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Levi Parsons correspondence

Identifier: C-45
Levi Parsons (Class of 1814) portrait
Levi Parsons (Class of 1814) portrait

Scope and Contents

This collection of letters written to family and friends details the travels and observations of Levi Parsons as a missionary in the Middle East as well as general correspondence from his student days at Middlebury College. Folder #4 without address or salutation, is a sort of prayer or anthem detailing Parsons’ religious epiphany while a student. A letter to his brother details the massing of 300 men in Shoreham on the eve of the Battle of Plattsburgh and its aftermath, (Folder #12). Levi writes often to his sister, Lucretia who became the wife of Rev. Daniel O. Morton, a pastor in Shoreham, VT. Morton wrote Memoir of Rev. Levi Parsons, Late Missionary to Palestine, published in 1824.


  • 1811-1823


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish materials, contact: Special Collections & Archives Middlebury College Phone: (802) 443-2387 Email:

Biographical / Historical

Levi Parsons was born in 1792, in Goshen, MA. He had a brother, Ira, and two sisters, Electa and Lucretia. His sister Electa died on Dec. 16, 1816. His education at Middlebury College was followed by Theological training at Andover Theological Seminary beginning in 1814, and ending in 1817. He was ordained in the same year. He was sent as a missionary to Egypt l8l7-1822. Before arriving in Egypt, he spent some time in “Smyrna, Asia”—today known as Izmir, in Turkey. He resided on the island of Scio-- today Chios, and on Syra –today Siros, Greece.

Before sailing for Alexandria with his good friend and classmate, Pliny Fisk, he became ill, and died not long after their arrival in Alexandria, on February 10, 1822. Fisk documents his illness, which seems likely to have been typhoid. In D. O. Morton’s compilation about Parsons it is stated that Parsons was sick for fifty days, and was “20 days without reason,” which seems likely to have been delirium or coma. Fisk himself continued his missionary work, after Parsons’ death, in Egypt and Jerusalem, dying in Beyrout, Syria on October 23, l825.


1 Box (1 flat oversize box)

34 Folders

Language of Materials



Correspondence arranged according to date. Organized into 2 series. I. Levi Parsons to family members and others. II. Letters to Parsons family

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Howard Chandler Robbins.

Related Materials

Pliny Fisk Journal, from May 20, 1821 to Feb. 5, 1923 and from Feb. 6, 1823 to May 15, 1824 (Manuscript)

Memoir of Rev. Levi Parsons, compiled by D. O. Morton, (l824), Smith & Shute, Poultney, VT.

Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

Middlebury College
Davis Family Library
110 Storrs Avenue
Middlebury Vermont 05753 United States