. 19

 1865 

1 v. 20

 1865 

1 v. 21

 1866 

1 v. 22

 1867 

1 v. 23

 1868 

1 v. 24

 1869 

1 v. 25

 1870 

1 v. 26

 1871 

1 v. 27

 1872 

1 v. 28

 1873 

1 v. 29

 1874 

2 v. 30

 1875 

2 v. 31

 1876 

2 v. 32

 1877 

2 v. 33

 1878 

2 v. 34

 1879 

2 v. 35

 1880 

2 v. 36

 1881 

2 v. 37

 1882 

2 v. 38

 1883 

2 v. 39

 1884 

2 v. 40

 1885 

2 v. 41

 1886 

2 v. 42

 1887 

2 v. 43

 1888 

2 v. 44

 1888 

2 v. 45

 1889 

2 v. 46

 1890 

2 v. 47

 1891 

2 v. 48

 1892 

2 v. 49

 1893 

2 v. 50

 1894 

2 v. 51

 1895 

2 v. 52

 1896 

2 v. 53

 1897 

2 v. 54

 1898 

2 v. 55

 1899 

2 v. 56

 1900 

2 v. 57

 1901 

2 v. 58

 1902 

2 v. 59

 1903 

2 v. 60

 1904 

3 v. 61

 1905 

3 v. 62

 1906 

3 v. 63

Correspondence 

3
Box Folder

 1848, 1857, 1861, 1863-1866 

3 1

 1888-1889 

3 2

 1890, 1895, 1897, 1903, 1905, undated 

3 3

Speeches 

3
Box Folder

 1872 

3 4

 1889, undated 

3 5

War Related Items 

3
Box Folder

Official Military Records of Parkhurst 1861-1865 

3 6

Field Orders 1862, 1864-1865 

3 7

Reports of battles of Mill Spring and Stone's River undated 

3 8

Annotated Roster of the Ninth Michigan Infantry, Veteran Volunteers 1861 

3 9
Box Folder

Financial Records 1865, 1888-1889 

3 10
Box

Memorabilia 

3
Box Folder

Reunion Programs 1868, 1871 

3 11

Reunion Programs 1882, 1885, 1887-1888 

3 12

Reunion Programs 1892-1897, 1912 

3 13

Reunion Invitation 1871, 1881, 1886-1889 

3 14

Reunion Invitation 1890-1892, 1895, 1901 

3 15
Box Folder

Political Appointments 1907 

3 16

Miscellany 1870, 1885, 1888, undated 

3 17
Box

Newspaper Clippings 

3
Box Folder

War and Reunion Related undated 

3 18

Personal 1860-1912 

3 19

Return to Table of Contents »


Postcards 

Drawer
Postcards

People. Howton, F.W. 

People. Minnick, M.A. 

United States. Civil War. Groups 

Washington, D.C. House in which Abraham Lincoln died 

Return to Table of Contents »


Carte de Visite 

1

People. Howton, F. W. 

People. Minnick, M. A. 

United States. Civil War. Groups 

Photographs 

Drawer
Photographs
Box

General Parkhurst and Colonel Sitwell at Lookout Moutnain. 

4

Michigan Legislature, 1889 

People. Bond, R.M. 

People. Braunan, J.M. 

People. Corlins, Henry C. 

People. Ducat, Arthur C. 

People. Groups. Eldridge, Josephine, Harry Shaw and Stella Carpenter 

People. Hoffman 

People. MacKay, A.J. 

People. McCellan, George B. 

People. Michaelis, O.E. 

People. Parkhurst, John C. 

People. Perin, Glover 

People. Read, J.C. 

People. Sheridan , P.H. 

People. Stone, Henry 

People. Whipple, William D. 

People. Willard, J.P. 

United States. Civil War. Veterans. Reunion of 9th Michigan Infantry 

Return to Table of Contents »


Scrapbooks 

Volume

No. 216: Civil War photos of people Circa 1860 

SB 216
Box Folder

No. 217: Photos of Tennessee 1890s 

3 20

Return to Table of Contents »


Oversized Materials 

Drawer
45

Manuscript Map of Western Kentucky 1866 

Certificates 1871, 1884 

Chief Deputy Marshall, Wayne County, Michigan 1907 

Postmaster at Coldwater, Michigan 1894 

Return to Table of Contents »