The family papers of Dan Beach Bradley, which consist of letters, letterpress books, diaries, diary transcripts, journals, notebooks, writings, photographs, and a painting, document the missionary careers in nineteenth-century Siam (modern Thailand) of the Rev. Dan Beach Bradley (1804-73) and his first wife, Emilie Royce Bradley (1811-45). The collection also includes a small amount of correspondence and writings created by two of their children, Sophia Royce Bradley (1839-1923) and Cornelius Beach Bradley (1843-1936). Except for fourteen letters, very little documentation exists of the forty-three-year missionary career (1850-93) of Bradley's second wife, Sarah Blachly Bradley (1817-93) of Dane, Wisconsin.
The collection is divided into five subgroups: I. Papers of Dan Beach Bradley; II. Papers of Emilie Royce Bradley; III. Papers of Cornelius Beach Bradley; IV. Bradley Family Records; and V. Blachly Family Geneological Materials. Within subgroups, records have been arranged into records series; within series, materials are typically arranged chronologically or alphabetically. Series arrangement is as follows: Subgroup I, Papers of Dan Beach Bradley: Series 1. Correspondence (Calendared); 2. Correspondence (Uncalendared); 3. Diaries and Journals; 4. Journal Abstract; 5. Notebooks; 6. Financial Records; 7. Bangkok Calendar; and, 8. Painting. Subgroup II, Papers of Emilie Royce Bradley: Series 1. Diaries and Album; 2. Diary Transcript; and 3. Letters. Subgroup III, Papers of Cornelius Beach Bradley: Series 1. Journal; 2. Letter-press Copy Book; and 3. Writings. Subgroup IV, Bradley Family Records: Series 1. Letters of Sophia Bradley McGilvary; 2. Letters between Bradleys and King of Siam; 3. Miscellaneous Papers; 4. Photographs; 5. Research Files of Julian S. Fowler; and 6. Account Book. Subgroup V is not divided into series.
The bulk of the Bradley Family Papers consists of Dan Beach Bradley's correspondence (1800-73), diaries (1832-73), notebooks (1830-54), and financial records (1847, 1850-66). The bulk of these papers was created in Bangkok between 1835, the year of Bradley's arrival, and 1873, the year of his death. Records predating the Bangkok years include thirteen letters (1800-34); diaries (1832-35), and lecture notes taken in medical school (1830). One notebook records Bradley's stay in Oberlin, Ohio, and West Haven, Connecticut, between 1847 and 1850.
Correspondence relating to Bradley's missionary, medical, and literary endeavors includes nine uncalendared letters (1836-67) and 340 leaves of calendared correspondence (largely incoming) with family members in America and colleagues in the mission field, 1829-73. (Also filed here are three letters written by Bradley's father, Judge Dan Bradley, dated 1800-1803.) Subjects treated in the letters include the voyage to Siam, Emilie's illnesses and childbearing, the children's' health, abolitionism, news of Finney's preaching, and the Bradleys' doctoral disagreements with the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (A.B.C.F.M.). Interfiled with this correspondence are drafts of Bradley's annual reports to the Corresponding Secretary of the A.B.C.F.M. Additional papers include a diary written in Singapore at the close of the voyage to Thailand in 1835, a chronology drafted in 1847 for inclusion in Bradley's publication The Bangkok Calendar entitled, "Notices of the Protestant Missions to Siam, 1827-46", and numerous invoices recording goods purchased by Bradley from importers in Singapore, such as nursing suppliers for Sarah, paper, lithography tools, cloth, and foodstuffs (1847, 1850-66).
The most valuable resource for understanding Bradley the man is his twenty-five-volume diary (1832-73). In addition to this diary, the collection contains a modern transcript of portions of the original: Abstract of the Journal of Rev. Dan Beach Bradley, M.D., Medical Missionary in Siam 1835-1873, George Haws Feltus, editor, 1936. The diary itself, which records events during the thirty-eight years of Bradley's residence in Siam, sheds light not only on the mission but also on the wider foreign community in Bangkok. Early entries (1832-34) in the diary describe his medical studies and also include a sketch of his early years.
