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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 357

Papers of the Loring family, 1830-1943


Correspondence, letterbooks, notebooks, etc., of the Loring family of New England.


  • 1830-1943

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by the Loring family as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

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


.42 linear feet ((1 file box) plus 2 folders of photographs 1 folio+ folder)

Jane Lathrop Loring is represented in this collection by a letterbook and notebooks containing school essays, stories, plays, and copies of letters to friends and relations.

The correspondence of Katharine Peabody Loring contains some letters from abroad, including a letter from Alice Bache Gould in Spain and several descriptions by Clara Winthrop of her travels in India. Other letters from friends and family members made mention of Katharine Peabody Loring's great kindnesses and charitable activities. Her interest in working towards establishment of an international peacekeeping body is reflected in two certificates issued in 1918: one appointing her to the Win the War for Permanent Peace Convention, and one from the New England Congress for a League of Free Nations.

Some items pertain to both sisters; programs of the 1907 National Arbitration and Peace Conference Dinner in New York, invitations to the White House in 1911 and 1913, and miscellaneous writings and photographs.

The letters to Louisa Putnam Loring refer almost exclusively to her work on behalf of Bulgarian schoolchildren. The remainder of the material relating to Louisa Putnam Loring reflects her involvement in two organizations: Aiken Cottages in Aiken, South Carolina, and the Essex County Chapter of the American Red Cross.


Jane Lathrop Loring was born on August 27, 1821, the second child of Anna Pierce Brace and Charles Greely Loring. She married Asa Gray, the distinguished botanist and Harvard professor, on May 4, 1848; the couple resided in the Botanic Garden in Cambridge. She was a member of the Female Humane Society of Cambridge, a charitable organization for the relief of sick and indigent women, and in 1894, following the death of her husband in 1888, edited Letters of Asa Gray. She died at the Loring Estate in Pride's Crossing, Massachusetts, on July 29, 1909.

Katharine Peabody Loring and Louisa Putnam Loring were daughters of Elizabeth (Smith) Loring and Caleb William Loring, Jane Lathrop Loring's brother. Born on May 21, 1849, Katharine Peabody Loring was a founder of and for twenty years a teacher in the Society to Encourage Studies at Home. A trustee of the Beverly Public Library, Red Cross worker, and officer in the Woman's Education Association and in the Massachusetts Library Club, she was also a close friend of Alice James (1848-1892), sister of Henry James and William James. She wrote The Earliest Summer Residents of the North Shore and Their Houses (1932) and assisted in the preparation of Loring Genealogy (1917). For further information about Katharine Peabody Loring, see Jean Strouse, Alice James, A Biography (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1980).

Louisa Putnam Loring was born on January 15, 1854. The founder (and president) of the Aiken, South Carolina, Sanitarium, also called Aiken Cottages, and the Beverly Anti-Tuberculosis Society, she also held offices in the Beverly Hospital and the Essex County Chapter of the American Red Cross. She compiled The Hymns of the Ages (American Unitarian Association, 1906). After 1872 she lived at Pride's Crossing, Massachusetts, until her death on May 18, 1924. She is mentioned in Strouse's book about Alice James (see above).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 77-M180

The papers of the Loring family were given to the Schlesinger Library in November 1977 by Susan G. Loring,Louisa Vaughan Conrad, and Mary Loring Clapp, grandnieces of Katharine Peabody Loring and Louisa Putnam Loring.

Processing Information

Processed: March 1984

By: Anne Engelhart

Loring family. Papers of the Loring family, 1830-1943: 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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