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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1569.4-1569.6

James Freeman Clarke family papers


Papers of James Freeman Clarke's grandfathers, the Rev. James Freeman and the Revolutionary war general William Hull, both of Boston, Mass., and of his wife's family, the Huidekopers.


  • Creation: 1777-1914

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.


2 linear feet (4 boxes)

Huidekoper family papers are chiefly letters from Harm Jan Huidekoper to his children and letters to Anna Huidekoper Clarke from Huidekoper family members. There are also geneologies and descriptions of Meadville Theological Seminary, among other items.

James Freeman papers include his correspondence with Constant Freeman and others, sermons, papers relating to Kings Chapel in Boston, genealogies, and biographical sketches of James Freeman written by James Freeman Clarke.

William Hull papers contain his diaries and correspondence, letters to Henry Dearborn from various correspondents, and papers concerning Hull's trial and court martial. There are also writings about Hull by James Freeman Clarke and Maria Hull Campbell, as well as letters to Lillian Freeman Clarke from others.

Biographical / Historical

Clarke was a Unitarian clergyman, author, and reformer closely associated with the Transcendentalists. He was minister in Louisville, Ky. (1833-1840) and at the Church of the Disciples in Boston (1841-1850, 1854-1888).

In 1839 Clarke married Anna Huidekoper, daughter of Harm Jan Huidekoper, businessman, lay theologian, and founder of Meadville Theological Seminary.

Rev. James Freeman (1759-1835) of Boston, Mass. was James Freeman Clarke's step-grandfather. James Freeman Clarke's grandfather, William Hull (1753-1825), was a general in the American Revolution and governor of the Michigan Territory. He was court martialled for failing to invade Canada in the War of 1812, but his Revolutionary War record prevented his execution. Henry Dearborn, a general in the War of 1812, presided over Hull's trial.


Organized into the following series:

  1. I. MS Am 1569.4: Huidekoper family papers
  2. II. MS Am 1569.5: James Freeman papers
  3. ___A. Letters from James Freeman and other papers
  4. ___B. Letters to James Freeman and other papers
  5. ___C. Other Freeman family letters and papers
  6. III. MS Am 1569.6: William Hull papers
  7. ___A. Letters from William Hull
  8. ___B. Letters to William Hull
  9. ___C. Other letters
  10. ___D. Other papers

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

58M-226-228. Deposited by James Freeman Clarke; gift, 1956-1967.

Clarke, James Freeman, 1810-1888. James Freeman Clarke family papers, 1777-1914: 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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