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Alonzo Flack Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: [Summit record]
Date: 2001-01-01

Biographical History

Rev. Dr. Alonzo Flack (1823-1885) was an American educator and clergyman of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He was principal and president at Claverack College and Hudson River Insitute from 1855-1885.

Alonzo Flack was born in Argyle, New York on September 19, 1823. While attending Union College (1845-1849), Flack joined the Methodist Episcopal Church and received a license as a preacher. He subsequently studied theology at the Concord Biblical Institute in New Hampshire and was recrutied by Bishop Osman C. Baker in 1854 to serve as principal for a new school at Charlotte. In 1855, Flack became principal of the Claverack College and Hudson River Institute. He later assumed the presidency of Claverack College in 1869. Flack was noted for his deep belief in the reform movements of the period, including temperance reform, the enfranchisment of women and ecclesiastical reform. He was granted a Doctor in Philosophy degree by the University of the State of New York in 1875. Much esteemed by his students, Flack served for thirty years as a teacher and administrator at the school, until his death in 1885. He was succeeded by his son, Rev. Arthur H. Flack, who occupied the position until 1900. The College, located in Claverack, New York, offered academic and classical studies to ladies and gentlemen and was very highly regarded. Alumni included author Stephen Crane, feminist Margaret Sanger, and President Martin van Buren.

[sources consulted: Minutes of the annual conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church: Spring conferences of 1885. (p. 97)]

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Alonzo Flack Papers includes miscellaneous papers, correspondence, manuscripts, lecture and sermon notes.

The bulk of the collection contains handwritten notes and manuscripts for lectures and sermons, as well as a manuscript and notes for a work in development titled Sensibilities. The conceived work, according the author's introduction, "is the taking up the whole subject [of sensibility] in a brief and practical manner, and so arranging the facts [...] as to give a clear system of Psychology to the inquiring student. [...] To assist the student the author has attempted to give clearer definitions of the faculties, powers, and states of the mind, than has been given [...]." The work was written "for the benefit of the author's own classes" and was derived from "oral and written lectures to students, given during an experience of twenty six years in teaching." It is unclear from the context in which the material was received (unsorted, in a single folder) how the various sermon and lecture manuscripts in the collection relate to the Sensibilitites manuscript.

Arrangement of the Collection

No particular order.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Flack, Alonzo.

Corporate Bodies

Claverack College and Hudson River Institute.


Education, Higher -- New York (State)
Methodist Episcopal Church.

Genres and Forms

Lecture notes.
Manuscripts (document genre)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Alonzo Flack Papers
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

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