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General Bissel Humphrey Papers

Identifier: RH-A-3832

Scope and Contents

This collection is comprised of materials relating to General Bissel Humphrey (approximately 1792 – 1855). The materials in this collection are from 1855 to 1861.

The ledger in this collection was written by George S. Clark, the executor of Gen. Humphrey’s estate. The ledger begins in August of 1855 and ends in January of 1861. The payments made include mortgages on properties held by the deceased, medical bills for his wife, funeral arrangements, and payments to individuals.


  • Creation: 1855-1861


Biographical / Historical

Gen. Bissel Humphrey was born in Western New York in 1792. The origin of his generalship is unknown though he may have served in the War of 1812 based on the timeline of his life. He was a noted pioneer of the area and operated a stage coach business. He and his wife moved to Kalamazoo in 1845 so he might become more involved in his stage business out west. Gen. Humphrey became a fixture in the Kalamazoo community, participating in many Fourth of July celebrations and operating as a prominent benefactor of the Kalamazoo Fire Department. Gen. Humphrey died on April 10, 1855 of a sudden illness. He became the namesake of the building at the corner of Main St. and Portage St. in Kalamazoo a few weeks after his death on April 31.


.10 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The ledger was found in the collection during the move in 2013; its origin is unknown.

Physical Description

The materials in this collection amount to 0.10 cubic feet. The entire collection is comprised of a single ledger. The ledger has a brownish, yellow cover with a black binding spine. The papers in the ledger are bound together by four strings running from the top to the bottom of the spine. The pages contain markings in ink and pencil. The ledger contains markings on each page including the date, the item description, and the monetary value of said item. The left-side of each page contains debits and the right-side, credits. The total value of the items on each page are written in pencil at the bottom right corner of each page.

The overall condition of the ledger is very good considering its age. The cover of the ledger has wear causing the paper covering to separate from the cardboard on the corners and around the edges. The spine has worn out around along the opening seam and there is some discoloration but it still in good condition. The pages of the ledger have yellowed and bear sparse stains but nothing that obscures the writing. There are some accidental ink marks likely caused from dripping but these do not obscure the writing either.

General Bissel Humphrey Papers finding aid
Stephanie Chapman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490