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Henry A. S. Dearborn collection, 1801-1850 (majority within 1814-1850)

176 items

The Henry A. S. Dearborn collection (176 items) contains the correspondence of the Massachusetts politician and author Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn, son of the Revolutionary War General, Henry Dearborn. The papers largely document his career as the collector of the Boston Customs House and include letters from prominent government officials in Boston, New York, and Washington, D.C. The papers also include 16 speeches, orations, and documents pertinent to Dearborn's horticultural interests, Grecian architecture, politics, and other subjects.

The Henry A. S. Dearborn collection contains correspondence (160 items) and speeches, reports, and documents (16 items) of the Massachusetts politician, and author, Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn. The bulk of the Correspondence Series documents Dearborn's career as the collector at the Boston Customs House. Dearborn corresponded with government officials in Boston, New York, and Washington D.C. These letters largely concern his management of the customs department and political matters. Of particular interest are 22 letters from the French émigré, Louis Dampus, which constitute a case history of customs problems (May to November 1814). Most of these are in French. Also of interest are 11 letters between Dearborn and Thomas Aspinwall, United States consul to London. They discussed exchanging political favors, purchasing books in London, and, in the July 11, 1817 letter, President James Monroe's tour of New England and the North West Territory.

Other notable letters to Dearborn include those written by the following people:
  • James Leander Cathcart, United States diplomat, on the state of commerce on the Black Sea and his career as a diplomat with the Ottomans (June 8 and 12, 1818).
  • Fiction writer and scholar William S. Cardell, regarding his election as member of American Academy of Language and Belles Lettres (October 30, 1821).
  • Colonel Nathan Towson, paymaster general of the United States, on John C. Calhoun's political fortunes as a presidential candidate and the political ramifications of raising taxes (December 22, 1821).
  • Harvard University Overseer and Massachusetts Senator, Harrison Gray Otis, on "St. Domingo's" (Hispaniola) terrain, agriculture, export potential, its white and black populations, and its importance, as a trade partner, to the French. Otis supported bolstering the United States' trade relationship with the island (January 17, 1823).
  • Nathaniel Austin, regarding an enclosed sketch of "Mr. Sullivan's land," located near Charlestown, Massachusetts (April 13, 1825).
  • Federalist pamphlet writer, John Lowell, about his illness that him unable to contribute to [Massachusetts Agricultural Society] meetings (June 5, 1825).
  • Massachusetts Senator, James Lloyd, concerning funding the building of light houses in the harbor at Ipswich, Massachusetts (April 11, 1826).
  • H. A. S. Dearborn to state senator and later Massachusetts governor, Emory Washburn, regarding the American aristocracy. He accused the Jackson administration of putting "the Union in jeopardy,” and dishonoring the Republic with an “unprincipled, ignorant and imbecile administration" (May 22, 1831). Dearborn also summarized many of his ideas on the political and social state of the Union.
  • Abraham Eustis, commander of the school for Artillery Practice at Fort Monroe, commenting that the "dissolution of the Union is almost inevitable. Unless you in Congress adopt some very decided measures to counteract the federal doctrines of the Proclamation, Virginia will array herself by the side of South Carolina, & then the other southern States join at once" (December 27, 1832).
  • The botanist John Lewis Russell, about a charity request for support of the Norfolk Agricultural Society (February 6, 1850).

The collection contains several personal letters from family members, including three from Dearborn's mother, Sarah Bowdoin Dearborn, while she was in Lisbon, Portugal (January 29 and 30, 1823, and January 27, 1824); two letters from his father, General Henry Dearborn (May 25, 1814, and undated); and one from his nephew William F. Hobart (November 8, 1822).

The collection's Speeches, Reports, and Documents Series includes 15 of Henry A. S. Dearborn's orations, city or society reports, and a copy of the Revolutionary War roll of Col. John Glover's 21st Regiment. Most of them were not published in Dearborn's lifetime. The topics of these works include the art of printing (1803), Independence Day (4th of July, 1808 and 1831), discussion about the establishment of Mount Auburn Cemetery (1830), education, religion, horticulture, Whig politics, and the state of the country. See the box and folder listing below for more details about each item in this series.


Robert Baird papers, 1943

8 items

The Robert Baird papers consist of 8 letters Baird wrote to his aunt and uncle, Kit and Bill Munro of Harvey, Illinois, while he served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. He discussed his life in Massachusetts while awaiting the completion of construction on his assigned ship, and later wrote of his activities while on leave in London.

