Porter-Phelps-Huntington Family Papers
Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:
There is no restriction on access to the papers for research use, unless otherwise noted.
Restrictions on use:
Request of permission to publish material from the papers should be directed to the Curator of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Foundation, Inc.
Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:
[Identification of item], in Porter-Phelps-Huntington Family Papers [Box #, folder #], on deposit at Amherst College Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library.
History of the Collection
These papers are the property of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Foundation, Inc. They were deposited on extended loan in the Amherst College Archives in 1980, by the Curator of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Foundation, Inc.
The history of these papers is complex and not altogether clear. Some of the earliest papers were probably saved in the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House since the 1700s. Most of these, however, were considered valuable family documents and seem to have been inherited and taken by various relatives to there respective homes. In the later 19th and early 20th century, family papers were probably brought to the attic of the old house for storage, as it was the only permanent home these minister's family's had. When family members died or houses were sold, "Forty Acres" was the logical place for old papers to be deposited. In this manner, papers of even extended branches of the family came to be housed in Hadley.
In the 1930s, Dr. James Huntington became very interested in preserving the family history and he was probably responsible for bringing the early papers back to the house. He may have contacted the various relatives and asked them to return any old documents they might have.
Dr. Huntington examined these old manuscripts carefully to formulate a history of the house and family. In doing so, he destroyed any original order the papers may have had. It is likely that during the 1930s, Dr. Huntington began to put the papers in some kind of order.
For 30 years, no documented work was done on the papers themselves. Then in the 1960s, a systematic organization of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington family papers was begun by the museum curator and several volunteer students. About a third of the collection, including most of the pre-1900 material, was organized using the methods of the day. The most valuable and interesting early papers were displayed in a document case at the museum. The collection was arranged in a rough chronological order, and placed in acid free folders and boxes. In doing this all original order was lost and no notes are available to tell their reasons or methods. Their intentions were certainly good, but their arrangement was often inconsistant and with no listing of the contents, this collection was, therefore, rather hard to access.
These papers, in their new archival boxes, were stored in a closet in the museum office until 1980, when arrangements were made with The Amherst College Archives to deposit the papers on extended loan there. This measure would provide better conditions for the preservation and safety of these documents. Along with the organized archival boxes of material came many boxes of unprocessed papers. These remained at the Amherst College Archives, in their unorganized and untouched state for several years.
In February of 1987, an intern from the University of Massachusetts, began an 18 month project to complete the processing of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Family Papers. At this time, the unprocessed remainder of the collection, consisting mainly of late 19th and early 20th century material, was removed from the museum attic, cleaned, and transfered to Amherst College. These papers were then examined and organized. Papers and photographs were also removed from drawers of furniture in the museum and from the museum office files.
Once this was done, it became apparent that the methods used on the material sorted in the 1960s, would prove unsatisfactory for use by researchers. A decision was made to undo the processing of the 1960s and integrate the entire collection. The methods used in the final organization are described below.
The original order of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Family Papers was destroyed over the years, so that almost no trace of it remained. Therefore, except for a few cases (these are identified in the descriptions of the papers), no attempt was made to maintain the order in which the materials were found.
The materials relating to individual family members are organized in 41 units. Each significant person in the collection has their own unit, housed in one or more boxes. These consist of incoming and outgoing correspondence, printed material by or about the person, miscellaneous manuscripts, printed material saved by the person, school , and occasional journals and account books. The papers of early Porters, Phelps', and Huntingtons, previous to 1752 and the construction of the house at "Forty Acres", are housed in the first two boxes of the family papers.
The bulk of the collection is correspondence. Most of these are letters between various family members. Letters are placed in the boxes according to the person who wrote them. These are grouped into folders according to the individual to whom the letter is addressed. The folders are then arranged alphabetically by addressee, often using first names, as the last name is often the same. Within the folders, letters are in chronological order. If the researcher desires to examine letters written to an individual, from other family members, they should look at the listings for boxes of all siblings and parents. Correspondence incoming from non-family is placed in the unit of the recipient. These letters are arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the writer. When there is a large ammount of incoming correspondence, this is broken down by decade or year and arranged alphabetically within these groupings. In cases where these methods were not followed, a note has been made in the description of the unit.
The units of members of the Porter, Phelps, and Huntington families are listed and shelved according to generation. The siblings of a given generation, along with their spouses, are arranged in order of birth. (Women who married into the families are identified by their married names.) In some generations, there is not enough material on each sibling to have a separate box for each. In these cases, the siblings are grouped in a unit and labelled as the children or family of their father. Wives sometimes fall into these family units, as well.
In addition to the papers of the three main families, are 13 units of materials of the extended family. These consist of papers of the families of women who married Huntington men and also those families and descendants of Huntington women who married and aquired a new family name. These materials are divided into units by family name. The boxes of each family are listed and shelved alphabetically. Within a family box, each individual has their own folder(s), arranged in rough generational order. These extended family units are listed and shelved after the Porter, Phelps, and Huntington families.
Photographs and cased images form a separate unit. These are listed and shelved after the extended family units. Photographs were not included in the units of individual people, because they are often group shots. Therefore, within this section, photographs are organized by family or generation. Consult the container listing to identify the location of pictures of a given person. Group photographs are placed in folders labelled with the father's name. For instance George Huntington family photographs may include combinations of George, his wife, and children. Oversized photographs are identified in individual folders and placed in separate boxes, arranged alphabetically. There are also four boxes of unidentified cased images and photographs. (If any identifications are made, please notify the Archivist.)
Another unit contains miscellaneous unidentified papers. These are papers with no name and unidentifiable handwriting. There is also a box of documents with names of people whose relationship to the family cannot be identified.
A unit of printed material contains books published by family members about the house and family. These include copies of Forty Acres by James L. Huntington, Under A Colonial Rooftree by Arria Huntington, and Sixty Odd by Ruth Huntington Sessions. There is also a copy of the Huntington Family Geneology. Printed material also includes some magazines and pamphlets saved by unidentified family members.
A separate unit for miscellaneous oversized and legal sized material was created. A note is placed in the box of an individual, directing the researcher to look in the oversized material boxes. Within these boxes, folders are arranged alphabetically.
Description of the Papers
This description of the papers consists of biographical sketches for the family members whose papers are a part of this collection. They are in alphabetical order. Following each sketch is a description of the individual's papers and an indication of the boxes in which they are contained. Vital statistic information in the biographical sketches is incomplete.
Thomas Barbour (1886-?)
Tom was the son of William Barbour and was born on Martha's Vineyard on August 21, 1884. From Harvard he received his A.B. in 1906, his A.M. in 1908, and his PhD. in 1911. In 1906, Thomas married Rosamond Pierce (born 1886). He was a professor of zoology and the director of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College.
The Barbour's were very close to their in-laws, the Huntingtons. Tom corresponded frequently with James Lincoln Huntington and most of his papers were originally found among James', but they were separated out because of the family connection and can now be found in the Barbour Family box (BOX 108).
Thomas Barbour's papers include two folders of letters to James Huntington in the 1920s and 30s. There are also several pamphlets published by him. See also James L. Huntington's papers, BOX 81, for James' journals of trips made with Tom in 1936 and 1941.
See the newspapers box for an article by Barbour in Life magazine.
Harry Hudson Barrett (1851-1930s?)
Harry Barrett was born in Malden on March 10, 1851, the son of Henry and Lucy Barrett. Harry attended Phillips Andover Academy, graduated from Harvard in 1874, and from Harvard Law School in 1879. He became a prominent Boston lawyer. For 40 years, he was the attorney for the Malden Cooperative Bank. He also served in the Massachusetts Legislature, representing his life long home of Malden. After his father's death in 1892, Harry took over management of the family finances. In 1900, he married Alice Morse Wardle, she died and he later married again to Anna ___. He had one daughter, Beatrice. Harry Barrett died sometime between 1937 and 1941.
Harry's papers, in BOX 113, include outgoing correspondence, mostly to his sister Lilly Barrett Huntington and her children. Two folders of letter to Lilly from 1864 to 1925, are interesting. Also included is one letter from Beatrice Barrett to Lilly and a watercolor done by her in 1917. See the Photographs BOX 138.
Henry Barrett (1807-1892)
Henry was the son of William and Mary Keiser Hall Barrett. He was born in Malden, Massachusetts in 1807 and lived there all his life. He and his brothers carried on the profitable family business of Barrett's Dye House, which his father had founded. Henry's first wife was a distant cousin, but she died of consumption only a few months after the marriage. On January 19, 1848, Henry married Lucy Stearns of Salem.
The Barretts lived on Main Street in Malden. They were Unitarians, but attended the Universalist church, as there was no Unitarian one in the area.
The family's work in the dye house caused the developement of tuberculosis of the lungs. William Barrett died of it in 1834, and by that time, son Henry had contracted the disease as well. To improve his health, Henry Barrett spent summers in the White Mountains and winters near Mobile, Alabama, apparently running the Dye House from afar. This cure was successful, the disease was arrested, and Henry lived to be 85 years old, dying in 1892.
Lilly St. Agnan (See biographical sketch under Lilly
Two cartons of Henry Barrett's papers are contained in the collection. Among his personal papers, in BOX 110, there are about 25 letters outgoing to family members during the 1860s and 80s. The bulk of Henry's papers are financial. Twenty two folders of personal bills and receipts of the 1880s and 90s, provide much information about the wealthy Barrett family household. Henry and Lucy Barrett's legal papers show the large amount of real estate owned and managed by this family.
Business and financial papers of the Barrett and Brothers Dye House are found in BOX 111. These are mostly financial statements and yearly reports of the 1830s through the 1870s. See also BOX 109 for misc. Barrett family legal and financial papers of 1835-50.
Lucy Theodora Gellineau Stearns Barrett (1824-1916)
Lucy was born on May 27, 1824. She was the daughter of Richard and Marianne St. Agnan Stearns of Salem, Massachusetts (see Stearns family biographical sketches). In 1841, at the age of 17, Lucy was attending Bradford Academy in Bradford, Massachusetts. She married Henry Barrett on January 19, 1848 and went to live with him in Malden. Lucy outlived her husband by many years, dying in Malden in 1916, at the age of 92.
Children: See children of Henry Barrett above
Lucy Stearns Barrett's papers, in BOX 112, include mostly outgoing correspondence. There are seven folders of letters to daughter Lilly Barrett Huntington, between 1864 and 1916. These are valuable in documenting this mother- daughter relationship, as well as life in Boston during the late 19th and early 20th century. There are two folders of letters from childhood friends in the 1830s. See also BOX 110, for Henry and Lucy Barrett legal and financial papers. These are important, because the Barrett's had many investments and Lucy managed them herself for the many years after her husband's death in 1892. See also BOX 109 for misc. Barrett family legal and financial papers of 1835-50. See the photographs BOX 138. See BOX 82, family geneology information, for letters from Lucy about the family history.
Richard Stearns Barrett (1854-?)
Born May 2, 1854 (?)
Theresa St. Agnan Barrett (Cochrane) or "Teasie"
Richard Barrett's few papers are in BOX 113. They include four letters to sister Lilly Barrett Huntington from 1873 to 1896. There is one letter to Lilly from "Teasie". For more of her letters, see James Lincoln Huntington Correspondence-incoming in BOX 66. See photographs BOX 138.
William Barrett (1770s-1834)
William Barrett was born during the Battle of Bunker Hill. His father, Nathaniel, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. William moved to Malden, as a young man, and established a dye-works that bore the family name for nearly a century. In 1804, he married Mary Keiser Hall (1783-1840) of Charlestown, Massachusetts.
In the 1830s, William contracted tuberculosis from his work in the dye house. He died in Malden in 1834.
Children: Order of birth unknown
William Barrett's papers are in BOX 109, along with miscellaneous Barrett family material. There are deeds and financial papers from 1805 to 1834. An appraisal of his buildings in 1828 is valuable, as are his will and estate inventory of 1835. Related to these is the folder of Mary Barrett's 1835 financial papers. William and Mary Barrett's portraits hang in the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House. See the Photographs BOX 138.
William Ingersoll Bowditch (1819-1909)
William, son of Nathaniel Bowditch, was born in Salem, Massachusetts on August 5, 1819. He attended Harvard, receiving his A.B. in 1838 and his LL.B. in 1841. In 1844, he married Sara Rhea Higginson (1819-1919). The Bowditch's lived in Brookline, where William was a conveyancer and trustee.
The Bowditch family box (BOX 114) includes eight letters from William to his youngest daughter, Louisa, in 1866 and 67. These letters include wonderful little fairy stories. The box also includes a Bowditch geneology book.
Caroline Phelps Bullfinch (1814-?)
Caroline was born August 22, 1814 in Boston, the daughter of Charles Porter and Sarah Phelps. When Caroline was only three, her mother died and the family moved to Hadley. There she was raised by her mother's cousin, Charlotte, who later became her step-mother.
Caroline was the only one of Charles Porter Phelps' children to marry. She became the wife of Reverend Stephen Bullfinch, the son of famous architect Charles Bullfinch. The ceremony was performed by Caroline's uncle, Dan Huntington, on December 27, 1842. The Bullfinch's apparantly lived in Boston.
There are no papers of Caroline Phelps Bullfinch but she is important to the collection as the family link to the famous Bullfinch's. There are two letters to Caroline from her Bullfinch brothers-in-law, in BOX 115.
