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.42 linear feet (1 file box)
In 1810-1811 the family lived in Duxbury for a year; in 1813 they moved to Charlestown, where Gamaliel Bradford was warden of Charlestown State Prison.
When she was 16 Sarah was befriended by Mary Moody Emerson (1774-1863), Ralph Waldo Emerson's aunt and a woman of powerful intellect and religious convictions who strongly influenced her later famous nephew and her young friend Sarah Bradford.
On October 6, 1818, Sarah married Samuel Ripley (1783-1847), son of Ezra Ripley, minister of First Parish in Concord, and Phebe Bliss (Emerson) Ripley. The latter was the widow of William Emerson, Ezra Ripley's predecessor, and Mary Moody Emerson's mother. Samuel, a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, became the minister of First Church in Waltham. Here the Ripleys lived for 28 years, raising seven children (one other died in infancy), educating many more in their small boarding-school for boys, and also instructing "rusticated" Harvard students.
In the spring of 1846 the Ripleys retired from what Sarah later (in a letter to her daughter Sophy) described as "that dreary passage of constant labours and homesick boys" to the Old Manse in Concord. Samuel died at Thanksgiving 1847. Sarah survived him by twenty years, during which she saw the death of her son-in-law, George F. Simmons in 1855; his brother Charles Simmons in 1862; of her daughter Ann Dunkin Loring; her granddaughter Lucia Simmons (1855-1860); her sister Martha Bartlett; and her son Ezra, killed in the Civil War in 1863. While her oldest daughter Elizabeth Ripley (called Lizzie or Arly) remained with her and the next, Mary, lived next door with her children, her son Gore moved to Minnesota; Phebe apparently taught school in various places but visited frequently; and Sophy, the youngest, lived in Milton with her husband, James B. Thayer. Ann's son, David Loring (born 1849), lived in Concord and later with the Thayers. Sarah Ripley herself died in Concord on July 26, 1867.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Sarah Alden Ripley letters were deposited in the Schlesinger Library in July 1972 by Sophia Ripley Ames Boyer.
- Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customs
- Concord (Mass.)--Social life and customs
- Family records
- Massachusetts--Intellectual life--History--19th century
- New Englanders--Family relationships
- Spouses of clergy
- Thoreau, Henry David, 1817-1862
- United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
- Waltham (Mass.)--Social life and customs
- Ripley, Sarah Alden, 1793-1867. Papers of Sarah Alden Ripley, 1806-1867: A Finding Aid
- Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women
- EAD ID
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