Five College Archives and Manuscript Collections
Home >> Sophia Smith Collection >> The Sturgis-Tappan Family Papers, 1812-1982
Smith College seal
Sturgis-Tappan Family Papers, 1812-1982
4 boxes (1.25 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 186

Abstract:
Authors and Poets. Approximately two thirds of material is correspondence and the rest is writings and drawings. Includes pencil drawings and watercolors, drafts of poems, and one published volume. Some biographical material.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection. Original letters by Ralph Waldo Emerson are in a secure location in the Sophia Smith Collection; photocopies for normal use are in the Sturgis-Tappan Family Papers, although researchers may request special permission to examine the originals.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the papers of Sturgis-Tappan family members. Copyright to materials created by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission must be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use."

Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA

Biographical Note
Caroline Sturgis-Tappan at about age 40

Caroline Sturgis-Tappan at about age 40

William Sturgis was born 25 February 1782, the son of William Sturgis and Hannah Mills. He was a prominent Boston merchant and co-founder of Bryant and Sturgis, and made his fortune in the China Trade. He married Elizabeth Marston Davis and they had six children, among them two daughters, Ellen (1812-1848) and Caroline (1819-1888). Caroline Sturgis married William Aspinwall Tappan, son of Lewis Tappan, a noted abolitionist, and Susanna Aspinwall; they had two children, Ellen Sturgis Tappan and Mary Aspinwall Tappan. Caroline Sturgis Tappan and her sister, Ellen Sturgis Hooper, were minor Transcendentalist poets whose work was occasionally published in the Dial. They counted among their acquaintances William Ellery Channing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry James, and Henry David Thoreau. The sisters, especially Caroline, were also friendly with Margaret Fuller and regularly attended her celebrated "conversations," begun in 1839.

The Tappans lived in Boston and summered in the Berkshire Mountains of Western Massachusetts. In 1936, Mary Aspinwall Tappan and her niece, Rosamond Sturgis Dixey Brooks (Caroline Sturgis Tappan's granddaughter), gave the family's summer estate, Tanglewood, to the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Sturgis-Tappan Papers consist of 1.25 linear feet dating from 1812 to 1983, approximately two thirds of which is correspondence and the rest of which is writings and drawings. Types of material include correspondence, pencil drawings and watercolors, drafts of poems, and one published volume.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The papers are open to research according to the regulations of the Sophia Smith Collection. Original letters by Ralph Waldo Emerson are in a secure location in the Sophia Smith Collection; photocopies for normal use are in the Sturgis-Tappan Family Papers, although researchers may request special permission to examine the originals.

Restrictions on use:

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to the papers of Sturgis-Tappan family members. Copyright to materials created by others may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission must be obtained from the Sophia Smith Collection to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use."

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Sturgis-Tappan Family Papers, Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College, Northampton, Mass.

History of the Collection

Daphne Brooks Prout donated the Sturgis-Tappan Family Papers to the Sophia Smith Collection in 1983 and 1985.

Processing Information

Reprocessed by Burd Schlessinger, 2002.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Sophia Smith Collection
Smith College
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email Reference Form: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/emailform.html
URL: http://www.smith.edu/libraries/libs/ssc/
Language
English.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Series Descriptions
(1836-1982)
.25 linear ft.

This series consists of information about members of the Sturgis-Tappan Family (primarily photocopied excerpts from various reference books and anthologies); a photograph of Caroline Sturgis Tappan and a published catalog about her Grand Tour of Europe; and correspondence pertaining to the transfer of Tanglewood to the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

(1812-1913)
.75 linear ft.

This series is the largest in the collection and is organized into three subseries: letters to and from Caroline Sturgis Tappan, letters to and from her daughter, Mary Aspinwall Tappan, and third party correspondence. The correspondence is extensive among family members across three generations. Also included are letters to and from Lydia Maria Child, William Ellery Channing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sophia Hawthorne, and William James. (The Emerson correspondence is significant, while that of the others here listed is limited to one or two letters.)

(1849-59)
.25 linear ft.

This series contains primarily pencil drawings and watercolor sketches by Caroline Sturgis Tappan, as well as drafts of poems attributed to Tappan and to her sister, Ellen Sturgis Hooper. There is also correspondence pertaining to ownership of plates for Rainbows for Children (1848), a book by Lydia Maria Child.

Contents List
SERIES I. BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL
(1836-1982)


Family history



Photocopies of pages from various books,
1914, 1973, n.d.

Box 1: folder 1
The American Transcendentalists: Their Prose and Poetryand The Transcendentalists: An Anthology by Perry Miller: photocopies of excerpts,
(1957) (1950) n.d.

Box 1: folder 2
Notes taken on the Tappan family by George McCandlish: photocopies,
n.d.

Box 1: folder 3
Caroline Sturgis Tappan and the Grand Tour by George Dimock (2 copies),
1982

Box 1: folder 4
Account of Lewis Henry Tappan's first two years (brother of William Aspinwall Tappan), by his father, Lewis Tappan,
circa 1823

Box 1: folder 5
Note:
Caroline Sturgis Tappan: photograph,
n.d.

Box 1: folder 6
Tanglewood: correspondence,
1836-56, n.d.

Box 1: folder 7
SERIES II. CORRESPONDENCE
(1812-1913)


Caroline Sturgis Tappan



Family



Bigelow, William S.,
n.d.