Ellen S. Bullfinch (1840s?-1921)
Ellen, daughter of Caroline and Stephen Bullfinch, was born some time in the 1840s or 50s. She grew up in Boston and lived in Cambridge, later in life. Ellen never married.
Ellen is said to have owned the Phelps farm in Hadley and probably spent the summer months there, until she sold it in the 1890s to Frederic Dan Huntington. She was very interested in the family history and was the owner of a number of family documents and objects, which were later returned to the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House. Ellen was an artist who drew many sketches of the family and the houses in Hadley. A few of these are owned by the Porter-Phelps- Huntington House museum. The others seem to have been in the possession of the Sessions family.
Ellen Bullfinch's papers are contained in the Bullfinch Family box (BOX 115). There are three unidentified letters to her probably from her Phelps aunts. See also the Charles Porter Phelps Family box (BOX 11) for letters to Ellen from aunt Susan Phelps, mentioning the Dickinson family of Amherst. The collection contains one or two letters to each of her Huntington second cousins. There is a full folder of letters to Lilly Huntington 1904-1917. In 1898, Ellen visited the Lake George Battle Grounds where her ancestor, Moses Porter, died and she wrote and account of her visit.
Edward Thorton Fisher (1836-?)
"Ned" Fisher was born 1836 in Oswego, New York. He was the youngest child of George and Elizabeth Huntington Fisher. During the Civil War he was a member of the 9th Regiment of New York and fought in Maryland and Virginia. After the War, on June 30, 1869, Edward married Ellen Thayer Bowditch (1847- 1911) in Brooklyn, New York.
Elizabeth Porter Huntington Fisher (1803-1897)
Elizabeth Huntington was born May 8, 1803 in Litchfield Connecticut. She was the second child of Dan and Elizabeth Huntington. Elizabeth met her husband George Fisher on a stage coach journey to western New York. George had graduated from Brown University in 1813. He returned to Hadley to marry Elizabeth in 1824. They then moved to Oswego, New York, where he was president of the North West Insurance Company. They remained in Oswego throughout their lives. Elizabeth died there in 1864.
BOX 116 of Elizabeth Huntington Fisher and family contains correspondence arranged alphabetically by the writer of the letter. There are letters from Elizabeth H. Fisher, George Fisher, and their children. These papers are important as the family lived in the young and prosperous port city of Oswego, New York at a time when the country was beginning to rapidly expand in that westward direction. See also the papers of Elizabeth's son Edward in BOX 117. See the photographs BOX 133.
Agnes Genevieve Keefe Huntington (1904-1986)
Genevieve Keefe was born in Boston on May 28, 1904. She became Dr. James Lincoln Huntington's second wife on December 29, 1944. Previous to the marriage, she was living in Amherst and working for the New England Telephone Company.
Genevieve lived with Dr. Huntington in the Chaise house at "Forty Acres" and continued to reside in the apartment there after his death. She worked with him to preserve the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House as a museum, but the financial commiment to the project took a toll on her enthusiasm.
Genevieve sold Beauty Counselor cosmetics from her home. In the 1950s, she lived and worked in the Dickinson House of Mount Holyoke College. Her husband died in 1968. Genevieve acted as interim curator of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House for the 1977 summer season.
In september of 1977, she married Vladimir Steinmetz and moved to Florida, where she was activities director of their retirement condominium. She died there in 1986.
Genevieve Huntington's few papers are contained in BOX 87. There are about 40 letters to her husband in the 1940s and 50s. Another folder contains eight letters to sister-in-law, Catharine Huntington in the 50s and 60s, telling of Jimmy's failing health and financial situation. Three other folders of correspondence in and out are not well organized, but are left as they were saved in folders by Genevieve and/or Dr. Huntington. Some of this correspondence concerns early museum business. Researchers should also see the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Foundation office files, for more letters from Genevieve. See photographs BOX 140. See also James L. Huntington Family checkbooks and bank statements in BOXES 78-79.
Annie Oakes Huntington (1875-1940)
Annie Oakes was born in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts on June 12, 1875. She was the second child of E.H. Mills and Elizabeth Quincy Huntington. She spent her first years near Boston. When she was ten, her family lived in Hong Kong for four years. Annie never married. She published two books on botany, Studies of Trees in Winter and Poison Ivy and Sumac. Later in life, she lived on a farm in Harrison, Maine, dying there on November 27, 1940.
BOX 39 of the collection contains five letters outgoing and eight incoming. Her obituary is also included. See the photographs BOX 132. For more information see the book of her letters, Testament of Happiness, published in 1947 by her sister Elizabeth Quincy Huntington. This includes letters written to friends from her childhood in Hong Kong to her death in Maine. The book can be found in the Boltwood Room of the Jones Library in Amherst.
Arria Sargent Huntington (1848-1921)
Arria was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, January 22, 1848. She was the eldest daughter of Frederic Dan and Hannah Huntington. Arria grew up in the Boston area where she was educated in private schools. In 1869, she moved to Syracuse, New York with her parents. She continued to live there throughout her life, never marrying although she had many suitors.
Arria devoted her life to work for social reforms. Her main concern was for the "fallen woman" and she worked building a shelter for homeless women and passing legislation to assist them. Arria also worked with the prison system of New York to provide separate quarters for women. She was a member of the board of trustees of the Women's Reformatory.
Arria Huntington was also active in child welfare work and was largely responsible for the passage of the first child labor laws in New York state. She served on the board of trustees of the Shelter for Unprotected Girls and also worked with the YWCA and the Girl's Patriotic League, during World War I. In addition, Miss Huntington started the Visiting Nurses Association and was a founder of Syracuse Memorial Hospital.
Arria was also know as a writer of books and plays. Her most important works were The Memoirs and Letters of Frederic Dan Huntington and Under a Colonial Rooftree about life on the family farm at "Forty Acres" in Hadley. Arria's plays included "A Harvest Night's Dream", "A Homespun Herione", "Sharps and Flats", and "Wheel or Woe".
Arria Huntington died March 24, 1921. She was a very successful woman and is well remembered for her contributions to the city of Syracuse.
Arria's papers are contained in BOX 55. They consist mainly of outgoing correspondence to her relatives. There are five folders of letters to her brother George, between the 1860s and 1904. A typed copy of her journal 1862-63, tells of the days in Boston and Hadley. There are copies of two of her published plays, as well as programs. Finally are clippings and memorials at her death. See also the two books written by her, in BOX 165. See the photographs BOX 136.
Benjamin Lincoln Huntington (1912-?)
Ben, the first child of James and Sarah Huntington was born in Boston on April 6, 1912. He grew up in Brookline, spending time in Hadley during the summers. He attended St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire from 1926 to 1930. Ben then graduated from Harvard in 1934. He rowed on the crew teams of both schools. He later attended medical school, but it is not clear where.
Ben married Susan Harris Brewer on June 1, 1940. The couple lived in Manchester, Massachusetts. By the 1950s, Ben was the Associated Medical Director of John Hancock Life Insurance.
Ben Huntington's papers fill four cartons (BOXES 99- 102). Three of these contain school work and notes, as well as printed school material from the 1920s and 30s. These papers are mostly undated and are not in chronological order. BOX 99 contains correspondence. There are two folders of letters from Susan Brewer in 1936-37, before their marriage. Five folders contain letters to father James Huntington in the 1950s and 60s. See photographs BOX 143.
Bethia Throop Huntington (1805-1879)
Bethia was born October 7, 1805 in Litchfield, Connecticut. At the age of 11, she moved to Hadley with her parents, Dan and Elizabeth Huntington. Bethia was educated, along with her sisters, at Miss Willard's School in Troy, New York. She never married and lived in the family home in Hadley all her life. When her father died in 1864, "Forty Acres" was left to Bethia's brother, Frederic, but with the stipulation that she could live there through her life. Bethia was apparently the last family member to live in the house year round. She died there in September 1879.
Bethia's papers are in BOX 20 of Dan and Elizabeth Huntington's daughters. They include her "commonplace book" of 1836-40. Ten outgoing letters in the 1860s and 70s, document the last days of the families permanent residence at the house at "Forty Acres". For correspondence written to Bethia, see the boxes of her other siblings and her parents. Her brother, Frederic Dan, wrote most often. See Photographs BOX 132.
Catharine Sargent Huntington (1887-1987)
Below is a list of the important dates of her life:
Catharine Huntington was affiliated with other theaters, including the Peabody Playhouse, the Brattle Theater, the Tributary Theater, and the Poet's Theater. She also had a strong interest in gardening. Her Pinckney Street garden was included in a book on Beacon Hill gardens. She loved her garden in Hadley and kept it up for many years. Catharine came often to visit her brother, James L. Huntington, at "Forty Acres".
Catharine's papers, in BOXES 95-97, include on carton of outgoing correspondence to her family. Most of these are to her mother from 1898 to 1925 and to her brother Jimmy, between 1900 and the 1960s. There is also correpondence to her other brothers and relatives. The bulk of these are from the early 20th century. Catharine seldom dated her letters, so they are not arranged in chronological order.
An important part of the collection is her three diaries kept daily between 1904 and 1906 (BOX 95). These, along with letters to her family, provide a fascinating view of this young girl's years in private school in Boston. They tell, in great detail, of her school work and her social life.
There are many clippings by and about Catharine and her theaters. Copies of her poetry are also included.
Letters to Catharine from her family can be found in the boxes of her mother and all her brothers, expecially James (BOX 65) with whom she corresponded frequently until his death in 1968.
Catharine donated the bulk of her papers to the Harvard Theater Collection and the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe.
Researchers should see pages 178 to 186 of Katharine Butler Hathaway's, The Little Locksmith. This book is available in this collection. Letters to Catharine from Katharine Hathaway can be found in the Journals and Letters of the Little Locksmith, published in 1946.
Catherine Carey Huntington (1817-1830)
Catherine, the tenth child of Dan and Elizabeth Huntington, was born in the house at "Forty Acres" in Hadley on May 8, 1817. She grew up there, but died at the age of 13 on August 15, 1830, after a two month bout with typhous fever. Catherine was the first of the eleven Huntington children to die and this was a tragic event for the family. For a detailed account of her death, see the "commonplace book" of her sister Bethia (in BOX 20).
The box of Dan and Elizabeth Huntington's daughters (BOX 20) contains eight letters from Catherine to her brother John, sister Mary, and her mother all written from Hadley in the late 1820s.
Charles Phelps Huntington (1802-1868)
Charles was the first child of Dan and Elizabeth Huntington, born May 24, 1802. He lived in Connecticut until the age of 14, when the family moved to Hadley. He graduated from Harvard College in 1822 and became a lawyer.
On October 28, 1827 he married Helen Sophia Mills in Northampton. The Charles Phelps Huntington family lived in Northampton and Helen Sophia died there March 30, 1844. Charles was president of the Northampton Institute of Savings for eight years. Charles later moved to Milton, Massachusetts and married a second time on January 2, 1847. His wife Ellen Greenough (1814-1893) was the sister of the well-known sculptor, Horatio and of the architect, Horace. Charles was judge of the Supreme Court from 1855 to 1861 and collector of Internal Revenue in 1862. In 1858, he moved his family to Boston where he died on January 29, 1868.
Charles Phelps Huntington had the honor, during his lifetime, of having a town named after him. In 1853, the villages of Chester and Blanford, Massachusetts were annexed to the town of Norwich. Charles did much of the legal work for this process and aided in securing the annexation. However, the inhabitants of these new parts did not favor the name of Norwich. So in 1855, the name of the town was changed to Huntington in honor of their lawyer friend.
Charles Phelps Huntington's papers, in BOX 17, include outgoing correspondence to his brothers, his first wife, and his daughter Helen Frances. He rarely dated his letters, so these are not in order. Of particular value is a copy of a letter to Charles from Daniel Webster in 1836. There are a number of other manuscripts written by him, including a journal of 1831, essays and lectures, and his account of his wife's death in 1844. There are also two recent newspaper clippings about him. The papers of his family in BOX 18, include letters to Charles Huntington from his children. See the oversized materials box for his geneological chart, his Harvard B.A., and drawings and watercolors by him. See BOX 175, legal size materials. See photographs BOX 132. At the Jones Library in the Boltwood Room are two clippings about Charles Phelps Huntington of 1850 and 1854.
Constant Davis Huntington (1876-1962)
On September 20, 1876, the second son of George and Lilly Huntington was born in Malden, Massachusetts. Constant lead a successful life, as head of G.P. Putnam's Sons Publishers in London. He helped the family put his younger brothers and sister through college, after his father's death in 1904. Although he lived far away, Constant maintained a life interest and love for the ancestral homestead at "Forty Acres" in Hadley and through letters, was very much involved in decisions made about its future.
Below is a list of the important events of his life:
The collection contains three linear feet of Constant Huntington's papers, BOXES 61-64. These consist mainly of correspondence outgoing to his various relatives. There are seven full folders of letters to his brother James and these contain information about the family's efforts to preserve the house in Hadley. The bulk of Constant's papers are letters to his mother, which fill almost two cartons. He wrote to her almost every day from the 1880s until the 1920s. These letters document the course of his life and along with Lilly's letters in return, show a strong mother-son relationship in the early 20th century. The collection also contains some correspondence outgoing from his wife Gladys to her in-laws in the 1920s-50s and a few outgoing from his daughter Alfreda.
