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COLLECTION Identifier: A-132

Papers of the Poor family, 1791-1921


Letters, diaries, photographs, etc., of the Poor family from New England.


  • Creation: 1791-1921

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 Poor 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.


13.86 linear feet ((33 file boxes) plus 2 folio+ folder)

Correspondence, diaries, financial documents, notebooks, sermons, photos, and clippings. Subjects include social life and customs in New York and New England, Unitarianism, women missionaries, and the rights of women.


Letters, diaries, clippings, photographs of the Poors and their related branches, covering five generations of New England life. Collection centers on Henry Varnum Poor, the railroad journalist and economist, and his wife, Mary Pierce Poor, participant in social reform movements and daughter of the Reverend John Pierce, minister of the First Church of Brookline, Massachusetts, for fifty years. Early material relates to the Pierce family and includes letters of the Reverend Pierce and his wife, Lucy Tappan Pierce, daughter of Benjamin Tappan, progenitor of the abolitionist family, and letters of Lucy Pierce Hedge and her husband, Frederic Henry Hedge, the Transcendentalist minister. Later papers contain the family letters of Henry Varnum Poor's children, including Henry William Poor, New York banker, and his grandchildren.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number. 613

Gift of Mr. Henry Poor Chandler, Mirror Lake, New Hampshire, received June 1963.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Additional papers of the Poor family, 1778-2008 (inclusive), 1820-2006 (bulk) (MC 620).


Books removed and catalogued separately

  1. The Poetical Works of Mrs. Hemans. Vol. I. Philadelphia. Thomas T. Ash, Chestnut Street, 1832.
  2. The Remembrances of a Polish Exile. Philadelphia. Printed by Adam Waldie, 1835.
  3. An Extract of the Christian's Pattern. By Thomas á Kempis. Philadelphia, 1798.
  4. Divine Songs. By I. Watts. N.Y. D.D.
  5. Neither Scrip nor Money. Edward E. Hale. Boston: J. Stilman Smith & Co. N.D.
  6. Books of Mary W. Pierce and Agnes B. Poor, 1820-1845. Bound together: The Search After Happiness, A New Year's Gift, Alice Bradford, The Christmas Tree, Happy Days. Part I, Youth's Keepsake


  1. Box 1: Folders 1, 3-15
  2. Box 2: Folders 16-34
  3. Box 3: Folders 35-50, Volume 1
  4. Box 4: Folders 51-52, Volumes 2-5
  5. Box 5: Folders 53-65, Volumes 6-8
  6. Box 6: Folders 66-83, Volumes 10-11
  7. Box 7: Folders 84-90, Volumes 12-21
  8. Box 8: Volumes 22-35
  9. Box 9: Volumes 36-46
  10. Box 10: Volumes 47-56
  11. Box 11: Volumes 57-64
  12. Box 12: Volumes 65-71
  13. Box 13: Volumes 72-79
  14. Box 14: Folders 91-103
  15. Box 15: Folders 104-118
  16. Box 16: Folders 119-127
  17. Box 17: Folders 128-139
  18. Box 18: Folders 140-152
  19. Box 19: Folders 153-165
  20. Box 20: Folders 166-192
  21. Box 21: Folders 193-211
  22. Box 22: Folders 212-227
  23. Box 23: Folders 228-242
  24. Box 24: Folders 243-266
  25. Box 25: Folders 267-294
  26. Box 26: Folders 295-317
  27. Box 27: Folders 318-336
  28. Box 28: Folders 337-340, 342-352
  29. Box 29: Folders 353-373
  30. Box 30: Folders 374-397
  31. Box 31: Folders 398-409
  32. Box 32: Folders 410-415
  33. Box 33: Folders 416-421
  34. Box 34: Folders 422-425, 427-431
Poor family. Papers of the Poor family, 1791-1921: A Finding Aid.
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Preservation and digitization of the Poor family papers was supported by the Arcadia-funded project Harvard in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.

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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