Tobias Ham Miller Papers, 1825-1873 – MS012

Tobias Ham Miller Papers, 1825-1873 – MS012

Provenance: Owned by Helen Pearson, descendent of Miller who then gave the collection to Joseph W. P. Frost, who donated them to the Portsmouth Athenaeum.

Source: Gift of Joseph W. P. Frost in 1987 with addition in 1992.

Citation: Tobias Ham Miller Papers , MS012, Portsmouth Athenaeum

Size: 3.5 Hollinger Box

Access: No restrictions

Processed by: Kevin Shupe in September 1990, revised by Susan Stowe Kindstedt in 2006


Chiefly sermon notes of Miller, some correspondence, legal papers, and documents relating to the First Congregational Church, Kittery Point, Me., where he served as minister (ca. 1836-1841). Subjects include anti-slavery and temperance.

Scope and Content

The Rev. Tobias Ham Miller Papers primarily contain sermon notes from 1836-1868. The collection contains approximately 35 sermons, some with notes about where and when they were given. This includes his first sermon which he read before the Piscataqua Association in 1836 and ten other churches in the following two years. Thirty years later in 1868 Miller preached it again at Fremont and Atkinson churches. Many of the sermons are not dated and there are also several sermon fragments. With the exception of a few that are numbers and arranged chronologically, there is no discernable order to the sermon’s arrangement.

The collection also contains 13 letters to Miller dated 1840 to 1869, as well as his application for a ministerial license in 1836. There are three letters of recommendation for Miller (including one from the First Church in Kittery for Miller to join a “free church” in Portsmouth) and also one small manuscript volume of religious poetry.

Legal records in the collection include deeds to property in Portsmouth, Miller’s contract for editing the Gospel Teacher and Universalist Miscellany and agreements for the debts of Miller and Chadwick and for the press and type of William H. Foster. Also included are estate papers for Ruth Miller and John Moses, Miller’s guardianship of Bryon Hall and the estate of Elijah Hall, Abraham Meloon land deeds and quit claim, Elisha and Hannah Plaisted deeds, and Miller’s suit against Charles Plaisted. Miscellaneous papers include a land deed from Mark Simes to William Fernald for property in Durham, a dismissal of James Nowell from the North Church, a transfer of Narcissa Dwilley[?] to the free church, and an agreement of marital separation between Elizabeth and Thomas Foye. Printed miscellaneous includes a book ad, an elocution booklet, an American Press Association Address and Constitution, newspaper clippings, Dr. Dio Lewis Family School for Young Ladies Catalog, and a printed poem by Mary Miller. There is also a manuscript of stories by John H. Miller.

Biographical Notes

Tobias Ham Miller (August 10, 1801 to March 30, 1870) was known for being a printer, newspaper writer and publisher, bookstore owner, and Congregationalist minister. Miller was born in Portsmouth, the son of Ruth and John Miller. He attended the Woodbury Public School until the age of 13 when he was apprenticed as a printer, working for the Portsmouth Oracle, the Newburyport Herald and for the printing house of Wells and Lillie in Boston. In 1822 he returned to Portsmouth and ran a bookstore on Congress Street. With partner, Charles Brewster, he turned to newspaper publishing in 1825, publishing the Portsmouth Journal until 1835. In November 1825 he married Mary Moses (ca. 1806 to March 4, 1845). Miller had at least nine children: Edwin J. (1826-1854), James (1827-1891), Frank W. (1829-1880), Frances M. (b. 1830?), Thomas W. (1831?-1855), Susan E. (1833-1913), Israel Putnam (b. 1836?), John H. (1838-1887), and Mary E. B. (1841-1939).

Miller was licensed by the Piscataqua Association as a Congregationalist miniter in 1836 and in 1837 he was ordained as the pastor of the Kittery Point Congregational Church, from which he was dismissed in 1841. The Piscataqua Association disassociated him in 1847 after he embraced Universalism. He was an editor and writer for various religious, temperance, and anti-slavery publications including the New Hampshire Observer, The Carpet Bag, The Washingtonian, and The Teacher and Miscellany. In 1852 he became the chief feature writer for the Portsmouth Morning Chronicle under the name “Uncle Toby.”

After his wife Mary died March 4, 1845 he married first Mrs. Hannah H. Plaisted April 28, 1845 (see 1849 letter to Miller from Susan Christie) and second Mrs. Betsy (Nudd) Taylor.

Folder List

Box 1

Folder 1-9 Sermons, 1836-1868, Kittery Point Congregational Church

Folder 10 Poetry, n.d.