Box 1: folder 8
Dixey, Ellen Sturgis Tappan,
1875-87

Box 1: folder 9-11
Dixey, Richard Cowell,
1875-85

Box 1: folder 12
Goodwin, Ezra,
1828

Box 1: folder 13
Hooper, Anne Sturgis,
1855-59, n.d.

Box 1: folder 14-15
Hooper, Edward W.,
1861

Box 1: folder 16
Sturgis, Susan,
1849, n.d.

Box 1: folder 17
Sturgis, William,
1848-50

Box 1: folder 18
Tappan, Lewis (combined letter from Caroline Sturgis Tappan and Ellen Sturgis Tappan (Dixey) [father-in-law/grandfather, respectively],
1861

Box 1: folder 19
Tappan, Mary Aspinwall,
1887, n.d.

Box 1: folder 20
Unidentified relative,
1849

Box 1: folder 21
Friends and acquaintances



Channing, William Ellery, n.d


Box 1: folder 22
Child, Lydia Maria,
1847

Box 1: folder 23
Note:
Emerson, Ralph Waldo (includes some photocopies),
1838-72, n.d.

Box 1: folder 24-35
Hawthorne, Sophia,
1842

Box 1: folder 36
James, William,
1882

Box 1: folder 37
White, Ellen,
n.d.

Box 1: folder 38
Unidentified fragments,
n.d.

Box 1: folder 39
Mary Aspinwall Tappan



Family



General,
1887, n.d.

Box 2: folder 1
Bigelow, William S
. 1888, 1913, n.d.

Box 2: folder 2
Brooks, Gorham,
1913

Box 2: folder 3
Dixey, Arthur Sturgis,
1890-1905, n.d.

Box 2: folder 4-5
Note:
Dixey, Ellen Sturgis Tappan,
1879-1910

Box 2: folder 6-7
Dixey, Rosamond Sturgis,
1908-24

Box 2: folder 8
Tappan, William Aspinwall,
1886-1904, n.d.

Box 2: folder 9
Friends and acquaintances



James, William,
1901, n.d.

Box 2: folder 10
Miscellaneous,
1905-32

Box 2: folder 11
Other family members



Bigelow, William S. to family,
n.d.

Box 2: folder 12
Davis, John to William W. Sturgis,
1816

Box 2: folder 13
Dixey, Ellen Sturgis Tappan to various recipients,
1851-95

Box 2: folder 14
Dixey, Richard W. to wife, Rebecca Dixey,
1859

Box 2: folder 15
Hooper, Anne Sturgis to various recipients,
1851, n.d.

Box 2: folder 16
Hooper, Ellen Sturgis to William Swain,
1844

Box 2: folder 17
Sturgis, Ellen M. to Ellen Goodwin,
1815-25

Box 2: folder 18
Sturgis, Susan to William Swain,
1846

Box 2: folder 19
Sturgis, William to various recipients,
1812-59

Box 2: folder 20
Sturgis, William W. to various recipients,
1822

Box 2: folder 21
Tappan, Susan A. to "Mrs. Colonel Aspinwall" (sister),
1821

Box 2: folder 22
Tappan, William Aspinwall to various recipients,
1855-1903, n.d.

Box 2: folder 23
Third party



Emerson, Ralph Waldo



Forbes, Margaret,
n.d.

Box 2: folder 24
Peabody, Elizabeth Palmer,
n.d.

Box 2: folder 25
Tappan, William Aspinwall (photocopies),
1845, n.d.

Box 2: folder 26
Payne, Eloisa,
n.d.

Box 2: folder 27
SERIES III. WRITINGS AND DRAWINGS
(1849-59)


Drawings: Tappan, Caroline Sturgis



Pencil sketches,
1846-57, n.d.

Box 3: folder 1-2
Pencil sketches and watercolor paintings: album,
n.d.

Box 3
Note:
Poetry



Tappan, Caroline Sturgis: handwritten booklet of poetry with pressed flowers,
n.d.

Box 3: folder 3
Tappan, Caroline Sturgis and Ellen Sturgis Hooper (?): miscellaneous poems,
1836, n.d.

Box 3: folder 4
Note:
"G.W.": "Nebulae,"
n.d.

Box 3: folder 5
Unidentified author: handwritten book of poems,
n.d.

Box 3: folder 6
Correspondence pertaining to Rainbows for Children by Lydia Maria Child,
1849-59

Box 3: folder 7
Published etchings by various artists of sites in Great Britain,
n.d.

Box 3: folder 8
Album of pencil sketches and watercolor paintings by Caroline Sturgis Tappan,
n.d.

Box 4
OVERSIZE MATERIALS



Letter to Mary Aspinwall Tappan from Arthur Sturgis Dixey,
29 Nov 1894 (?)

Flat file

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Authors, American--19th century
  • Channing, William Ellery, 1780-1842--Correspondence
  • Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882--Correspondence
  • Europe--Description and travel--Sources
  • Family--United States--19th century--History--Sources
  • Fuller, Margaret, 1810-1850
  • Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 1804-1864--Correspondence
  • Hawthorne, Sophia Peabody, 1809-1871--Correspondence
  • Hooper, Ellen Sturgis, 1812-1848
  • James, William--Correspondence
  • New England--Intellectual life--19th century
  • Sturgis family
  • Tanglewood Music Center--History
  • Tappan family
  • Tappan, Caroline Sturgis, 1819-1888
  • Tappan, Mary Aspinwall, 1851-
  • Transcendentalists (New England)
  • Women poets, American--19th century


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
Home | Help | About | Search