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Letters

William Appleton and Company Collection
Mss 766 1840-1889
Contains the letter books of Mary Ann Appleton and her daughter, Sarah (Appleton) Lawrence.

Builders Iron Foundry Collection
Mss 501 1851-1860 B932
Includes letters from female family members.

Equitable Life Assurance Society Collection
Mss 797 1870-1919 E641
Includes letters from the wife, sister, and stepmother of Henry H. Hyde.

Forbes Family Collection
Mss 766 1803-1920 F693
Contains letters to and from various female members of the Forbes family, including letters written from Boston before and during the American Revolution, and nineteenth-century letters written in Rio de Janeiro and Canton, China. The collection also includes the 1838 marriage contract between Sarah Perkins and Henry R. Cleveland.

Griswold Family Papers Collection
Mss 821 1782-1820 G
Includes early to mid-nineteenth-century correspondence to and from members of two generations of the Griswold family who lived in New England and in the Michigan and Illinois Territories.

Hancock Collection
Mss 761 1728-1854 H234
Includes letters, receipts, and accounts documenting transactions with various female merchants in eighteenth-century Boston, Massachusetts, as well as mid-eighteenth century letters written by Mary Hancock Perkins to her son while he was a student at Harvard.

Heard Family Collection, I
Mss 766 1754-1898 H
This large family collection includes many letters from female members of the Heard Family. Materials discuss travel, financial matters, and family news, as well as the divorce of Mary (Livingston) Heard.

Hunnewell Collection
Mss 733 1823-1869 H
Correspondence of merchant James Hunnewell includes letters from Susan Hunnewell in Charlestown, Massachusetts, from the secretary of the Dorchester Sailor's Friends Society, and from missionaries and their families who were living in Hawaii between 1820 and 1850.

Louis E. Kirstein Collection
Mss 776 1909-1942
The office files of Louis Kirstein, Vice-president of Filene's of Boston (1911-1942), contain material throughout on the professional role of his secretary; correspondence with women working for charities; material on women working at Filene's; and personal correspondence with his sister, wife, and daughters.

Thomas W. Lamont Collection
Mss 783 1894-1948
The papers (from 1894 to 1948) of a renowned New York investment banker, philanthropist, and literary figure include correspondence with many women, mostly originating from his reputation as a financial advisor, his social and cultural activities, and from personal and family contacts.

Thomas H. McKittrick Collection
Mss 78 1924-1946
The records and correspondence of international banker Thomas Harrington McKittrick (1889-1970) contain financial records and trust accounts for various women of the family; letters, dated 1943 to 1945, from his daughter Elizabeth Benson McKittrick at Vassar College; and information on the working lives of his secretaries.

S. Griffitts Morgan Collection
Mss 761 1843-1863 M849
Includes letters from the mother and sisters of S. Griffits Morgan. Describes their financial situations, family squabbles, and work during the civil war.

Asa P. Morse and Company Collection
Mss 7635 1849-1881 M885
Contains letters from Morse's nieces and sister-in-law, as well as female professionals working for the city of Boston.

Benjamin Newton Collection
Mss 766 1843-1864 N561
Includes letters written by Elizabeth Newton, describing her life in nineteenth-century Newport, Rhode Island.

J. Howard Nichols Collection
Mss 766 1856-1905 N619
The Nichols collection includes letters from his mother, daughters, and sisters, one of whom worked as a missionary in Turkey in the mid-nineteenth century.

Ropes Family Collection
Mss 766 1789-1875 R785
Contains letters written by various female members of the Ropes family, including letters written while part of the family was living in St. Petersburg, Russia, as well as guardian accounts for Sarah Sewall's children.

Gustavus Tuckerman, Jr. Collection
Mss:766 1847-1898 T896
Family letters received by a Boston merchant based in Italy, India, and China during the 1840s and 1850s.

Tudor Company Collection, II
Mss 766 1753-1868 T912
Contains letters from various members of the Tudor family, including the wife, mother, and sisters of Frederic Tudor.

Wendell Family Collection
Mss 733 1722-1865
Includes women's personal correspondence, essays and school papers, and John Dorr's diary and eulogy for his wife, Esther Goldthwait Dorr. The collection also contains letters written to Anne Rindge between 1742 and 1748 regarding her shipping interests, and the papers of Dorothy Wendell, who ran a cattle farm in the early part of the nineteenth century.

Woodbridge and Backus Families Collection
Mss 770 1754-1890 B126
The Woodbridge and Backus Families Collection includes letters to and from a number of women in both families, from the late eighteenth to the late nineteenth century.



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Letter from Anne Humphreys to William Tudor, March 4, 1806.

Many of Baker Library's eighteenth- and nineteenth-century business manuscript collections contain private letters, often written by and to several generations of women in one family. These letters document women's activities at home and abroad, as well as their personal and economic concerns.

A collection of letters written in 1805 and 1806 from Anne Humphreys in Boston to William Tudor, founder and first editor of the North American Review, while he was in the West Indies give very colorful and detailed descriptions of social life in Boston, including teas, balls, theater, clothing, marriages, engagements, deaths, and illnesses. She also tells a story of a dinner with Native Americans, at which she was the only woman present. Of the experience, she wrote:

One of these chiefs was tall and extremely handsome, possessing great dignity of manners. I made up my mind that three hours at least was taken up in Toilette arrangements, especially in the extreme coquetry of the placing the different coloured plumes on the head. Others had monstrous rings in their noses which appeared to be in the way when they eat, but they sacrificed a little comfort and ease to fashion & I have often seen many young ladies as greatly embarrassed from the great tribute to fashion.

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Letter from Hannah Willard to Augustine Heard, October 4, 1847.

Personal letters in the collections open a window on the relationship between middle-class women's social and economic concerns. In a letter written to her uncle, Augustine Heard, Hannah Willard thanks him for giving her money so that she does not have to teach any longer:

I can not help writing you a few lines to thank you for your great kindness to me. You can not conceive how free I felt after I left you to think that I should not teach any more, for it is a great confinement certainly to keep school, and I think it is an occupation hardly any one would choose for the enjoyment of it. Certainly I never should.

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Letter from Mary Grace to Augustine Heard, January 4, 1850.

In another letter addressed to Augustine Heard, Mary Grace of Baltimore writes of her aspirations to be a teacher so that she can help her family financially. Though Grace had called herself a "woman of business" in an earlier letter to Heard, the prospect of having to support her family caused concerns about her social relationships:

I have my dear Mr. Heard taken the resolution of becoming a Teacher, that I may be of use to my family. I will engage to teach all the usual branches of a plain English education - French, Music, needlework, I have taught my sisters for the past three years & consequently have some experience in the art, if I may call it one. At any rate it is not very agreeable to "teach the young idea". Is it my dear Uncle? for I hope you will still allow me to claim that relationship though I am to become a Teacher.

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