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MS Am 2644

Curson-Marquand family papers, 1683-1943: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: MS Am 2644
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Title: Curson-Marquand family papers,
Date(s): 1683-1943.
Quantity: 1 collection (2.5 linear feet (5 boxes)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Family papers of the Curson and Marquand families related to the American writer, John Phillips Marquand. Also with Campbell family papers and other items.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

60M-227. Gift of John Phillips Marquand; received: 1960 January 1.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt
Part of the MS Storage project, 2008-2009. Reprocessed for CNA digitization project, 2015.

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to most of this material. Item (1) is restricted due to fragile condition. See curator for access.
This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Curson-Marquand Family Papers, 1683-1943 (MS Am 2644). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Related Materials

See also Curson Family Papers (bMS Am 1175-1175.8).

Biographical / Historical

Family papers of the Curson family [sometimes spelled Curzon family] and the Marquand family, ancestors of the American writer, John Phillips Marquand (1893-1960). Marquand was born in Wilmington, Delaware on November 10, 1893, to Philip Marquand, a civil engineer, and Margaret Fuller Marquand. He lived in Rye, New York, until 1907 when his father lost his money in the panic of 1907 and took a job in Panama. John was sent to Newburyport, Massachusetts to live with his two unmarried Marquand aunts at the family homestead at Curzon Mill. He graduated from Harvard College with an AB in 1915. Between 1915 and 1921 he was assistant magazine editor of the Boston Transcript, worked at the New York Tribune, and was an advertising copywriter. In 1922 he published The unspeakable gentleman. He contributed numerous short stories to many popular magazines of the day, most notably The Saturday evening post, Cosmopolitan, Collier's, and Good housekeeping. Many of his novels were also serialized in these magazines. He is especially known for creating Mr. Moto spy series and for winning the Pulitzer Prize for The late George Apley in 1938.
Family members represented in this collection include: John Phillips Marquand (grandfather), Margaret Searle Curson Marquand (grandmother), Philip Marquand (father), Margaret Fuller Marquand (mother), Mary Russell Curson, Samuel Curson, Elizabeth Marquand, George Searle, Mary Russell Atkins Searle, and others.


Arranged into the following series:

Scope and Contents

Includes family correspondence, diaries, genealogical materials, deeds (especially one of 1683? for Kents Island, Massachusetts), wills, a sketchbook, a draft of a novel by Samuel Curson and his travel journal from Peru, papers of Thomas Wentworth Higginson as a suitor of Margaret "Margie" Curson, topics relating to Curzon Mill, Massachusetts, and other materials.
Some items appear to have been saved by or given to the family that have no obvious connection to them: one 1714 letter from William Brattle, a letter from Rudyard Kipling to Harvard professor Charles Eliot Norton, and papers concerning Alexander Campbell and his family at Duntroon Castle, Scotland given to JPM by Elizabeth Gaskill Norton.


This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

Container List