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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2103

Hancock family papers


Correspondence and other papers of the Hancock family of Kentucky, relatives of American author Mark Twain.


  • 1821-1935
  • Majority of material found in 1837-1856

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


.5 linear feet (1 box)

These papers gathered by Paul E. Carrico (apparently as research for a thesis at Notre Dame University) contain correspondence of Hancock family members including two letters from John Marshall Clemens to his mother Pamelia (Goggin) Clemens Hancock as well as letters from Elsie Hancock to Paul E. Carrico discussing Mark Twain, Mary G. (Hancock) Saunders, and Mary Ann Pamela Xantippe Saunders. Non-correspondence materials include deeds for the family's land, William H. Saunder's certificate of citizenship, and Pamelia G. Hancock's will, among other items.

Biographical / Historical

Pamelia (Goggin) Clemens (1775-1844) was married first to Samuel Clemens (d. 1805) and, after his death, to Simon Hancock of Adair County, Kentucky. Her son by her first marriage, John Marshall Clemens (1798-1847), was the father of American author Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain). Her children by her second marriage were: Ann Hill Hancock, Mary G. Hancock, Pamelia G. Hancock, and a son whose name is unknown. Ann Hill Hancock married William H. Saunders of England; they had a daughter, Mary Ann Pamela Xantippe (Tippy) and a son, James Saunders.

When Ann died (ca. 1841) William Saunders married her sister, Mary G. Hancock. Mary Hancock Saunders is said to be the inspiration for her nephew Mark Twain's "Aunt Polly" in The adventures of Tom Sawyer.

Pamelia and Simon Hancock's son (name unknown) was the father of Elsie Hancock, the donor, Paul E. Carrico's aunt.


Organized into two series:

  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Other papers

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

*2000M-51. Deposited by Paul E. Carrico ; received: 1937.

Processing Information

Processed by: Jackie Dean

Hancock family. Hancock family papers: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

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