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Gamaliel Lyman Dwight and Sarah Helen Whitman papers

Identifier: SC 01795

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Content Description

The Gamaliel Lyman Dwight and Sarah Helen Whitman Papers contain three letters written by Gamaliel Lyman Dwight to Sarah Helen Whitman during the Civil War (1861-1865). In his first letter to Whitman, Dwight mentions a man who knew Edgar Allen Poe, a former romantic interest of Whitman. The remainder of the correspondence includes Dwight's impressions of Camp Winfield Scott, a tent encampment near Yorktown that served as the headquarters of Union General George B. McClellan.


  • Creation: February 1862 - August 1863


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use

Before reproducing or quoting from any materials, in whole or in part, permission must be obtained from the Special Collections Research Center, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Biographical / Historical

Gamaliel Lyman Dwight (1841-1875) was educated in Providence, Rhode Island, and attended Brown University. As a freshman at Brown University, he joined the Rhode Island First Regiment for the Union Army in the Civil War (1861-1865). Dwight served as a private, corporal, sergeant, lieutenant and captain. He left the military with honor on July 17 1864. After the war, he completed his studies at Brown University and studied medicine at Harvard Medical School and in Berlin, Germany.He married Anne Ives Carrington in 1871 and had a daughter that same year. Due to health issues Dwight was unable to practice medicine and died in the Bahamas on January 19, 1875.

Sarah Helen Power Whitman (1803-1878) was a published poet, transcendentalist, with interests in science, mesmerism, and the occult. Sarah was born to Nicholas Power and Anna Marsh in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1828, she married the poet and writer John Winslow Whitman. Sarah published poetry using the name "Helen" in the Boston Spectator and Ladies' Album of which her husband John was co-editor. After John's death, Sarah exchanged letters and poems with Edgar Allen Poe. They were briefly engaged but never married. After Poe's death, Sarah continued to write including a collection entitled "Hours of Life, and Other Poems" was published in 1853. Sarah Helen Power Whitman died on June 27, 1878.


0.1 Linear Feet (1 legal size folder)




The Gamaliel Lyman Dwight and Sarah Helen Whitman Papers is organized into one series: Series I. correspondence. The correspondence series is arranged chronologically by date within the folder.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased with the Forsyth Special Collections Fund.

Processing Information

The collection received container level processing. This finding aid may be updated to reflect new descriptions and aquisitions to the collection.

Guide to Gamaliel Lyman Dwight and Sarah Helen Whitman Papers
Kendall McKinley
November 2022
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository