2012 Programs

March 28-May 20, 2012

Frazar Stearns

Amherst College Archives and Special Collections

Frazar Stearns

"Frazar is Killed"
Emily Dickinson,  Amherst, and the Civil War
An Exhibit at Amherst College 

Time:  available for viewing during Frost Library Open Hours
Location: Frost Library (1st floor), Amherst College
Fee:  No

For many residents of Amherst, the reality of the Civil War finally hit home in March 1862, when Frazar Stearns, son of Amherst College president William Augustus Stearns, died in the battle of New Bern, North Carolina.  In a letter about Frazar, poet Emily Dickinson wrote “Let us love better, children, it’s most that’s left to do” (L255).  

From March 28 through May 20, the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections will host a special exhibit, “’Frazar is Killed’,” of Civil War-related material in the Amherst College collection.  The material includes photographs of Stearns and other Amherst College students who served in the war, letters from Emily Dickinson and college associates, and buttons from the uniform of William S. Clark. 

Michael Kelly, Head of Archives and Special Collections, notes “There were only 235 students at Amherst when the Civil War started. It was a small, tight-knit community, so the death of Frazar Stearns was deeply felt by all. The war altered every aspect of life in the United States, and college life in Amherst was no exception.” 

Located on the main floor of Frost Library, the exhibit is accessible during the library’s open hours (visit www.amherst.edu/library/hours for more details).  A special panel discussion, "How the Civil War Came to Amherst," will take place in Frost Library on Thursday, March 29, at 4:30 pm.

For more information about Emily Dickinson and the Civil War, click here.

For more information about a Civil War cannon in the Amherst College collection, click here.