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HOLLIS 8767706

Lord Family. Papers, 1807-1961: Finding Aid

Harvard Law School Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University

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Harvard Law School

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: HOLLIS 8767706
Repository: Harvard Law School Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Lord Family
Title: Lord Family papers
Date(s): 1807-1961
Quantity: 4 boxes
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Correspondence, legal and business documents, writings, and ephemera related to and produced by Eleazar Lord and his descendants.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Series I acquired October 2001; Series II acquired November 2005

Processing Information:

Processed by Rebecca Fenning February 2006.

Conditions Governing Access:

Access to these papers is governed by the rules and regulations of the Harvard Law School Library. This collection is open to the public, but is housed off-site at Harvard Depository and requires 2 business days' advance notice for retrieval. Consult the Special Collections staff for further information.

Conditions Governing Use:

The Harvard Law School Library holds copyright on some, but not all, of the material in our collections. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be directed to the Special Collections staff. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from the Harvard Law School Library are also responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations who hold copyright.

Historical/Biographical Information


Eleazar Lord was born in Connecticut in 1788, and, after studying for a career in the ministry, became a notable businessman, founding the Manhattan Fire Insurance Company (1821), the New York Sunday School Society (1815), the University of the City of New York and Auburn Theological Seminary (1820), in addition to becoming the first president of the New York & Erie Railroad (1833) and writing several books. During the 1857 panic, Eleazar Lord mortgaged heavily and borrowed money from relations, leaving him strapped for money and dependent on others during the Civil War years. He anticipated being a beneficiary of his multi-millionaire, bachelor brother Rufus Lord (1782-1869), but was ultimately disappointed when he inherited very little, the majority going to Rufus's other brothers and executors, Thomas Lord and David Lord. Eleazar Lord's son-in-law, William H. Whiton (1823-1908), who was supporting Eleazar Lord and his wife, retained the services of lawyer Christopher Columbus Langdell in an attempt to contest Rufus's will and the questionable behavior of the executors. Ultimately, this suit failed.
Eleazar Lord was married twice -- to Elizabeth Pierson from 1824 until her death in 1833, then to Ruth Thompson, from 1835 until his death in 1871 -- and had a total of 8 children, including Sarah Pierson Lord (1823-1903), the wife of William H. Whiton. Sarah and William Whiton had several children, among them Elizabeth Pierson (Whiton) Stillson (1847-1875), Edward Nathan Whiton (1848-1907), Julia Caroline (Whiton) Gunkel (1853-1927) and Sallie Craig (Whiton) Harris, all of whom are represented in this collection.
For more information regarding Eleazar Lord and his descendants, please see the Lord family genealogy, Certain Members of the Lord Family, by Kenneth Lord, located in Box 3.

Series List


Within each series and/or subseries individual items or folders are identified by box and folder number. For example, the number 3-12 corresponds to box 5, folder 12.

Scope and Contents

The Lord family papers span from 1807 to 1961, and document the lives of Eleazar Lord (1788-1871) and his descendants. The majority of the collection consists of correspondence written to and from Eleazar, his first wife and his children, but also contains his religious writings, the papers of his son-in-law William H. Whiton, and items related to the legal battle over his brother Rufus's 1869 will, including several letters to and from Christopher Columbus Langdell. The collection also contains miscellaneous photographs, engravings, newspaper clippings and other ephemera collected by the Lord family, as well as additional correspondence to and from Eleazar Lord's grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
This collection of papers were most likely passed down through the descendants of Eleazar Lord's daughter Sarah Pierson Lord, wife of William H. Whiton, and were at one point in the possession of their daughter Sallie Whiton Harris (1862-1926).

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Religious literature, American
Willis--Cases--Rufus Lord Willl
Colt, C. W.
Colt, Eliza
Langdell, C. C. (Christopher Columbus), 1826-1906
Lord, David N. (David Nevins), 1792-1880
Lord, Eleazar, 1788-1871
Lord, Elizabeth Pierson d. 1833
Lord, Rufus, 1782-1869
Lord, Thomas
Stillson, Elizabeth Pierson (Whiton), 1847-1875
Whiton, Edward Nathan, 1848-1907
Whiton, Sarah Pierson (Lord), 1823-1903
Whiton, William H., 1823-1908

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