Elisha Loomis Papers,1816-1859

Collection Number: 2275

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library


Elisha Loomis papers, 1816-1859, 1816-1836 (bulk)
Collection Number:
Elisha Loomis, 1799-1836.
.3 cubic ft.,
Forms of Material:
Filmed journals, outlines, essays, lectures, and correspondence.
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Filmed papers consist of four journals (1819-27, 65 ft. microfilm) dealing with Loomis's experiences as an educator and as a Congregational missionary in the Hawaiian Islands.
Collection material in English


Printer, linguist, missionary, educator.


Filmed papers consist of four journals (1819-27, 65 ft. microfilm) dealing with Loomis's experiences as a Congregational missionary in the Hawaiian Islands, with his pioneering work in reducing Hawaiian to a written language, printing Hawaiian spelling books, hymnals, and tracts, and teaching native English and Hawaiian, and with religious instruction, sermons, and conversions; contain scattered references to native religion, child-rearing habits, polygamy, and other customs, conflicts between the missionaries and other white men, particularly sailors, and instances of backsliding among both native converts and missionaries; also included are comments on Hiram Bingham, the unofficial leader of the missionary group, Captain Cook, whose death Loomis saw as divine retribution for Cook allowing himself to be treated as a god, and the Society Islands, which he visited on his return to the mainland in 1927.
Original papers (19 ft. microfilm) include ten outlines, essays, and lectures (1831-32) that give Loomis's views on educational theory and methods and contain discussions of school administration, the teaching of the alphabet, arithmetic, geography, and English grammar, natural philosophy, Pestalozzi's system, and good manners; correspondence during his career as a missionary-teacher to the Hawaiians and to the Ojibway Indians and his school in Rushville, Ontario and Yates Counties, New York; letters from Mackinac, Michigan (1830-32), pertaining to his proposed Ojibway alphabet and other subjects; letters (1836) from his brother, Chester, discussing his battle against banking interests in the New York State Legislature, and from his wife, Maria Sartwell Loomis, and others in Rushville and Rochester, New York; and a journal (1 vol., 1816-[1935-36]-1845) concerning his family's life in Rushville, with later entries made by his wife, fair copies of eighteen letters (1816-17) from Loomis to his cousin, Joseph Webb, two letters (1833) to Henry Howe describing his school in Rushville, two letters (1859) to Chester Loomis from Elisha's son concerning his father's estate, photocopy of an incomplete letter from Loomis (19 pp., 1830) correcting errors in a book about Hawaii published by the American Sunday School Union.

Loomis, Elisha,1799-1836.
Bingham, Hiram, 1789-1869.
Cook, James.
Loomis family.
Loomis, Chester.
Loomis, Maria Sartwell.
Webb, Joseph.
New York (State). Legislature.

Banks and banking--New York (State)
Ojibwa Indians.
Ojibwa language.
Hawaiian language.
Indians of North America--Missions.

Hawaii--Social life and customs.
Society Islands--Description and travel.


Cite As:
Elisha Loomis papers, #2275. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.


All the material in the collection may not be covered by this guide.
Education papers
Box 1
"Questions on Natural Philosophy"
Box 1
"On the Government of Schools"
Aug. 31, 1831
Box 1
"Lectures on Schoolkeeping, Nos. 1 and 2"
Aug. 14, 1832
Box 1
"On Teaching the Alphabet"
Sept. 6, 1832
Box 1
"Brief Account of Pestalozzi and his system of communicating instruction"
Sept. 13, 1832
Box 1
"On Teaching Arithmetic in Common Schools"
Sept. 14, 1832
Box 1
"On Teaching Geography"
Sept. 21, 1832
Box 1
"On Teaching English Grammar"
Oct. 1832
Box 1
No title - but appears to be on the subject of Good Manners
Oct. 17, 1832
Box 1
"Lecture on the Subject of Education, Indifference manifested"
Journals, 1819-1827
Box 1
Volume I (original in Hawaiian Mission Children's Society Library)
Oct. 23, 1819-1821
Box 1
Volume II (original in Hawaiian Mission Children's Society Library)
Box 1
Volume III - also, annotated typescript copy with glossary (original and typed copy in University of Hawaii Library)
1824-Jan. 1826
Box 1
Volume IV (original in Hawaiian Mission Children's Society Library)
1826-Oct. 26, 1827
"Extracts from the journals of E. Loomis and his wife M.T.S. Loomis"
Box 1
50 pp. typescript, includes most of what is included in a handwritten copy of journal in possession of the Archives of the Hawaiian Board, Honolulu. This handwritten copy must have been made from the originals.