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COLLECTION Identifier: Mss:766 1789-1875 R785

Ropes family papers


Correspondence, papers, diaries, and financial records kept by the Ropes family members of Salem, Massachusetts, 1785-circa 1960.


  • Creation: 1785-circa 1960


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite. Please contact for more information.


6 linear feet (9 boxes, 6 volumes, 1 folder)

The Ropes family papers include correspondence, diaries and financial records kept by Ropes family members of Boston and Salem, Massachusetts. The correspondence includes letters written between family members regarding family news, life events and daily activities. Some of the letters relate to the business activities of Samuel Ropes and his sons William and Hardy. Included are letters sent by William while traveling to Calcutta, India in 1806 and while living and working in St. Petersburg, Russia during the 1830s. William Ropes was a partner in Ropes, Pickman & Co. and later established William Ropes & Co. Hardy worked for William as his agent in Boston. Also included are a few letters written by Samuel Ropes, Jr. to his parents regarding business on a voyage to Curacao and Granada in 1799. The financial volumes include a ledger and day book belonging to Samuel Ropes and a waste book, journal and ledger kept by Hardy Ropes. There of fifty-eight diaries kept by Hardy Ropes between 1819 and 1875.

Biographical Note:

In the early part of the nineteenth century William Ropes, originally from Salem, Mass., was engaged in the commission business in Boston under the firm names of Ropes, Pickman & Company, Ropes and Ward, and with William Reed. In 1832 he moved to St. Petersburg, Russia, establishing the firm of William Ropes and Company. Information about William's activities are detailed in the letters, covering the years 1810-1841.

Physical Location



Gift of Harriet Ropes Cabot, 1974.



Baker Library
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Repository Details

Part of the Baker Library Special Collections and Archives, Harvard Business School Repository

Baker Library Special Collections and Archives holds unique resources that focus on the evolution of business and industry, as well as the records of the Harvard Business School, documenting the institution's development over the last century. These rich and varied collections support research in a diverse range of fields such as business, economic, social and cultural history as well as the history of science and technology.

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