Mathias Spiess papers
Scope and Content
The papers were arranged into five series. The series include Correspondence, Subject Files, Writings, Maps and Restricted.
Series 1. Correspondence, 1903-1944, include correspondence to and from Mathias Spiess on matters dealing with archaeology, Native American history, local history, and politics.
Series 2. Subject Files, 1924-1943, consists of various subjects such as Indian affairs, Connecticut Tercentennary, genealogy, and legal documents. Miscellaneous folder consists of illegible postcards and Manchester Board of Police Commissioners Stationary.
Series 3. Writings, 1933-1936, include the speeches and writings of Mathias Spiess. Topics include "What an Agnostic Believes" and the beliefs of Connecticut Indians.
Series 4. Maps, 1892-1935, consists of seven maps all of Conneticut. Two maps are hand drawn and show Mt. Tom and East Haddam. Another gives the location of indian trails.
Series 5. Restricted, 1928
- Creation: 1892-1944
Language of Materials
The records are predominately in English; materials in German are indicated at the file level.
Restrictions on Access
Restrictions on Use
See the Reproduction and Publications of State Library Collections policy.
Mathias Spiess was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1873, the son of William and Mary Spiess. He first came to Manchester in 1896, settling there permanently in 1903 after his marriage to Fredericka Haas Spiess.
After retiring as a tobacco broker, Spiess devoted his energies to his activities as an historian. In 1924 he co-authored a history of the town of Manchester. He was also known as a writer of the history of Indian tribes in Connecticut. He authored many publications on Indians, including a monograph published by the Connecticut Tercentenary Commission.
Spiess also devoted his energies to civic activities as well. After World War I he aided the fund drive for the erection of the Manchester Memorial Hospital. In 1936 he served as a Republican selectman, and in 1937 and 1938 he was a police commissioner for the town of Manchester. During World War II he headed the Manchester War Records Committee.
Spiess died on December 19, 1959, at the age of 86, three years after the death of his wife.
1.25 cubic feet
The papers consist of material pertaining to Mathias Spiess who was an amateur historian with an interest in Connecticut Indians and the town of Manchester. Spiess in 1936 served as a Republican selectman and in 1937 and 1938 was a police commissioner for the town of Manchester. Included in the papers are correspondence, subject files, writings, and maps.
Series 1. Correspondence, 1903-1944
Series 2. Subject Files, 1924-1943
Series 3. Writings, 1933-1936, undated
Series 4. Maps, 1892-1935, undated
Series 5. Restricted, 1928
The Mathias Spiess Papers were donated by Mr. Everett Fish to the State Library in June 1982.
Connecticut circa 1625, its Indian trails, villages and sachendoms, published by the Connecticut society of the colonial dames of America, inc., from data collected by Mathias Spiess; edited by Elinor H. Bulkeley Ingersoll. Wethersfield, CT, 1934. [CSL call number E78.C7 N26]
History of Manchester, Connecticut. South Manchester, CT: Centennial Committee of the Town of Manchester, 1924. [CSL call number F104.M18 S7]
The Indians of Connecticut. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1933. [CSL call number T271h p v.2 nos.16-30 1933- 1934]
- Connecticut circa 1625, its Indian trails, villages and sachendoms, published by the Connecticut society of the colonial dames of America, inc., from data collected by Mathias Spiess; edited by Elinor H. Bulkeley Ingersoll. Wethersfield, CT, 1934.
- History of Manchester, Connecticut. South Manchester, CT: Centennial Committee of the Town of Manchester, 1924.
- The Indians of Connecticut. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1933.
Max Otte processed the papers in February-March, 2012 (Allen Ramsey supervised)
- RG 069:100, Mathias Spiess Papers
- Finding aid prepared by Max Otte.
- Language of description
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Part of the Connecticut State Library Repository