The Robert Baird papers consist of 8 letters Baird wrote to his aunt and uncle, Kit and Bill Munro of Harvey, Illinois, while he served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. Baird composed the first five letters in Hingham and South Boston, Massachusetts, while awaiting the completion of construction on the HMS Bentinck. He described his experiences on shore, which included complex signal training and maintaining correspondence with several other relatives. After the Bentinck's commission in May 1943, Baird wrote from London, England, and discussed his leave and leisure activities, which included visits to family and friends. Though Baird served with the Royal Navy, he wrote several of the letters on United States Navy stationary.


Turner-Whiton papers, 1798-1892 (majority within 1831-1880)

1.5 linear feet

The Turner-Whiton papers contain correspondence, financial records, legal documents, essays, and newspaper clippings pertaining to T. Larkin Turner, a druggist from Boston, Massachusetts, and his wife, Elizabeth D. Whiton. The material primarily concerns the couple's courtship and two of Turner's pharmaceutical products.

This collection contains correspondence, financial records, legal documents, essays, and newspaper clippings pertaining to T. Larkin Turner, a druggist from Boston, Massachusetts, and his wife, Elizabeth D. Whiton. The material primarily concerns the couple's courtship and two of Turner's pharmaceutical products.

The first three subseries in the Correspondence series are grouped by correspondents: Elizabeth Whiton letters to T. Larkin Turner (122 items), Letters to Elizabeth Whiton (121 items), and T. Larkin Turner letters to Elizabeth Whiton (12 items). These subseries are comprised of personal letters written in the mid-19th century, primarily concerning the writers' social lives in Hingham, Charlestown, and Boston, Massachusetts. Elizabeth Whiton's correspondents included her siblings and female friends.

The Letters from H. subseries contains 43 letters that a man named Henry and his wife Marie wrote to his parents while traveling in Italy, France, England, and Germany in 1884 and 1885. Henry wrote the majority of the letters, commented on his life in Venice, Paris, and London, and mentioned a recent cholera epidemic. The subseries also includes a ticket and printed advertisement in French.

The Chronological Correspondence subseries comprises the bulk of the collection. The first 2 items are letters from Reverend Sherman Johnson of Southborough, Massachusetts, to a female acquaintance. Most items from 1833-1880 are personal letters to T. Larkin Turner and Elizabeth D. Whiton (later Elizabeth Turner), including their letters to one another during their courtship (ca. 1837-1843) and later letters from a branch of the Turner family in Lexington, Massachusetts. The courtship-era letters primarily concern Turner and Whiton's daily lives in Boston and Hingham, Massachusetts, respectively. Elizabeth Whiton also received letters from male and female friends in New England and New York, particularly in Charlestown and Boston, Massachusetts.

T. Larkin Turner received letters from several correspondents, including George R. Turner, who wrote a series of letters to Turner about his work for a Massachusetts railroad in 1847 and 1848. He commented on his in-state travels, his co-workers, and the railroad's progress. George W. Prescott of the United States Navy Yard in Pensacola, Florida, wrote personal letters to Turner from 1877-1883. Undated items include additional correspondence between Turner and Whiton and genealogical notes about the Turner family.

Advertisements include printed booklets, fliers, and other advertisements for T. Larkin Turner's medical cures, particularly the "Tic-Douloureux, or Universal Neuralgia Pill" and "Lorraine's Vegetable Cathartic Pills." Manuscript drafts of advertisements are also present. Other clippings are articles on medical conditions such as neuralgia, on Turner's pills, and on other medical topics.

A group of papers related to Turner's Nostrums contains manuscript drafted advertisements and notes about T. Larkin Turner's "Tic-Douloureux, or Universal Neuralgia Pill" and other products. Two lengthy manuscript drafts concern the neuralgia pill and a cure for menstrual discomfort. Notes concern various medical conditions and the importance of sleep, among other topics.

The Receipts and Documents series primarily contains receipts to Captain Larkin Turner and T. Larkin Turner, largely for everyday personal expenses. T. Larkin Turner also purchased a newspaper subscription and hired a horse and buggy on at least one occasion. Indentures and similar legal documents primarily pertain to land in Massachusetts.

The Muster Roll/Town Roster series contains two items: a booklet with names of Boston residents and other annotations, and a booklet containing copied information from a 1757 muster roll.

The Genealogy series has notes and fragments about the Whiton, Turner, and Whitney families, as well as poetry, essays, correspondence, and receipts of payment for copied documents.

T. Larkin Turner composed a 94-page Memorative of Larkin Turner, his father, on the backs of assorted documents, scraps, and ephemera items. The bound volume, the first in a series, covers Larkin's life until about 1812.

Additional Newspaper Clippings pertain to deaths, marriages, and the Fusilier Veteran Association.

The Miscellaneous series contains ephemera, sketches, a lock of Turner's hair, a Tufts library card for "Russell H. Whiting," and other items.