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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 730

Additional papers of the Julia Ward Howe family, 1758-1984 (inclusive), 1813-1945 (bulk)


Correspondence, notebooks, diaries of the Julia Ward Howe family, centering around her husband, siblings, and children.


  • Creation: 1758-1984
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1813-1945

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by the Howe family is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. 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.


3.17 linear feet ((2 file boxes, 1 folio box, 1 folio+ box) plus 1 photograph folder, 3 folio folders, 1 oversize folder, 1 supersize folder)

These addenda to the papers of the Julia Ward Howe family include correspondence principally of Samuel Gridley Howe (much of it referring to his work at the Perkins Institution and Massachusetts Asylum for the Blind), Florence Howe Hall and her husband David Prescott Hall, and John Howe Hall; diaries and notebooks; memorabilia including Julia Ward Howe's hair, lace cap, and a fan; playbills, ticket stubs, programs, clippings and other printed material; documents relating to Helen Keller and the charges of plagiarism surrounding her re-use of Margaret T. Canby's work; correspondence with Laura Bridgman and her family; early family documents such as a release bond and a State Department circular; photographs; etc.

Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database. Others, referred to as "uncataloged" photographs, are not of sufficient research interest to warrant cataloging and are simply treated as part of the documents they accompany; they are marked on the back with an asterisk in square brackets [*].


Author and reformer, Julia Ward Howe was perhaps best known as the author of the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," and was also active in and widely respected for her leadership in a variety of organizations, including the New England Women's Club and the American Woman Suffrage Association. In 1843 she married Samuel Gridley Howe, director of the Perkins Institution for the Blind in Boston; he did not approve of married women's involvement in public life and Julia Ward Howe therefore spent the next two decades bringing up six children (Julia, Florence, Laura, Henry, Maud, and Samuel), and studying, reading, and writing. An effective speaker, Howe was invited to lecture and preach all over the United States. Many of her lectures were published. She also published numerous poems and articles, was a frequent contributor to the Woman's Journal, edited Sex and Education (1874), and published two books: Memoir of Samuel Gridley Howe (1876) and Life of Margaret Fuller (1883). She was the first woman elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1908).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 93-M48, 93-M75, 94-M33, 2008-M142

These addenda to the papers of the Julia Ward Howe family were given to the Schlesinger Library between 1993 and 2008 by Julia Ward Howe's descendants, Margaret Hall McRory and Camilla O. McRory.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Papers of the Julia Ward Howe family, 1787-1984 ((MC 272)) and Papers of Julia Ward Howe,1857-1961 (A-24).


Donors: Margaret Hall McRory and Camilla O. McRory

Accession numbers: 93-M48, 93-M75, 94-M33, 2008-M142

Processed by: Anne Engelhart

The following items have been removed from the collection:

  1. Catalogue of the Officers and Members of the Hasty-Pudding Club in Harvard College, 1855
  2. Catalogus Universitatis Harvardianae, 1845
  3. Facts for the Laboring Man, 1840
  4. Some Details Concerning General Moreau and His Last Moments..., 1814
  5. Washington, The Pride of the Nation, n.d.
  6. The First Seventeen Chapters of the Ordinances of the Illustrious University and House of Trade of the Most Noble and Most Loyal Town of Bilboa..., 1824
  7. Life of Major-General Zachary Taylor with an Account of his Brilliant Achievements on the Rio Grande..., 1846
  8. Report of Samuel B. Cushing, Esq., Civil Engineer Respecting the Harbor of Van Buren, on Lake Erie...
  9. A Discourse in Commemoration of the Lives and Services of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson..., 1826
  10. An Examination of the Various Charges Exhibited against Aaron Burr, Esq...., 1803
  11. Acts and Laws of His Majesty's Colony of Rhode-Island..., 1752
  12. Catalogus Senatus Universitate Harvardiana, Cantabridgiae..., 1845
  13. Harvard Graduates Magazine, vol. 10, no. 39
  14. Harvard Crimson, vol. 40, no. 53
  15. Harvard Lampoon, vol. 39, nos. 1-3, 7, 8, 10, vol. 40, nos. 6, 7, 9, 10
  16. Harvard Advocate, vol. 70, nos. 8-10, vol. 71, no. 1, 3-5, 7-8, vol.74, nos. 1, 3, 9
  17. New York Times, picture section 6, Dec. 15, 1918; picture sections 5-6, Dec. 22, 1918

Processing Information

Processed: July 2012

By: Anne Engelhart

Howe family. Additional papers of the Julia Ward Howe family, 1758-1984 (inclusive), 1813-1945 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
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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