See the photographs BOX 139. See also the separate unit of Michael Paul Huntington papers, BOXES 90-93, for letters from Constant and Gladys in the 1930s and 40s. See also the Sargent family BOX 125 for correspondence between Constant and Paul about the John O. Sargent will dispute in 1946-47.
Dan Huntington (1774-1864)
Dan was born October 11, 1774 in Lebanon, Connecticut. He was the youngest of William and Bethia Throop Huntington's eight children. Dan was prepared for college by Master Nathan Tisdale. In 1794, he graduated from Yale, after teaching school for a term in Suffield, Connecticut. He then spent two years as a tutor at Williams College and during the summer of 1796, was licensed to preach by the Berkshire Association of Congregational Ministers. In the fall of that year, he returned to Yale as a tutor and under President Timoty Dwight, began working on his Master's Degree, which he received in 1797. Dan Huntington was ordained and in 1798, was installed in the Congregational Church of Litchfield.
On New Year's Day 1801, Dan was married to Elizabeth Phelps. In Litchfield, they began their large family, which would eventually number eleven children. In 1809, Dan was a candidate for the pastorate in Hadley, but failed through "jealously of the Phelps family influence". Instead, he moved his family to Middletown, where he began preaching at the First Congregational Church. In order to earn extra money, Rev. Huntington opened his house as a boarding school.
A minister's salary was not enough to support a family of nine children, however. In 1816, two years after his father-in-law, Charles Phelps' death, Dan gave up the ministry and moved his family to Hadley. He there took over management of his wife's family farm at "Forty Acres", where two more children were born. Dan Huntington served as Principal of Hopkins Academy from 1817 to 1820 and was a Trustee until his death in 1864. He was the first postmaster of North Hadley. During the 1820s and 30s, Dan and his wife underwent a conversion to Unitarianism and he was censured by the Hadley Congregational Church in 1835. On October 31, 1864, Dan Huntington died in Hadley.
Children: See individual biographical sketches for each
Dan Huntington's papers are contained in BOXES 15-16. Biographical sketches at the front of the box give detailed accounts of his life and work. Outgoing correspondence includes letters to his children, many to Frederic Dan. There are also some to his brother-in-law, Charles Porter Phelps, and a few to his wife, Elizabeth. There is incoming correspondence about Dan's conversion to Unitarianism and some from the Hampshire, Franklin, and Hampden Agricultural Society.
The little financial and legal material of Dan Huntington includes an account book of 1821-1849 and information on his estate. See also the account book of William Porter for Dan Huntington's 1839 account with Porter's store.
The bulk of Dan's papers are professional and church related. There is information about his ministries, professional correspondence, including his calls to churches and censure by the Congregational Church on Hadley in 1835. Researchers should also see Elizabeth Phelps Huntington's BOX 113 for a folder of material concerning her posthumous exoneration by the Hadley church. This contains copies of correspondence about the Huntington's conversion and censure by the church in the 1820s and 30s.
These papers are important, because they help document the life of a Congregational minister who converted to Unitarianism, in a time when this was commmon. They also help document life at "Forty Acres" in the early 19th century.
See also Memories Counsels, and Reflections, by An Octagenary, published in 1857 by Dan Huntington. This includes an autobiography, geneology, and a biography of Elizabeth Phelps Huntington. A copy is available at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington museum and one can also be found at the Jones Library in Amherst, in the Boltwood Room. Also in the Boltwood Room, is Dan Huntington's obituary of November 4, 1864, from the Hampshire Franklin Express.
Edward Phelps Huntington (1807-1843)
In the early 1830s, Edward lived in Northampton. In 1837, he was in Boston and in 1838 in New Brunswick. In 1839, the family settled in Cabotville, Massachusetts, near Springfield. He was a businessman and in 1841, was editor of the Cabotville Chronicle. Edward died young on October 26, 1843. He apparently had no children.
Edward's papers are in BOX 19 of Dan and Elizabeth's sons. There are five outgoing letters in the 1830s, as well as 15 pieces of incoming correspondence from someone named Lucian Minor (?) in the 30s and 40s. More importantly are two folders of financial papers of the 1830s. Letters to Edward can be found in the boxes of his parents and brothers and sisters. A portrait of his wife Helen Maria, hangs at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House.
Edward Stanton Huntington (1841-1895)
Edward was the sixth child of Charles Phelps and Helen Sophia Mills Huntington. He was born in Northampton on April 3, 1841. He lived in Boston until 1861. In 1868, moved to Logansport, Indiana, where he married Julia Ann Pratt.
Edward was an army officer and an author. He wrote for periodicals on social and ethical problems. He was a Captain in the Civil War and afterwards in the U.S. Infantry. He was engaged in 17 battles and spent 11 months in the Libby and Andersonville prisons.
In 1878, Edward returned to Massachusetts, to live in Wollaston, where he died on January 16, 1895.
The Charles Phelps Huntington family box (BOX 18) contains four letters written by Edward to his father, while fighting in the Civil War in 1862. These tell in great detail about battles and camp life. There are also three letters to his cousin Frederic Dan Huntington in the 1890s.
Elijah Hunt Mills Huntington (1836-1891)
E.H. Mills, the third child of Charles Phelps and Helen Sophia Mills Huntington, was born in Northampton on July 22, 1836. On October 31, 1871, he married Elizabeth Quincy. She was the daughter of Samuel and Abby Adams Beale Quincy and had been born in Boston in 1841. Mills was a merchant and importer and was associated with the Boston firm of Russell and Co. He went to China from 1851 to 1869. In 1885, he returned there with his family, living in Hong Kong for four years. On the family's return to the U.S., they settled in Jamaica Plain where he died on April 16, 1891. His wife Elizabeth died in 1937.
E.H. Mills Huntington's papers, in BOXES 38-39, consist mainly of three letter books, filled with letters to and from him in the 1860s-90s. These are very interesting as they document his sea trade business. They also tell of travel and his family's life in China, during the 1880s. Mills wrote from such places as Shanhai, Canton, the Cape of Good Hope, and Hong Kong. The collection also contains a few letters each to his father, sister Fanny, his wife, and his children in the 1850s-70s.
Elizabeth Whiting Phelps Huntington (1779-1847)
Elizabeth, daughter of Charles and Elizabeth Phelps, was born in Hadley on February 4, 1779. She grew up on her parents very large farm at "Forty Acres" and was well educated, though probably informally. In the 1790s, she travelled several times to Boston and Newburyport to visit with her brother Charles, sometimes staying for months at a time.
Elizabeth met Dan Huntington in 1799, when he was guest preacher in Hadley and drank tea at the Phelps'. Two years later, on New Years' Day 1801, they were married at "Forty Acres". The young couple went to Dan's home in Litchfield, Connecticut, where he was minister of the Congregational church. Later in the year, Elizabeth suffered from scarlet fever. In 1802, their first son was born, beginning their family, which was to grow to 11 children within 17 years. In 1809, the family moved to Middletown and Dan took over the ministry there.
A minister's salary was just not enough to support this large family, so after Elizabeth's father's death, the Huntingtons decided to move to her family farm in Hadley. In 1816, Dan gave up the ministry and they returned to "Forty Acres".
Over the next few years, Elizabeth Huntington went through a change in her views of the Trinity and in the 1820s, she was excommunicated from the Hadley Congregational church. After this, she and some of her children attended the Unitarian church in Northampton, but this could not replace the social life she lost by being barred from Hadley Church activities.
On April 6, 1847, Elizabeth died in Hadley, having spent all but 15 years of her life at "Forty Acres".
Children: See individual biographical sketches for each
Elizabeth Huntington's papers, which fill BOXES 12-14, are an extremely valuable resource for women's history. She was truely a remarkable woman, raising eleven children to adulthood. BOX 13, outgoing correspondence to her mother between 1797 and 1814, tell a great deal about the family's life in Connecticut. They discuss the children, household help, family health, travel, and hopes of visits to Hadley. These combined with letters written in return by Elizabeth Porter Phelps (BOX 5), document a strong mother-daughter bond. A box of typed copies of these letters, makes researh easier. In the second box of correspondence, are letters to the Huntington children, with many to Frederic Dan and Elizabeth (Fisher) written in the 1830s and 40s. These tell of family matters and events as her children were reaching adulthood, leaving home, and marrying. Elizabeth Huntington also wrote frequently to her future sister-in-law, Sarah Parsons, in the 1790s.
Valuable information about Elizabeth's excommunication is found in a folder of material about her exoneration by the Hadley church made posthumously in 1976. This contains copies of correspondence about the Huntington's conversion to Unitarianism and their censure by the Hadley church.
Elizabeth Huntington kept a diary from 1798 to 1846. This is located in BOX 14 and contains little information about the family and everyday life. However, it is extremely valuable due to its religious content, which documents Elizabeth's gradual conversion to Unitarianism. This transition of faith was very common at the time, but it was perhaps unusual for a woman to exhert her own views so strongly.
Frederic Dan Huntington (1819-1904)
Below is a list of the important events of his life:
During his life, Bishop Huntington published numerous books and pamphlets, as well as weekly newspaper columns and many articles. He did editorial work for the Christian Register, the Monthly Religious Magazine, the Church Monthly, and The Gospel Messanger. Frederic Dan spoke and wrote on social readjustments and the relations of labor and capital. He was president of the Christian Social Union and the Church Association for the Advancement of the Interests of Labor.
The Bishop was also involved in raising funds for the erection of a number of institutions in the Syracuse area. These included the Protestant Hospital, the House of the Good Shepard, St. John's Military School for boys, St. Andrews Divinity School, and the Keeble School for girls.
Frederic Dan Huntington and his family loved the old home at "Forty Acres" in Hadley. They spent every summer there, usually arriving in June and leaving in September or sometimes October. Frederic Dan kept the farm running, with a caretaker to oversee things in the winter. During his time in the area, Bishop Huntington was closely involved in the beginnings of Grace Episcopal Church in Amherst. He and his wife are known to have been good friends of the Dickinson family.
Children: See biographical sketches for each
Frederic Dan Huntington's papers are of interest, because he was a very prominent member of the Episcopal church who did a great deal for its growth and expansion. His papers help document his conversion from Unitarianism to the Episcopal church. Bishop Huntington was also a well known resident of the Hadley area. His friendship with the Dickinson family is of particular interest to researchers, but unfortunately there does not seem to be much documentation of this friendship in this collection. His correspondence with the siblings of his very large family, is a useful source for information on family history and relationships in the early 19th century.
Frederic Dan Huntington's papers fill BOXES 22-31, occupying almost four linear feet of space. The collection contains two boxes of outgoing correspondence from Frederic Dan to various family members. There are five full folders of letters to his sister Bethia between the 1840s-60s, three folders to his father, three to his mother 1830s-40s, and five folders to son George between 1860 and 1901. There are also letters to his other siblings and to his children. See also BOX 175, legal size materials, for 1830s letters to his brother John. A small amount of incoming correspondence is included, mostly about curch related business.
A box of miscellaneous manuscripts includes his first sermon preached at the dedication of the North Hadley school house. Another box of printed material by Frederic Dan, contains a list of his published works, written by him in the 1850s. There is also a bibliography of his work, done in the 1960s. This box contains clippings and articles written by him.
The box of printed material about him contains clippings about him. Another box includes obituaries and memorials about Frederic Dan and his son George in 1904.
BOXES 29-31 contain pamphlets and booklets printed by the Episcopal church. Most of these are written by Frederic Dan, but some were simply saved by him. A carton of pamphlets of the annual conventions of the Diocese of Central New York is stored in the museum office. On display at the museum are diplomas, portraits, and other memorabilia.
The Amherst College Archives hold several folders on Frederic Dan in the Class of 1839 biographical file, as well as many books and pamphlets published by him.
Letters from Frederic Dan Huntington to Susan Dickinson are in the Houghton Library at Harvard. A folder of notes on his relationship with the Dickinson's is included in the box of printed material about him (BOX 27).
For more letters and information about his life, Arria Sargent Huntington'sMemoirs and Letters of Frederic Dan Huntington should be consulted.
In the Jones Library Boltwood Room in Amherst are a number of clippings about Frederic Dan Huntington preaching in Amherst in the 1850s and 60s. Also there is a pamphlet about Frederic Dan Huntington called "An Appreciation", written by Rev. George Chalmers Richmond in 1908.
Frederic Dane Huntington (1889-1940)
Freddie Huntington was born December 5, 1889, in Ashfield, Massachusetts, the youngest child of George and Lilly Huntington. His father died when he was only four years old and he was supported through school by his mother and older brothers.
Below is a list of the important events of his life:
Freddie Huntington's papers fill one carton, BOX 98. There are a few outgoing letters to each of his siblings. One full folder of letters to James Huntington, mostly in the 1920s, tell of plans for fixing up the house in Hadley. There are four folders of letters to his mother, Lilly. The bulk of these fall between 1915-1925, a number of them having been written while he was in Europe fighting in WWI. There are two folders of correspondence and other material concerning the hockey team Frederic played on in 1916 and 17. Six folders contain papers from his years in the military and include two folders of maps and orders of the 101st Field Artillery. At the back of the box are also about ten outgoing letters from his wife Elsie. See also the separate series of M. Paul Huntington papers, BOX 90. See the photographs BOX 139. See James L. Huntington BOX 82 about "Forty Acres", for correspondence with Frederic about the division of "Forty Acres" in 1929. For an account of his death, see letters between his brothers James and Constant in BOX 65, James L. Huntington Correspondence-outgoing.
