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Charles Monroe Dickinson Family papers

Identifier: BUSC-1980-001

Scope and Contents

The Charles M. Dickinson Family papers cover the years 1830-1964, with emphasis on the first quarter of the twentieth century. The major portion of the collection is the correspondence of Mr. Dickinson and his second wife, Alice Bond Minard Dickinson, but also includes poems, other correspondence, financial records, pictures and photographs, and miscellaneous papers.

The poetry of Charles M. Dickinson nearly parallels his law and newspaper careers, which covered a period from 1860 continuing up until about 1900. Many references are made in Charles' correspondence to “The Children,” his most famous poem.

Mr. Dickinson's diplomatic career is covered more completely by the collection in the Library of Congress, but his 1922 letters to Henry Morgenthau, Oscar S. Heizer, Wilbur Carr, and Douglas Robinson offer further insights to the abduction-ransoming incident involving Miss Ellen M. Stone, in 1901.

The general correspondence makes up most of the important part of the collection, beginning soon after Mr. Dickinson's diplomatic career ends. There is a wide range of political correspondence from 1912 to 1914. It is also during this period that Mr. Dickinson exchanged frequent letters with John L. Stoddard, famous author and traveler. These letters may be important indicators of the turmoil in Europe just before World War I. The correspondence between Hugh and Mary Poynter and Dickinson (addressed to him as, “Dearest Good Man”), from 1917 to 1922 gives insights to British and American opinion during and after World War I.

The incident concerning Daniel Stevens Dickinson (1800 - 1866), who was a New York State delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1852 is explained in detail in Charles Monroe Dickinson's letters to Ray Franklin Nichols of September 7 and November 6, 1922. They offer substantiation to the theory that by refusing to allow his name to be placed in nomination for the presidency by the Virginia and North Carolina delegations, Daniel S. Dickinson in effect denied his own chances and threw the convention to Franklin Pierce who was later elected president. This incident is referred to in other 1922 correspondence.

The material continues after the death of Mr. Dickinson in 1924, in the form of the correspondence of his second wife and her subsequent career as a prominent community and state club leader. This series continues, from 1938 to 1943, under the name of Mrs. Louis Balog. Still another group of papers covers the financial affairs of several members of the family.

Lastly, there is a wide assortment of general miscellaneous papers, including genealogical records, newspaper clippings, photographs and negatives (many unidentified), club notes and minutes, and assorted notebooks.


  • 1901 - 1964

Biographical Note

Charles Monroe Dickinson (November 15, 1842 - July 3, 1924) was an American author, journalist, and diplomat. The son of Richard and Bessie (Rea) Dickinson, he was descended from a distinguished family prominent in the early colonial history of America. Dickinson was educated at the Fairfield and Lowville Academies, and, immediately after leaving school, accepted a teaching position in Haverstraw-on-the-Hudson, which he held until 1864. In that year he went to Binghamton, New York, to study law with the Honorable Daniel S. Dickinson.

Mr. Dickinson practiced law in Binghamton and New York City until 1878, when he became manager and editor of the Binghamton “Republic.” The newspaper was highly successful, and, in 1880, he became its sole proprietor. He was involved in the creation of the current Associated Press in 1892. Throughout this period, Mr. Dickinson became increasingly interested in the writing of poetry, and, in 1889, his book of poems, “The Children and Other Verses,” was published. The title poem was one which he had written at the age of nineteen while teaching in a little county school at Haverstraw. It became famous, finding its way into many school texts of the period.

Dickinson's newspaper career led to an interest in politics, and in 1897 he was appointed the U.S. Consul-General to Turkey and, in 1901, diplomatic agent to Bulgaria. In this latter capacity, he contended successfully with the serious disturbance which arose when an American missionary, Miss Ellen M. Stone, was kidnapped and subsequently ransomed. In 1906, Mr. Dickinson was made a member of the board to draft regulations for the American Consular Service, being appointed American Consul-General at Large in that same year. Dickinson resigned his diplomatic post in October, 1907.

In March 1867, Charles M. Dickinson married Bessie Virginia Hotchkiss, the only daughter of Giles M. Hotchkiss, an attorney in Binghamton. They later had two sons, Charles H. and Giles H., and adopted a daughter, Mary A. Mason, a writer. Bessie Virginia Hotchkiss Dickinson died in April 1908.

On February 2, 1910, Dickinson married Alice Bond Minard (July 29, 1882 - January 20, 1968), daughter of Elias G. and Mary Adriance Minard of Poughkeepsie, New York. After Charles Dickinson's death in 1924, Alice remained a prominent citizen of Binghamton, served as President of the Federation of Womens Clubs of New York in the 1920s, and was an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Womens Christian Temperance Union, the League of Women Voters, and the National Republican Womens club. She was active locally in adult education as a teacher of parliamentary procedure until the 1960s. On October 28, 1938, she married Louis Balog, an engineer. She died at her Binghamton home in January 1968.


8 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection includes personal and professional correspondence of Charles Monroe Dickinson and his second wife, Alice Bond Minard Dickinson Balog, as well as legal and financial papers of the Dickinson and Minard families and newspaper clippings which document their activities. One box contains manuscripts, typescripts, and clippings of Charles M. Dickinson's poetry. Note: papers concerning Charles M. Dickinson's diplomatic career are primarily located in the collection at the Library of Congress, though some documents bearing on those periods are included in this collection.

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated to Binghamton University by the Balog family, and was first processed in 1980.
Guide to the the Charles Monroe Dickinson Family Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Binghamton University Libraries Special Collections Repository

Binghamton NY 13902 USA