Tudor, John Henry, 1782-1802. Papers of John Henry Tudor, 1795-1802: an inventory
Harvard University Archives
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: HUM 21
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Tudor, John Henry, 1782-1802.
Title: Papers of John Henry Tudor, 1795-1802
Quantity: .26 cubic feet (one half document box)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: John Henry Tudor (1782-1802) was the son of a prominent Boston family who died two
years after graduating from Harvard College. These papers document his studies, recreational
activities, thoughts, and feelings while an undergraduate at Harvard College from
1796 to 1800, as well as his life outside of college. They include letters to his
brothers, William and Frederic, and to his father, William; copies of letters to friend
and classmate Moody Noyes; a book of student themes on various topics; a mathematical
notebook; a diary; and additional papers related to, but not created by, Tudor.
Three items in the Papers of John Henry Tudor - a diary, a mathematical notebook,
and a volume of student themes - were donated to Harvard University in November 1934
by Frederic Tudor. Other items are of unknown provenance and may have been part of
that gift, as well.
John Henry Tudor's diary and student works were previously cataloged separately, as
individual items. The correspondence and other related papers now in this collection
were discovered in a HUG 300 biographical file and had not previously been cataloged.
The collection was re-processed in 2010, combining all of the Harvard University Archives'
holdings of John Henry Tudor papers to create one collection. Re-processing involved
a collection survey, re-housing in appropriate archival folders and boxes, and the
creation of this finding aid.
This finding aid was created by Laura Morris in May 2010.
Preservation and description of the Papers of John Henry Tudor was supported by the
Arcadia-funded project Harvard in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.
The Papers of John Henry Tudor are open for research.
Copying of fragile materials may be limited.
Tudor, John Henry, 1782-1802. Papers of John Henry Tudor, 1795-1802. HUM 21, Harvard
In the Harvard University Archives
- Letters from Benjamin Welles to John Henry Tudor, 1799-1801 (HUM 55)
- The mathematics notebook of John Henry Tudor's brother, William Tudor (HUC 8795.353.88)
- Guarantee of financial support for student James Savage, signed by William Tudor and
John Cooper, July 25, 1799 (HUD 1799.79) John Henry Tudor served as witness at the
signing of this document.
In the Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School
- Tudor Company records (Mss:766 1752-1902). The Tudor Company - best known for its
exportation of ice - was established by John Henry's brother, Frederic.
In Houghton Library, Harvard University
In the Massachusetts Historical Society
- Tudor family papers, 1773-1822 (Ms. N-1684)
- Tudor family papers II, 1765-1862 (Ms. S-109)
- John Tudor papers, 1732-1793 (Ms. N-1683)
- Various single items related to members of the Tudor family
John Henry Tudor (1782-1802), son of a prominent Boston family, died only two years
after graduating from Harvard College. During his short life he proved a devoted friend,
son, and brother. He enjoyed extensive travel and outdoor recreation with his family
and spent much time in their company at Rockwood, the family estate in Lynn, Massachusetts.
Following a long illness, and travels to Cuba, South Carolina, and Virginia in attempts
to recover his health, Tudor died in 1802.
John Henry Tudor was born in Boston on April 13, 1782 to Delia Jarvis Tudor (1753-1843)
and William Tudor (1750-1819). His father was a Boston lawyer who had served as Judge
Advocate of the Continental Army under George Washington prior to his service in the
Massachusetts House of Representatives, the State Senate, and as secretary of state
for the Commonwealth. John Henry had three brothers and two sisters: William (1779-1830),
Frederic (1783-1864), Emma Jane (1785-1865), Delia (1787-1861), and Henry James (1791-1864).
John Henry received an A.B. from Harvard in 1800, where he was a member of the Hasty
Pudding Club and the Porcellian Club. He died two years later, following a long illness.
Although little published biographical information about Tudor is available, the papers
in this collection illustrate his sensitivity, intelligence, and devotion to family.