George Putnam Huntington (1844-1904)
George Huntington, the first child of Frederic Dan and Hannah Huntington, was born on July 3, 1844. He grew up in the Boston area, attending Cambridge High School. During summer vacations, he often spent time at "Forty Acres" in Hadley. George followed in his father's footsteps to become an Episcopal minister. Unfortunately, his career and life were fairly short. For he died on the 11th of July 1904, only a few days after he turned 60. This day was a sad one for the Huntington family. Frederic Dan Huntington was in Hadley at the time and had been steadily failing in health due to his age. Son George, at home in Hanover, had been ill for several weeks, perhaps with typhoid fever. On the morning of the 11th, Frederic Dan passed away. Four hours later, before the telegram with this news had even reached Hanover, George died, following in his footsteps once again.
Below is a list of the important dates in his life:
George Huntington's papers fill six linear feet of space in BOXES 40-47. There is one letter size box of outgoing correspondence to his family. This contains seven folders to Lilly Barrett Huntington, three of which date before their marriage 1870-73. These are interesting in documenting their early relationship and courtship. George's will and burial wishes, written in 1903, are also contained in this letters outgoing box.
Incoming correspondence to George in the 1860s is in a letter size box in folders by the year, alphabetically arranged within. Many of these letters are from friends who he worked with in Faribault, Minnesota. A carton of letters recieved 1870-1904, is arranged in folders by decade and alphabetically within that by the name of the writer. Some people who wrote many letters, have individual folders. These letters are both personal and professional, with some overlap, as many of his friends were also in the church.
There is one carton of religious manuscripts, which contains many sermons. These have few dates and are in folders as they were found tied in bundles. Another box contains religious and miscellaneous manuscripts. There are a number of notebooks with material for sermons and several notebooks of pressed flowers and botanical notes. There are also four folders of printed material, including clippings and articles by George. See also BOX 28 for obituaries and memorials of Frederic Dan and George Huntington, 1904. See also the miscellaneous legal and oversized boxes.
One carton of miscellaneous materials includes financial papers of miscellaneous dates, church finances, Harvard material, as well as George's work on Dante and The Treasury of the Psalter.
The final carton contains financial papers, which are mostly personal, household bills and receipts from 1807 to 1904. These are divided roughly into folders by date, but are not in exact chronological order. They are valuable in providing information about the Huntington family household in the late 19th century, during the childhoods of James, Catharine, and their brothers.
BOX 23, Frederic Dan Huntington correspondence-outgoing, includes five folders of letters to his son George. Hannah Sargent Huntington's papers also contain four boxes of correspondence outgoing to son, George, between 1864 and 1904, BOXES 33-36.
See the photographs BOX 137. See also the miscellaneous oversized materials box for some of his writings, and an 1884 passport for his trip to Cuba. See BOX 175, legal size materials. See boxes of pamphlets at the museum, for Diocese of New Hampshire Annual Conventions and other church publications related to George Huntington.
Hannah Dane Sargent Huntington (1822-1910)
Hannah, daughter of Epes and Mary Lincoln Sargent, was born in Boston on November 21, 1822. She grew up in Boston and Roxbury. On September 4, 1843, she was married to Frederic Dan Huntington, who was at that time, a Unitarian minister. In the 1860s, he converted to the Episcopal church and Hannah apparently joined him. They moved to Syracuse, New York in 1869, when Frederic became Bishop of Central New York.
Hannah Huntington was a well liked and respected citizen of Syracuse and was very active as the Bishop's wife. She was also involved in a number of social groups in the area.
The family spent each summer on the family farm at "Forty Acres", usually arriving in June and staying through September or October. At the end of most summers, Hannah would make trips to Boston and New York to visit her brothers and sisters, before returning to Syracuse.
Hannah died in Syracuse on February 22, 1910.
For more information on Hannah Sargent Huntington see the biographical sketch written by her daughter Arria, which can be found in the office of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House.
Hannah's papers, in BOXES 32-37, consist mostly of outgoing correspondence to her son George between 1860 and 1904. These occupy 2 linear feet of space. In one additional box (BOX 32), is correspondence to other family members. Incoming correspondence includes congratulations on her 50th anniversary in 1893 and letters of sympathy received in 1904, upon the deaths of her husband and son. See the lovely hand painted book made for the 50th anniversary by an unidentified family member (BOX 37).
See photographs BOX 134. See also the oversized materials box for Hannah's Daughters of the American Revolution certificate of 1894. Her portrait, done in 1843, hangs in the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House.
Helen Sophia Mills Huntington (1806-1844)
Helen Sophia was born August 24, 1806 in Northampton. She was the daughter of Elijah Hunt and Harriette Blake Mills. On October 28, 1827, she married Charles Phelps Huntington. They resided in Northampton, where she died on March 30, 1844, having lived there all her life and birthed seven children.
Children: See list under Charles Phelps Huntington
Henry Barrett Huntington (1875-1965)
Barrett, the first child of George and Lilly Huntington, was born in Malden, Massachusetts on January 17, 1875. In 1893, he was the first of the sons to attend Harvard. After graduation, he taught at Harvard, Dartmouth, and finally Brown Universtiy. Barrett was a professor of English composition and literature, and specialized in argumentation and debate. He was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Delta Upsilon fraternities.
Barrett was very fond of the Hadley farm at "Forty Acres" and after his grandmother's death in 1910, he tried for a few years to run it as a dairy. This venture proved unsuccessful, however, as Barrett chose to continue living in Providence and commute to Hadley only as needed. Later in life, he apparently owned a summer home in Heath, Massachusetts.
Below is a list of important events in his life:
Barrett Huntington's papers, in BOX 60, consist mainly of outgoing correspondence to family members. There are eleven folders of letters to his mother Lilly Huntington, between the 1880s and the 1920s. There are seven folders to brother, James, 1880s-1960s, and three folders to father, George, 1880s-1904. Also contained in this box are a few letters outgoing from Barrett Huntington's children and grandchildren.
See photographs BOX 139. There are many photos of the children. See also Michael Paul Huntington papers, BOX 90, for letters from Barrett's family in the 1930s and 40s. See also the box of James Huntington and "Forty Acres", BOX 82. This contains correspondence from Barrett about the division of "Forty Acres" in 1929. See boxes of his horticulture and German magazines at the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House.
James Lincoln Huntington (1880-1968)
James, third son of George and Lilly Huntington, was born in Malden on May 30, 1880. He grew up in Ashfield, Massachusetts and Hanover, New Hampshire. Jimmy was an early obstetrician and gynecologist and was instrumental in developing the procedure for caesarian sections. Later in life, he became very interested in the family history and home at "Forty Acres". Jimmy spent much of his time and all of his money researching and preserving the house.
Below is a list of the important events of his life:
The papers of James L. Huntington fill BOXES 66-84. He seems to have saved most all his papers and they document quite fully, his life, profession, and work at "Forty Acres". He is of interest as an early advocate for historic preservation. His efforts to save his ancestral home were truely remarkable, as he spent all of his spare time and money on it. Dr. Huntington's professional papers and correspondence are also of interest to researchers of medical history.
James Huntington saved most of his own papers in manilla envelopes and labelled their contents. When these papers were processed, they were kept in the same order that he had saved them and were simply moved from the manilla envelopes to archival folders. (When Dr. Huntington's exact words were used in labelling, they were placed in quotation marks.) The original order was changed only for incoming correspondence from other family members. These were sorted and put in the box of the person who wrote the letter. Incoming correspondence from non-family was kept as James Huntington had saved it. The folders were divided and placed in boxes by type of letter (professional, childhood friends, club related, related to "Forty Acres", etc.) The container listing will help locate these types within the boxes.
BOX 65 contains outgoing correspondence from James L. Huntington. There are 12 folders of letters to sister Catharine Huntington, mostly in the 1950s-60s. These tell of James' work on "Forty Acres" and plans for its future. Six folders to brother, Constant from 1895 to 1902, relate school life and plans for future careers, as well as some information about time spent at "Forty Acres". Another folder to Constant in the 1940s, discusses plans for preserving "Forty Acres". There are also four folders of letters to his mother, Lilly Barrett Huntington, between the 1890s-1905.
The bulk of James L. Huntington's papers is incoming correspondence, the bulk of which date from the 1920s-60s. In BOX 66, are letters from miscellaneous relatives and letters about relatives. BOX 67 contains incoming correspondence from childhood friends, including friends from Hanover and various summer camps. Professional correspondence, from patients and other doctors, is in BOX 76. In BOX 75, is other professional material, including medical papers and lectures by Dr. Huntington.
James Huntington belonged to many clubs and socities. Incoming correspondence from club members, as well as club business can be found in BOXES 72-74. This mostly dates between 1920 and 1950.
Financial papers of James, Sarah, and Genevieve Huntington fill BOXES 77-79. The latter two boxes contain bank statements and checkbooks of various family members and these are not in order.
BOXES 80a, 80b, and 81, contain journals and scrapbooks kept by James Lincoln Huntington, 1922-1964. These document his visits to the house at "Forty Acres", as well as architectural changes, and efforts to raise money for its preservation. Dr. Huntington wrote faithfully and in great detail, on every trip to Hadely. These books and the photographs they include, are invaluable in documenting the 20th century history of the Porter-Phelps-Huntignton House.
BOX 82 is also very important to the history of the house. It contains incoming and outgoing correspondence about preservation of the House, the search for funding, and the incorporation of "Forty Acres" between 1947-1953. Letters on 1955, about disolving the Corporation, discuss auction of the furniture, closing the house, and returning money to donors. In these, James expresses his sorrow at the prospect of closing the museum and the apparent failure of his dream. Early Foundation business correspondence of the 1950s-60s, is also in BOX 82. For additional Foundation correspondence to and from James L. Hutnington, see the Porter-Phelps-Huntington Foundation office files boxes.
BOX 83 is an important part of the collection, as it contains family geneological and biographical information, collected by James Huntington. This box also includes his own biographical sketches and obituaries. The Huntington Family Association box (BOX 84) contains more family material. This is mostly correspondence with James L. Huntington about the association, in the 1920s-50s.
There are many photographs and shapshots of James Huntington, his family, and friends in BOXES 140-142.
James Otis Sargent Huntington (1854-1935)
James Otis Sargent Huntington was born July 23, 1854 in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He was the younger son of Frederic Dan and Hannah Huntington. During his childhood, he experienced his father's conversion from the Unitarian to the Episcopal church and then his appointment as Bishop of Central New York State. James later followed in his father's foot-steps to become a clergyman. However, his ideas and goals differed greatly from the Bishop's and this caused some conflict between father and son, particularly over James' involvement in the Oxford Movement.
After much dilemma, James chose a monastic life. He is said to have come to understand his calling while at a retreat conducted by Canon Little at St. Clement's in Philadelphia in November of 1880. James went to live at the Holy Cross Clergy House in New York, until 1884. He then took the vows and founded the Order of the Holy Cross, along with two friends, Robert Dod and James Cameron.
During the Order's early years, Father Huntington worked in the poorest sections of New York's East Side. He was also greatly concerned with labor issues, being one of the founders of the Church Association for the Advancements of the Interests of Labor and an early member of the Knights of Labor.
Under Father Huntington's leadership as Superior, the Order of the Holy Cross grew and in 1904, the Mother House was built in West Park, New York. Other accomplishments of James Otis Sargent Huntington include founding St. Faith's home for wayward girls, St. Andrew's School at Sewanee, Kent School, and the Mission in Liberia, Africa.
Below is a list of some of the major events of his life:
James Huntington's papers, in BOXES 56-58, consist of one box of correspondence outgoing to various family members. There are three folders of letters to his father Frederic Dan, three to brother George, and three to nephew James. These letters are important, because they document the development of his religious views and the early years of the Order of the Holy Cross. Another box contains material on the schools James Otis Sargent attended, as well as articles written by him in the 1880s and 90s. A third box has clippings about him and the order of the Holy Cross, most of these are obituaries and memorials of 1935. See the photographs BOXES 131 and 136 for many pictures of him throughout his lifetime. In the office of the Porter- Phelps-Huntington House is a set of Holy Cross magazines and some other pamphlets pertaining to James O.S. Huntington and his work.
See also BOX 66, James Lincoln Huntington Correspondence incoming about family members. This contains material relating to his article called the "Life and Letters of James Otis Sargent Huntington". See also the box of printed material about Frederic Dan Huntington, BOX 27, for an article called "The Bishop's Children", which contains much information about James' life and work.
John Higginson Huntington (1916-1987)
John, the second son of James and Sarah Huntington, was born in Boston on May 12, 1916. He grew up in Brookline, spending much of the summer in Hadley at "Forty Acres". In the 1940s, John went to London and settled there.
Below is a list of the important events of his life:
John Huntington's papers fill BOXES 103-107. These 1930s-40s papers were not fully sorted. BOX 103 contains outgoing letters, stories, and articles written by John. For more stories, see the legal and oversized materials boxes. The outgoing correspondence is mostly to his parents and there are nine full folders of this from the 1930s-60s. One carton, BOX 104, has incoming correspondence from school friends in the 1930s and 40s, these are not in alphabetical order. Two cartons contain school papers, including printed material about his schools and his school work and notebooks. There is half a carton of miscellaneous material.
There are also a few letters from John's children to their grandfather, James Lincoln Huntington.
See the photographs BOX 143 for photos of John and his children, as well as many of his school friends, and snapshots taken by him. See also the journals of his father James L. Huntington for more photos (BOXES 80a, 80b, 81)
See also BOX 75 for "Out of the Deep" written by James Huntington about John's health.
John Whiting Huntington (1809-1832)
John (often called Whiting), the sixth child of Dan and Elizabeth Huntington was born on May 28, 1809. He grew up in Middletown, Connecticut and then Hadley. From 1829 to 1832, John attended Harvard. He was examined for his Bachelor's Degree, but died before commencement.
Lilly St. Agnan Barrett Huntington (1848-1926)
Lilly Barrett was born in Malden, Massachusetts on December 21, 1848. She was the daughter of Henry Barrett and Lucy Theodora Gellineau Stearns. Her father was the wealthy owner of a dye house. Due to tuberculosis in his lungs, he spent winters near Mobile, Alabama and summers in the White Mountains and Lilly often went with him. When at home, she attended finishing school in Roxbury.
Lilly's parents were Unitarians, but Lilly became interested in the Episcopal faith through her mother's cousin by marriage, Hamilton Willis. Lilly was an early member of the St. Paul's parish in Malden, founded by George Huntington in the late 1860s. She became good friends with her rector. On April 16, 1874, Lilly was baptised and confirmed and then married to George Huntington in Emmanuel Church, Boston. Lilly's father bought them a house in Malden, near St. Paul's Church on the corner of Washington and Florence Streets.
There the family lived and grew until 1884, when due to failing health, George gave up his parish and the family moved out of the city. They moved to Ashfield, Massachusetts with their four children and George became rector of St. John's Church. This home was closer to the family farm at "Forty Acres" in Hadley, and Lilly and her children often spent time their during the summer.
In 1891, George was appointed rector of St. Thomas Church in Hanover, New Hampshire. There, the family, with six children, remained until George's death in 1904. Lilly was a devoted rector's wife. She had many friends in Hanover and was involved in the town's social circles with such activities as the Women's Literary Society. Lilly spent most summers in Ogunquit, Maine where the family had a summer house near George's parish of St. Peter's by the Sea. Lilly had friends in Ogunquit and continued to own the beach house there for a number of years after her husband's death.
In 1904, Lilly was 56 years old, but she was the mother of several young children. The widow of a minister did not receive a large pension, so Lilly and the younger children were supported largely by the older sons. Family correspondence contains discussion of their financial situation and although she had help from her son's, Lilly seems to have handled her affairs quite aptly. She certainly had a share of the Barrett family money, which her lawyer brother, Harry, helped her to manage.
George died in July and the Hanover church needed to fill their rectory immediately, so Lilly and her children had to move from their house. They spent the remainder of that summer nearby, in East Rindge, New Hampshire. In the fall, with some assistance and advice from her sons, Lilly purchased a house in Leicester, Massachusetts. There she lived for several years with her younger children Paul, Catharine, and Freddie, until each one went off to college.
In 1908 or 1909, Lilly Huntington moved to 237 Massachusetts Avenue in Lexington. She lived there until about 1920, when she purchased a house in Boston at 66 Pinckney Street on Beacon Hill. There she spent the winter months, joined often by her daughter Catharine.
In 1921, her children improved and modernized the family home at "Forty Acres" to make it a suitable summer home for their mother. Lilly happily spent her last summers there. In 1926, She passed away, while staying with her son Paul at his home in Millsboro, Delaware.
Lilly Huntington's papers are contained in BOXES 48-54. Two of these have outgoing correspondence to her family. There are eight full folders to her son Constant, between 1892-1907. The two kept up a very consistent correspondence, see Constant Huntington's papers for many letters to Lilly. There are also five full folders to her husband, George and four folders to son James. One and a half boxes of incoming correspondence to Lilly Huntington, consist mostly of personal letters, many of which are church related. One box of miscellaneous material has some manuscripts written by Lilly. The box of 1920s financial papers also includes her will of 1924. See also the boxes of legal and oversized materials. See photographs BOX 137.
Lilly Huntington seems to have saved almost all the letters she received from her children and they wrote often. So the letters she received (found in the boxes of outgoing correspondnece of the various children) document quite fully, her relationship to her children in the early 20th century. This relationship is particularly interesting, as Lilly was widowed while her children were still young.
Mary Dwight Huntington (1815-1839)
Mary, the ninth child of Dan and Elizabeth Phelps Huntington, was born on April 18, 1815, in Middletown, Connecticut, but during her first year, the family moved to her mother's family home at "Forty Acres" in Hadley. From 1831 to 1833, she attended Miss Emma Willard's School in Troy, New York, along with several of her sisters. In 1834-35, Mary Huntington was living in Oswego, New York. She died on October 14, 1839, at only 24 years of age.
Mary Huntington's few papers are found in the box of Dan and Elizabeth Huntington's Daughters, BOX 20. There are letters from her to various family members during the 1820s and 30s, most of them were written while she was away at school in Troy.
Mary Elizabeth Huntington (1840-1923)
Mary, daughter of Charles Phelps Huntington, was born in Northampton on March 19, 1940. She never married and died in 1923.
There are a few papers of Mary E. Huntington in BOX 18 of Charles Phelps Huntington's family. These include her reminiscences and obituary, as well as a poem written on her 82 birthday by nephew Mark Anthony DeWolfe Howe. Her portrait hangs in the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House.
Mary Lincoln Huntington (1861-1936)
Mary, the youngest child of Frederic Dan and Hannah Huntington, was born in Boston, November 15, 1861. In 1869, when she was eight years old, the family moved to Syracuse, New York where her father was an Episcopal Bichop. Mary never married and continued to live with her parents throughout their lives. She was active in the parish of Calvary Church in Syracuse, conducting the Girl's Friendly Society, training the choir, and visiting the poor and the sick.
Later in life, Mary lived with her sister Ruth at the Phelps Farm in Hadley where she apparently had a small "bungelow" of her own. During the winter months, Mary lived with Ruth on Belmont Avenue in Northampton. She died there on January 12, 1936, after a long illness.
Michael Paul St. Agnan Huntington (1882-1967)
Michael Paul St. Agnan Huntington (known as Paul) was born in Malden, Massachusetts on August 26, 1882. He was the fourth son of George and Lilly Huntington. Chronically ill as a child, Paul did not go away to boarding school, as his brothers had. When not in the hospital, he stayed at home with his mother, younger brother, and sister in Hanover, New Hampshire.
Below is a list of the important events of his life:
See the boxes of his brothers and sister for letters written to Paul. Correspondence with James L. Huntington contains information about the house in the early 20th century.
The other part of Paul's papers is kept as a separate unit, due to its different provenance and history. This separate set of papers was brought to Hadley by son David, when Paul's house in Pelham was sold. These were then stored in the attic of the woodshed until the summer of 1987. As the original order of these papers was more clearly intact, it was decided to keep them separate. These papers consisted mainly of incoming correspondence to Paul. They were saved as they had been received. Therefore, researchers studying any member of Paul Huntington's family, should examine this separate series to find letters that person wrote to Paul.
This separate unit, BOXES 90-93, includes one carton of Paul's sermons of the 1920s-40s. There are two cartons of incoming correspondence. One contains those from family members, mostly in the 1920s-40s. There are eight folders of letters from William Paul Huntington to his parents in the 1940s, when he was a soldier in WWII. The second box of incoming correspondence is from miscellaneous friends and these are not in order. This box also contains two folders of financial papers, including check books from the 1950s.
Sarah Higginson Pierce Huntington (1885-?)
Born January 8, 1885, in Brookline, Sarah was the second daughter of Dean and Louisa Pierce (see Pierce family section). "Sally" lived her whole life in Brookline and married Dr. James L. Huntington there on June 1, 1911. They lived at 311 Marlborough Street.
Sally ran the Canitoe Gift and Antique Shop out of their house. In the 1930s, she was involved in financial endeavors and owned a large number of stocks and investments.
She frequently came with her husband to "Forty Acres". However, Sally did not share his love for Hadley and often stayed home instead.
The two were divorced in 1944.
Sarah Pierce Huntington's papers, in BOXES 85-86, include correspondence outgoing to various relatives. There are four full folders to her son John, while he was at school in the 1930s. (The dates for these were taken from the envelopes, most of which were discarded.) Sarah wrote about 10 letters to her mother-law Lilly Huntington. There is only one letter to her husband, James.
The bulk of Sarah's papers are financial. These are contained in one carton (BOX 86) and date between 1928 and 1943. There are stocks, receipts, financial statements, and tax information. See also the bank statements and checkbooks BOXES 78-79.
Theodore Gregson Huntington (1813-1880s?)
Theodore, the eighth child of Dan and Elizabeth Huntington, was born March 18, 1813 in Middletown, Connecticut. At the age of three, he moved with the family to Hadley. On February 17, 1841, Theodore married Elizabeth Sumner (1816-1885). An 1873 map of the area lists T.G. Huntington as a "market gardener and small fruit grower". He apparantly built a house on his father's land in Hadley, along what is now Huntington Road.
Later in life he lived in Enfield, Connecticut and both he and his wife died there. They had no children.
Theodore G. Huntington's papers, in BOX 21, include his "Sketches of family life in Hadley". These were written in 1881, as letters to Helen F. Huntington Quincy. In 1905, Theodore's niece, Arria Huntington, used these prose sketches in her book, Under a Colonial Rooftree. Copies of Theodore's poetry of 1884 are also included in his papers.
These letters are extremely valuable, because they provide an early account of the "Forty Acres" house, farm, and family history.
Theophilus Parsons Huntington (1811-1862)
Around 1840, he married Eliza Fitch Lyon (1817-1892). In 1833, he had received some land from his father and Theophilus apparently lived in Hadley until his death on July 20, 1862.
The most interesting of Theophilus' papers are the accounts of his farm in 1855-56. His one piece of incoming correspondence is in BOX 19, the box of Dan and Elizabeth Huntington's sons. This box also contains a few letters to him from his brothers. See Dan Huntington's BOX 16 for the 1833 deed of land.
William Edwards Huntington (1844-1930)
William, son of William Pitkin Huntington, was born in Hillsboro, Illinois, on July 30, 1844. He received several degrees, including an A.B. from the University of Wisconsin in 1870, an S.T.D. and PhD. from Boston University in 1873 and 1881. During the Civil War, he served in the Wisconsin Infantry.
In 1876, William married for the first time to Emma Caroline Speare. She died the following year and in 1881, William married her sister Ella Maria. He lived in Newton, Massachusetts. Between 1904 and 1911, he was president of Boston University, he then served as Dean of the Graduate School until 1917, and President Emeritus until his death. William died in Newton in 1930.
William E. Huntington's papers are found with those of his father in BOX 19, Dan and Elizabeth Huntington's sons. They include three outgoing letters and his obituary.
William Paul Huntington (1923-?)
William, the first child of Paul and Marie Huntington, was born in Norton, Virginia on December 25, 1923. He attended Kent School. During World War II, he fought in the Army from 1943-45. In 1948, William graduated from Amherst College. He married Frances Ellen Chittendon at Madison, Connecticut on July 8, 1950. The lived in Baltimore, Maryland.
William's papers are found in BOX 90, Michael Paul Huntington papers. They consist of eight full folders of letters to his parents in the 1940s, when he was fighting in the war. Although they do not give many details, they do tell a bit about army life. William's Amherst College commencement program and wedding invitation are also included. See the photographs BOX 139 for pictures of "Billy" as a child.
William Pitkin Huntington (1804-1885)
William, the third child of Dan and Elizabeth Huntington, was born on July 16, 1804 in Litchfield, Connecticut. He graduated from Harvard in 1824 and received his M.D. in 1835. William later attended Hickman Seminary. In the 1830s, he moved west. He married Lucy Edwards (1820- 1898) in 1839.
By 1848, the family lived in Illinois, Buffalo, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. William was a teacher and a Unitarian minister. He later became an Episcopalian. In the 1860s, he was doing missionary work in the west. In 1873, William was ordained Episcopal Deacon by his brother, Frederic Dan Huntington.
Late in life, the family moved back to Amherst, Massachusetts. William died there on March 7, 1885.
William P. Huntington's papers are in the box of Dan and Elizabeth Huntington's sons, BOX 19. They include many letters to his sister Bethia in the 1820s-50s, along with some to his other siblings and his parents. There is also a folder of his sermons and religious notes of the 1870s-80s. These are interesting for research, as they are written during his time as a missionary preacher in the west. They also help to document his relationship as a part of this large family.
Along with his papers, are a few letters of his son William Edwards.
Benjamin Lincoln (1733-1810)
Benjamin was born on January 24, 1733, the son of Colonel Benjamin Lincoln and his wife Elizabeth. He spent most of his life in Hingham, Massachusetts and there he married Mary Cushing in 1756.
