The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Cleveland, John, 1722-1799
John Cleveland (1722-1799)
4 linear feet (3 boxes)
This collection reflects a wide
variety of the activities of the Reverend John Cleveland.
SERIES I. Personal Papers SERIES II. Church Papers SERIES III. Family Papers
Scope and Content Note
This collection reflects a wide variety of the activities of the Reverend John
Cleveland. The collection is divided into three series.
Series I. Personal Papers includes biographical
papers as well as correspondence John wrote to his wives, family, and friends. Of
particular interest in John's biographical papers is a journal kept of his years at
Yale College; his confession given to the "Reverend Rector and tutors of Yale;" and
the document expelling John and Ebenezer from that school. Also included are a
fragment of John's autobiography; a document confirming John as chaplain to Colonel
Bagley; and John's will and personal account records.
John's correspondence with his wives includes his marriage proposal to Mary
Dodge; letters exchanged while John was Chaplain to Colonel Bagley during the French
and Indian War; and letters to Mary (Neale) Foster from Prospect Hill during the
American Revolution. His family correspondence includes letters between John's
parents and their children, between John and his brothers, and between John and his
children. John's correspondence with his friends is primarily religious
Series II. Church Papers consist of sermons and
testimonials, correspondence, and church administration. The sermons and
testimonials are primarily stories of individual conversion to Christianity, as well
as replies to criticism of the separatist group in particular. The correspondence
consists of letters between various separatist churches and letters defending the
separatist view to those in other denominations. Of special interest is a rebuke
given to John Cleveland for ministering in a church without the pastor's consent,
and the invitation to and response of John Cleveland to pastor the "New Gathered
Church of Christ at Chebacco in Ipswich". Church administration papers include
formal religious doctrinal writings of the separatist churches; covenants uniting
the Second and Fourth Churches of Ipswich into one Congregational Church; and
records of church committee meetings.
Series III. Family Papers include correspondence
written by John's family, genealogical information on the Cleveland family, legal
papers from John's wife, parents and siblings, Mary (Dodge) Cleveland's diary, and
the remainders from a scrap book. Also included are diplomas, appointments, and
membership certificates for multiple generations of the Cleveland family as well as
a poster guide of short hand from 1823.
The collection was originally bound as a 4 volume scrapbook, but has since been
dismantled. Many documents are adhered with wax to groups of other letters based on
an original order established in the scrapbook.
John Cleveland (1722-1799), the seventh child of Josiah
Cleveland (1690-1750) and Abigail (Pain) Cleveland (1686-1762), was an early leader
in the "separatist" Christian movement. His career can be traced to a conflict with
the administration of Yale College, at which John and his brother, Ebenezer
Cleveland (1725-1805), were students. Refusing to repent for attending a separatist
congregation, both brothers were expelled from the college in 1745.
Shortly following his expulsion, John Cleveland served two years as a minister
to a separatist society in Boston before settling in Ipswich to pastor a new
separatist church at Chebacco, Ipswich. He served in the French and Indian War as a
chaplain to Colonel Jonathan Bagley, travelling to Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and to
Louisburg, Nova Scotia. During the American Revolution, he was a chaplain of an
Essex County Regiment, commanded by Colonel Cogswell.
John Cleveland was married to Mary Dodge (1723-1768) soon after his ordination
in 1747. They had seven children, including Mary Cleveland (1748-1804), John
Cleveland (1749-1815), Parker Cleveland (1751-1826), Ebenezer Cleveland (1754-1780),
Elizabeth Cleveland (1757-1828), Nehemiah Cleveland (1760-1837), and Abigail
Cleveland (1762-1824). Following Mary's death in 1768, John married Mrs. Mary
(Neale) Foster (1730-1810) in 1769. John passed away in 1799, having pastored the
Chebacco Church for 52 years.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons,
or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Cleaveland, Ebenezer, 1725-1805
Cleaveland, Ebenezer, 1754-1780
Cleaveland, John, 1722-1799
Cleaveland, Mary, 1730-1810
Cleveland, Mary (Dodge), 1723-1768
Cleveland, Nehemiah, 1760-1837
Cleveland, Parker, 1751-1826
Church history--18th century
Massachusetts--Social life and customs--To 1775
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783
Restrictions on Access
This collection is open for research use.
Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in
writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex