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MS Am 1118.8

Bowles, Samuel, 1826-1878. Samuel Bowles letters to Austin and Susan Dickinson, 1859-1877: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard College Library


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© 2003 The President and Fellows of Harvard College

Last update on 2013 July 12

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
Location: b
Call No.: MS Am 1118.8
Creator: Bowles, Samuel, 1826-1878.
Title: Samuel Bowles letters to Austin and Susan Dickinson,
Date(s): 1859-1877 and undated.
Quantity: 1 box (.5 linear ft.)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Letters from Springfield, Massachusetts newspaper editor Samuel Bowles to Emily Dickinson's brother and sister-in-law, Austin and Susan Dickinson. Also includes a few additional materials concerning the Dickinsons.

Processing Information:

The original finding aid for this collection was prepared in the spring of 1956 by Mrs. Theodora V. W. Ward of 32 Healey Street, Cambridge 38, Mass. Item numbers were assigned at this time and letters received in the repository after this date were folded into the original numbering scheme with item point numbers (i.e.: 1.1).
Later scholarship found that this finding aid had many incorrect dates. The finding aid was reworked by Bonnie B. Salt in July, 2003 and the dates applied at this time were taken from: Alfred Habegger with Nellie Habegger. "An annotated calendar of Samuel Bowles's Letters to Austin and Susan Dickinson," in The Emily Dickinson Journal , 11 : 2 (2002).

Acquisition Information:

Gift of Gilbert H. Montague (A.B. 1901),1950.
49-2169 Letter removed from volume EDR 2.6.9; purchased from G. H. Montague; received: May 1950. Formerly unnumbered in this list, now item (139).

Access Restrictions:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Samuel Bowles Letters to Austin and Susan Dickinson, 1859-1877 (MS Am 1118.8). Houghton Library, Harvard University.


Organized into the following series: Arranged in the order of the originally assigned item numbers (from the1956 finding aid), then thought to be in chronological order, but later redated. The current arrangement of items is not in chronological order. For a chronological list, see the internal file for a copy of the Habegger article, or the list at the end of this finding aid.

Historical Note

Samuel Bowles (1826-1878) was the editor of the Springfield Republican , the local newspaper in Springfield, Massachusetts that was founded by his father, Samuel Bowles (1797-1851) in 1824, and later run by his son, Samuel Bowles (1851-1915). Upon the death of his father in 1851, Bowles took control of the paper at age 25 and he soon made it one of the most influential newspapers in the United States.
William Austin Dickinson, known as Austin (1829-1895), was the older brother of American poet Emily Dickinson. He was a prominent attorney in Amherst, Massachusetts, town meeting moderator, and treasurer of Amherst College.
Susan Huntington Gilbert Dickinson (1830-1913) was Austin's wife, and was a childhood friend and close confidante of Emily Dickinson.

Scope and Content

Primarily letters from Bowles to Austin and Susan. Susan and Austin became acquainted with Bowles soon after their marriage (ca. 1858), and Bowle's letters show a long friendship with both parties. The materials also include other letters (1856-1878) to Austin and Susan Dickinson and compositions of "Reminiscences" concerning Emily Dickinson (1932).


For additional information concerning this material see: Alfred Habegger with Nellie Habegger. "An annotated calendar of Samuel Bowles's Letters to Austin and Susan Dickinson," in The Emily Dickinson Journal , 11.2 (2002).

Container List

List of letters by item number in chronological order