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MC 235

Almy family. Papers of the Almy family, 1649-1967 (inclusive), 1835-1967 (bulk): A Finding Aid.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America


Processed under NEH Grant Number RC 24669-76-987.
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Cambridge, Mass.
November 1976

© 1976 President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: MC 235
Repository: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Creator: Almy family
Title: Papers of the Almy family, 1649-1967 (inclusive), 1835-1967 (bulk)
Quantity: 1.46 linear feet (3+1/2 file boxes) plus 1 folio folder, 1 folio+ folder
Language of materials: Materials letter, signed in English.
Abstract: Correspondence of the Almy, Cabot, and Jackson families from New England.

Processing Information:

Processed: November 1976
By: Linda J. Henry

Acquisition Information:

Accession numbers: 69-2, 70-63, 72-60, 76-349
The papers of the Almy Family were deposited with the Schlesinger Library in 1969, 1970, 1972 and 1976 by Helen Jackson Almy,Elizabeth (Almy) Cobb Hall and Anna Cabot (Almy) Bidwell.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions:

Copyright in the papers created by the Almy family is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred citation for publication:

Almy family Papers, 1649-1967; item description, dates. MC 235, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see the Almy family Additional papers, 1832-1990 (86-M238--90-M72; MP-18; Mf-4), Helen Jackson Cabot Almy Papers, 1899-1920 (A-84), Hugh Cabot Family Papers, 1786-1945 (A-99), and Ella Lyman Cabot Papers, 1873-1934 (A-139).


The fifth of six children of Charles Almy and Helen Jackson (Cabot) Almy, Elizabeth (Almy) Cobb Hall was born on August 28, 1892, in Prides Crossing, Massachusetts. In 1915 she married Stanley Cobb, a neuropsychiatrist who in 1934 founded the psychiatric service at Massachusetts General Hospital. During the 1930s Elizabeth (Almy) Cobb Hall became interested in child psychiatry and from 1943 until 1955 worked as a psychotherapist at the James Jackson Putnam Children's Center in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Following Stanley Cobb's death in 1967, she married Francis Cooley Hall, a specialist in arthritis and related diseases; he died in 1973. Elizabeth (Almy) Cobb Hall died in March 1984.


This collection centers on Helen Jackson (Cabot) Almy (1856-1938), her parents and her children, and thus includes substantial material on the Cabot and Jackson families as well as the Almy family (see genealogies in folder 1 and oversize folder). The papers are mainly family correspondence between members of these three New England families and from other relatives and friends.
Helen Jackson (Cabot) Almy was the daughter of the physician, Samuel Cabot (1815-1885), and Hannah Lowell (Jackson) Cabot (1820-1879). Correspondence between them, and with their children, is included here, as well as Hannah's diaries and numerous letters (1835-1839, 1844) from Hannah to her sister, Sarah (Jackson) Russell. Dr. Samuel Cabot's letters are mainly about family matters, with some references to the Civil War. His other papers include a typed essay (quoting many letters to him) about admitting women to the Massachusetts Medical Society. Hannah's letters and diaries describe her daily activities and include references to Dr. William Ellery Channing and other well-known Bostonians of the 1830s and 1840s.
Helen Jackson (Cabot) Almy's papers include two diaries (1877-1878, 1880-1881) and correspondence. The papers of mother and daughter thus document the social network and activities of upper-class Boston families in two different time periods. The bulk of Helen Jackson (Cabot) Almy's correspondence consists of letters to her from family and friends; letters by her are mainly to her daughter, Mary. Her work for the establishment of playgrounds and vacation schools in Cambridge is documented in the Helen Jackson (Cabot) Almy Papers in the Schlesinger Library (A-84). A few papers of Helen Jackson (Cabot) Almy's sister, Lilla, and brothers--Samuel, Arthur Tracy, James Jackson, Guy Chilton, and Godfrey Lowell--are included, most of them letters to Helen Jackson (Cabot) Almy.
Helen Jackson (Cabot) Almy's husband, Charles Almy (1851-1934), justice of the third district court of eastern Middlesex county for almost thirty years, is represented here by letters, most of them to his daughter, Mary, and by a few articles by him and many newsclippings about him.
Papers of Helen Jackson (Cabot) Almy's children include letters from them to her, but a larger part of their correspondence consists of letters from other Almy children to the eldest, Mary Almy (1883-1967), a Boston architect. Papers by Mary are mainly her travel diaries (1909 and 1924). Records of her architectural career are not included here, but are to be housed at the Historical Collections at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Helen Jackson Almy (1884-1976) was the first Chief of the Social Work Section of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Although that part of her career is not represented here, four folders of her letters (typescript carbon copies) to her family do provide substantial information on her service with the Harvard Medical Unit in France during World War I.
Papers of the other Almy children--Anna, Charles, Jr., Elizabeth and Samuel Cabot--include letters to Mary, a few to their parents and some about the death of their parents. Most of Samuel's letters were written from France during World War I..
The Almy family received letters from many well-known Bostonians of the later 19th century, among them: Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, Charles W. Eliot, Ellen Tucker Emerson and Ralph Waldo Emerson. (See index of correspondents for a complete listing.)
The nine folders of photographs are mostly of Almy family members but autograph letter, signed o include photographs of Radcliffe College classmates (1905) of Helen and Mary Almy and many photographs related to the Harvard Medical Unit in World War I.

Additional catalog entries

The following catalog entries represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. An entry for each appears in the Harvard On Line Library Information System (HOLLIS) and other automated bibliographic databases. THIS IS NOT AN INDEX.
Agassiz, Elizabeth Cabot Cary, 1822-1907
Almy, Charles, 1851-1934
Almy, Helen Jackson Cabot, 1856-1938
Almy, Helen Jackson, 1884-1976
Almy, Mary, 1883-1967
Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customs
Cabot, Eliza Perkins, 1791-1885
Cabot family
Cabot, Hannah Lowell Jackson, 1820-1879
Cabot, Samuel, 1815-1885
Channing, William Ellery, 1780-1842
Clarke, James Freeman, 1810-1888
Eliot, Charles William, 1834-1926
Emerson, Ellen Tucker
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882
Europe--Description and travel
Families--History--19th century
Families--History--20th century
Family records
Howells, William Dean, 1837-1920
Jackson family
Longfellow, Alice M. (Alice Mary), 1850-1928
Lowell, Josephine Shaw, 1843-1905
Venezuela--Politics and government--1830-1935
Voyages and travels
World War, 1914-1918--Participation, Female




This index lists writers and recipients of letters. Information about these individuals is not indexed; nor are subjects. The numbers are folder numbers.