Doane, Edward T. (1820-1890) and Clara Strong Doane. Papers, 1865-1890

Collection Information

Edward T. and Clara Strong Doane papers


Doane, Edward Topping, 1820-1890

Doane, Clara Strong, d. ca. 1877




0.25 linear feet, 12 folders

Collection ID #:

MS 2405

Conditions Governing Access:


Copyright: Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], in the Edward T. and Clara Strong Doane papers, MS 2405. The Congregational Library and Archive, Boston, MA.



Processing information:

Processed by archive staff, October 1996

Acquisition Information:

Gift of Dr. and Mrs. John W. Thompson, 1974.


The Edward T. Doane (1820-1890) and Clara Strong Doane (d. ca. 1877) papers were kept in the home of Mrs. Helen Strong Thompson, Clara Strong Doane's sister, in Tennessee until 1968. The donor, John W. Thompson, grew up in the home of his grandmother, Mrs. Helen Strong; his niece, Mrs. Susan H. Grove, facilitated the gift of the papers, following the death Mrs. John W. Thompson in 1968.

Although the papers arrived at the Congregational Library in 1973, they were not processed until 1996. At this time, paper clips were removed from the correspondence and Edward T. and Clara Strong Doane's correspondence was separated and arranged chronologically. Many of Clara Strong Doane's correspondence is in very poor condition, with adhesive tape and extensive fading; the adhesive tape was not removed in October 1996, since doing so would cause tears in the paper. Many of the letters are in very fragile condition and should be handled with care.


Biographical Note

Edward T. Doane was born May 30, 1820 at Tompkinsville, N.Y. He graduated from Illinois College, Jacksonville, Illinois, in 1848 and from Union Theological Seminary, New York, N.Y., in 1852. He was ordained in New York, N.Y. February 26, 1854. Edward married Sarah W. Wilbur (born in Franklinville, Long Island) May 13, 1854 and embarked from Boston June 4, 1854 as a ABCFM missionary. The Doanes arrived at Ponape, in the Micronesian Islands, February 6, 1855; they were transferred to the island of Ebon two years later. Due to poor health, Sarah Wilbur Doane and her son, Eddie, came to Honolulu June 1861; Mrs. Doane died February 16, 1862. It appears from the correspondence that she was survived by one child, Eddie.

Edward T. Doane married Clara H. Strong April 13, 1865 in Dundee, Illinois and the Doanes sailed from New York, N.Y. May 20, 1865 aboard the steamer Golden Rule. The steamer ran aground a reef near Rinconda Key in the Caribbean Sea ca. June 5, 1865 and the entire party (including the son of a Mrs. Lyons, probably Lucia Garratt Smith Lyons, 1808-1892, stationed at Lahainaluna and Waimea in the Hawaiian Islands) was there for ten days. Two U.S. gun boats took the group to Aspinwall and the group continued by car to Panama, where they set sail aboard the steamer America. Clara Strong Doane's correspondence mentions two children, Clara and Eddie.

The Doanes worked on Ponape until 1873, when Mrs. Doane's poor health necessitated a trip to California. Clara Doane sailed from San Francisco September 1, 1873 to join the Japan Mission and to be close her sister, Sophia D. Strong Davis, and brother-in-law, Jerome D. Davis, missionaries in Kobe. Clara Strong Doane arrived in Kobe September 28, 1873 and became a missionary there; Edward T. Doane sailed from San Francisco November 1875 to join her. They were stationed in Kyoto until 1877. Clara Strong Doane's death date is not noted in the Missionary Herald and could not be located in printed sources; it is assumed to be ca. 1878, since she is not mentioned in the Missionary Herald after 1877.

Edward T. Doane was re-transferred to Ponape, leaving Honolulu aboard the Morning Star approximately June 10, 1879. During the 1887 Spanish occupation of the Caroline Islands, Doane was taken to the Philippine Islands as a prisoner. He was eventually released and returned to Ponape, where he stayed until March 1890. After taking ill in March, he was brought by the Morning Star to Honolulu, where he died May 15, 1890.