Lincoln's strong Whig tendencies made him an early advocate of independence and brought him appointments to several important posts, including representative of the General Court. On February 19, 1777, he was commissioned a Major General. In October of that year, Lincoln suffered an injury at Saratoga, when a riffle ball shattered his ankle. This caused him much discomfort and lamness later in life, but did not stop his military career.
Benjamin Lincoln was sent to Charlestown in 1778 to command the Southern army. However, he was unsuccessful and by May of 1780, he was forced to surrender the city. In June 1781, General Lincoln rejoined Washington. He was present at Yorktown and when Cornwallis surrendered on November 19, 1781, it was into Lincoln's hands that Cornwallis presented his sword. This gesture symbolically ended the Revolutionary War.
Under President Washington, Lincoln served as Secretary of War. In 1783, he retired briefly to Hingham. When Shay's Rebellion broke out in 1786, Governor James Bowdoin appointed Lincoln as commander of the Massachusetts militia. He was not unsympathetic to Daniel Shays and his followers. He made a number of overtures to Shays, but Shays' demands went beyond what Lincoln had authority to grant. On January 30, 1787, General Lincoln made one last attempt to make peace with Shays, but was refused. So on February 3 and 4, Lincoln's forces struck Shays' headquarters in Petersham and defeated the rebels.
In 1787, Benjamin Lincoln was made Lt. Governor of Massachusetts and later was the first Collector for the Port of Boston, retiring in 1809. One year later, Lincoln died in Hingham on May 9, 1810.
Benjamin Lincoln's papers (BOX 118) are a valuable part of this collection. These include 8 outgoing letters, orders to march signed by him during the Revolutionary War, bills of landing for the Port of Boston, two documents of the Provincial Congress 1774-75, a few financial papers, and two deeds. Among these papers are copies of correspondence with George Washington and Samuel Huntington.
Caroline Stearns Barrett Littlefield (1850s?-1941)
Caroline was born in Malden, Massachusetts, the youngest child of Henry and Lucy Barrett. She grew up in Malden, attending grammar school at the Malden Centre School and graduating in 1875. Caroline received very high marks, but was not ranked in her class due to absences on account of her health. It is unclear what her trouble was, but later, during her teenage years, she suffered from scarlet fever. In 1899, Caroline married Howard Littlefield. He was a bookkeeper who worked for the American Agricultural Chemical Company in Boston. The Littlefields lived in Malden and had no children. Caroline died in 1941.
Papers of Caroline Littlefield are in BOX 119. There are 15 letters to sister Lilly Barrett Huntington between 1878 and 1900. A diary of 1875 is very interesting, as it is very detailed and frequently mentions her sister Lilly Huntington and her new babies. There are a few letters from Howard Littlefield to his Huntington nephews around 1905 and two letters to Lilly Huntington in the 1920s.
Emilie Macklot Sargent Paine (1855-1942)
Emilie Sargent was born in Davenport, Iowa, November 8, 1855. She grew up there until 1869, when her family moved west to Duluth Minnesota. There Emilie married Frederick William Paine in 1884. He was a banker who had been born in Michigan in 1856. The Paines remained in Duluth until their deaths. Emilie died in 1942. During summers, they seem to have spent time in New England, where they were close friends of George Huntington's family.
The papers of Emilie Paine are found in the Paine family box (BOX 120). They consist of about 20 outgoing letters to the George Huntington family, during the late 19th and early 20th century. There are also six outgoig letters from Frederick W. Paine. See photographs BOX 138. See also BOX 90 of Michael Paul Huntington's papers for letters from Frederick and Emilie in the 1930s and 40s.
Frederick Rodney Paine (1889-?)
Rodney Paine was born to Emilie and Frederick in 1889. He graduated from Princeton in 1912. During World War I, he was commissioned 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. After the War, in 1921, Rodney married Anna Hooker who had graduated from Smith College the previous year. They lived in Duluth, where Rodney was superintendant of Jay Cooke State Park.
The collection contains no papers of Rodney Paine, but he is frequently mentioned in letters by other family members (BOX 120).
Mary Welles Paine (Worthen) (1886-?)
Mary Paine (or Molly), daughter of Emilie and Frederick Paine, was born in Duluth in 1886. She grew up in Duluth and was educated in Garden City, New Jersey at Saint Mary's School, between 1902 and 1905. During the summer she often spent time in New England, where she enjoyed visits with her "cousin" Catharine Huntington.
The collection contains letters written to Catharine while Molly was at school and these often mention a boy named Thatcher. So it is interesting to see that more than ten years later, on May 16, 1915, Mary Paine married this young man, Thatcher Washburn Worthen. He was born in 1886, graduated from Dartmouth and then received a degree from Amherst. In 1923, the couple was living in Hartford, Connecticut.
Mary Paine Worthen's papers are in BOX 120, the Paine family box. Most important are the letters to "cousin" Catharine Huntington between 1902-05. These tell of a teenage girl's friendships, school, and social life. There are also about 10 letters to other members of the Huntington family. In with letters to Lilly Huntington, is a copy of Mary's wedding invitation. See the photographs BOX 138. See also BOX 90 of Michael Paul Huntington's papers for letters from Mary in the 1930s and 40s.
Charles Phelps Sr. (1717-1789)
Charles Phelps was born on August 16, 1717, probably in Northampton. He was the son of bricklayer, Nathaniel (1678- 1747), who also carried the title of Lieutenant. Charles followed his father to become a successful bricklayer. He was also a lawyer in Hadley. In 1760 he was "read out" of the Hadley Congregational Church, because he would not attend communion. Shortly afterwards in 1764, he became an early resident of New Marlborough, Vermont. There Charles Phelps was a prominent member of the New York party against the "Green Mountain Boys".
On April 24, 1740, he married 25 year old Dorothy Root. She died September 11, 1777 and Charles soon remarried in November of 1778. His second wife was Esther (?) Kneeland of Boston, the widow of Timothy Kneeland. Charles Phelps died in April 1789.
Charles Phelps Sr.'s papers are contained in BOX 2. They include his own notes on the births and deaths of his family members. There are letters to his son Charles in the 1770s. Of some importance is correspondence concerning his separation from the Hadley church, as well as correspondence with Harvard College about his son Solomon. Financial and legal papers include deeds of the 1740s-1760s and indentures for servants. These are important documents of Hadley's early history. Phelps is also interesting for his involvement in the New York - Vermont boundary dispute.
For more information, see Phelps Family Memoirs, written by John Phelps in 1886.
Charles Phelps Jr. (1743-1814)
Charles Phelps was born in Hadley, Massachusetts in August of 1743. He was actually Charles Phelps Jr., as he shared his father's name.
Although Charles was not formally educated, he was a very successful and prominent man. He became a lawyer and also a wealty farmer when he married Elizabeth Porter on June 14, 1770. He went to live with his wife and mother-in-law and took over management of the family estate at "Forty Acres".
Charles immedately began expanding and improving the house and farm. In 1782, he built a large barn and in 1795, a chaise house. According to family tradition, Phelps was a self taught architect and may have made the plans for many improvements himself. By the time of his death he had altered the house dramatically and reportedly enlarged the farm to nearly a thousand acres. (See The History of the House section and the Historic Structures Report for a more detailed account of these changes.) To help with the farm work, Charles Phelps owned two slaves, a man named Caesar and a young girl named Phyllis. He was in charge of two bond servants, several apprentices, as well as numerous seasonal farm hands.
Charles Phelps did not spend much time on the farm himself. He was very busy with his work as lawyer and politicial. As representative for Hadley in the Massachusetts Legislature, he was often away from home on trips to Boston. He served the following terms 1791-94, 1795-96, 1798-99, 1807-08. Phelps was also Squire of the town of Hadley, deacon of the church, and chairman of the building committee for the new church in 1808. From 1781 until his death, Charles was a Trustee of Hopkins Academy. He was an early member of the Massachusetts Society for Promotting Agriculture and of the Humane Society.
Because of his professional success and the many architectural changes he made to the house, Charles Phelps is perhaps the most important person in the history of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington house. In 1814, after suffering declining health for many months, Charles Phelps died at his home in Hadley.
The papers of Charles Phelps Jr. are a very important part of the collection, as he was a prominent figure in Hadley and all Massachusetts, at the time of the Revolution and the early nation.
Charles Phelps' papers are contained in BOX 4. They include incoming and outgoing correspondence. Of interest are two letters from his brother Solomon in 1775 about the War. There is also an interesting one from his slave Sezor (Caesar) who was fighting at Ticonderoga in 1776. There are a number of letters to his wife and to his son Charles while he was in Boston studying in the 1780s and 90s. These discuss the farm and animals, journeys back and forth to Boston, town government and politics, and the family's general health. The plans for travel between Hadley and Boston are of particular interest. Miscellaneous financial and legal documents are in chronological order. These include a 1777 tax assesment of his estate, deeds of land purchased, indentures of servants, and receipts of slaves. A division of Phelps' estate was drawn up by his son Charles Porter in 1817. See also the oversized materials box.
(Moses) Charles Porter Phelps (1772-1857)
Moses Porter Phelps was born to Charles and Elizabeth on August 8, 1772. He was fitted for college by Reverend Joseph Lyman of Hatifeld. In 1787, he began his studies at Harvard, graduating in 1791. At that time, he changed his name to Charles Porter Phelps. He then went to Newburyport, to live and study law with Theophilus Parsons. There Charles met his teacher's niece, Sarah Davenport Parsons (see Sarah Parsons Phelps biographical sketch) and the two became very close. He was admitted to the Bar in 1795 and opened a law practice in Boston. However, he felt he was unsuccessful as a lawyer, barely earning enough to pay his expenses. In April of 1799, he closed his office and went home to Hadley. There he spent the summer superintending the alterations of his father's home to make it suitable to accomodate two families. Charles planned to marry Sarah Parsons and move to Hadley with her, the following spring.
Finally, after eight years of aquaintance (see his autobiography for a description of the relationship), the two were married in Newburyport on January 1, 1800. However, Charles' career plans had changed and the Phelps' chose to stay in Boston, while he formed a business partnership with Edward Rand. They carried out a merchant business from No. 3 Cadman's Wharf, Boston. Unfortunately, this partnership was cut short by the death of Mr. Rand in a duel, during the summer of 1801. Charles continued the exporting business, with varying success, until 1816, when he was employed very briefly as cashier of the Massachusetts Bank. In 1815, he began his political career as a Boston Representative to the State Legislature.
With the fluctuations in his success as a merchant, Charles and his family had made a number of extended visits to his parent's home in Hadley. In 1815, he had received a large profit and decided to use the money to build a new house on his share of the ancestral acres in Hadley. This later became known as The Phelps Farm. The barn was ready for his Merino sheep later that year and by 1817 the house was ready for family occupancy. Sadly, Sarah Phelps never came to reside in the new home. She died of typhous fever in the midst of the family's move to Hadley. Her cousin Charlotte came there to help with the five children and in time she became Charles' second wife. They were married in 1820 and had four more children. The Phelps children had a tendency to be sickly and many died young. Charlotte Parsons Phelps died in 1830 and Charles married a third time to Elizabeth Judkins in 1833.
Charles Porter Phelps termed his sheep raising a failure, but continued to run his farm. He attained increasing success in Hadley as a lawyer and selectman. Between 1820 and 1841, he served ten terms as Hadley representative in the Legislature and in 1826-27, was Senator of the Hampshire district.
Like his sister, Elizabeth Phelps Huntington, Charles converted from Congregational to Unitarian in the early 19th century. For a very detailed account of his life and business in Boston, see the autobiographical sketch in BOX 10.
Charles Porter Phelps' papers are contained in BOX 10. His 1857 autobiography is an extremely detailed document. This tells of his life, including his career, courtship of his first wife, the family's health and growth. Charles also writes about politics and government, with several pages on the War of 1812. There are a few folders of outgoing correspondence to his parents, his sister, and Sarah Parsons before their marriage. The bulk of his papers are financial. These include bills for his studies at Harvard, account books of 1786 and 1817, and shipping bills and insurance between 1800-1812. A few legal papers are deeds for land in Hadley, 1817-1823. See also the oversized materials box for his 1814 commission as major, by Governor Caleb Strong.
The box of Charles Porter Phelps Family papers, BOX 11 contains correspondence to Charles from his children.
In the box of his sister, Elizabeth Phelps Huntington, BOX 13, is a folder of material about her posthumous exoneration by the Hadley Congregational church. This also includes information on Charles Porter Phelps' conversion to Unitarianism in the 1820s.
Elizabeth Porter Phelps (1747-1817)
Elizabeth was born in 1747, the only child of Moses and Elizabeth Porter. At the age of five, her family moved from the stockaded center of Hadley to the new house built by her father in 1752. Only three years later, her father was killed fighting in the French and Indian War. Elizabeth (also called Betty, Bette, or Betsy) continued to live on the "Forty Acres" farm outside of town, with her widowed mother, but under the watchful eye of her father's family in Hadley.
In 1768, a man named Charles Phelps came to the farm to help out for a few days. Elizabeth mentions this casually in her diary, but there is no further mention of him until the preparations for their marriage began. The two were married on June 14, 1770. Charles moved into the house with Elizabeth and her mother and took charge of the farm.
Elizabeth was very active socially and seems to have entertained guests at her house almost continuously. She acted as a midwife and ministered to the sick in the community. Along with several servant girls and one slave girl named Phyllis, Elizabeth Phelps carried out the household production of large quantities of soap, butter, and especially cheese. On this large farm, the women were sometimes feeding more that 20 farm hands in addition to the regular household members.
