Lincoln, Arthur, 1842-1902. Arthur Lincoln diaries, 1861-1880, after 1978 : an inventory
Harvard University Archives
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: HUD 861.50
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Lincoln, Arthur, 1842-1902.
Title: Arthur Lincoln diaries, 1861-1880, after 1978.
Quantity: 0.5 cubic feet (1 flat box)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Arthur Lincoln was born on February 16, 1842 in Hingham, Massachusetts and died on
December 11, 1902 in Boston. He received his Harvard AB in 1863, his LLB in 1865,
and his AM in 1866. This collection is comprised of two diaries written by Arthur
Lincoln, beginning January 1, 1861 during Lincoln's sophomore year at Harvard and
ending in 1880. Entries describe events associated with school, his family, social
activities, travel, and major events of the Civil War. A typescript family tree, compiled
sometime after 1978, is also included.
The Arthur Lincoln diaries (accession #14895) were purchased by Harvard University
on September 9, 2003 from William Friend of Friendship Antiques.
The collection was processed in March 2014. Processing involved reviewing Arthur Lincoln's
diaries and creating this finding aid.
This finding aid was created by Natalie Johnson in March 2014.
Open for research.
Copying of fragile materials may be limited.
Lincoln, Arthur, 1842-1902. Arthur Lincoln diaries, 1861-1880, after 1978. HUD 861.50,
Harvard University Archives.
In the Harvard University Archives:
- The Harvard University Archives holds Arthur Lincoln scrapbooks, 1859-1902, relating
to Harvard University and the Harvard College Class of 1863 (HUD 263.780f).
- The Harvard University Archives holds class albums, memoirs, the Class Book of 1863,
and the secretary's file and reports, compiled by Lincoln as class secretary (HUD
- The Harvard University Archives holds records of the Hasty Pudding Club (HUD 3447),
to which Lincoln would have contributed as Krokodiloe.
In other repositories:
- The Hingham Public Library holds the Lincoln Family papers, 1695-1931.
Arthur Lincoln was born on February 16, 1842 to Solomon and Mehitable Lincoln in Hingham,
Massachusetts. He received his Harvard AB in 1863, his LLB in 1865, and his AM in
1866. Lincoln was elected secretary for the Harvard Class of 1863 and acted as a proctor
in the College while attending Harvard Law School in 1864-1865. On December 17, 1883,
he married Serafina Loring; they had one daughter.
After passing the bar exam, Lincoln entered the office of Lothrop & Bishop in Boston
in 1866, where he practiced law until the firm dissolved in 1879. He then opened his
own legal office in Boston. Lincoln was active in the community in Boston and in his
hometown of Hingham, serving as director of the Bunker Hill Monument Association,
trustee of the Massachusetts State Library, and president of the Hingham Public Library,
among many other associations. Lincoln served as a director of the Alumni Association
of Harvard College from 1872 until 1882 when he became its secretary. He was also
a member of the executive committee on the Commemoration of the 250th Anniversary
of the Founding of the College and was elected as an Overseer of Harvard College in
1901. Lincoln attended every Harvard commencement and meeting of his class from graduation
in 1863 until his death on December 11, 1902 in Boston.
The collection is comprised of three items:
This collection is comprised of two diaries written by Arthur Lincoln and a typescript
family tree of Lincoln's descendants. Entries in the first volume of Lincoln's diary
begin January 1, 1861 during Lincoln's sophomore year at Harvard and end November
4, 1862 during his senior year, mostly describing academic and family events, social
activities, and the events of the Civil War. Entries in the second volume begin January
1, 1864 while Lincoln is enrolled at Harvard Law School. While the second volume describes
Lincoln's completion of his education at Harvard and mentions the Civil War, it primarily
focuses on social activities, travel, and family events. Entries become less frequent
in 1868, with limited entries from 1871 until the final entry on July 3, 1880.
This document last updated 2014 March 28.
- HUD 861.50 Box 1, Volume 1. Arthur Lincoln diary, January 1, 1861 - November 4, 1862
Date: January 1, 1861 - November 4, 1862
Scope and Contents
: Entries in the first volume begin during the second semester of Lincoln's sophomore
year at Harvard and end during the first semester of his senior year. Lincoln writes
almost daily, describing his many school and extracurricular commitments. He describes
his involvement in Glee Club and choir; the entry on September 19, 1861 illustrates
an evening of singing and dancing at Ralph Waldo Emerson's home in Concord. Lincoln
was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, Alpha Delta Phi literary fraternity,
Natural History Society, and Hasty Pudding Club, where he served as the Krokodiloe,
an officer charged with preparing humorous content for the membership. A diary entry
on April 12, 1861 describes a fight in Harvard Yard between some freshmen and seniors.
Final examinations, Class Day, and commencements are also described.
Other events described by Lincoln include playing whist games, watching regattas on
the Charles River, and regular trips to Hingham, often using horse cars and boats
for transportation. Lincoln also writes of going to the dentist and treatment he received.
Additionally, Lincoln attended church weekly and often attended concerts and opera
performances with his brother Solomon (AB 1857). Lincoln often mentions outings with
his roommate, Thomas Bellows Peck; although Peck left Harvard for health reasons in
September of 1862, later entries describe reciprocal visits. Lincoln also records
many events of the Civil War: he notes the inauguration of his distant relative, Abraham
Lincoln, as President of the United States, and he takes note of major events of the
war beginning with the attack of Fort Sumter in April 1861. On December 31, 1861 Lincoln
writes that he will no longer track the war regularly in this diary.
- HUD 861.50 Box 1, Volume 2. Arthur Lincoln diary, January 1, 1864 - July 3, 1880
Date: January 1, 1864 - July 3, 1880
Scope and Contents
: Entries in the second volume begin while Lincoln is in law school. Entries describe
his completion of education at Harvard, and his continued involvement in the Hasty
Pudding Club, choir, and Glee Club. Lincoln also mentions his membership in Phi Beta
Kappa and in the Marshall Club and Coke Club at Harvard Law School. Commencements
and Class Days are described, and Lincoln mentions seeing Mary Todd Lincoln at Class
Day in June of 1864 to see her son, Robert Todd Lincoln (AB 1864), graduate from Harvard
College. In 1867, an intercollegiate regatta is mentioned, as well as crew races and
baseball games with Yale.
Social activities detailed in this volume include dances and holiday parties, rowing
and fishing, and games of euchre, whist, chess, and croquet. Lincoln recounts his
travels to New Hampshire, Canada, and Niagara Falls, in addition to his frequent visits
to Hingham. Notable events in Hingham are described, such as the annual agricultural
fairs and exhibitions for the Hingham Agricultural and Horticultural Society, and
the rededication of the Old Ship Church. Lincoln also writes about being ill with
erysipelas (a skin infection), including treatment and his recovery.
There are a few mentions of major Civil War events, such as General Lee's surrender,
Abraham Lincoln's assassination, and the grand reception of soldiers at Island Grove
in Abington, Massachusetts at the conclusion of the war in 1865. Entries in the second
volume of Lincoln's diary become less frequent beginning in 1868, with very few entries
between 1871 and 1880. The few entries in October 1878 primarily describe his associations
with a Miss Davis, and the final entry in July 1880 states Lincoln's departure for
- HUD 861.50 Box 1, Folder
1. Lincoln family tree, after 1978
Date: after 1978
Scope and Contents: This single-page typescript family tree begins with Arthur's wife, Serafina, and traces
their descendants for three generations, until the late 1970s.
The creator of the family tree is unknown.