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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 683

Baldwin, William Henry. Papers,


William Henry Baldwin was a Boston philanthropist who was the president of the Boston Young Men's Christian Union from 1868 to 1907. The collection includes correspondence, documents concerning the Young Men's Christian Union, handbills and notices from charitable organizations, and various documents concerned with Baldwin's memorial service


  • Creation: 1852-1909.


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.


1 collection (.35 linear feet (1 box))

Collection includes correspondence, documents concerning the Young Men's Christian Union, handbills and notices from charitable organizations in Boston, and various documents concerned with Baldwin's memorial service.

Biographical / Historical

William Henry Baldwin (October 20, 1826-June 8, 1909) was born in Brighton, Massachusetts. In 1850 he established Baldwin, Baxter and Company, an import business of woolen goods. During the Civil War he was an active member of the Ward 11 Boston Soldiers' Relief Commission which was dedicated to providing relief to the families and soldiers of the Army of the Potomac. He retired from business in 1868 and became the President of the Boston Young Men's Christian Union, a position he held until 1907. This union was founded as a society for the mutual improvement of young men in 1852. While Baldwin was best remembered for his work with this society, he was a well-known Boston philanthropist and was a member of a number of organizations. He served on the Boston School Board from 1870 to 1875; he was president of the Children's Mission to the Children of the Destitute; director of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; president of the National Unitarian Sunday School Society; vice president of the Unitarian Church Temperance Society; and a founder of the American Unitarian Association. He married Mary Frances Augusta on June 17, 1851, and the couple had nine children, including William H. Baldwin, Jr. (1863-1905), a noted railroad executive and trustee of the Tuskegee Institute.


Organized into the following series:

  1. Series I. Correspondence
  2. Series II. Organizations
  3. Series III. Handbills and notices
  4. Series IV. Scrapbook, obituaries, and memorial service

Acquisition Information

Purchased from Eveleigh Books and Stamps, Dover, Massachusetts, in December 2005.

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 Scott Templin and Fran O'Donnell, April 2006.

Baldwin, William Henry, 1826-1909. Papers, 1852-1909: 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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