John Whipple Clark (1799-1872) was born in the Village of Newport, Herkimer County, New York. He graduated from Fairfield Medical College in 1822 and moved to Buffalo the following year. In addition to practicing as a doctor, Clark was also a businessman and public servant, serving as a village trustee and alderman. He became partners with Dr. Cyrenius Chapin, but left the practice in order to work in the real estate business full time. He became prosperous but lost his fortune in the Panic of 1837. He never married.

Clark’s sister Ann married Dr. Bryant Burwell (1796-1861) in 1817 and the couple resided in Buffalo, where Burwell formed a partnership with Dr. Cyrenius Chapin after the departure of John Whipple Clark. They had three children, George N. Burwell, Esther A. Burwell Glenny (who married William Henry Glenny, Sr.) and Anna C. Burwell Rathbone. The Burwells also suffered significant financial losses in the Panic of 1837, and Bryant struggled to support his family with his medical practice. After the death of his wife Ann and his financial losses, Bryant became depressed, but improved after marrying Mary Cleary in 1844. He gradually withdrew from his medical practice and brought in his son George, a recent medical school graduate. His depression returned in the 1850s and he died in 1861, after a general decline in health.

Esther Burwell, the daughter of Bryant Burwell and Ann Clark, married William H. Glenny (1818- 1882). Glenny was an immigrant from Ireland who came to Buffalo in 1836. In 1840 he founded a small crockery store, which grew to become a leading importer of fine china, glass and other merchandise. In 1877, Glenny hired renowned architect Richard A. Waite to design a new store on Main Street in Buffalo, which became known as “Glenny Block”. The couple had several children, including Bryant, John, George, and William.

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Recent Submissions

  • Manuscript Lecture on Temperance by Dr. B. Burwell

    Burwell, B. (n.d.)
    Manuscript lecture on temperance by Dr. B. Burwell, n.d. The seven-page lecture addresses the question of “Why do men who have acquired the habit of drinking intoxicating liquor continue still to use them, notwithstanding all the facts and arguments which have been addressed against their use?”.
  • Travel log dated August 13, 1848

    Travel log dated August 13, 1848 describing the writer’s attendance at the Free Soil convention in Buffalo. He describes in detail his travels, including a two-page account of his trip to Niagara Falls, where he landed at Chippawa on “Victoria free soil”. From there he travelled to the Falls, where he went to Table Rock, travelled in a steam ferry boat to the suspension bridge, crossed the rapids to Goat Island, and went up [Terrapin] Tower. He writes that “as I stood in the awful place the Table Rock and looked in that deep yawning gulph [gulf] below a beautiful rainbow was seen, as was the case at various other points…next went up to the top of the Tower which stands in the edge of the water near the precipice of the Horseshoe falls. This is indeed a solemn, awful place-- the most interesting place I had visited…I felt that it was the work of an Omnipotent friend.” An entry on the last page dated Nov. 7, 1848 describes the creation of a free soil club “by the Free Soilers of this town”, adding that “today we have been called upon to vote for electors for president, the result has been for Van Buren 146, Taylor 92, and Cass 52”.
  • Letter from William Glenny to his Father, 3 April 1865

    Glenny, William (1865-04-03)
    A letter from William Glenny to his Father while studying at Yale. He mentions the war that surrounds him, "As I write the cannons are firing, bells ringing flags flying and every-body is rejoicing over the capture of Richmond. I fear that civilians will not be allowed to go down there, but if they are, I shall certainly want to go."
  • Letter from James Glenny to William H. Glenny, 22 May 1864

    Glenny, James (1864-05-22)
    A letter to William Glenny from his cousin James. There is much mentioned in regards to the war, "Nothing at present seems to engross the minds of the people so much as the War, and Grant, last Sunday the greatest excitement prevailed here, and the majority of them were in ecstacies at the very favorable reports which came from Sec. Stanton. There seems but little doubt, but that Grant is quite equal to the task which the Nation has entrusted him with, and I have no doubt but before long we shall hear that Richmond has fallen into his hands."
  • Letter from B.B. Glenny to William H. Glenny, 16 May 1864

    Glenny, Bryant B. (1864-05-16)
    A letter from Bryant B. Glenny to William H. Glenny that discusses life at home and mentions the American Civil War. "Does not thy heart swell with gratitude to God and our noble army." Bryant Glenny also mentions "P.S. Bryant Crandall of the 44, New York is wounded and missing (see tribune 16th)."
  • Letter from B.B. Glenny to William H. Glenny, 13 November 1864

    Glenny, B.B. (1864-11-13)
    The letter refers to the recent election and how "the people have shown themselves to be what true americans always were and always will be: true to their country and true to their Government. It must be a proud moment to our noble president Abraham Lincoln when he feels that the people support him and bless him in all the deeds he has done to bring back the people of these United States the union restored on a firmer basis than ever before."
  • A letter to B. Burwell, M.D., Buffalo, from J.W. Clark, 15 January 1838

    Clark, J.W. (1838-01-15)
    A letter addressed to B. Burwell, M.D., Buffalo, from J.W. Clark, dated January 15, 1838. The letter describes the events around Navy Island during the aftermath of William Lyon McKenzie’s failed rebellion in Upper Canada, when the rebels retreated to Navy Island in the Niagara River.