Folder 11 Letters, 1840-1869

Folder 12 Application for Ministerial License, 1836

Folder 13 Religious Recommendations, 1841, 1851, Kittery Point Congregational Church

Folder 14 Bills and Receipts, 1828-1870

Folder 15 Property Deeds, 1835-1844

Folder 16 Legal Agreements, 1831-1849, Gospel Teacher and Universalist Miscellany

Folder 17 Miller, Ham and Moses Estates, 1835-1841

Folder 18 Guardianship of Byron Hall and Elijah Hall Estate, 1830-1863

Folder 19 Abraham Meloon, Property Deeds, 1811, 1814

Folder 20 Elisha Plaisted Papers, 1834-1848

Folder 21 Miscellaneous Papers, 1825-1873, Elizabeth Foye and Thomas Foye divorce papers, James Nowell

Folder 22 Miscellaneous Printed Materials, 1865-1870, n.d.

Folder 23 John H. Miller, Book of Stories, 1851

Box 2

Folder 1 Correspondence, 1837-1849

Folder 2 Correspondence, 1850-1860s

Folder 3 Notebook with notes on religion

Folder 4 Deed, 1849

Folder 5 Divorce Papers, 1851 for Elizabeth and Thomas Foye

Folder 6 Miller’s guardianship of Joshua B. Hall, 1831-1832

Folder 7 Estate of Ruth Miller, Tobias Ham Miller, executor, 1841

Folder 8 Bills and Receipts, 1820s-1830s

Folder 9 Bills and Receipts, 1840s

Folder 10 Bills and Receipts, 1850s

Folder 11 Israel Putnam Miller letter to (sister?) Caroline Miller, 1865

Folder 12 Thomas W. Miller’s printers’ union ( New York and Boston), cards and certificate, 1851-1852

Folder 13 Helen Pearson correspondence and drawings, 20 th century

Folder 14 Portsmouth Glebe Land list of lot renters and rates, 1785

Folder 15 Notebook with religious notes (too early to be Miller)

Folder 16 Estate of John Fernald, 1700-1702

Folder 17 Hannah Plaisted material, 1842-1849

Folder 18 Thomas Lewis baptism and marriage, notes and letter, 1868

Folder 19 Miscellaneous correspondence

Box 3 Tobias Ham Miller Sermons, 1829-1843

Folder 1 This is Not Your Rest, Greenland, May 24, 1836

Folder 2 Of Such is the Kingdom of God, Eliot, June 12, 1836

Folder 3 Address Before Mechanic Association, 1829

Folder 4 Suffer Little Children, Greenland, June 12, 1836

Folder 5 Anti-Slavery, Portsmouth, July 4, 1836

Folder 6 Faith, Virtue, etc., North Hampton, August 14, 1836

Folder 7 Treasure in Earthen Vessels, Portsmouth, July 29, 1837

Folder 8 Temperance, North Hampton, December 1836

Folder 9 Father Forgive Them, Brick Vestry, July 30, 1837

Folder 10 Peace Be Within Thy Walls, Greenland, August 6, 1837

Folder 11 The Wicked driven away in his wickedness, Portsmouth, August 20, 1837

Folder 12 Psalm 107:1, Kittery Point, November 30, 1837

Folder 13 Whom Have I in Heaven But Thee, Kittery Fore-side, December 10, 1837

Folder 14 Peter’s Preaching – therefore let all the House of Israel, Fore-side, December 17, 1837

Folder 15 Mark 5:34, Kittery Point, January 21, 1838

Folder 16 Some indeed preach Christ of envy and strife, Fore-side, February 18, 1838