Elizabeth raised two children, as well as a girl named Thankful Hitchcock who she treated like daughter. After her children had grow and moved away, the Phelps' grandchildren came frequently to spend extended periods of time on the farm at "Forty Acres". Elizabeth Porter Phelps had spent her entire life there when she died in 1817.
Elizabeth Porter Phelps' papers, in BOXES 5-7, are an extremely valuable resource for studies of women's history, household affairs, and mother-daughter relationships. Her diary kept between 1766 and 1812, is a remarkable document, as she wrote in it faithfully every week. The first few years are mainly about religious concerns, but later she tells of life in the house, visits of friends, births and deaths of townspeople, and family events. Typed copies of the diary in BOXES 8-9 are available for researchers. This diary is supplemented by correspondence to her daughter Elizabeth Huntington (bulk 1794-1815) to give a full picture of this woman's life and family. The letters tell about household work, servants, visits with Charles Porter Phelps and his family, trips to Boston, and hopes for Huntington family visits to Hadley. In Elizabeth Huntington's papers (BOXES 12-13) are numerous letters in reply to her mother. There was a strong mother-daughter bond between the two women and their correspondence is a valuable source for information on these relationships in the early 19th century. Typed copies of the letters are in BOX 6. There is also outgoing correspondnece to Elizabeth Phelps' son, her husband, and friend Penelope Williams of Roxbury, Massachusetts.
Sarah Davenport Parsons Phelps (?-1817)
Sarah was the daughter of Moses Parsons of Haverhill. She was apparantly orphaned, because she spent her teenage years with her grandmother in Boston. Sarah met Charles Porter Phelps in 1792 when he came to board and study with her uncle Theophilus Parsons in Newburyport. Two years later, her grandmother died and Sarah came to live with the Newburyport family.
Sarah and Charles Porter Phelps were married on January 1, 1800. Sarah stayed on with her uncle in Newburyport for three months after her marriage, while her husband was on the family farm at "Forry Acres" in Hadley. She joined him there for the summer and in the fall the couple moved to the south end of Boston. In December 1800, they moved again, to a house on Summer Street owned by Eben Parsons.
Sarah Phelps lived with her husband in Boston, giving birth to seven children before she died of typhoid fever in 1817.
Children: See list under Charles Porter Phelps
Sarah Phelps' papers are found in the Charles Porter Phelps' Family papers, BOX 11. There are notes written by her after her marriage in 1800. The bulk of her papers are letters written to her mother-in-law, Elizabeth Porter Phelps between 1801 and 1811.
Susan Davis Phelps (1827-1865)
Susan was the youngest child of Charles Porter Phelps and his second wife Charlotte. She grew up in Hadley, apparently attending school in Amherst, where she is said to have been a classmate and close friend of Emily Dickinson. In 1854, Susan was engaged to Henry V. Emmons. However, in 1860, she broke the engagement unexplainedly. Five years later, Susan died, supposedly of a broken heart. References to Susan's relationship with the Dickinsons can be found in The Year's and Hours of Emily Dickinson by Jay Leyda.
There are only a few letters of Susan Phelps in BOX 11. However, she is important to researchers, because of her close friendship with Emily and Susan Dickinson. Two letters from Susan Phelps to her niece, Ellen Bullfinch, mention the Dickinson family. Notes on Susan from Jay Leyda's book are also included in this box.
Dean Pierce (1857-1925)
Dean Pierce was the father of Sarah Higginson Pierce who married James Lincoln Huntington in 1911 (see her biographical sketch under Sarah Pierce Huntington). The Pierce's forebearers were a wealthy Newburyport family. He was the son of Jacob Willard and Mary Boardman Pierce. Dean was born in Newburyport on July 16, 1857. He married Louisa Bowditch (see her biographical sketch below) on October 31, 1882. They lived in Brookline.
Jacob Willard Pierce
The papers of Jacob W. Pierce, found in the Pierce Family BOX 121, include a folder of incoming correspondence 1813-1821. There is also a passport granted to him in 1874. See also the boxes of legal and oversize material for an account of his estate and documents relating to the family shipping business. See the photographs BOX 140.
Louisa Higginson Bowditch Pierce (1860-1929)
Louisa Bowditch was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on April 25, 1860. She was the grandaughter of famous navigator Nathaniel Bowditch and youngest daughter of William. Louisa attended private schools and became an accompolished pianist and self taught botanist. On October 31, 1882, she married Dean Pierce. On April 4, 1929, Louisa died in Brookline, having lived there all her life.
Children: See list under Dean Pierce above
Papers of Louisa Bowditch Pierce are found in the Pierce Family box, BOX 121. These include a journal of her trip to Europe in 1874 and about 20 pieces of outgoing correspondence . There are letters received from childhood friends in the 1870s, as well as others received in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Elizabeth Pitkin Porter (1719-1798)
Elizabeth Pitkin was born in 1719. She was the daughter of Nathaniel Pitkin of Hartford. In 1743, Elizabeth married Moses Porter and moved up the Connecticut River to join him in Hadley.
The couple apparantly lived within the town stockade, where Moses is said to have built a small house for them near his parent's home. In 1747, at the age of 28, Elizabeth Porter gave birth to a baby girl, also named Elizabeth.
According to family stories, Elizabeth grew unhappy with the crowded conditions of life in the Hadley stockade and convinced her husband to build a new house for the family on his northern lands. Here, however, the family stories seem to conflict. When the house was finished in 1752, Elizabeth, being a city girl at heart, was reportedly unhappy to move two miles north of town into the first house built outside the stockade.
She became more disturbed in 1755, when her husband went to fight in the French and Indian War as Captain of a town regiment. Letters to Moses at this time, tell of her fears that he would not return. Then on September 8, 1755, those fears came true. Again, family history relates this tragedy. Captain Porter's sword was brought back to Hadley by his Indian body servant. Elizabeth, hearing a knock at one of the north windows, pushed back the heavy shutter and the sword was handed in to her. She immediately understood the significance of this gesture.
Elizabeth was thus left alone with her eight year old daughter on this large farm so far from town. The two seem to have lived with family in Hadley for the winter and there was some talk as to whether or not they would move back to the big farm in the spring. Elizabeth chose to do so and she hired a kinsman named Worthington to manage the farm. He lived with the two Porter women until 1770, when the younger Elizabeth married. Her husband, Charles Phelps moved in and took charge of the farm.
It is perhaps surprising that Widow Porter never remarried, as she was only 36 years old when Moses died and was certainly a wealthy woman. It is said that she never recovered from the loss of her husband. She was apparantly depressed and sickly for the rest of her life and stories say she took up the "habit" of the day, opium and alcohol. However, these tales may be unfounded, as Elizabeth was 89 years old when she died in 1798.
There are only a few papers pertaining to Elizabeth Porter. These are contained in BOX 3 with those of her husband Moses. They consist of correspondence between the two in 1755, when Moses was away fighting in the French and Indian War, right before his death. Her wedding dress is a part of clothing collection of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House Museum.
Moses Porter (1722-1755)
Moses Porter was born in Hadley, January 13, 1722. He was the second son of Samuel Porter and Anna Colton and great grandson of Samuel Porter, an original settler of the town of Hadley. In 1743, Moses married Elizabeth Pitkin, the daughter of Nathaniel Pitkin, a wealthy Hartford man. The couple lived in or near Moses' parents home within the Hadley stockade.
Although, not formally educated, Moses was a wealthy man. In 1748, he was executor of his father's large estate and inherited a great deal of land from it. In fact, by 1752, Moses and his family had acquired ownership of practically all the tract of land known as "Forty Acres and its skirts". This was fertile farm land, located about a mile north of town, which had originally been divided as common land when the town was laid out in 1659.
By 1752, conditions within the town stockade had become crowded. Moses Porter decided it was time to move north to "Forty Acres" and build a new home for his family. On May 27, 1752, the roof was raised. By December, the house was apparantly ready for occupancy and Moses moved his wife and daughter in.
The new farm was a large and successful one. According to his estate inventory, Moses Porter owned 61 acres of farm and 50 acres of skirt, along with 535 acres of land elsewhere in town. He also had a one seventh share of the saw mill in North Hadley. Moses owned three horses and a colt, two steer, a bull, a yoke of oxen, four heifers, four cows and calves, as well as numerous smaller animals. He was one of few men in town to own a riding chair and a sleigh, in addition to the usual farm equipment. To carry out all the work on such a large farm, owned two of the 18 slaves living in the town of Hadley at this time, and probably had additional farm hands and indentured servants.
Moses Porter was also a military man. In 1755, he went off to fight in the French and Indian War, as Captain of a regiment commanded by Colonel Ephriam Williams. On September 8th of that year, he was killed in the "Battle of Bloody Morning Scout" near Lake George, New York. Moses Porter was only 33 years old and left behind a young widow and an eight year old daughter, Elizabeth.
Moses Porter's papers are contained in BOX 3, along with those of his wife Elizabeth. These help to document the early years of the house and farm. They consist of several letters to Elizabeth in 1755, while he was fighting in the War. Also included are a number of deeds for land Moses purchased in the 1740s and 50s. Excerpts from the diary of Sarah Porter give dates of the construction of the house. The original is on microfilm at the Jones Library. Also of great importance is the 1756 inventory of Moses Porter's estate, which can be found in the oversized materials box.
Edmund Quincy (1903- )
Edmund was born May 15, 1903 in Biarritz. He was the only son of Josiah Huntington Quincy and Ellen Krebs. His mother died the year after his birth. His father married again in 1905, to Mary Honey, who later adopted Edmund as her son. Edmund graduated from Harvard in 1925. He is a portrait and landscape painter, having also published some poetry. He has lived in Italy much of his life. On March 19, 1940, Edmund married Josephine Biamonti in Bordighera, Italy. She was the daughter of Alessandro and Palmira Fontana Biamonti. The Quincy's have one adopted son, Daniel.
Edmund Quincy was a good friend of Catharine Huntington and his papers, in BOX 123, contain five folders of letters to her in the 1930s. There are also two folders of clippings, programs and photographs of his paintings. He wrote a short piece called "On a Visit to Hadley", which was published in 1959 in his Legends and Conditions. In 1988, Mr. Quincy donated a large number of papers to the Porter- Phelps-Huntington Foundation. These include letters received by him, in the 1960s and 70s. They are from a wide range of friends and a few from his son, Daniel. These letters are in BOX 124, but they have not been processed.
Helen Frances Huntington Quincy (1831-1903)
"Fanny" Huntington was born in Northampton on July 7, 1831. She was the first child of Charles Phelps and Helen Sophia Mills Huntington. Fanny grew up in Northampton, moving to Boston with the family in the late 1840s. There she married Josiah P. Quincy on December 23, 1858. She died December 11, 1903.
BOX 122, the Quincy Family box contains three outgoing letters from Fanny and seven letters received. In the 1880s, Fanny's uncle, Theodore G. Huntington, wrote sketches of his life in Hadley in the form of letters to her. Copies of these are contained in BOX 21. These were later published and also form a large portion of Arria Huntington's book, Under a Colonial Roof Tree.
Josiah Huntington Quincy (1859-1919)
Josiah, the first child of Helen Frances Huntington and Josiah Quincy, was born on October 15, 1859. He graduated from Harvard in 1880, attended Harvard Law School and was admitted to the Bar in 1884. From 1896-98, Josiah was Mayor of Boston. In 1900, he married Elen Krebs in London, England. She died four years later in Biarritz. Josiah married a second time in New York to Mary Honey. He died on September 19, 1919.
This collection contains the wedding invitation of Josiah Quincy and Mary Honey in BOX 122.
Josiah P. Quincy (1829-1910)
Amelia Barnard Sargent (1809-1890)
Epes Sargent V (1784-1853)
Epes Sargent, born March 7, 1784, was the fifth Epes of the Sargent family who had been in Gloucester since the 1670s. His grandfather and great grandfather had been ship owners, but the former remained loyal to the King during the Revolution and lost the family fortune. Epes V was the son of John Osborne and Lydia Foster Sargent. At the age of five, Epes was orphaned. He and his sister grew up in the home of his grandfather Foster.
In 1799, when Epes was only 14, he sailed to Canton as a cabin boy on the ship "Eliza". He made several more sea voyages out of Gloucester and then in 1818, Epes went into partnership with his brother in law, John Barker who was a flour merchant. At this time, the family pulled up their long Gloucester roots and moved to Boston. The partnership continued until the 1820s, when business losses compelled Sargent to take to the sea again. He aquired interest in the Brig "Romulus" and made three trips to St. Petersburg, Russia. A fourth trip to Russia was made on the "Volga".
In 1836, the Sargent family, choosing to try life in the country, sold the Boston house and bought a farm in Milton, Massachusetts. This experiment did not last long, however, and in 1839, they moved back to Boston to a house on Western Avenue. Apparantly a rather restless family, they later moved to a house at Hartford Place and finally to Roxbury. There Epes Sargent died on April 19, 1853.
There are only two folders of Epes Sargent V papers in the Sargent Family BOX 125. These include letters written to his grandson in the 1840s and 50s, telling the story of his life. They describe his sea travels in great detail, providing a good deal of information. His portrait is in the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House.