Emilie Royce Bradley's papers include an album and two diaries (1827-30; 1831-33; 1840-42) kept in Clinton, New York and in Bangkok; a microfilm copy and a modern transcription of a diary (1834-36) whose original may still remain in private hands; a journal letter written aboard ship during her voyage to Siam in 1834-35; and a record book containing summaries of letters sent. The summaries often refer to "my large letter book", probably indicating that only a portion of Emilie's correspondence has survived. Only three letters in her hand (1835-38) are included in the calendared correspondence of Dan Beach Bradley; the accompanying index to the calendar erroneously ascribes ten letters to her.
Papers of Cornelius Beach Bradley include a journal (1864), a letterpress copy book (1872-74, 1884), genealogical data on the Bradley family, and several unrelated publications and writings. As a student in 1864-65 in Oberlin College's preparatory department, he wrote the "Critique on the Rhetorical Exercises of March 13, 1865". Later writings include three drafts of the "Sketch of the Life of Reverend Dan Beach Bradley By His Son C.B. Bradley," n.d.
Biographical information about Dan Beach Bradley collected during the late 1960s by Oberlin College Emeritus Librarian Julian S. Fowler (1890-1975) is included in Subgroup IV, Bradley Family Records, together with letters of Sophia Bradley McGilvary, five original letters and photographs of letters between Bradley and the King of Siam (1858-88), and family photographs (1860-70, 1991, n.d.). Subgroup IV also includes a day book, or account book, for the Bradley family in Bangkok, dated 1882-84.
Subgroup I. Papers of Dan Beach Bradley, 1800-73, 1936 (5.06 l.f.)
Subgroup I contains correspondence, diaries, journals, notebooks, and financial records created or received by Dan Beach Bradley previous to and during his residence in Bangkok, Thailand (1835-73).
Series 1. Correspondence (calendared, microfilmed & digitized), 1800-73 (24f) (340 items) (0.4 l.f.)
The correspondence (largely incoming) of Dan Beach Bradley is accompanied by a calendar and index prepared in 1972 by Archivist William E. Bigglestone. The calendar is based upon information gathered during the late 1960s by Emeritus Librarian Julian Fowler. The correspondence is chronologically arranged. Correspondents include Judge Dan Bradley of Marcellus, New York, Emilie R. Bradley, Sarah B. Bradley, Dr. L.B. Lane, General Agent for the mission in Bangkok, Professor Josiah Silsby, and the Rev. George Whipple (1805-76), Corresponding Secretary for the Foreign Department of the American Missionary Association. Subjects covered in the letters include the voyages to Siam, the lives of missionaries; and overall conditions of the mission. Letters are too fragile to handle and must be read on microfilm or in digital form on DVD.
Series 2. Correspondence (uncalendared; not microfilmed), 1836-67 (1 vol., 1f)
Includes a letter book (1836-46) containing original drafts and outlines of letters written by Dan Beach Bradley while working under the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions in Siam. Of interest is a letter dated 24 June 1846, which contains Bradley's defense of the doctrine of "sanctification" which led to disagreement among the members of the mission. Also housed here are nine loose letters (1848-67) received after the calendared correspondence. Letters are chronologically arranged. Correspondents include the Rev. George Whipple, Sarah B. Bradley, and Lewis Tappan (1788-1873).
Series 3. Diaries and Journals, 1832-73 (2.0 l.f.)
Consists of Dan Beach Bradley's journal, dated from 1832 through 1873. In addition to the twenty-five bound volumes, two sets of diary entries exist which fill gaps found in the bound volumes. The first of these loose diary entries (Aug-Sept 1833) record Emilie's spiritual self-questioning. The second, which has been microfilmed and digitized (see DVDs) begins in May 1834, as Bradley prepares to marry Emilie Royce, and ends on the day before the pair sailed for Siam (July 2, 1834). In addition, this series includes a "Journal of a Visit at Amherst, Maulmein & Pinang and a Residence at Singapore" (1835), addressed to Bradley's father, which was written by Bradley in Singapore to replace earlier letters which had been lost to pirates during the voyage. This journal has been microfilmed.
Series 4. Journal Abstract, 1936 (3 vol.)