Folder 17 Thou Shalt have no other Gods before me, Kittery Point, April 1, 1838

Folder 18 Exodus 20:15, Kittery Point, May 27, 1838

Folder 19 Kings Reign, Kittery Point, July 1, 1838

Folder 20 The Hand of the Lord, Kittery Point, August 12, 1838

Folder 21 The Lord Gave, Kittery Point, September 23, 1838

Folder 22 Acts 24, 25, Kittery Point, September 16, 1838

Folder 23 The Temptation, Matthew Chapter 4, Kittery Point, October 7, 1838

Folder 24 Lamb of God, Kittery Point, November 6, 1838

Folder 25 Follow Me, Kittery Point, November 9, 1838

Folder 26 The Beginning of Miracles, Kittery Point, November 18, 1838

Folder 27 They besought him to depart, Kittery Point, January 13, 1839

Folder 28 Matthew 11:7, Kittery Point, February 24, 1839

Folder 29 Abrahams War, Kittery, June 30, 1839

Folder 30 When Pilate saw, Kittery Point, July 21, 1839

Folder 31 Punishment, Kittery Point, July 28, 1839

Folder 32 The Burial of Jesus, Kittery Point, August 11, 1839

Folder 33 Teach All Nations, Kittery, August 1839

Folder 34 And beginning at Moses…, Kittery Point, September 15, 1839

Folder 35 Net on right side…, Kittery Point, September 22, 1839

Folder 36 Feed my lambs – Feed my sheep, Kittery Point, September 29, 1839

Folder 37 Whether therefore you eat or drink…, Kittery Point, March 2, 1840

Folder 38 In the beginning was the word, Greenland, March 14, 1841

Folder 39 Anti-Ministry, Kittery Point Church, October 19, 1841

Folder 40 Some trust in Charists, Cameneum [ Universalist Church], December 25, 1841

Folder 41 John 12:31, North Hampton, March 1842

Folder 42 Dissertation on the “Doctrine of a Particular Providence,” Stratham, May 1842

Folder 43 The Zeal of Thine House, Newington, June 26, 1842

Folder 44 Romans 8:9, Kittery, February 6, 1843

Folder 45 Exegesis of David, Greenland, May 1843

Folder 46 Dissertation on Church Covenants, Piscataqua Association at South Berwick, October 1843

Folder 47 Glory to God in the highest, Cameneum [ Universalist Church], December 25, 1843

Box 4 Tobias Ham Miller Sermons, 1844-1870, n.d.

Folder 1 Genesis 17:1-3, Newington, May 5, 1844

Folder 2 Mine House shall be called an house of prayer for all people, Temple, May 19, 1844

Folder 3 Dissertation on the Reason why Anti-Slavery men run to Ultra-ism and Fanatic-ism, North Hampton Monthly Association, June 1844

Folder 4 To Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, Temple, October 13, 1844

Folder 5 There shall come in the last days scoffers, Temple, November 3, 1844

Folder 6 Be ye perfect, Hollis Street Church, December 19, 1847

Folder 7 The Word is nigh thee, South Reading, December 24, 1848

Folder 8 The Reason of the Hope that is in you, Provincetown, May 20, 1849

Folder 9 Proverbs 8:29, 30, 31, North Danvers, December 23, 1849

Folder 10 Public Worship – Sirs, why do ye these things, Up. Beverly, April 14, 1850

Folder 11 The Living God, Danville, NH, July 11, 1950

Folder 12 Doctrine Introducing Adams 270, 272, 291, Nottingham, 1850

Folder 13 Hearken to you more than God?, South Higham, March 9, 1851

Folder 14 Let no man judge you, sire, Nottingham, July 1859

Folder 15 If I by Beezelbut cast out Devils, etc., Nottingham, 1859

Folder 16 Divine Unity, Nottingham, 1860

Folder 17 The Resurrection, Nottingham, February 26, 1861

Folder 18 Psalm 37, Nottingham, February 26, 1861

Folder 19 Luke 12:40, Portsmouth Alms House, May 16, 1861

Folder 20 Nature of Salvation, Nottingham, June 1861

Folder 21 Faith, Nottingham, August 4, 1861

Folder 22 Eulogy of John Furber, September 1861

Folder 23 Forgiveness – Duration of Punishment, Nottingham 1861

Folder 24 Dead Free from Sin, Atkinson, May 8, 1862

Folder 25 Psalms 64, 68, Portsmouth, May 8, 1862

Folder 26 God our redeemer, Atkinson, June 22, 1862

Folder 27 Fruit of the Spirit, Atkinson, September 4, 1864

Folder 28 Be sure your sins will find you out, Atkinson, May 16, 1865

Folder 29 Who will show any good?, South Hampton, October 8, 1865

Folder 30 Boast Not, South Hampton, November 1865

Folder 31 Once to Die, Atkinson, July 5, 1866

Folder 32 No other Gods our Father in Heaven, Fremont, January 5, 1867

Folder 33 2 Timothy 3:16, Fremont, February 17, 1867

Folder 34 Be not deceived, God is not marked, Atkinson, August 11, 1867

Folder 35 Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel, Atkinson, 1867

Folder 36 Story of Balaam, Fremont, May 3, 1868

Folder 37 And Enoch walked with God…, Tremont, December 6, 1868

Folder 38 Stand Fast, Atkinson, May 30, 1869

Folder 39 Best Method of Conducting Sunday School, etc., Talks at Convention about 1870

Folder 40 Book of Proverbs (rich and poor)

Folder 41 Sermon or talk on music

Folder 42 Dissertation on whether it is proper that females appear before the public as lecturers or preachers