Epes Sargent VI (1813-1880)
The sixth Epes Sargent was born in Gloucester, September 27, 1813. He was the second son of Epes and Hannah Sargent. In 1818, his family moved to Boston where he grew up, attending Roxbury High School. At the age of 15, Epes went on a voyage to Russia with his father. He did not take to the sea life, however, and went on to become a successful writer and editor.
Epes Sargent attended Harvard for a few years, but did not graduate. This did not seem to hurt his career and he soon became an editorial writer for The Boston Daily Advertiser and The Atlas. He later moved to New York City, where he was in charge of the New York Mirror. In 1848, Epes returned to Boston and married Elizabeth Weld (1819-1901). By 1853, he had become Editor of the Boston Evening Transcript.
In addition to editing, Epes Sargent wrote a number of plays and edited poems. He is perhaps most famous for compiling The Standard Speaker and The Standard Reader, which were in common use in Boston schools for many years.
Epes Sargent VI died in Roxbury on December 30, 1880. He had no children by his marriage, but had three illegitimate daughters by a Miss Herron. These were said to be the result of a "spiritualistic association" and were recognized by Epes and his family as his children, but they were never legally adopted.
There are only a few papers of Epes Sargent in the Sargent Family box, BOX 125. These include five letters to his nephew George Huntington in the 1860s and 70s. There is also a pamplet written by him in 1876, entitled "Does it Matter at All". See the photographs series for photos of his portraits. An original portrait hangs in the Porter-Phelps- Huntington House.
George Barnard Sargent (1818-1896)
George Sargent, was born to Epes and Hannah Sargent, in 1818. He grew up in Boston, but later chose an adventurous western life. In 1838, he moved to Iowa and married Mary Perin, the following year. He and his family were living in Davenport, Iowa in 1847, when he opened the bankhouse of "Cook and Sargent". George was successful there and in 1851, was elected Mayor of Davenport. However, he felt the pull to the west and in 1869, the family moved on the Duluth, Minnesota. George died there in 1875, but many of his ten children and their families continued to live in Duluth well into the 20th century.
Georgiana Welles Sargent (1858-1946)
Georgiana Sargent was born May 10, 1858, the only child of John and Georgiana Welles Sargent. In 1923, she was living in Lenox, unmarried, devoted to gardening. "Cousin Georgie" was close to the family of her cousin George Huntington and apparantly helped to put one or more of his sons through college.
Papers of Georgiana Sargent are found in the BOX 125 of the Sargent Family. These include about 20 outgoing letters to members of the Huntington family in the late 19th and early 20th century. See also the separate unit of Michael Paul Huntington papers, BOX 90, for a few letters from Georgie in the 1930s and 40s.
James Otis Sargent (1823-1897)
John Osborne Sargent VI (1811-1891)
The eldest son of Epes and Hannah Sargent, John Osborne was born in Gloucester in 1811. He was a lawyer and well known journalist, and also did translations of Latin and German literature. At Harvard, John was friends with James Freeman Clarke and Oliver Wendell Holmes while they edited the Collegian and College Monthly together.
Below is a list of the importants events of his life:
John O. Sargent's papers in BOX 125 of the Sargent Family, include a journal kept in 1863, while he was in Europe. He was involved in publishing the Treasury of the Psalter with George Huntington and there are several letters to George in the collection. His 1892 obituary provides some biographical information. The dispute over his will in 1946- 47 is also included and gives geneological data. See the photographs BOX 135.
Mary Otis Lincoln Sargent (1795-1870)
Mary Otis, daughter of Abner and Hannah Lincoln, was born in 1795, in Hingham, Massachusetts. She grew up there and was a school mistress. The children of Epes Sargent, by his previous marriage, attended her school and there the two met. Mary became Epes' third wife in 1821. She lived with him and his children in Boston and Roxbury, increasing the family with five more children. Mary Sargent died on December 3, 1870 in Roxbury. Mary was the grandaughter of Major General Benjamin Lincoln, who had been one of George Washington's Generals. For more information, see his biographical sketch.
Children: See list under Epes Sargent V
Mary O.L. Sargent's papers, in the Sargent Family box, BOX 125, include several letters from her to George and Lilly Huntington in the 1860s and 70s. There is also a small piece of needlework done by her, and most importantly, her will of 1879. See the photographs BOX 135.
Archibald Lowery Sessions (1860-1948)
Archie Sessions, the son of Elizabeth Fisher and John Sessions, was a great grandson of Dan Huntington. He was born January 12, 1860. Archie graduated from Harvard University and went on to become an Editor with Ainslee's and Street and Smith in New York City.
On November 6, 1887, he married Ruth Huntington who was his second cousin, the grandaughter of Dan Huntington. They lived in New York, spending summers on the Phelps Farm in Hadley, which Ruth had been given by her father Frederic Dan in 1893. Late in life, Ruth and Archie were apparently on the farm every summer, spending the winter months nearby in Northampton. Ruth died first and Archie followed two years later on September 19, 1948.
Elizabeth Phelps Fisher Sessions (1825-1897)
Elizabeth Fisher was born in Oswego, New York March 29, 1825. She was the first child of George and Elizabeth Huntington Fisher. She grew up in Oswego and in 1851, married John Sessions (1820-1899). They lived in New York City where he was a lawyer. Elizabeth died July 24, 1897.
Hannah Sargent Sessions (Andrews) (1889-?)
Hannah was the eldest child of Ruth and Archie Sessions and the favorite grandchild of Frederic Dan Huntington. She was born on February 16, 1889 and grew up in New York City, spending summers in Hadley. There she was very close to her cousin Catharine and the other children of George Huntington.
Hannah attended Radcliffe College. Then on December 15, 1917, she married Paul Shipman Andrews. He was a lawyer, born August 2, 1887. Hannah and Paul lived in Syracuse.
Hannah Sessions Andrews' few papers are contained in the Sessions Family box, BOX 127. They include letters to her Huntington cousins. See the photographs BOX 136. See also the separate unit of Michael Paul Huntington papers BOX 90, for letters from Hannah in the 1930s and 40s.
John Archibald Sessions (1899-1948?)
John Sessions, son of Ruth and Archibald, was born May 21, 1899. He grew up in New York City, spending summers on the Phelps Farm in Hadley. John graduated from Harvard in 1921. On July 2, 1927, he married 22 year old Florence Mary Doheny Hackett who had just graduated from Smith College.
The couple lived on the Phelps Farm, which John had modernized and improved for winter living. There, he carried on the family dairy business until his death in 1948.
Doheny Sessions outlived her husband by many years and continued to run the farm. In 1952, she received a Master's Degree in education. Doheny was Associate Curator of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House in the 1960s and after Dr. Huntington's death in 1968, was Curator until 1977. Doheny resided on the Phelps Farm until 1988.
Ruth Gregson Huntington Sessions (1859-1946)
Ruth was well educated and well travelled. In 1880, the family sent her to Europe, where she spent three years and studied piano under Clara Schumann in Germany. Her older sister Arria and friend Miss Hamilton accompanied her on the first leg of her journey. At the end of her stay, Ruth's brother George came to Europe to bring her home.
In 1887, Ruth married Archibald Lowery Sessions and moved with him to New York City. There Ruth was one of the founders of the Consumer's League. She also worked on factory condition reforms and was instrumental in getting child labor laws passed. Later in life, Ruth founded the Children's Home Association in Northampton, Massachusetts.
In addition to this social work, Ruth Sessions, published a number of poems and short stories, including some articles written under a male pen-name. During the 1890s, she was literary editor of the Girl's Friendly Magazine. Ruth also gave occasional literary speaches and was involved with the Hampshire Bookshop in Northampton in the 1930s. Her most important work was Sixty Odd, published in 1936, about her childhood in Boston, Syracuse, and especially in Hadley.
Hadley was a very dear place to Ruth Sessions. In 1893, her father, Frederic Dan Huntington, purchased the Phelps Farm from his cousins and gave it to her. Ruth and Archie used it as their summer home. Ruth spent the winter months in Northampton, where she was house mother to Smith College students in what is now known as Sessions House. Ruth died in Northampton on December 2, 1946.
Ruth H. Sessions' papers are found in BOX 126. They consist of some outgoing correspondence, including three folders to her brother George. There are a few pieces of incoming correspondence. Some 1890s magazines, contain her published work. See also the legal size materials, BOX 175. See also, Sixty Odd, written by Ruth about her childhood. See photographs BOX 136.
Marianne Theresa Gellineau St. Agnan Stearns (1805-1889)
Marianne (or Mary Anne) Theresa St. Agnan was born March 25, 1805 in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Tragically, she was immediately an orphan. A few months before her birth, Marianne's father, Michael St. Agnan, was drowned while bringing a shipload of slaves from Grenada. Only days after her birth, mother Theodora Gellineau St. Agnan died from the effects of childbirth and the loss of her husband. Marianne was left in the care of her grandmother Lucette Poinsette Gellineau and her aunt, also named Lucette.
Marianne was promised in marriage to her cousin Thomas Tyler. In 1810, he was sent to America to Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and Marianne went to Newburyport, Massachusetts to attend Miss Mary Anne Coleman's school. The family plans fell through however, when Miss Coleman moved her school to Salem and Marianne St. Agnan met Richard Stearns (1803-1840). The two eloped to Providence, Rhode Island and were married in November of 1821.
This marriage upset both families and may have been a stormy one. The couple lived on Essex Street in Salem, where they had three children. However, family stories tell that they were unhappy and the marriage unsuccessful. Richard disliked his wife so strongly that he is said to have kept Marianne locked in the attic of his mother's house for many years. The truth of this tale can be questioned. However, it is known that the three children were cared for by Richard's mother, Sarah White Sprague Stearns. Richard Stearns was killed suddenly in 1840, when he was thrown from his carriage by a runaway horse.
Another family tale tells that Marianne was the intimate friend of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Margaret Fuller. Marianne is said to have kept a school in Miss Shaw's house on Beacon Hill in Boston, where the Colonel Robert Louis Shaw was a pupil. In 1850, Marianne Stearns moved to Malden where she lived with her daughter and son-in-law, Lucy and Henry Barrett, until her death on November 17, 1889.
Incoming correspondence from relatives in Trinidad 1805-1819 is interesting for its documentation of her childhood, schooling, and life in Trinidad. A notebook kept by her in 1845, contains lovely prose and poetry. See the photographs BOX 138.
BOX 128, of the Stearns, St. Agnan, and Gellineau families contains four folders of letters to Marianne from Gellineau relatives 1815-19. Her grandfather, Charles Anthony Gellineau's will of 1821 shows the family's financial condition and relationships. Also included is correspondence of Marianne's daughter, Sarah White Sprague Stearns Phillips.
Catherine Osbourne Sargent Sumner (1825-1909)
Catherine Sargent, daughter of Epes V and Mary, was born in Boston in 1825. She grew up in Boston and Roxbury. In 1862, she married Austin Sumner. He died in 1879 and she remained a widow throughout her life. She lived in the Sargent house in Cedar Square, Roxbury, with her brother James. The children of her nephew, George Huntington, lived with "Aunt Kate" at various times while at school in Boston. She died in 1909 in Roxbury.
In BOX 130 of the Sumner family, is a small diary of Catherine Sargent in 1852 and a note book of the 1840s. There are about thirty letters from her to nephew, George Huntington and his children from the 1880s, until 1909. There are also letters from John Osbourne Sumner to the Huntingtons and a valuation of his estate. Mary and Marguerita or Rita Sumner are represented with several outgoing letters, but their relationships to the family are unknown. See the photographs BOX 135.
The photographs and cased images unit (BOXES 131-151) is listed and shelved after the extended family units. There are photographs of all major family members from the mid-19th century on. These were not included in the units of individual people, because they are often group shots. Therefore, within this section, photographs are organized by family or generation. Consult the container listing to identify the location of pictures of a given person. Group photographs are placed in folders labeled with the father's name. There are a number of group pictures of Frederic Dan Huntington's family from the late 19th century, including many shots taken in front of the Porter-Phelps-Huntington House.
Oversized photographs are identified in individual folders and placed in separate boxes, arranged alphabetically. There are also four boxes of unidentified cased images and photographs. (If any identifications are made, please notify the Archivist.)
Miscellaneous and Unidentified
Miscellaneous and unidentified material fills BOXES 152-160. This includes papers with no name and unidentifiable handwriting. The container listing includes the type of material and date, if known. There is also a box of material related to a specific person whose association with the Porter, Phelps, and Huntington families is unknown. These papers are arranged in alphabetical order.
A unit of printed material, in BOXES 161-166, contains books published by family members about the house and family. These include copies of Forty Acres by James L. Huntington, Under a Colonial Rooftree by Arria Huntington, and Sixty Odd by Ruth Huntington Sessions. There is also a copy of the Huntington Family Genealogy.
This printed material also includes some magazines and pamphlets saved by unidentified family members. There is a complete set of Gody's Lady's Book magazines of 1848-1852, as well as Peterson's Magazine of 1846. This unit also includes some catalogs and price lists for agricultural and industrial tools from the 1880s through about 1910.
A separate unit for oversize and legal size materials was created (BOXES 167-178). A note is made in the description of an individual's papers, directing the researcher to look in these oversize boxes. Within these boxes, material is arranged alphabetically by the name of the individual to which it relates.