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Hooker, Richard J. (Richard James), 1913- . Richard James Hooker collection of letters from American women, 1788-1890: A Finding Aid.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: A-133
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Hooker, Richard J. (Richard James), 1913-
Title: Richard James Hooker collection of letters from American women, 1788-1890
Date(s): 1788-1890
Quantity: .63 linear feet (2 file boxes)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, mostly by19th century American women, compiled by Richard James Hooker of Chicago, Illinois.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession number: 659
Purchased of Mr. Richard J. Hooker, Chicago, Illinois, October 1963.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Materials in Richard James Hooker collection of letters from American women are in the public domain.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred Citation:

Richard James Hooker collection of letters from American women, 1788-1890; item description, dates. A-133, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


Historian and collector of historical documents Richard James Hooker was born September 6, 1912. He received a PhD in history from the University of Chicago. He joined the faculty of Roosevelt University in 1945 as an associate professor and was promoted to full professor in 1949. In 1965, he was appointed trustee of Roosevelt University in 1965. Hooker was the author of several books, including The American Revolution: The Search for Meaning (1970), The Book Of Chowder (1978), and Food and Drink in America: A History (1981), and edited A Colonial Plantation Cookbook: The Receipt Book of Harriott Pinckney Horry, 1770 (1984). He was married to Nancy Harvison Hooker. Hooker died September 15, 1986, in St Johnsbury, Vermont.


Approximately 300 miscellaneous letters, mostly by American women in the nineteenth century, covering a wide range of subjects - religion, education, politics, marriage, local and family news. The large majority are written by "unknown" women, and give a glimpse into the life of the housewife and the schoolteacher in the 19th century. Of particular interest are: the correspondence of Lucy Gray and her husband, a New England sea captain; the letters to Weltha Brown, a Hartford, Connecticut schoolteacher, from her friends and relatives, many dealing with religious subjects; letters by Hannah Buchanan of Maryland to her absent husband re the problems of running a plantation; and the letters by Sarah Edgarton and Luella J. B. Case, two minor authors. There is also an undated letter by Dolly Madison.


Container List

Additional Index Terms

Albany (N.Y.)--Social life and customs
Antislavery movements
Baltimore (Md.)--Social life and customs
Cambridge (Mass.)--Social life and customs
Clergy--Family relationships
Connecticut--Social life and customs
Emigration and immigration--History--19th century
Families--History--18th century
Families--19th century--History
Families of clergy
Family records
Farm life
Fashion--History--19th century
Frontier and pioneer life
Gold miners--History--19th century
Health--History--18th century
Health--History--19th century
Household employees
Hygiene--History--18th century
Hygiene--History--19th century
Indentured servants
Illinois--Social life and customs
Labor--History--19th century
Maine--Social life and customs
Maryland--Social life and customs
Massachusetts--Social life and customs
Michigan--Social life and customs
Middle West--Social life and customs
Mothers and daughters
New England--Social life and customs
New York (State)--Social life and customs
Pennsylvania Dutch
Prenuptial agreements
Ohio--Social life and customs
Older people--Dwellings--History--19th century
Religion--History--19th century
Revivals--History--19th century
Rhode Island--Social life and customs
School children
Seafaring life
Second Great Awakening
Single women
Southern States--Social life and customs
United States--History--1783-1865
United States--History--1865-1898
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Vermont--Social life and customs
Voyages and travels--History--19th century
Wisconsin--Social life and customs
Women--Education--History--19th century
Women--Middle West
Women--New England
Women--Southern states
Women teachers
Working class-- History--19th century
Case, Luella J. B. (Luella Julietta Bartlett), 1807-1857
Finney, Charles Grandison, 1792-1875
Gray, Joshua, 1772-1826
Gray, Lucy
Madison, Dolley, 1768-1849
Mayo, Sarah C. Edgarton (Sarah Carter Edgarton), 1819-1848
United States. Navy--Sea life