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Indiana University President's Office records, 1857-1875

A Guide to the Records at the Indiana University Archives

Finding aid prepared by Danielle Emerling

Summary Information

Indiana University Office of University Archives and Records Management
1320 East Tenth Street
Herman B Wells Library E460
Bloomington, IN 47405-7000
Phone: 812-855-1127

Indiana University. President.

Indiana University President's Office records,1857-1875

Collection No.

.2 cubic feet (1 box)

Materials are in English

Cyrus Nutt served as the fifth president of Indiana University from 1860-1875. Nutt died on August 24, 1875, a month after being dismissed by the Board of Trustees. The collection consists of administrative files, correspondence, and writings and addresses.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Advance notice required for access

Administrative History/Biographical Note

Born in Trumball County, Ohio in 1814, Cyrus Nutt held various educational positions and served as a Methodist minister before becoming the fifth president of Indiana University. He graduated from Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, in 1831, and upon completing his studies served as the principal of the College’s Preparatory Department. He later moved to a similar position at Indiana Asbury University (now DePauw), which he held until 1843 when he began pastoral work in the Indiana Conference at the Bloomington station. He then returned to Asbury before serving as president of the Fort Wayne Female College and Whitewater College. Between 1855 and 1860, he resumed his work in the ministry and served as both a mathematics professor and president at Asbury University.

In 1860, Nutt was elected president of Indiana University. During his presidency, the University attempted to create an agricultural and mechanical school under the terms of the Morrill Act, though by 1869 Purdue was established as the land grant college of Indiana. In 1867, the Board of Trustees voted to admit women to classes, and around the same time the university experienced the beginning of organized athletics with students embracing the game of baseball. The junior and senior-class-controlled newspaper The Student also was founded that year.

The final years of Nutt’s presidency saw growing tensions with students, though the reasons are unknown. Students published a bogus newspaper in March 1873 titled The Dagger in which they attacked Nutt. In 1875 the Board of Trustees dismissed Nutt, likely over internal problems with the board and the students. Nutt died on August 24, 1875, approximately one month after his dismissal.


Collection is organized into three series: Administrative, Correspondence, and Writings and Addresses.

Scope and Content Note

This small collection of records dating from Nutt’s tenure as Indiana University President span the period from 1857-1875 and are organized into three series: Administrative, Correspondence, and Writings and Addresses.

The Administrative series includes a report to the Board of Trustees from Daniel Kirkwood regarding the mathematics department, reports made by President Nutt to the Board of Trustees, and a list of books purchased at the sale of Nutt’s library. Correspondence consists of a letter of application and letters of recommendation for Asa M. Weston, and a few letters from officials and the citizens of the City of Bloomington to Indiana Governor Joseph A. Wright. James A. Garfield is among the individual correspondents. The Writings and addresses series include Nutt’s 1861 baccalaureate sermon and a sermon titled “Prayer Gauge.”

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information
Accession numbers: 0780, 1043, 1050
Usage Restrictions
Materials are in the public domain. For more information, contact the Indiana University Archivist.
Preferred Citation
[item], Indiana University President’s Office records, Collection C487, Office of University Archives and Records Management, Indiana University, Bloomington.
Daniel Kirkwood’s report on the Mathematics Department, 28 June 1864, was removed from Collection C52. The Asa M. Weston letters of application and recommendation were pulled from reference files. Letters to Governor Joseph A. Wright were pulled from Cyrus Dodd reference file.
Processing Information
Processed by Danielle Emerling.

Completed in 2012.

Container List

Series: Box 1 Administrative, 1864,  1875,  undated

Books bought at the sale of Nutt’s library, 1875? [image]View item(s)

Indiana Board of Trustees – Daniel Kirkwood Report on the Mathematics Department, 1864 June 28 [image]View item(s)

Indiana Board of Trustees, Reports to, 1864,  undated [image]View item(s)

Series: Box 1 Correspondence, 1857-1866

Alden, Joseph, 1866 [image]View item(s)

Citizens of Bloomington to Gov. Joseph A Wright, 1860 [image]View item(s)

Dunning, Paris to Gov. Joseph A. Wright, 1860 [image]View item(s)

Garfield, James A., 1866 [image]View item(s)

Goodwin, Willis B., 22 March 1862 [image]View item(s)

Jacobus, Melancthon W., 1866 [image]View item(s)

Kirkwood, Daniel, 1866 [image]View item(s)

Nordhoff, Charles to Gov. Joseph A. Wright, 1860 [image]View item(s)

Nutt, Cyrus to Hon. Evan Pugh, 1863 [image]View item(s)

Sheldon, James W., 1866 [image]View item(s)

Letters of Recommendation and Application – Asa M. Weston, 1857-1865 [image]View item(s)

Wilson, S.J., 1866 [image]View item(s)

Wolfe, Benjamin to Gov. Joseph A. Wright, 1860 [image]View item(s)

Series: Box 1 Writings and Addresses, 1861-1863,  1874

Baccalaureate sermon,

23 June 1861 [image]View item(s)

29 June 1862 [image]View item(s)

28 June 1863 [image]View item(s)

"Prayer Gauge," 1874 [image]View item(s)

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