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COLLECTION Identifier: A-115

Ellis Gray Loring Family papers, 1824-1925


Correspondence, diaries, notebooks, etc., of Ellis Gray Loring, lawyer and abolitionist, from Boston, Massachusetts, and of family members.


  • 1824-1925

Language of Materials

Materials in English and German.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers in the Ellis Gray Loring Family papers is in the public domain.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


2.5 linear feet (6 file boxes)

Loring papers consist of over 700 letters of three generations of family correspondence of Ellis Gray Loring, his wife Louisa Gilman Loring and their daughter Anna Loring; of Otto Dresel, his wife Anna Loring and their children Louise and Ellis, including a large body of Dresel family correspondence in German; of John Glen King and his children with the Lorings; of Lydia Maria Child with all the Lorings (over 150 letters); included is correspondence with friends in the anti-slavery movement, Boston society, literary figures and European musical personages. Also included are diaries and notebooks of Ells Gray Loring, many of which include reading notes and copies of poetry; notebooks of Louisa Gilman Loring, and Anna Loring Dresel containing reading notes, copies of poetry and letters; and scrapbooks assembled by Louise Loring Dresel during her trip to the United States, 1907-1908. Additional material received in 1985 (accession number 85-M152) was added to the collection in July 1985 and is found in #141. Additional material received in December 2015 (accession number 2015-M211) was added to the collection in February 2016 and is housed in #191-201v. All other files remain in the same order. Folders are listed in intellectual, not numerical, order.


Ellis Gray Loring was the son of James Tyng Loring and Relief Faxon. In one place his birth is given as April 14, 1802 and in another place as April 14, 1803. His father was a member of the Boston Light Infantry. He was a druggist by trade.

The following quotation is from the Loring Genealogy:

"Ellis Gray Loring, born in Boston, April 14, 1803; married October 29, 1827, Louisa Gilman, daughter of Frederick Gilman and Abigail Gilman, born at Gloucester, January 1, 1797, died May 25, 1858.

He entered Harvard College in 1819 - but was not graduated, though a member of the Hasty Pudding Club and the Phi Beta Kappa Society. The following extract from the College faculty explains this matter: 'June 27, 1824. Loring who left college in May, 1823, at a time a large part of the class was dismissed for resistance of college authority, applies for his degree. - Voted, that Loring's request be not granted, as the Govt. cannot make any distinction between his case and that portion of his class who were dismissed in May, 1823.'

He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1827. He was Counselor-at-law, master in chancery, and solicitor for the Western Railroad Company. Was one of the early 'abolitionists'. In 1836 he secured the release of the girl 'Med' who had escaped from slavery and was brought before the courts. Whittier wrote a poem about him, after his death, May 24, 1858.

Child: Anna, born November 10, 1830. To her Lydia Maria Child dedicated her book, Fact and Fiction. She married October 29, 1863, Otto Dresel, pianist and composer, b. at Geisenheim on the Rhine, December 22, 1826, died Beverly, July 26, 1890. She was Vice president of the Sanitary Commission of Boston during the Civil War, president of the Vincent Hospital. She died in 1896.

Children: (1) Louisa Loring Dresel, 1864-195-(2), Ellis Loring Dresel, 1865-1925, Harvard, A.B. 1887, Louisa Loring, born 1892, lawyer in Boston in the firm of Goodwin, Dresel, and Parker. Was attached to the United States Embassy in Berlin in 1915, was assigned to the Embassy at Vienna and later to the Legation at Berne. His most recent work has been with American prisoners of war."

For more information, see Loring Genealogy, Pope and Loring; Cambridge, 1917.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 165, 420, 85-M152, 2015-M211

Acquired in July 1960 from Goodspeed's. in March 1961 from Paul Richards, and in December 2015 from Lorne Bair Rare Books. Accession number 85-M152, one photocopy of an inscription was made from a book in the Schlesinger Library, was added to the collection in July 1985. Accession number 2015-M211 was added to the collection in February 2016.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Ellis Gray Loring Papers, 1809-1942 (A-160).


  1. Box 1: Folders 1-93
  2. Box 2: Folders 94-145
  3. Box 3: Folders 146-190
  4. Box 4: Folders 191-197
  5. Box 5: Folders 198-200
  6. Box 6: Folders 201v

Processing Information

Updated and additional materials added: February 2016

By: Anne Engelhart

Loring, Ellis Gray, 1803-1858. Ellis Gray Loring Family papers, 1824-1925: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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