Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1907-1907.1

Wendell family papers


Correspondence, business papers, and compositions by members of the Wendell family, a prominent merchant family from Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


  • 1620-1921

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Conditions Governing Use

Images linked to the finding aid describing this collection are intended for public access and educational use. This material is owned and/or held by the Houghton Library, and is provided solely for the purpose of teaching or individual research. Any other use, including commercial reuse, mounting on other systems, or other forms of redistribution requires the permission of the curator.


46 linear feet (93 boxes and 1 folder)

Correspondence, journals, diaries, writings, and other papers of Barrett Wendell and his wife Edith Greenough Wendell, together with papers of other members of the Wendell family. Includes correspondence, writings, legal and business papers of John Wendell; diaries and some correspondence of Jacob Wendell; correspondence of Caroline Quincy Wendell; and letters to Daniel Rindge and other Rindge family papers. There are several volumes of journals of Barrett Wendell, including accounts of travel in Europe; and a long run of diaries, 1881-1938 (1905 lacking), of Edith Greenough Wendell. Also included are business papers of Barrett Wendell, material related to his courses at Harvard, genealogical notes, photographs, and printed ephemera. Barrett Wendell's correspondents include William R. Castle, Horace Meyer Kallen, Henry Cabot Lodge, John A. Lomax, Abbott Lawrence Lowell, Percival Lowell, Frederic J. Simson, and Robert Thomas White-Thomson.

Also contains manuscripts thought to be written by others, including "The Battle of Lexington" and "Liberty further extended..." both by Lemuel Haynes.

Biographical / Historical

Barrett Wendell was a literary critic and professor of English at Harvard. His great-grandfather John Wendell (1731-1808) of Portsmouth, N.H. was engaged in land development in New Hampshire. His grandfather Jacob Wendell (1788-1865) was involved in shipping and manufacturing ventures.


Arranged into the following series:

  1. I. MS Am 1907: Early Wendell family papers, circa 1670-1750
  2. ___A. Correspondence
  3. ___B. Legal and business papers
  4. ___C. Miscellaneous and unidentified papers
  5. II. MS Am 1907: John Wendell papers, circa 1750-1810
  6. ___A. Letters by various correspondents to John Wendell
  7. ___B. Letters by John Wendell
  8. ___C. Other letters
  9. ___D. Compositions by John Wendell
  10. ___E. Compositions by others
  11. ___F. Legal and business papers
  12. ______1. Papers of John Wendell
  13. ______2. Other papers
  14. III. MS Am 1907: Other Wendell family papers
  15. ___A. Jacob Wendell papers
  16. ______1. Correspondence
  17. ______2. Diaries and other compositions
  18. ___B. Caroline Quincy Wendell papers
  19. ______1. Letters from various correspondents
  20. ______2. Letters by Caroline Q. Wendell
  21. ______3. Other letters
  22. ______4. Compositions and miscellanea
  23. ___C. Rindge family papers
  24. ______1. Letters from various correspondents to Daniel Rindge
  25. ______2. Other letters and compositions
  26. ______3. Legal and business papers
  27. IV. MS Am 1907.1: Barrett Wendell papers
  28. ___A. Letters from various correspondents
  29. ___B. Letters by Barrett Wendell
  30. ___C. Letters from various correspondents to Edith (Greenough) Wendell
  31. ___D. Letters by Edith (Greenough) Wendell
  32. ___E. Other letters
  33. ___F. Compositions by Barrett Wendell
  34. ___G. Other compositions
  35. ___H. Legal and business papers
  36. ___I. Miscellaneous
  37. ___J. Bound manuscripts

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

73M-91. Deposited by William Greenough Wendell, Jacob Wendell House, 222 Pleasant Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire; received: 1942 August. Placed on permanent deposit by Francis A. Wendell, Appleton, Rice & Perrin, 63 Wall St., New York, New York 10005; received 1972 October 6; Gift, J. J. Higginson, 1989 October 24.

Digitization Funding

Collections and items have been digitized with the generous support of The Polonsky Foundation.

Wendell family. Wendell family papers, circa 1620-1921: 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