The papers are arranged in four series:
Materials within each series are arranged chronologically.
- I. Correspondence, 1795-1800
- ___A. Letters to his family, 1795-1799
- ___B. Copies of three letters to Moody Noyes, 1800
- II. Student work, 1798-1799
- III. Diary, 1799
- IV. Collected papers, 1796-1802
These papers of John Henry Tudor (1782-1802) document his studies, activities, and
thoughts while an undergraduate at Harvard College from 1796 to 1800. The collection
includes letters to his brothers, William and Frederic, and to his father, William,
as well as copies of letters to friend and classmate Moody Noyes. Additional items
include a book of student themes, a mathematical notebook, a diary, and papers related
to, but not created by, Tudor.
This document last updated 2014 February 24.
- Series: I. Correspondence, 1795-1800 .08 cubic feet (8 folders).
Scope and Contents: This series of correspondence contains two subseries, one of John Henry Tudor's letters
to his family and another of his letters to classmate Moody Noyes. The letters to
Noyes are manuscript copies, not in Tudor's hand.
Former call number: Formerly in the HUG 300 Tudor, John Henry biographical file
- A. Letters to his family, 1795-1799 .07 cubic feet (7 folders)
Scope and Contents: In these letters, written to his brothers, Frederic and William, and to his father,
William, between 1795 and 1799, John Henry Tudor describes his daily activities, experiences,
and thoughts. The letters were written from Goffstown, New Hampshire; Cambridge, Massachusetts;
and Lynn, Massachusetts, home of the family estate, Rockwood. In one letter, Tudor
describes his travels with his father to Amoskeag Falls, New Hampshire and the surrounding
area, detailing his father's consumption of "half of a large chicken & a plate of
brown toast [along with] four cups of coffee" for breakfast one morning. Tudor's letters
to his father are more formal than those to his brothers and are written in a much
neater script. In one letter, Tudor thanks his father for gifts he had sent across
the Atlantic, which included an "electrical machine and [a] magic lantern," and asks
his father to purchase British "mathematical implements" while in London, as they
are cheaper and of higher quality than those available in the United States. These
letters from Tudor to members of his family describe his life at Harvard (including
complaints about a French instructor), trips to the theater, the construction of a
new state house in Boston, a masquerade he attended, his visits to the family homes
in Boston and at Rockwood, the damage and repair of a shaft of his grandfather's sulky,
the weather, his siblings, the state of the trees and gardens at Rockwood, and his
studies and recreation during the summer months, among other topics.
- HUM 21 Box 1 Folder 8. B. Copies of three letters to Moody Noyes, 1800 .01 cubic feet (1 folder)
Date: 1800 B. Copies of three letters to Moody Noyes, 1800
Scope and Contents: It is unknown who made these manuscript copies of three letters from John Henry Tudor
to Moody Noyes; they are not in Tudor's hand. The letters were written on September
23, 1800; November 7, 1800; and February 20, 1801. Noyes and Tudor were classmates
at Harvard College, where both graduated in the class of 1800. The letters were written
after they had graduated from Harvard, and in them Tudor recounts travels with his
family around New England, including a stay in Saratoga and Ballston Springs, New
York; his interest, shared by Moody, in entering into a store or other form of business,
although he found "merchants in general [to be] a contemptible set of beings"; the
maxims of the Duke de la Rochefoucauld; his hurt feelings at Moody's failure to answer
his letters; and his imminent travels to Cuba with his brother, Frederic, made in
hopes of restoring his health.
- Series: II. Student work, 1798-1799 .12 cubic feet (2 volumes).
