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MC 284

Huntting family. Papers of the Huntting-Rudd family, 1834-1905 (inclusive), 1849-1865 (bulk): 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

Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: MC 284
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Huntting family
Title: Papers of the Huntting-Rudd family, 1834-1905 (inclusive), 1849-1865 (bulk)
Date(s): 1834-1905
Date(s): 1849-1865
Quantity: 2.92 linear feet (7 file boxes)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Correspondence, accounts, photographs, etc., of the Huntting and Rudd families of Sag Harbor, New York.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Accession numbers: 77-M52, 77-M63, 77-M125, 78-M177, 79-M36, 79 -M72
The Huntting - Rudd papers were given to the Schlesinger Library in April and August 1977 by Bessie Huntting Rudd. Additional papers were given in October 1978 by Rhode Island Hospital Trust National Bank, in February 1979 by Caroline D. Bain, and in April 1979 by Mary Dwight (Rudd) Drever.

Processing Information:

Processed: May 1979
By: Caroline D. Bain

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by the Huntting-Rudd family as well as 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:

Huntting-Rudd family Papers, 1834-1905; item description, dates. MC 284, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


The Huntting-Rudd family were descendants of a prosperous whaling family of Sag Harbor, Long Island, New York.


The collection centers on the widow and children of Gilbert Cooper Huntting (1805-1849), members of a prosperous whaling family of Sag Harbor, Long Island, New York: Philena (Slate) Huntting (1808-1890), Bessie Huntting (1831-1862), Mary Huntting (1836-1869), Harriet Huntting (1839-1864), Gilbert Huntting (born 1844), and Robert Minturn Huntting (born 1847). It also includes papers of the family of Edward Payson Rudd (1833-1861), husband of Bessie Huntting, and of the related Dwight family (see Huntting, Rudd and Dwight family charts).
At Gilbert Cooper Huntting's death in 1849, Bessie assumed responsibility for the affairs of her family, even though she was often absent from Sag Harbor. She graduated form Brooklyn Female Academy in 1849 and taught school for two years in Philadelphia. In 1853-1854 she taught in Montrose, Pennsylvania, where she considered marrying Reverend Henry Jessup and going abroad with him as a missionary. Family responsibility prevailed and she returned home and taught in the Sag Harbor school. Each sibling in turn went away to school and all the family made frequent visits to relatives and friends (most often in Brooklyn and New York City).
In September 1858 Bessie met and became secretly engaged to Edward Payson Rudd, son of a minister in Lyons, New York, and partner in Rudd & Carleton, a New York City publishing firm. They corresponded almost daily and were married in June 1859. During their married life they were often separated due to Bessie Huntting Rudd's poor health, and therefore the correspondence continued. Their son, Edward Huntting Rudd (1860-1909), was born in Sag Harbor in June 1860. In April 1861 Edward Payson Rudd took his wife to a sanatorium in Minnesota, leaving Edward Huntting Rudd with the Hunttings in Sag Harbor. Bessie Huntting Rudd returned to her husband in New York in September; they moved to West Bloomfield, New Jersey, where Edward Payson Rudd died in November 1861. Bessie Huntting Rudd gave birth to a daughter, Bessie (1862-1865), in Sag Harbor in March 1862, and died there three months later.
Edward Huntting Rudd became the ward of Philena (Slate) Huntting, his grandmother. Graduating from Princeton in 1883, he became a minister, and in 1887 married Mary Winslow Dwight (1853-1926) of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, niece of his mother's friend, Laura (Howell) Napier (see Dwight family chart).
Correspondence of the Huntting family members with each other, letters from their relatives and friends, the correspondence between Bessie Huntting Rudd and Edward Payson Rudd, and letters to Edward Payson Rudd from his family comprise the most significant part of this collection. Most of the letters were written between 1849 and 1865.
Within each family series, the letters are organized by recipient, with recipients arranged according to age. Letters to each recipient are arranged by author: first letters from immediate family members according to age; then letters from the spouse; and finally letters from other relatives and friends in alphabetical order. Some folders contain letters from both husbands and wives, writing either jointly or on behalf of one another. An occasional letter from a recipient to a friend is included in the latter's folder. Within each folder letters are arranged chronologically, with undated letters at the end, unless the content makes clear where in the chronological sequence they fall. Unidentified correspondents are grouped according to first names. Papers other than letters relating directly to the addressee follow the letters. Miscellaneous family papers are placed at the end of each family series.
The letters illuminate relationships between parents and children, siblings, lovers, spouses, other family members, friends (both male and female). In the Huntting and Rudd correspondence, the women express, often in religious terms, their feelings about their roles in life as women: for example, Philena (Slate) Huntting as widow and mother; Bessie Huntting Rudd as surrogate parent, teacher, wife invalid: Mary (Huntting) Bush as musician and homemaker; Jane Andrews as singer; Caroline Glover as author; and so on.
The letters contain accounts of activities and events of daily life: social and religious activities (in Sag Harbor, Brooklyn, New York City, and Montrose, Pennsylvania); clothes and dressmaking; school life (Brooklyn Female Academy; Ingham Collegiate Institute, LeRoy, New York; Flushing Institute; Berkshire Family School, Stockbridge, Massachusetts); travel; careers for women, particularly as teachers; illness, death, courtship, weddings and childbirth. Except for occasional brief references to housecleaning and money, the letters reveal little about household management. The few comments on current events appear in letters of Gilbert Huntting and some of Bessie Huntting Rudd's friends.
The collection also includes accounts, bills, school compositions, calling cards, invitations, concert and graduation programs, news-clippings, photographs and other memorabilia.




Container List

Additional Index Terms

Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)--Social life and customs
Clothing and dress
Education--History--19th century
Family records
Health--History--19th century
New York (N.Y.)--Social life and customs
Parent and child
Pennsylvania--Social life and customs
Religion--History--19th century
Sag Harbor (N.Y.)--Social life and customs
Voyages and travels
Adams, William, 1807-1880
Berkshire Family School
Brooklyn Female Academy
Dwight family
Flushing Institute
Ingham Collegiate Institute
Jessup, Henry Harris, 1832-1910
Rudd family