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Gray, Jane Loring, 1821-1909. Jane Loring Gray correspondence, 1848-approximately 1895: A Guide.

Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Botany Libraries, Harvard University
Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Botany Libraries, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: gra00029
Repository: Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Botany Libraries, Harvard University
Creator: Gray, Jane Loring, 1821-1909
Title: Jane Loring Gray correspondence
Date(s): 1848-approximately 1895
Quantity: 1 collection (4 folders in file cabinet H)
Language of materials: English


The collection was donated by Susan Loring on June 27, 1984. Susan Loring received the collection from her aunt, Katharine Peabody Loring, daughter of Jane's brother, Caleb William Loring. Katharine Loring was president of the Beverly Historical Society from 1918 to 1941 and used the letters in an exhibit on the Loring family. They were returned to her family after her death in 1943.
The gift from Susan Loring included additional items which have been incorporated into other collections in the archives.

Processed by:

Lynn McWhood
January 1982

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is available by appointment for research. Researchers must register and provide two forms of valid photo identification. Please contact botref@oeb.harvard.edu for additional information.

Preferred Citation:

Jane Loring Gray correspondence, Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Harvard University.

Related Materials

Other related material at the Botany Libraries, Harvard University Herbaria:

Other related material at Harvard University:

In the Beverly Historical Society and Museum, Beverly, Massachusetts

In the Litchfield Historical Society, Litchfield, Connecticut


Jane Lathrop Loring was born on August 27, 1821, to Charles Greely Loring, a prominent Boston attorney, and Anna (Pierce) Brace Loring. Though the family lived in Boston Jane spent a good deal of time with her mother's family in Litchfield, Connecticut. After her mother's death in 1836 Jane ran her father's house in Boston. She married Harvard botanist Asa Gray on May 4, 1848 and lived with him at a house in the Harvard Botanic Garden in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Jane suffered from poor health for most of her life. She and Asa never had children, but she took an active interest in her husband's work and accompanied him on most of his voyages, chronicling their travels in letters to her family. While living in Cambridge she was a member of the Female Humane Society of Cambridge, which was founded to assist indigent women. She also corresponded with many botanists and their families. After Asa's death in January 1888, she devoted herself to memorializing him, preparing his letters for publication and contributing funds toward the establishment of the Asa Gray Professorship. She continued to live at the Botanic Garden until her death in 1909.
Dupree AH. 1959. Asa Gray. Cambridge (MA): The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of letters to Jane Gray from her family and others and one letter from Jane to a relative. It also contains a small notebook of biographical sketches about Asa Gray.

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