Scope and Contents: This series contains two volumes, both created when Tudor was an undergraduate at
Harvard College. One volume, which Tudor described as a "mathematical manuscript,"
was created in 1798 and contains his notes on the subjects of geometry, the construction
of a plane scale, plane trigonometry, oblique angular trigonometry, conic sections,
surveying land (including the mensuration of heights and distances), dialing, and
navigation (including sections on plain, traverse, oblique, parallel, middle latitude
and Mercator's sailing). These notes often include illustrations and diagrams and
are accompanied by mathematical calculations. The other volume contains student themes,
composed in 1798 and 1799. Tudor wrote these themes on the subjects of education,
"Aurora musis amica" ("Dawn is the friend of the muses"), idleness, proper communication,
knowledge and books, the liberal arts, procrastination, and other topics. Several
of the themes include citations from other authors, including Ovid, James Thomson,
and John Milton. They fill a paper bound notebook whose cover, depicting a somewhat
gruesome scene and titled "The Doctor," was printed for Laurie & Whittle at No. 53
Fleet Street in London.
- Series: HUM 21 Box 1 Folder 11. III. Diary, 1799 .04 cubic feet (1 volume).
Date: 1799 III. Diary, 1799
Scope and Contents: This diary, which John Henry Tudor titled A Registry of College Adventures, documents his life as a student at Harvard College. The entries describe his daily
activities and notable events, including trips to the theater, hunting outings to
"shoot Robbins," adventures with other students in local taverns, visits with his
family in Boston and at the family estate, Rockwood, and the illumination of Cambridge
in honor of George Washington's birthday. Tudor created and recorded a humorous classology,
describing his peers at Harvard in a sometimes scathing manner, and also recorded
information about those obliged to leave the College, usually following pranks or
other unacceptable behavior. He also recounts his own involvement in pranks and other
antics, which he believed to be the only antidote to the dullness of college life,
and in one entry he describes an evening when he and several friends "disguised [them]selves
like Negroes" and wandered into scholars' rooms without detection. Tudor was a member
of the Hasty Pudding Club and the Porcellian Club ("the Pig club") while at Harvard
and describes club meetings in several entries. There are also more reflective and
personal entries, describing Tudor's feelings about his aging grandmother, his brother
William's departure for Holland, and his desire for a "wife who shall make [him] happy[,]
an affectionate dog [and] a farm & garden."
Former call number: Formerly classified as HUD 799.88 [Diary of John Henry Tudor] A Registry of College
- Series: IV. Collected papers, 1796-1802 .02 cubic feet (3 folders).
Scope and Contents: The materials in this series were previously located in a folder labeled "Miscellany
relating to John Henry Tudor" in the HUG 300 biographical file for Tudor. It is unknown
if the materials came from the same source or if they were added to the file separately.
Former call number: Formerly in the HUG 300 Tudor, John Henry biographical file
- HUM 21 Box 1 Folder 12. Poem in John Henry Tudor's hand(?), March 1796, with empty envelope
Date: March 1796, Poem in John Henry Tudor's hand(?), March 1796, with empty envelope
Scope and Contents: This poem is about winter and appears to be an assemblage of passages from several
published works along with Tudor's own compositions. On the verso, Tudor wrote "Abbott
2nd. March 1796." On the empty envelope is written: "Letters from my dear deceased
friend J.H.T.," along with a note in another hand reading: "no letters found enclosed."
It is unclear whether or not the envelope formerly held the poem.
- HUM 21 Box 1 Folder 13. Letter from Charles Lowell to Delia Tudor, May 8, 1801
Date: May 8, 1801 Letter from Charles Lowell to Delia Tudor, May 8, 1801
Scope and Contents: In this letter to John Henry Tudor's mother, Delia Tudor, Charles Lowell (Tudor's
classmate in the Harvard College class of 1800) writes of his friendship and compassion
for her son, and his hope that his health concerns will be resolved.
- HUM 21 Box 1 Folder 14. Letter to Moody Noyes from unknown author, ca. 1802
Date: 1802 Letter to Moody Noyes from unknown author, ca. 1802
Scope and Contents: This letter is a memoir about John Henry Tudor, written after his death in 1802. It
is addressed to Moody Noyes, who asked the author to record his sentiments and memories
of Tudor. The author graduated from Harvard in the class behind Tudor, in 1801, and
writes of him with great affection.