Samuel P. Bates (1827-1902) of Meadville, prominent for many years as an educator, was in 1864 appointed state historian and charged with preparing a history of the Pennsylvania Volunteers. He contributed to the volume of historical studies relating to the Civil War with the History of Pennsylvania Volunteers (1869-1871) and Battle of Chancellorsville (1883). His papers are mainly research materials and manuscripts for these publications and also include manuscripts for the History of Crawford County, History of Green County, and Martial Deeds of Pennsylvania. Included are a letter book, 1872-73; a letterpress book, 1871-71, containing biographical material on Pennsylvania governors; sermons, 1853-90; and photographs. Also included is a listing of the United States Colored Troops who were trained at Camp William Penn, Chelton Hills, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Bates made several references to slavery in his sermons, stating one "should patiently and prayerfully study his word and approach the subject (principles) and bigotry and all those hindrances which hampers and bind us to low . . . thought." In such sermons he frequently refers to the overthrow of slavery and the "sin of slavery."

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