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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1518

William Warland Clapp correspondence


Letters to American journalist and author, William Warland Clapp Jr., from his friends, colleagues, and family. Also includes some other papers.


  • 1790-1891
  • Majority of material found in 1840-1891

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English, with some French.

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.


4.5 linear feet (11 boxes)
Primarily letters to William Warland Clapp Jr., but also some letters by him to others, to and from others, and a few letters from others to his father, William Warland Clapp Sr. Also includes compositions, clippings and other printed items, mixed within this one alphabetical series.

Content of letters includes all aspects of Clapp's life, personal, family, professional, and political. Especially concerns Massachusetts state politics and the Civil War. Extensive list of correspondents includes: James Gillespie Blaine, Samuel Bowles, James Freeman Clarke, Henry Laurens Dawes, Edward Everett, James Thomas Fields, John Murray Forbes, Edward Everett Hale, George Frisbie Hoar, Henry Cabot Lodge, Alexander Hamilton Rice, Benjamin Penhallow Shillaber, and many others.

Biographical / Historical

William Warland Clapp Jr. (1826-1891) was a journalist, publisher, and author. He was editor of the Boston Saturday Evening Gazette (1847-1865) and the Boston Journal (1865-1891). Clapp had a special interest in the theatre and in 1853 he published his articles that had formerly appeared in the Gazette as, A Record of the Boston Stage. In 1857 he wrote several plays: La fiaminna, John Gilbert and his daughter, A dramatic trifle, and My husband's mirror, a domestic comedietta. He was an officer in the militia, a Massachusetts state senator, and was married to Caroline Dennie Clapp.

His father, William Warland Clapp Sr. (1783-1866), was also a journalist and publisher (Clapp & Son's Press), involved with the Boston Saturday Evening Gazette, Hampshire Gazette, Boston Daily Advertiser, and many others. Clapp Jr.'s mother was Hannah Williams Lane Clapp.


Arranged alphabetically by name of correspondent.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

42M-2090. Bequest of Mrs. Mabel Delano Lord; received: 1942.

Related Materials

Clapp materials can also be found under other call numbers at Houghton, see HOLLIS for full listing. For additional Clapp correspondence see: bMS Am 1772, bMS Am 1518.1, and bMS Am 1518.2.

Clapp papers related to William W. Clapp as president of the New England Associated Press and as editor and proprietor of the Boston Journal are housed in the Historical Collections, Baker Libray, Harvard Business School (Manuscripts Mss: 68 1874-1890.
Clapp, William Warland, 1826-1891. William Warland Clapp correspondence, 1790-1891: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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