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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2152

John Chipman Gray correspondence


Correspondence of Harvard professor and lawyer John Chipman Gray.


  • Creation: 1800-1932

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Restrictions on physical access, if any. This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.

Conditions Governing Access

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


1.5 linear feet (2 boxes)

Consists chiefly of letters written to John Chipman Gray and his wife, Anna Lyman Mason Gray, many of which are RSVPs to social engagements from notable Boston and Harvard figures. Other topics include John Gray's legal writings and lectures and Anna Gray's poetry. Includes two autograph letters of Daniel Webster (addressed to others), and several letters of condolence from acquaintances such as Abbott Lawrence Lowell on the occasion of John Gray's death. The collection also includes letters to other members of the Gray family and some Gray family ephemera, such as stock certificates.

Items concerning Japan include a letter from Isabella Stewart Gardner describing her impressions of Japanese culture and society, a letter from Fanny MacVeagh, wife of the American ambassador to Japan, describing the landscape and culture, and a collection of letters from John Gray's former student Kentaro Kanako, a Japanese noble and diplomat, whose letters describe the politics, government, and society of Japan and express great nostalgia for Boston society. He also discusses newly published political science works and his translations of many such works. Kanako visited the United States several times and wrote to the Grays from both Japan and the United States.

Biographical / Historical

Gray (Harvard A.B. 1859; LL.B. 1861) ) was a legal scholar, founder (with classmate John C. Ropes) of the Boston law firm Ropes & Gray, and a professor of law at the Harvard Law School. His wife was Anna Lyman Mason.


Arranged alphabetically by author.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

47M-332. Gift of Roland Gray, 36 Larch Road, Cambridge, Massachusetts and Eleanor (Gray) Tudor,22 Larch Road Cambridge, Massachusetts; received: 1948 June 28.

Gray, John Chipman, 1839-1915. John Chipman Gray correspondence, 1800-1932: 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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