Crosby Family Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Crosby family, (Hale E. Crosby, 1816-1900)
Crosby family papers
Date [inclusive]
0.25 Cubic feet , 7 folders

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."

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Hale E. Crosby was born in Massachusetts in 1816. He married Mary Foster Chamberlain in 1838 in Concord, New Hampshire. The Crosbys lived in Concord, New Hampshire and later Ashby, Massachusetts. Hale Crosby was a farmer and also a publisher of an anti-slavery paper in New Hampshire. In the 1844, they moved with Mary's parents, the Chamberlains, to New Buffalo, Michigan. They had six children; three lived to adulthood: Josiah Birney Crosby (1842-1922), Henry Chamberlain (1852-1929) and John Abbott Crosby (1854-1917). Hale was a state legislator from Berrien County in 1857.

J. Birney Crosby enlisted with the 12th Michigan Volunteers during the Civil War.

John A. Crosby attended Oberlin College.

Hale Crosby died in 1900; Mary in 1890. They and all their children are buried in Three Oaks, Michigan.

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Scope and Contents note

The Crosby family papers consist primarily of diaries kept by family members in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Michigan. Hale E. and Mary Chamberlain Crosby, who lived in Concord, New Hampshire and later Ashby, Massachusetts, kept a journal recording their work, their religious and social activities. The Crosbys moved with Mary's parents, the Chamberlains, to New Buffalo, Michigan in 1844.

Their son, J. Birney Crosby, was sent from Michigan to Massachusetts in 1860 to attend school. He kept a diary describing his trip east and his school activities, which also gives a good picture of social, economic, and religious activities. Two further volumes record his enlistment in the 12th Michigan Volunteers and his service in the western theater during the Civil War. One of the diaries was kept in shorthand.

A diary kept by John A. Crosby, J. Birney's brother, describes farm work and rural life in New Buffalo, his religious activities, and his attendance at Oberlin College (1870-1871).

Thirteen other small daybooks, kept by Hale Crosby and Birney Crosby between 1890 and 1900, contain brief entries about social activities and farm work in Three Oaks and Berrien County, Michigan.

The collection also contains several receipts and letter fragments, as well as a discharge of mortgage for land owned by Hale Crosby in Berrien County (1883).

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections December 1964

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Revision Description

  July 2012

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 Chamberlain Memorial Museum, date unknown. Transferred by Michigan State University Museum.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • United States. Army. Michigan Infantry Regiment, 12th (1862-1866).


  • Daybooks
  • Diaries

Geographic Name(s)

  • Ashby (Mass.)
  • Berrien County (Mich.)
  • Concord (N.H.)
  • Massachusetts -- Religion
  • New Buffalo (Mich.)
  • United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865

Personal Name(s)

  • Crosby, Hale E., 1816-1900
  • Crosby, J. Birney, 1842-1922
  • Crosby, John A., 1854-1917
  • Crosby, Mary Chamberlain, 1818-1890


  • Agriculture -- Michigan
  • Education -- Massachusetts

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Collection Inventory


Miscellaneous Papers 


Hale E. and Mary Chamberlain Crosby Journal and J. Birney Crosby Diary 1838, 1860-1861 

Volumes   2
Text   2


J. B. Crosby Diary and John A. Crosby Diary 1861-1862, 1870-1871 


Hale Crosby and Birney Crosby Day Books 1894, 1896, 1899 


Hale Crosby and Birney Crosby Day Books 1888, 1891, 1892, 1893 


Hale Crosby and Birney Crosby Day Books 1895, 1897, 1890, 1900 


J. Birney Crosby Diary (in shorthand) and Day Books 1862-1863, 1890, 1891