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318 Elmer L. Andersen Library, University of Minnesota, 222 21st Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455

An Inventory of his papers

Biography | Contents Summary/Organization | Administrative/Access Info | Contents Details | Indexed Terms/Access Points


Creator: Brainerd, Cephas, 1831-1910.
Title: Cephas Brainerd papers.
Date: 1865-1947 (bulk 1880-1890).
Collection Number: Y.USA.15
Abstract: Correspondence, speeches, writings and biographies of Cephas Brainerd, secretary general of the YMCA International Committee from 1867-1892.
Quantity: 1.0 cu. ft. (3 boxes).
Location: See Detailed Description section for box listing.


Cephas Brainerd was born in Haddam, Connecticut in 1831. Coming to New York City to study law, he became a partner in the firm of Ebenezer Seely and Truman Smith. He served as vice-president of the Bar Association of New York City and for 12 years was a lecturer of international law at New York University. In 1864 he successfully represented a group of African-Americans whose property had been damaged in rioting . From 1876 to 1892 he worked on a number of cases relating to the "Alabama Claims," in which money distributed to United States maritime interests and their insurance companies in compensation for Civil War damages.

Brainerd's contact with the YMCA began in 1852 when at the age of 21 he joined the New York City association. He became a director of that association in 1857 and was its vice president from 1857-1859. During the early part of the Civil War he was active on the Army and Navy Committee of the association. Brainerd served as secretary general of the International Committee from 1867-1892, during which he strongly influenced the character of the YMCA, including advocating an evangelical emphasis and a moderate attitude towards race relations.


The bulk of the collection consists of speeches and writings of Brainerd delivered during the later years of his tenure as secretary general of the International Committee of the YMCA. Also included are copies of manuscripts of biographies of Brainerd written by family members, including his son, Ira and wife, Eva W. (Hutchinson) Brainerd.


Use of Materials:
This collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright, ownership, and to obtain all the necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials.
Preferred Citation:
[Indicate the cited item and/or series here]. Cephas Brainerd Papers. Kautz Family YMCA Archives. University of Minnesota.
See the Chicago Manual of Style for additional examples.
Processing Information:
Material in this collection was formerly cataloged as part of the YMCA Biographical Files.
Processed by: Chan Harries, August 2004.
Catalog Record ID number: 4458119


The following section contains a detailed list of the materials in the collection. To request materials, please note the corresponding box number.

Box 1 Provenance
Association Libraries and Librarians, 1881.
Biography, notes and correspondence, 1946-1948.
Biography, manuscript, undated.
A memoir written by his son, Ira, left unfinished at his death in 1935 and later edited by Eveline Brainerd, Cephas's wife.
Biography, manuscript, 1947. 2 folders.
Clippings, undated, 1884-1886, 1891.
Box 3 Correspondence, 1883-1884.
Box 1 Correspondence, undated, 1865, 1869-1897, 1910.
Box 2 Correspondence, H. E. Brown, 1879-1892.
Correspondence, Charles Ober, 1890-1891.
Correspondence, W. E. Shipton, 1868.
Correspondence, Robert Weidensall, 1868-1887. 2 folders.
Local association appearances by Brainerd, 1887-1888.
Notebook, undated.
Papers, 1891-1948.
Includes speeches given by Cleveland Dodge, and materials on the Brainerd family.
Retirement, 1892-1893.
Speeches, undated, 1865-1872, 1874, 1886-1910. 2 folders.
Box 3 Tributes, 1893, 1900, 1904.
Box 2 Writings, 1873, 1883-1884, 1889-1891.


This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Young Men's Christian associations -- Employees.
Young Men's Christian associations -- New York (State).
Young Men's Christian associations -- United States.
Brainerd family.
Brainerd, Eveline W.
Brainerd, Ira Hutchinson.
Dodge, Cleveland H. (Cleveland Hoadley), 1860-1926.
Ober, Charles K. (Charles Kellogg), b. 1856.
Weidensall, Robert, 1836-1922.
Young Men's Christian Associations of North America. International Committee.