Bibliographic Note

Missionary Herald. Vol. 58: 1862, p. 95.

Missionary Herald. Vol. 69: 1873, pp. 330, 413.

Missionary Herald. Vol. 72: 1876, p. 8.

Missionary Herald. Vol. 73: 1877, p. 10.

Missionary Herald. Vol. 86: 1890, pp. 313-315.


Scope and Content Note

The majority of Edward T. Doane's correspondence is to his mother; mother-in-law, Mrs. Henry Edwards; his sister, Nellie; Clara's sisters, Helen and Sophia D. Strong (nicknamed Liffie) and her husband Jerome D. Davis. Clara Strong Doane's letters are to her mother, Mrs. Henry Edwards, and Clara's sisters, Helen and Sophia D. Strong (nicknamed Liffie). All correspondence is outgoing except for one incoming letter from Jerome D. Davis, May 11, 1887 to Edward T. Doane. Series II also contains Clara Strong Doane's journals; Clara's journals were not separated from the correspondence, since letters to her sisters were sometimes part journal and part letter. Some of these pages appear to be fragments of letters.

Clara Strong Doane's correspondence documents the voyage to Ponape, including the period before and during shipwreck on Rinconda Key; Edward T. Doane's correspondence documents the trip on the steamer America after the shipwreck. The Doane's correspondence documents their experiences in Micronesia, and there is a copy of a letter written to Jerome D. Davis from Edward T. Doane as a Spanish prisoner. The letter appears to have been copied by Jerome D. Davis and includes a note at the end regarding Davis' contacted with U.S. Counsel at Manila. There is one letter after Doane's imprisonment, written from Ponape to his daughter, Clara.

Series III contains a letter from Mary A. White to Mrs. A. Edwards, dated May 20, 1865, New York, N.Y., where Mary White saw Clara off.

For an item level list of the correspondence, please see the container list.

Series IV contains printed translations of the gospel of Luke and John and the Ponapeian Primer. The translations are not credited, but it is possible that they were done by Hiram Bingham II (1831-1908), Minerva Clarissa Brewster Bingham (1834-1903) or Louisa Mitchell Lewis Gulick (1830-1894), all Micronesian missionaries who did extensive translation work.

The transcript copies in folder 6 and 9 were started by Mrs. Susan H. Grove. They have not been checked for accuracy but were copied onto permanent paper.

For published information on the ABCFM and printed pamphlets, consult the Congregational Library catalog. For photographs and copies of papers from other Micronesian and Hawaiian missionaries Lydia Vose Buck Snow Collection, 1820-1887 (MS 2407).


Series Description

Series I. Edward T. Doane correspondence
  Subseries A. Manuscript correspondence
  Subseries B. Typescript copies of correspondence
Series II. Clara H. Strong Doane correspondence and journal
  Subseries A. Manuscript correspondence
  Subseries B. Typescript copies of correspondence
Series III. Misc. correspondence
Series IV. Printed material