Includes three copies of the 1936 publication, Abstract of the Journal of Rev. Dan Beach Bradley, M.D., Medical Missionary in Siam 1835-1873, edited by George Haws Feltus, which came to the Oberlin College Library as a gift of Dan Freeman Bradley in 1936, following his gift of the original twenty-five volume diary (found in Series 3). The work is not a complete transcript of the original; instead, it claims to be a faithful transcript from the manuscript of all but what the editor deemed "irrelevant matter." Omissions are indicated in the text. The journal abstract is also available on microfilm.
Series 5. Notebooks, 1830, 1847-49, 1854 (2 vol., 1f)
Includes a notebook (in fragile condition) containing lecture notes made by Bradley at Harvard Medical School (Nov-Dec 1830). The notebook for 1847-49, kept during Bradley's stay in the United States, contains subscriptions "for the support of that part of the Siam mission which has been rejected by the A.B.C.F.M. and adopted by the American Missionary Association." The first 16 pages include pledges gathered in Oberlin. Some entries are in Siamese. For this notebook and for the "Notices of the Protestant Missions to Siam, 1827-46", use the microfilm in the archives, as the originals are too fragile to handle. Materials are chronologically arranged.
Series 6. Financial Records, 1847, 1850-66, n.d. (10f)
Invoices for goods and services received by Bradley, mainly during his second residency in Bangkok. Most of the invoices are signed by the British house of agency in Singapore, Behn, Meyer, & Co., which managed an account in Bradley's name and made payments as necessary. The firm was also responsible for importing and exporting goods through Singapore. Records are chronologically arranged and must be read on microfilm.
Series 7. Bangkok Calendar, 1863, 1865 (2), 1870, 1872 (0.2 l.f.)
Almanacs published by Dan Beach Bradley. (Accessions 1992/29 and 2015/007).
Series 8. Painting, ca. 1850s-1860s (1.66 l.f.)
One framed oil painting gifted to Dan Beach Bradley by King Mongkut of Siam (Thailand). The painting, by an unknown Thai artist, depicts a landscape in the European tradition. Dr. Bradley was a physician to the king, who was a modernizer and reformer. (Accession 2018/22).
Subgroup II. Papers of Emilie Royce Bradley, 1827-45 (0.4 l.f.)
Subgroup II includes Emilie Royce Bradley's diaries, a round-robin letter, and a letterbook containing summaries of letters sent. Also housed here is a modern transcript (1986) of a diary for 1834-36.
Series 1. Diaries and Album, 1827-36 (3 vol.)
Two diaries and an album are chronologically arranged. The album was kept by Emilie at the age of sixteen during her teaching at the Clinton Female Seminary in Clinton, New York. The diary (1831-33), available in photocopy, discusses her spiritual struggles prior to her marriage in 1834. (See Series 2 for the transcript of a later diary.) The Bangkok diary for 1840-42 contains information to be transmitted to her daughters in case of her death and an account of the death of her three-month-old daughter, Harriet.
Series 2. Diary Transcript,  (1f)
Bound transcript, "Ledger & Diary of Emilie Royce Bradley, June 22, 1834-January 8, 1836," prepared by W.M. Orr, Jr., a great-great grandson of Emilie R. Bradley. This is not a scholarly edition. While the original diary is not in the possession of the archives, the archives holds a microfilm copy and digital copy (on DVD) of the original. (It should be noted that Emeritus Librarian Julian S. Fowler believed that there existed a second volume of the diary.)
Series 3. Letters, 1834, 1835-45 (1f)
Includes a round-robin letter (18 leaves bound with string addressed "To my Dear Mother other...friends at my home", composed by Emilie during the voyage from Boston to Siam in 1834. This letter is fragile and must be read on microfilm or in digital form on DVD. Also includes a bound volume half-full, entitled, "Contents of Letters," in which the contents of 259 letters sent are recorded chronologically.
Subgroup III. Papers of Cornelius Beach Bradley, 1864-65, 1872-84, 1886, 1890, 1917, n.d. (2.3 l.f.)
The papers of Cornelius Beach Bradley, son of Dan and Emilie Bradley, include a journal, letterpress copy book, published and unpublished writings, and Bradley family genealogical information compiled by Bradley in his later years.
Series 1. Journal, 1864 (1 vol.)
