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RG3269.AM:  Robert Harper Clarkson, 1826-1884

Diaries, etc.:  1846-1884

Omaha, Douglas County, Neb.:  Episcopal Bishop

Size:  3 reels of microfilm


Robert Harper Clarkson, D.D., was born at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, November 19, 1826. His father devoted his life to business, but his grandfather, Rev. Joseph Clarkson, D.D., was an Episcopal clergyman. Robert H. Clarkson graduated from Pennsylvania College in 1844; became a tutor at the College of St. James, Hagerstown, MD; studied theology, and was ordained a deacon in the Episcopal Church June 18, 1848. He was ordained a priest January 5, 1851. For seventeen years, 1849-1865, he was rector of St. James Church, Chicago. In 1865 he was elected missionary bishop of Nebraska and Dakota. He first visited Omaha in December of 1865. In 1868 he was elected the first bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska. Bishop Clarkson was married May 18, 1849, to Meliora McPherson. He died in Omaha March 10, 1884 and was buried in the Trinity Cathedral yard. He was survived by his widow and two children, Mrs. Mary McPherson Millspaugh and Mrs. Nellie Clarkson Davis. Clarkson Hospital in Omaha was named in honor of Robert Harper Clarkson.


This collection consists of three reels of microfilm containing 17 volumes of diaries and sermons of Robert H. Clarkson arranged in two series; (1) Diaries, 1846-1884; (2) Sermons, 1848, undated. The bulk of this collection consists of the diaries of Robert H. Clarkson from his school years until his death in 1884. Included is information on life at St. James Academy in Hagerstown, MD, a trip abroad, and his appointment as bishop of the Episcopal Church of Nebraska. The generally brief diary entries record weather, sermons preached, travels in Nebraska, and personal and religious acquaintances with whom Clarkson associated. Also included are a small diary, undated, containing sermons, and a sermon entitled “Earth, Not Our Home,” written in July of 1848.

Note:  This collection is on microfilm only. The NSHS does not hold the original diaries. The collection was loaned for microfilming in October of 1973 by the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska. See the NSHS Library Catalog and the Nebraska History index for various publications about Bishop Clarkson.


Series 1 – Diaries, 1846-1884

Reel 1


  1. 1846-1848, Apr.

  2. 1848, May-Dec.

  3. 1849-1851

  4. 1855

  5. 1866

  6. 1867

  7. 1868

  8. 1869

  9. 1870, Sept. 8

Reel 2


  1. 1870, Sept. 9

  2. 1876

  3. 1879

  4. 1880

  5. 1881

  6. 1882

Reel 3


  1. 1883

  2. 1884

Series 2 – Sermons


  1. Sermon diary, undated

  2. “Earth, Not Our Home,” 1848, July



Clarkson, Robert Harper, 1826-1884

Clergy — Nebraska

Episcopal Church in Nebraska

Sermons — Nebraska


DDS/ht   10-02-1973

Encoded TMM   03-11-2010