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MS Am 1014

Holmes, John, 1812-1899. John Holmes letters, 1871-1897: 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 1014
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Holmes, John, 1812-1899.
Title: John Holmes letters,
Date(s): 1871-1897.
Quantity: 1 collection (1 box (.25 linear ft.)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Autograph manuscript letters to his friends, from Cambridge, Massachusetts resident John Holmes.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

No accession number; Gift of Miss Mary Lee Ware; received: 1933 May 10 and 1934 February 3.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Conditions Governing Access:

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

Preferred Citation for Publication:

John Holmes Letters, 1871-1897. (MS Am 1014). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

John Holmes (1812-1899) was born in 1812 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the son of Reverend Abiel Holmes (pastor of the First Congregational Church of Cambridge) and Sarah Wendell Holmes. He received an AB from Harvard College in 1832 and, for a time, studied at Harvard Law School. He never married and lived with his mother in Cambridge. His brother was Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. (1809-1894) who was an American physician, poet, and Harvard professor.


Arranged alphabetically by name of recipient.

Scope and Contents

All letters are autograph manuscript and signed by John Holmes; most, but not all, are written from Cambridge, Massachusetts; some letters include envelopes. Letters are chatty and recount news of family and friends. Recipients of letters include: Ann Storrow Higginson, Waldo Higginson, James Bradley Thayer, Charles Eliot Ware, and Mary Lee Ware. This collection also includes a humorous series of letters from Holmes to Miss Mary Lee Ware that are labeled the "Fish series".

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