Bradley's journal describes his journey to the United States in 1864 to attend Oberlin College, where he studied from 1864-70, in the preparatory, college, and theological departments. He traveled via Ceylon, Bombay, Africa, Italy, France, and England.
Series 2. Letterpress copybook, 1872-74, 1884 (1 vol.)
Includes letterpress copies of letters written from Bangkok (1872-74) following Bradley's return to Siam in 1872 and prior to his leaving permanently for California in May 1875. Three letters on administrative matters were written in May 1884 to colleagues at the University of California where Bradley was Professor of Rhetoric in the Department of English. Copy book includes a tabbed index of correspondents.
Series 3. Writings, , 1917, n.d. (4f)
Consists of writings, both juvenile and professional, of Cornelius Beach Bradley. Manuscript drafts and printed articles are interfiled. Materials are alphabetically arranged by title. See Subgroup IV, Series 5 for genealogical information prepared by Cornelius B. Bradley.
Series 4. Genealogical Records of the Bradley Family, 1967-68, n.d. (1f)
Includes ten pages in Cornelius' careful hand of biographical information relating to his family, compiled sometime during or after the 1890s. Each entry includes a brief biographical sketch. Found with these papers is correspondence of a later date (1967-68) between Bradley family members relating to their genealogy.
Series 5. Diploma and Certificate, 1886, 1890 (flat file)
Consists of Cornelius Bradley’s Oberlin College diploma, 1886, and a certificate of his enrollment in the University of Frederic Wilhelm in Berlin, 1890.
Subgroup IV. Bradley Family Records, 1860-88, 1966-69, 1991 (0.3 l.f.)
Records include letters of Mrs. Sophia Bradley McGilvary, daughter of Dan and Emilie and sister to Cornelius, as well as letters (originals and copies) between the Bradleys and the King of Siam, an account book, family photographs, and miscellaneous papers. Also housed in Subgroup IV are the files assembled by Emeritus Librarian Julian Fowler in the course of researching the life of Dan Beach Bradley.
Series 1. Letters of Sophia Bradley McGilvary, 1865-88 (1f)
Includes originals and photocopies of letters from Sophia (Mrs. Dan McGilvary) in Chiangmai, Laos to her stepmother, Sarah B. Bradley, to "Annie," to her sister Irene, and to her daughter, Cornelia. Letters are chronologically arranged.
Series 2. Letters between Bradleys and King of Siam, 1852, 1854, 1858-70 (1f)
Consists of five original letters, photographs and photocopies of letters between Mongkut, King of Siam, and Mr. and Mrs. Dan Beach Bradley. Includes a listing, "Notes on Mongkut-Bradley Papers", supplied by the donor.
Series 3. Miscellaneous Papers, 1860-64 (1f)
Ephemeral items of Sophia and Cornelius Beach Bradley are filed here with 17 issues of the juvenile publications, "Youth's Gazette" and "The Young Palm Leaf" for June-October 1863. Materials are alphabetically arranged.
Series 4. Photographs, ca. 1860-70, 1991 37 items (4f)
Photographs, including albumen prints and modern reprints, are arranged by subject: Bradley family photographs, ca. 1860-70, n.d.; Bradley home in Bangkok, n.d.; Photographs of Bangkok, n.d.; and photographs of the Bradleys' oil portraits, 1991.
Series 5. Research Files of Julian S. Fowlers, 189?, 1966-69 (4f)
Three folders contain research materials and correspondence (1966-69) assembled in retirement by Oberlin College Emeritus Librarian, Julian Fowler, in preparation for writing a biography of Dan Beach Bradley.
Series 6. Account Book, 1882-84 (1 vol.)
Daybook containing entries of family and business expenses and receipts in Bangkok, 1882-84. This volume was given to the Oberlin College Library in 1930 by Arthur Bradley. It was originally ascribed to Dan Freeman Bradley; however, Dan Freeman Bradley was a student in Oberlin during those years. It seems likely that the book belonged to some other member of the Bradley family, possibly Arthur Bradley's father, Dwight Blachly Bradley, who oversaw the family's interests in Siam from 1875 to 1888.
Subgroup V. Blachly Family Geneological Materials (1.0 l.f.)
Consists of materials compiled for genealogical research related to the Blachly Family. Includes correspondence, photographs, lineage charts, and other related materials. These are either originals or photocopies, and cover the time period ca. 1600s to ca. 1980s.
