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MS Am 800.12

Rice, Franklin P. (Franklin Pierce), 1844-1919. Franklin Pierce Rice papers, 1844-1912: 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 800.12
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Rice, Franklin P. (Franklin Pierce), 1852-1919.
Title: Franklin Pierce Rice papers,
Date(s): 1844-1912.
Quantity: 1 collection (3 boxes (1.5 linear ft.)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Papers of Worcester, Massachusetts printer and historian, Franklin Pierce Rice. Also includes papers of and about Eli Thayer (1819-1899), an abolitionist and member of the US House of Representatives from Worcester, from 1857 to 1861.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

No accession number. Gift of Mary B. Rice from the library of Franklin P. Rice; received: 1922 May 20.
Recataloged from US 13531.5.35*; transfer from Widener Library, date unknown.
93M-132. Transfer from Widener Library as US 13635.5.1, "Cuttings relating to Eli Thayer"; received in Houghton: 1961. This originally was a gift to Widener Library from Mrs. Mary B. Rice, 1930 March 18.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt.
Collection was not fully cataloged until December of 2012.

Conditions Governing Access:

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

Franklin Pierce Rice Papers, 1844-1912 (MS Am 800.12). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Related Materials

See also: HOLLIS for many publications printed or written by Franklin Pierce Rice.
Eli Thayer papers and clippings are held by Brown University, Kansas State Historical Society, and American Antiquarian Society.

Separated Materials

Some materials were formerly part of this accession, but were cataloged separately:

Biographical / Historical

Franklin Pierce Rice (1852-1919) was born in Marlborough, Massachusetts, the only son of Mary Berry Felton Rice (b.1834) and Minot Rice. Franklin RIce was a self-taught printer, author, historian, and publisher who transcribed, printed, and preserved vital records from Massachusetts and was co-founder, in 1875, of the Worcester Society of Antiquity (which later became the Worcester Historical Museum). Rice worked on an extensive biography of Eli Thayer.
Eli Thayer (1819-1899) was a member of the US House of Representatives from 1857-1861. He was born in Mendon, Massachusetts, graduated from Worcester Academy in 1840, from Brown University in 1845, and in 1848 founded the Oread Collegiate Institute, a school for young women in Worcester, Massachusetts. He organized the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company to send anti-slavery settlers to the Kansas Territory with the purpose of securing the admission of Kansas to the Union as a free state. Thayer was also involved in establishing an antislavery colony, the town of Ceredo, in 1857 in what is now West Virginia.


Organized into the following series: Some of these papers were microfilmed as No. 97-1804 prior to full cataloging in November of 2012. The current arrangement of the papers, is not the same as the microfilm copy.

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection is manuscripts, drafts, clippings, transcripts, and notes for Rice's Life of Eli Thayer. Also includes: letters sent to Rice, visiting cards, examples of printing done by Rice's company, and material pertaining to the Emigrant Aid Society which Thayer founded during the struggle for Kansas. Also contains copies of vital records from towns in Worcester County that Rice used in other publications, and miscellaneous notes.
There also are original papers of Eli Thayer that apparently were collected by Rice during his research. These include letters and transcripts of letters sent to Thayer (including 2 from Booker T. Washington), a ticket to an address, his 1844 Brown University exhibition program, certificates given to Thayer from the Kansas State Historical Society, galley proofs of Thayer writings, and other printed items relating to Thayer.


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

Container List