Container List




Folder 1 -- Edward T. Doane corr. 1865-1866
Mother March 8, 1865 New York City
Mother April 24, 1865 Franklinville
Mother June 24, 1865 Steamer America
Liffie June 30, 1865 Steamer America
Mother Aug. 3, 1865 Honolulu
Mother Oct. 10, 1865 Ponape
Nellie Oct. 16, 1865 Home [Ponape?]
Mother May 7, 1866 Ponape
Helen, Henry, Allie Oct. 20, 1866 Ponape
Folder 2 -- Edward T. Doane corr. 1868-1870
Mother Jan. 8, 1865 New York City
Mother Aug. 18, 1868 Ponape
Liffie Jan. 1, 1869 Ponape
Mother Nov. 17, 1869 Ponape
[Clara S. Doane] July 20, 1870 Ponape
[Clara S. Doane] Sept. 11, 1870 Ponape
[Clara S. Doane] Sept. 22, 1870 Ponape
Mother Oct. 4, 1870 Ponape
Folder 3 -- Edward T. Doane corr. 1871-1875
[Clara S. Doane] Jan. 9, 1871 Ponape
Mother Sept. 23, 1872 Ponape
Mother Sept. 30, 1872 Ponape
Jerome and Sophia Davis Feb. 7, 1873 Ponape
Jerome and Sophia Davis Feb. 17, 1873 Ponape
Mother Feb. 26, 1873 Ponape
Sister, niece, mother, daugh. June 28, 1873 Oberlin
Sister July 6, 1873 Oberlin
Mother Edwards July 7, 1875 Oberlin
Mother July 12, 1875 Oberlin
Mother Edwards Aug. 17, 1875 New York City
Sister Helen, niece Allie July 26, 1875 Millbury
Mother Edwards Aug. 19, 1875 New York City
Mother Sept. 10, 1875 New York City
Helen Dec. 28 1875 San Bernadino, Calif.
Folder 4 -- Edward T. Doane corr. 1879-1884
Sister March 22, 1879 North Springfield
Sister April 19, 1879 Marshfield, Mo.
Sister Nov. 15, 1880 Ponape
Sister Feb. 20, 1881 Ponape
Beloved ones Nov. 22, 1881 Morning Star
Beloved ones Jan. 30, 1882 Ponape
Beloved ones Feb. 4, 1884 Ponape
Sister Sept. 18, 1884 Ponape
Folder 5 -- Edward T. Doane corr. 1879-1884
Beloved ones Nov. 22, 1885 Ponape
Sister Feb. 15, 1886 Morning Star
Sister Nov. 7, 1886 Ponape
Jerome J. Davis to Brother May 11, 1887 Florence, Italy
Brother June 5, 1887 Ponape
Clara Aug. 6, 1889 Ponape
Clara Feb. 8, 1890 Oua
Folder 6 -- Edward T. Doane corr. 1865-1868 corr (typescript copies)
Mother June 24, 1865 Steamer America
Mother Aug. 3, 1865 Honolulu
Mother Oct. 10, 1865 Ponape
Mother May 7, 1866 Ponape
Mother Aug. 18, 1868 Ponape
Folder 7 -- Clara H. Strong Doane corr. 1865
Mother and sisters June 5, 1865 Rinconda Key, Caribbean Sea
Mother Aug. 21, 1865 SS Pfeil
Liffie Aug. 24, 1865 Mille
Liffie Sept. 2, 1865 Namerik
Folder 8 -- Clara H. Strong Doane corr. 1867-1872
Nellie Jan. 29, 1867 Ponape
Darlings March 25, 1867 Ponape
Helen Sept. 30, 1867 not given
Darlings Aug. 23, 1871 Morning Star
Journal no. 1-6 July 10, 1872 Ponape
Journal? no. 2 n. d. not given
Journal? no. 2 n. d. not given
Journal no. 5 n. d. not given
Journal no. 6 n. d. not given
Journal no. 7 n. d. not given
Folder 9 -- Clara H. Strong Doane corr. 1865 (typescript copies)
Mother and sisters June 5, 1865 Rinconda Key, Caribbean Sea
Liffie June 30, 1865 Steamer America
Liffie Aug. 29, 1865 Mille
Mother Aug. 21, 1865 Pfeil
Liffie Sept. 2, 1865 Namerik
Folder 10 -- Mary A. White corr. 1865 (ms. and typescript copy)
Mrs. A. Edwards May 20, 1865 New York City
Folder 11 -- Ponape Primer Puk En Patak. Kraij Me Mat Kin Kitail La. Honolulu: 1867.
Folder 12 -- Gospels of Luke and John. Monin Pan Luk Ronamu, Me Kajirawuk Ion Lal En Ponape. Honolulu: 1866.