Digital Copies (on DVDs)  (0.2 l.f.)
In 2007 the Archives sent selected fragile materials to OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) for digitization. See Digital Copies Note, below.
The earliest gift of Bradley papers to the Oberlin College Library occurred in 1930 when Dan Freeman Bradley donated his father's twenty-five volume diary. A transcript of that diary followed in 1936. In 1959, the bulk of Bradley's correspondence arrived from Mr. and Mrs. Harold C. Bradley of Berkeley, California; these documents were subsequently calendared. In 1971, the calendared correspondence [comprising accession 146] and notebooks and financial records [accession 133] were transferred from the College Library to the Oberlin College Archives. The following year, Accession 162 was acquired from the Harold Bradley family, comprising the uncalendared correspondence and other materials, including journals and diaries of Emilie Royce Bradley and Dan Beach Bradley. Included in subsequent accessions from the Harold Bradleys were the two framed oil paintings (1834) of the Emilie and Dan Bradley which hang in the Archives. Recent accessions occurred in 1986-87 and 1992. In 2001, the Oberlin College Library, Special Collections, transferred to the Oberlin College Archives the twenty-five volume journal of Dan Beach Bradley and a family account book. Valerie L. Smith donated genealogical materials related to the Blachly Family in 2012 (accession 2014/12). Bangkok calendars were received in 1992 and 2015. The oil painting was received from the great-granddaughter of Dr. Bradley in 2018 (accession 2018/22).
For the papers of Dan Freeman Bradley, consult record group 30/125 in the Oberlin College Archives. For Bradley's talk at exercises honoring President Henry Churchill King in 1927, consult records group 2/6/1, Box 125. The Baccalaureate address "The Lure of the Impossible," delivered by Dwight J. Bradley in 1932 is filed in RG 0 College General, Series 15 Commencement Files. The diary of the Rev. Jesse Caswell (1809-48), Dan Beach Bradley's fellow-preacher in Bangkok, is preserved on microfilm in the Archives. The diary begins in Singapore in 1839 and ends in Bangkok in 1840. The papers of Louis Bradley Blachly, a grandson of Dan and Sarah Bradley, are housed in the Department of Special Collections, University of Arizona Library. An extensive collection of books, pamphlets, reprints, and manuscript material concerning Siam and the Siamese, including original issues of the Bangkok Calendar, went to Yale University Library in 1959, together with some early letters of Judge Dan Bradley. A listing of these items is provided in the case file correspondence. See also the notebooks of Arthur E. Bradley located in Series IV. B., Non-College Miscellany, of the Oberlin File (RG 21).
Microfilm (master negatives and positive reference copies) exist in the Oberlin College Archives for the following Bradley Family Papers:
Abstract of the Journal of Dan Beach Bradley, 1936
Dan Beach Bradley, calendared correspondence (1800-73)
Dan Beach Bradley, bills and invoices, 1847-66, n.d.
Dan Beach Bradley, notebook in English and Siamese, listing subscribers and other matters, c. 1848-49, 1854
Emilie Royce Bradley, diary, 1834-36
Emilie Royce Bradley, journal letter of voyage to Siam, 1834
Notices of Protestant Missions to Siam, 1827-46
Master negative microfilm only exists in the Oberlin College Archives for the following:
Dan Beach Bradley, diary, 19 May - 1 July 1834
Dan Beach Bradley, Journal of a visit at Amherst, Maulmein and Pinang and a Residence at Singapore, 1835
The Library of Congress microfilmed the twenty-five volume Journal of Dan Beach Bradley in the 1940s. However, the Oberlin College Archives does not own a copy of this microfilm.
DIGITAL COPIES NOTE
OCLC (Online Computer Library Center) digitized the following in 2007 (on DVDs):
Dan Beach Bradley, calendared correspondence (1800-73)
Dan Beach Bradley, diary, 19 May - 1 July 1834
Emilie Royce Bradley, diary, 1834-36
Emilie Royce Bradley, journal letter of voyage to Siam, 1834
Location note: Microfilm stored in microfilm cabinet. DVDs stored in separate box with the Dan Beach Bradley Papers.