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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 674

Ware, William, 1797-1852. Papers,


William Ware (1797-1852), writer, editor and Unitarian minister Collection consists primarily of William Ware's family correspondence, which includes correspondence with his brother Henry and his wife Mary. Collection also includes photographs of family members and an extensive family tree.


  • 1813-1852.


1 collection (1.4 linear feet (4 boxes))

This collection consists primarily of the family correspondence of William Ware, and it is organized alphabetically by correspondent. The bulk of the correspondence was written to Williams' brother, Henry Ware, Jr., who was Parkman Professor of Pulpit Eloquence and Pastoral Care at Harvard Divinity School until his death in 1843. There are also a number of letters written by William's wife, Mary. The collection also includes biographical and personal materials, such as portraits of family members and an extensive family tree, and miscellaneous items related to William Ware's ministerial career and family.

Biographical / Historical

William Ware (1797-1852), writer, editor and Unitarian minister, was born in Hingham, Massachusetts, the son of Mary Clark and Henry Ware, Sr. He graduated from Harvard in 1816, and then studied theology for three years with his father, who had been appointed Hollis Professor of Divinity in 1805. William Ware was ordained in 1821, and married Mary Waterhouse in 1823, and they had seven children. He was a minister in the First Unitarian Society in New York from 1821 until 1836, when he resigned due to health reasons and a desire to give himself to full-time writing. In 1838, he bought the Christian Examiner, and served as its editor for six years. He held several pastoral positions briefly in the Boston area, (including Waltham, 1837-1838 and West Cambridge, 1844-1845) but did not return to the ministry again for any extended period of time. He wrote The Antiquity and Revival of Unitarian Christianity (1831) and three novels set in early Christian and biblical times: Zenobia, Probus, and Julian. His later works included the American Unitarian Biography (1851). After a series of epileptic attacks, he died in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (from American National Biography, volume 22, pages 665-666).


Organized into the following series:

  1. Series I. Personal material
  2. Series II. Letters from William Ware
  3. Series III. Letters from Mary Ware (wife of William Ware)
  4. Series IV. Miscellaneous letters
  5. Series V. Miscellaneous items

Acquisition Information

Donated by Mary Ware Sampson (granddaughter of William Ware) and Henry G. Pearson.

General note

NOTE: The number after the slash in each entry in the following list indicates the box number, and the number in parentheses is the folder number.

Processing Information

Processed by Jonathan Hauze and Fran O'Donnell, 2002.

Ware, William, 1797-1852. Papers: A Finding Aid.
Andover-Harvard Theological Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Harvard Divinity School Library, Harvard University Repository

Special Collections at Harvard Divinity School Library preserves and makes accessible primary source materials documenting the history of religion and theology, with particular historical emphasis on American liberal religious traditions. Though the historical strengths of the collections have been in the field of Christianity, other religious traditions are increasingly reflected, in step with Harvard Divinity School's evolving focus on global religious studies. Known as Andover-Harvard Theological Library since 1911, it was renamed the Harvard Divinity School Library in 2021.

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