Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MC 262: M-109

Priscilla Cushing Sprague Collection of Eaton, Stearns, and Buck family papers, 1847-1947


Correspondence, diaries, financial records, etc., of the Eaton, Stearns and Buck families gathered by Priscilla Cushing Sprague.


  • Creation: 1847-1947

Language of Materials

Materials in English.


Collection is open for research, with the exception of folders 15-42, which are closed and only available on microfilm (M-109).

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Eaton, Stearns and Buck families 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.


.83 linear feet (2 file boxes)

The Priscilla Cushing Sprague Collection contains papers of various members of the Eaton, Stearns and Buck families gathered by Priscilla Cushing Sprague, a descendant of all three families: she was the niece of Charlotte Buck, granddaughter of Priscilla Stearns Batchellor, and grandniece of Joanna Eaton and George Eaton.

These papers provide very little biographical information. The journals of Joanna Eaton and Sarah Yeager indicate that they were young Massachusetts women, and probably were teachers. George Eaton, also from Massachusetts, wrote to his children from Para, Brazil, where he worked, building a railroad and later manufacturing brick. His wife had died and his children were living with relatives in Grantville, Massachusetts. His son, Charles Eaton, worked in Quincy for a time.

Oliver Stearns was noted throughout Massachusetts as a theologian and Unitarian minister. His son-in-law, Charles Buck, was a minister in Fall River, Massachusetts and Maine. Reverend Buck's daughters, Charlotte Buck and Frona Buck, wrote long, gossipy letters from Echo Point, Maine, during summer vacations and later lived in Belmont and Cambridge. Dates, places and surnames are often missing from the correspondence, which, however, in a general way describes nineteenth century family life and daily activities.

The Eaton papers consist of three journals of Joanna Eaton; two journals of her niece, Sarah Mary Yeager; the letters of George Eaton (Joanna Eaton's brother ?) to his children, Charles Eaton, Hannah Eaton and Annie Eaton; and a small number of letters from other family members.

The Stearns-Buck papers contain a few letters of Dr. Oliver Stearns and his first wife, Mary (Blood) Stearns, as well as some probate notes re Oliver Stearns' will. The bulk of the correspondence centers around the Buck family, in particular the daughters of Charles and Mary (Stearns) Buck. Most of these letters were written by Charlotte and Frona Buck to their father and each other over summer vacations.


Joanna Eaton (1827- ) and her niece, Sarah Yeager (1843- ), were teachers; George Eaton (1812-1877), Joanna's brother, worked in Pará, Brazil, building a railroad and manufacturing brick; Oliver Stearns (1807-1885), was a theologian and Unitarian minister; and his son-in-law, Charles Buck, was also a minister.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 1465, 70-8, 73-38, 75-69

The Priscilla Cushing Sprague Collection was given to the Schlesinger Library in October 1965, February 1970, March 1973 and February 1975 by Priscilla Cushing Sprague. Several items were sent through Louisa R. Alger. The collection was processed under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (RC-24669-76-987).


  1. Box 1: Folders 1-14
  2. Box 2: Folders 15-42

Processing Information

Processed: February 1978

By: Madeleine Bagwell Perez

Sprague, Priscilla Cushing, compiler. Priscilla Cushing Sprague Collection of Eaton, Stearns, and Buck family papers, 1847-1947: 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.

3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA