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Stacy Family Papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-Stacy

Scope and Content of the Collection

Collection of materials from Amy and Fitch Stacy, including two friendship autograph albums, one journal, one pocket diary, and other documents from the family. The bulk of the materials date from the 1860s.

The earliest two albums come from Amy Stacy’s time at the North Granville Female Seminary School (ca. 1858-1861), and contain autographs of friends, bible verses, quotes from literature and recent novels, and pencil drawings by Amy. It is unclear whether Amy simply attended this school, or also taught there after graduation. Amy’s journal dates from 1865 to 1869 and records the initial difficult transition of leaving her home and moving to Stacyville, Iowa. She also writes of the birth of her first son, expressing relief that the child is a boy. The journal has few entries, but also includes religious quotes, lists of her correspondence, descriptions of travels back to New York, and notes about “books to be bought.” Notes kept in the journal include an itinerary for her 1892 trip aboard the S.S. Topeka from Washington to Alaska (diary of this trip is located at the Washington State Historical Society), a note to her children, and other miscellaneous notes.

Fitch’s pocket diary from 1864 was used to document many different areas of his life, including jobs, travel, and accounting information. The entry for March 16th includes a note about an agreement with his cousin to build a house in Stacyville. The page for July 20th lists the members of the Iowa Calvary and Infantry who served in the Civil War. It is unclear where or how Fitch and Amy met, but by the fall of 1864, some of the entries, mostly quotes, are written in her hand. The loose notes kept in the diary are primarily from Amy which document an affectionate marriage. Some are reminders of chores or supplies for Fitch to get, and others are short questions for him to answer. The notes were likely delivered to Fitch by their children.


  • Creation: 1858-approximately 1936
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1858 - 1869



Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The Stacy Family Papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Stacy Family Papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections.

Biography of the Stacy Family

American family who lived in Stacyville, Iowa during the 1860s.

Amy Peters Sewall Stacy, the daughter of the Reverend Jotham Sewall and Ann Baker, was born Oct. 11, 1839 in Maine. She studied at the North Granville Female Seminary in New York where she may have also taught. Amy was active in benevolent and charitable women’s groups throughout her life. Fitch Bissel Stacy was born in New York on Nov. 15, 1820 or 1821. Fitch married his first wife, Parthenia Ballard Page (ca. 1834-Dec. 1860) in June 1854 and they had two children: Annie Page Stacy (born ca. 1856) and George Fitch Stacy (born ca. 1859). Fitch was a farmer and livestock breeder that traveled throughout America in the 1860s.

Amy and Fitch married in 1865 and moved to Stacyville, Iowa. They had at least two children: Ralph Sewall Stacy (Feb. 3, 1868-Mar. 1964) and Mary Burr Stacy (born ca. 1874). The family moved to Tacoma, Washington around 1888 where Fitch died on Dec. 25, 1893. Amy worked as a math teacher and became the first president of the Washington State Federation of Women’s Clubs, serving from 1896-1898. Amy died Jul. 16, 1912 in Tacoma, Washington.


0.4 Linear Feet (1 box)


Collection of materials from Amy and Fitch Stacy of Stacyville, Iowa, including two friendship autograph albums, one journal, one pocket diary, and other materials from the family. The bulk of the materials date from the 1860s and document life in Iowa, family, and motherhood. Amy Stacy would later become one of the founding leaders of the Washington State women’s movement.


Materials arranged alphabetically.

Collection Stack Location

1 32 5


Purchase, Whitmore Rare Books, 2018.

Processed by

Catherine Grandgeorge, 2019.

Inventory of the Stacy Family Papers, 1858-approximately 1936, bulk 1858-1869
Catherine Grandgeorge
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States