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MS Am 715

Dennie, Joseph, 1768-1812. Joseph Dennie papers, 1783-1815: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: b
Call No.: MS Am 715
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Dennie, Joseph, 1768-1812.
Title: Joseph Dennie papers,
Date(s): 1783-1815.
Quantity: 1 collection (1 linear foot (2 boxes)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Correspondence and compositions of American essayist and editor, Joseph Dennie. Also includes some family correspondence.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Gift of Miss Mary H. Dennie; received: 1913 May 15.
Mary H. Dennie was a granddaughter of Thomas Dennie, first cousin of Joseph Dennie.

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Joseph Dennie Papers, 1783-1815 (MS Am 715). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

An American essayist and editor, Joseph Dennie graduated from Harvard College in 1790 and was admitted to the bar in 1794. When his law practice failed to flourish, he turned to writing. Dennie wrote for weekly papers in Walpole, New Hampshire, Boston, Massachusetts, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia. He was closely associated with the Farmer's Weekly Museum of Walpole, for which he wrote "Lay Preacher" and which under his editorship (1796-1798) became a strong Federalist organ read throughout the union. He began The Port Folio, a weekly devoted to literature and politics which he established in 1801 in Philadelphia with bookseller Asbury Dickins. This magazine was considered without rival until the founding of the North American Review in 1815.


Arranged into the following series: Collection includes a hand-written list of the papers, compiled by H. M. Ellis.

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection includes letters to Joseph Dennie from literary and political colleagues, readers and subscribers of his various newspapers (especially the Farmer's Weekly Museum), and from hisHarvard College classmates during his rustication in 1790, when he lived under a chaplain's supervision in Groton, Mass. Letters by Dennie are mostly to his parents and contain detailed accounts of his life from his school days throughout his career. Manuscripts consist of essays, poems, verse translations, college and school notes and exercises, and fragments by Dennie. Includes an original manuscript of his first Farrago essay. Third-party correspondence is mostly to his mother, Mary (Green) Dennie, much of it after his death.

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