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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 715

Joseph Dennie papers


Correspondence and compositions of American essayist and editor, Joseph Dennie. Also includes some family correspondence.


  • Creation: 1783-1815

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


1 linear feet (2 boxes)

The bulk of the collection includes letters to Joseph Dennie from literary and political colleagues, readers and subscribers of his various newspapers (especially the Farmer's Weekly Museum), and from hisHarvard College classmates during his rustication in 1790, when he lived under a chaplain's supervision in Groton, Mass. Letters by Dennie are mostly to his parents and contain detailed accounts of his life from his school days throughout his career. Manuscripts consist of essays, poems, verse translations, college and school notes and exercises, and fragments by Dennie. Includes an original manuscript of his first Farrago essay. Third-party correspondence is mostly to his mother, Mary (Green) Dennie, much of it after his death.

Biographical / Historical

An American essayist and editor, Joseph Dennie graduated from Harvard College in 1790 and was admitted to the bar in 1794. When his law practice failed to flourish, he turned to writing. Dennie wrote for weekly papers in Walpole, New Hampshire, Boston, Massachusetts, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia. He was closely associated with the Farmer's Weekly Museum of Walpole, for which he wrote "Lay Preacher" and which under his editorship (1796-1798) became a strong Federalist organ read throughout the union. He began The Port Folio, a weekly devoted to literature and politics which he established in 1801 in Philadelphia with bookseller Asbury Dickins. This magazine was considered without rival until the founding of the North American Review in 1815.


Arranged into the following series:

  1. I. Letters from Joseph Dennie
  2. II. Letters to Joseph Dennie
  3. III. Other letters
  4. IV. Compositions

Collection includes a hand-written list of the papers, compiled by H. M. Ellis.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Miss Mary H. Dennie; received: 1913 May 15.

Mary H. Dennie was a granddaughter of Thomas Dennie, first cousin of Joseph Dennie.

Dennie, Joseph, 1768-1812. Joseph Dennie papers, 1783-1815: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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