Tag Archives: letters

The Story of Emily & Benjamin

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Earlier this year the American Antiquarian Society acquired an important archive of manuscripts and drawings related to American missionary activity in Western Africa.  The collection tells the story of a couple, Emily Griswold (1838-1906) and her eventual husband, Benjamin Hartley (1838-1912). Emily was the daughter of the poet and publisher Rufus Wilmot Griswold, who edited anthologies, ...

The Thoreau Household in 1840

Daguerreotype of Sewall, 1847

We recently announced a new web resource consisting of four journals kept by Edmund Quincy Sewall Jr. between 1837 and 1840, when Sewall was between nine and twelve years old. Of particular interest is a journal kept in March and April 1840, when the boy was a student at John and Henry David Thoreau’s Concord Academy ...

City Mouse and Country Mouse

With AAS’s annual Adopt-A-Book event right around the corner (read about last year’s event here), I thought I'd share another collection that will be up for adoption in April. The Sawyer brothers lived in Manchester, New Hampshire in the mid 19th century.  Brothers Joseph and Henry enjoyed life in the bustling city, and loved sharing their ...

“Lincoln’s proclamation, or advice or message or whatever the thing is that he has [just] sent to Congress…”

On this day 150 years ago, Martha LeBaron Goddard (1829-1888) wrote the letter transcribed below to her friend Mary Ware Allen Johnson. Her letters, composed over the years of the Civil War (of which the AAS has about 30), describe one woman’s response and ways of intersecting with the world (and war) around her. This letter ...

New Year’s on the Potomac

Over the past few months, we’ve been following our Civil War soldier Henry Joslin while his company was on picket duty on the banks of the Potomac.  Last we heard Henry and his Company were involved in a skirmish in late October.  Now in the New Year, 150 years ago, Henry is writing home to ...

Curwen’s Calendar, Part II

Last week I shared some letters from the Curwen Family Papers showcasing the change from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar.  The colonies officially made the change in 1752, yet some letters in the Curwen Family Papers exhibited the switch previous to the official change.  Why the early appearance of these dates?  The change was ...

Curwen’s Calendar

The Curwen Family Papers represents one of the earliest collections in the manuscript department.  This collection, which includes material from 1637 through 1808, provides an insightful look into pre-revolutionary America.  Samuel Curwen, the main player in this collection, was a Harvard graduate, class of 1735, a trader in Salem, Massachusetts, and a Tory.  When his ...

Isaac and Ella

AAS intern Katrina Ireland (Simmons College GSLIS program) recently came across a wonderful letter as she was processing our collection of Isaac Shepard Papers.  Shepard (1816-1889) was a Harvard graduate and a commander of the 52nd US Infantry during the Civil War.  In addition to his military life, Shepard was also a poet, author, and a ...

Henry Joslin on the Banks of the Potomac

Last week, Henry left us, and his mother, hanging.  His regiment encountered a skirmish, and although he was not harmed, Henry could not share the details until a few days later.  On Sunday, October 27th, he tells his mother about the encounter, and his swim to safety.  Below are some highlights.  You can read the ...

150 years ago this week: The saga continues

A few weeks ago, I shared a letter from Henry Joslin, a Civil War Corporal from Fitchburg, Massachusetts.  On October 20th, 1861, Henry was again writing home to his mother.  Below are some excerpts from the letter.  You can read the full transcription here. I suppose that before you get this you will have received the ...

Hannah Weld Part III

And now for some concluding thoughts from Jeanne McDougall about her encounter with Hannah Weld.  If you've missed the previous two posts about Hannah and her mother Mary, click here to get caught up. What can you say after experiencing such an extraordinary epistle?  My reading for the day came to a full stop;  any day ...

I Love Hannah Weld: Part II

Last week, AAS reader Jeanne McDougall introduced us to the Weld family.  Today, she continues exploring the mother and daughter pair, and examines their relationship and personalities through Hannah's letter. During the closing days of February 1799, Hannah would have had every reason to wish her daughter back home with her in Boston rather than far-off, ...

I Love Hannah Weld

Over the winter, AAS reader Jeanne McDougall spent some time with our Isaiah Thomas manuscript collection.  While searching through the correspondence, she stumbled upon a letter from Hannah Weld to her daughter Mary Weld, who married Isaiah Thomas Jr.  Below, Jeanne describes her encounter with Hannah and Mary.  Jeanne's experience certainly demonstrates the serendipitous nature ...