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Samuel Chapman Armstrong papers

Identifier: MC-41

Scope and Contents

The Samuel Chapman Armstrong papers contain the personal and professional papers of Armstrong, his first wife, Emma Walker Armstrong, and their extended families. Armstrong, who was born to missionary parents in Hawaii, graduated from Williams College in 1862, served as an officer during the Civil War, and later founded the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute (also known as the Hampton Institute). Armstrong dedicated his life to the education of African Americans and Native Americans during a unique transitional period in American history, and the collection provides an opportunity for scholars to examine the life of a leading figure in 19th-century educational philosophy within the context and influence of the community in which he was reared.


  • 1826 - 1947

Language of Materials

In English and Hawaiian.

Conditions Governing Access

The Samuel Chapman Armstrong papers is open for research. Researchers are encouraged to contact Special Collections staff prior to a visit.

Conditions Governing Use

In consultation with Special Collections staff, reproductions may be made upon request. Please consult with staff regarding questions about publishing materials from Williams Special Collections. Researchers are responsible for handling any copyright issues that may be associated with collections and materials.

Samuel Chapman Armstrong (1839-1893)

Biographical Chronology

born January 30, 1839 in East Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii, the sixth of ten children born to Richard and Clarissa Chapman Armstrong
moves with family to Honolulu where he receives his education at the Royal School and Punahou, later Oahu College
upon the sudden death of his father, travels to the mainland to complete his education at Williams College
graduates from Williams College
enters the Union Army as Captain in the 125th N.Y. Volunteers
given command of the 9th U.S. Colored Troops
musters out as Brevet Brigadier-General of Volunteers
appointed Bureau Agent for the Freedman's Bureau at Fortress Monroe in Hampton, Virginia
founds Hampton Institute (April 1) with fifteen pupils, one teacher and one matron
marries Emma Dean Walker (1849-1878) October 13
first child, Louise Hopkins Armstrong, born July 30
second child, Edith Hull Armstrong, born August 30
first fifteen Indians admitted to Hampton in April (chiefly Kiowa and Cheyenne prisoners released from Fort Marion, St. Augustine, Florida)
Emma Armstrong dies October 10
travels to Hawaii
receives honorary LL.D. from Williams College
receives honorary LL.D. from Harvard University
marries Mary Alice Ford, a teacher at Hampton Institute
travels to Hawaii and speaks at the 50th anniversary of Punahou School; third child, Margaret Marshall Armstrong, born
Armstrong dies at the age of 54, February 11; fourth child, David William Armstrong, born


24.5 Linear Feet (23 boxes)


This collection is organized into eleven series: I. Samuel Chapman Armstrong, II. Emma Walker Armstrong, III. Mary Alice Ford Armstrong, IV. William and Louise Scoville, V. Edith Armstrong Talbot, VI. Richard and Clarissa Chapman Armstrong, VII. George and Harriet Hull Walker, VIII. Daniel and Frances Walker Williams, IX. Armstrong Family, X. Walker/Williams family, XI. Photographs.

Physical Location

L2 Storage F5b

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Margaret Howe and Samuel Scoville (daughter and grandson of Samuel Chapman Armstrong), 1951.

Related Materials

A variety of publications, including works on Hawaii, Hampton Institute, individual biographies and religious subjects (some donated to Williams College in honor of Louise Armstrong Scoville) may be located by searching the Williams library catalog, limiting by local call number ZZ 36.

Processing Information

Processed by Lynne Fonteneau McCann, May 1995.
Samuel Chapman Armstrong papers
Nash, Katie
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Williams College Archives Repository

Sawyer Library
26 Hopkins Hall Drive
Williamstown, MA 01267