Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 2641

Ward Cotton papers


Sermons and other papers of Ward Cotton, clergyman of Boylston, Massachusetts.


  • 1758-1851

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to most of this material. Item (26) is restricted due to condition. See curator for access.


1 linear feet (3 boxes)

Collection includes Ward Cotton's autograph manuscript sermons, prayers, expense and income book, and comments on classmates from Harvard Class of 1793. Also with printed pamphlets from his library (some signed), collected news clippings, a cabinet photograph of the William Crow House in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and wills relating to his extended family (Thomas Jackson (b.1729) and Lydia Jackson (1768-1849), both of Plymouth).

There also is a printed mortgage deed with manuscript additions from 1818-1845, for the Boylston Massachusetts homestead that once belonged to Ward Cotton. This deed includes signatures of Ralph Waldo Emerson and his wife, Lydian Jackson Emerson, among many others.

Biographical / Historical

Ward Cotton (1770-1843) was a 1793 AB graduate of Harvard College and a minister at Boylston, Massachusetts at the First Congregational Church.


Arranged into the following series:

  1. I. Ward Cotton sermons
  2. II. Other papers

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

60M-229. Gift of Ward Cotton Burton (AB 1899) and his sons, Lindley James Burton (AB 1942) and John Cotton Burton (AB 1944), Deephaven, Wayzata, Minnesota; received: 1960 May 26.

Digitization Funding

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

Related Materials

Additional Ward Cotton materials are held by the Harvard University Archives. See also HOLLIS for additional materials held by the Houghton Library.

Processing Information

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Part of the MS Storage project, 2008-2009.

Cotton, Ward, 1770-1843. Ward Cotton papers, 1758-1851: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules
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