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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 79

Recollections of the sermons of Phillips Brooks, 1872-1876.


Three notebooks of recollections from sermons of Phillips Brooks, 1872-1876, written by Annie C. Shapleigh during the early years of Brooks' ministry at Trinity Church in Boston. Also included is a scrapbook of newspaper clippings relating to the death of Phillips Brooks in 1893.


  • 1872-1876.


1 boxes
This collection consists of three bound volumes of recollections of sermons by Phillips Brooks, handwritten by Annie Shapleigh between 1872 and 1876. The sermons were given at Trinity Church, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Arlington Street Church, Emmanuel Church, and other locations in the Boston area. There is also some loose material, including a recollection of a sermon given in 1876. A bound volume of newspaper clippings concerning the death of Phillips Brooks is also included. This was compiled by Mrs. Caroline M. Lane, and donated to the Phillips Brooks House by her son William C. Lane, who was the Librarian of Harvard College from 1898 to 1928.

Biographical / Historical

Annie Chandler Shapleigh was the daughter of Samuel C. Shapleigh, Esq., of Boston. She was married to Decatur M. Sawyer of New York in 1879 by the Rev. Phillips Brooks. Decatur Sawyer was involved for many years in prison reform. The Sawyers had three children: Otis, Amy, and Elinor. Annie Shapleigh Sawyer was involved in Episcopal church mission work for many years. She was the vice president of the Woman's Auxiliary to the Board of Missions in the Newark, New Jersey, diocese from 1895 to 1896. She died ca. 1918.

Phillips Brooks (1835-1893) was baptized in the First (Congregational) Church in Boston, but was raised as an Episcopalian. He graduated from Harvard College in 1855, and Virginia Theological Seminary in 1859. He was assigned to Holy Trinity Church in Philadelphia in 1862, and in 1869 he became pastor of the Trinity Church in Boston. In 1891, he was elected the Episcopal bishop of Boston, a post he held for the rest of his life. Staunchly loyal to the Union during the Civil War, Brooks was called upon to preach a sermon while President Lincoln's body lay in state inside Philadelphia's Independence Hall in B1865. Brooks is also well known for writing the Christmas carol O Little Town of Bethlehem, which he introduced in 1868. In 1900 Harvard University commemorated Rev. Brooks by establishing Phillips Brooks House, a college dormitory. Phillips Brooks House is now a public service association.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Phillips Brooks House, Harvard University, 1970.
Shapleigh, Annie C. Recollections of the sermons of Phillips Brooks: A Finding Aid.
Andover-Harvard Theological Library

Repository Details

Part of the Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School Repository

Special Collections at Andover-Harvard Theological 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.

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