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MS Am 2132

Palfrey family. Palfrey family correspondence, 1808-1913: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: b [Shelved with bMS Am 2130 and bMS Am 2131]
Call No.: MS Am 2132
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Palfrey family.
Title: Palfrey family correspondence,
Date(s): 1808-1913.
Quantity: 1 collection (.1 linear foot (1 folder in 1 box)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Correspondence of the Boston Palfrey family, including Unitarian minister and U.S. congressman John Gorham Palfrey.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

62M-96. Gift of Mrs. Charles A. Woodrow, 1306 Wendell Avenue, Schenectady, New York; received: summer of 1962.

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Palfrey Family Correspondence, 1808-1913 (MS Am 2132). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

The central figure in this collection, John Gorham Palfrey (1796-1881), was a Unitarian minister, professor at Harvard Divinity School, editor of the North American Review, congressman from Massachusetts (1847-1849), postmaster of Boston (1861-1867), and historian, best known for his multi- volume History of New England. His father John Palfrey (1768-1843) was a merchant in Boston and later owned a plantation in Attakapas, La. John Gorham Palfrey's son, John Carver Palfrey (1833-1906) was a military engineer during the Civil War and was later an officer in the textile manufacturing business. His daughter Sarah Hammond Palfrey (1823-1914) was a novelist and poet.


Arranged alphabetically by author.

Scope and Contents

Consists chiefly of letters written by John Gorham Palfrey and by Charles Francis Adams. Letters written by Palfrey include several to Ralph Waldo Emerson concerning personal matters but with some references to Emerson's lectures, and some to various Palfrey family members concerning family matters and personal finances. Letters by Charles Francis Adams are addressed to John Gorham Palfrey and Sarah Hammond Palfrey, mostly regarding personal matters. One letter to Sarah explains his increasing indifference to poetry. Many letters are photocopies.

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