Hale Family Papers
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The Hale Family Papers consist of 60.75 linear feet of biographical material, artwork, artifacts, correspondence, speeches, photographs, writings, and memorabilia created or kept by Hale Family members and their Everett, Beecher, Gilman, Hooker, Perkins, Stowe, and Westcott relatives. The materials date from 1797 to 1988, with the bulk dating from 1810 to 1963.
The papers are a rich source of information about this remarkable family; nineteenth-century American popular culture; the city of Boston in the nineteenth century; the places to which the Hales traveled for work, study, or pleasure (including Europe, Egypt, Palestine, Mexico, Jamaica, and all over the U.S.); and the Boston School of Painting; among many other topics.
The materials primarily document the households of Nathan, Sr., and Sarah Preston (Everett) Hale; Edward Everett and Emily (Perkins) Hale; Ellen Day Hale; and Philip and Lilian (Westcott) Hale. The heart of the papers is the family correspondence. These letters detail the doings of various family members and their friends; their intellectual life and the Boston literary scene; local events; and the progress of various family endeavors such as the Daily Advertiser, Susan Hale's schools, and various Hales' writing projects. Though all the Hales were fine letter-writers, Susan Hale's letters are particularly wonderful, chronicling her travels and activities with great style and humor. Included are detailed descriptions of her visits to the family of Hudson River School painter Frederick Church. The family's artistic bent is much in evidence in their correspondence. Not only do they write about their artwork, but the letters are often illustrated with sketches of the people and places described in the text. The rich family life is also documented by such things as books, plays, stories, and newspapers written by the children.
The papers also contain significant incoming correspondence from distinguished friends and associates. Included are letters from Louisa May Alcott, Cecilia Beaux, Alexander Graham Bell, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Annie Fields, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Beatrice Hinkle, Julia Ward Howe, William Dean Howells, William Morris Hunt, Robert Todd Lincoln, Myrtilla Miner, Maria Mitchell, Sarah Orne Jewett, Frederick Law Olmsted, Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, May Sarton, Lucy Stone, Annie M. Sullivan, Ida Tarbell, Booker T. Washington, Daniel Webster.
Materials related to the activities of Nathan Hale, Sr., and his sons Charles and Edward Everett Hale provide a rich picture of the social, political, and cultural life of Boston in the nineteenth century. With Nathan's papers are materials related to the Boston and Worcester Rail Road Corporation, the Boston Daily Advertiser, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company, and Nathan's service on various Boston city commissions. Charles' materials document the Daily, and his journal Today: A Boston Literary Journal, plus his service in Massachusetts state government and the U.S. Department of State. Edward's papers contain files on many organizations in which he was involved, as well as two scrapbooks filled with programs, flyers, brochures, and clippings documenting a myriad of lectures, ordinations, concerts, and meetings he attended; and various causes he supported.
Charles Hale's letters from Europe in 1861, chronicle a stay at the home of Elizabeth Gaskell and a visit to Haworth, home of the Brontes, not long after the death of Charlotte Bronte. His letters from Egypt (1864-70) detail official duties as well as social life in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt.
Papers of Susan Hale, Ellen Day Hale, and Philip and Lilian Hale document Boston's art world, the education of American artists in Europe in the 1870s-90s, and summer art colonies along the coast of New England. Included are photographs of their artwork as well as a few original pieces by Hales and some of their friends. Included are records of exhibitions and commissions.
The materials in the Hale Family Papers are arranged in four sections. The first section contains Papers, the second is Photographs and other visual images, the third section is Oversize material, and the fourth is Artifacts.
The bulk of the materials are papers related to the Hale family in boxes 1 through 108. General genealogical information about this branch of the Hale family is available in box 1 of the papers.
The Hale family papers are arranged by generation and then alphabetically by family member. Materials relating to Hale spouses are filed directly following their Hale wife or husband. The amount of material by or about individuals varies considerably from single items to multiple boxes. Where the volume of materials warrants, an individual's papers are grouped into the following categories:
Biographical materials and memorabilia
In several cases, there is material common to several members of a household, such as both members of a couple, parents and children, or groups of siblings. In these cases, the group's papers are filed together under the household.
Correspondence between family members is filed with the author's materials (e.g., letters BY Ellen Day Hale TO Edward Everett Hale are filed under Ellen Day Hale). Letters by one Hale often contain a short section written by another Hale. These are filed under the primary author.
There is a small amount of unidentified and miscellaneous papers filed at the end of the Hale family materials in box 108.
Following the Hale family papers (in boxes 109-115) is material related to the families of various Hale spouses. This material is filed by family group and then alphabetically by individual. First are the relatives of Emily Baldwin (Perkins) Hale with papers of various Beechers, Gilmans, Hookers, Perkins, and Stowes. These are followed by materials by and about the Everetts and Hills, relatives of Sarah Preston (Everett) Hale. Finally, there are materials related to the Westcotts, Bassets, Clarkes, and Littells, relatives of Lilian Clarke (Westcott) Hale.
Photographs and other visual images are arranged in six groups:
Within the groupings, the images are arranged alphabetically.
Oversize materials are arranged in three groups:
Artifacts are filed at the end.