Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1417

Letters to Sarah Blake Sturgis Shaw from various correspondents


Letters to Sarah Blake Sturgis Shaw, the wife of the American philanthropist Francis George Shaw.


  • Creation: 1838-1880

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)

Consists of letters written to Francis George and Sarah Blake (Sturgis) Shaw by various correspondents. Topics discussed include family matters, the details of daily life, spiritualism and Swedenborgianism, slavery, and important events leading up to the Civil War, such as the assault on Charles Sumner, the publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin, and John Brown's raid. Letters from Lydia Maria Child also frequently mention American artist William Page.

Biographical / Historical

Sarah Shaw was the wife of Francis George Shaw, a prominent philanthropist and reformer of Boston and West Roxbury, Mass., and Staten Island, N.Y. The Shaws were the parents of Robert Gould Shaw, Civil War soldier and colonel of the first black regiment to serve with the Union Army.


Arranged alphabetically by author.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

*42M-621. Gift of Mrs. Pierre Jay, 133 East 64th Street, New York City; received: 1942 Dec.

Shaw, Sarah Blake Sturgis, 1815-1902, recipient. Letters to Sarah Blake Sturgis Shaw from various correspondents: 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.

Harvard Yard
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2440