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COLLECTION Identifier: 83-M175--94-M77: T-158

Additional papers of the Hamilton family, 1850-1994


Addenda to the papers (MC 278) of the Hamilton family of Indiana including correspondence, daybooks, financial records and photographs.


  • Creation: 1850-1994

Language of Materials

Materials in English, French, or German.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by the Hamilton 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.


8.38 linear feet ((15 + 1/2 boxes, 2 folio boxes) plus 1 folio folder, 1 folio+ folder, 1 oversize folder, 1 audiotape)

These addenda complement the papers found in MC 278 and follow the arrangement of the main collection. The addenda are organized by generation, and contain correspondence, daybooks, financial records, and photographs. Letters are organized by writer, although most folders also contain some letters (from non-family members) to the writer. Additional material (accession numbers 86-M177, 93-M68, 94-M77) was added to the collection in March 2017. This material is located in #102-139.

Several early family letters (#2) refer to activities during the Civil War in the Fort Wayne area. A composition book and scrapbook maintained by Andrew Holman Hamilton documents his time at Wabash College. Also included is a volume containing a list of plants and their descriptions maintained by Andrew Holman Hamilton. Most early family correspondence contains news of visits with family, family illnesses, travels, etc.

The bulk of the collection consists of the day books and desk calendars of Agnes Hamilton (1904-1953). Early entries are brief and much appears to document her work with the Lighthouse settlement house in Philadelphia. They include notations of meetings, classes taught in a number of areas including Bible study, dress making, and business writing. Day book and desk calendar entries also contain mention of her work with the Lighthouse library and day nursery. Hamilton also mentions various illnesses that she suffered, lists correspondents to whom she had sent letters, appointments she had, and Bible passages she had read and contemplated. In several instances she also mentions women's political meetings that she had attended. Later day book entries are much more substantial, but tend to be more devotional in nature than earlier entries and relate how she felt Christianity affected her life and actions. Her small amount of correspondence refers to the Lighthouse Women and Girls Club, prohibition, and the Fraternité Franco-Américaine (1920-1921) through which she supported a French girl whose father had been killed in World War I. Also included is a small volume of books purchased which is likely to be books purchased for the Lighthouse library.

Material belonging to Alice Hamilton includes correspondence; an account book; address books; a diary; awards, certificates, and membership cards; income tax returns; etc. Most awards and certificates were given for work she did in the area of industrial health. The account book and tax returns document her income, investments, etc. Address books include both personal and professional contacts. The diary (1955) contains daily notations of her location and the current weather. Other entries document meeting with friends and family for tea, meals, shopping, etc.

Material of Jessie Hamilton includes letters sent to her mother describing a visit to see friends and Yale University and letters to Jessie from friends, several of which discuss the Oxford Group, a Christian organization founded by American Christian missionary Dr. Frank Buchman. Jessie also maintained a journal of a 1936 trip to Morocco that is included in the collection. Other material includes letters to Phoebe (Taber) Hamilton from her son Taber (1896-1897) who writes mainly of his time at Yale University, and her son, Allen, who writes mainly about family; a scrapbook (1889-1890) of Margaret Hamilton includes letters, Valentines, play and musical performance programs, and an analysis of her handwriting, likely from her time at Bryn Mawr; passports of Norah and Margaret Hamilton; a daybook of Marjorie Hamilton, mainly regarding a trip to Mexico; family correspondence regarding the rental of real estate in Fort Wayne, having been left to several family members by their grandparents or parents; wills, mortgages, investment records, bankbooks, insurance policies, and related correspondence of Allen Hamilton, Montgomery and Gertrude Hamilton, Mary (Hamilton) Williams, and Agnes, Alice, Jessie, and Margaret Hamilton. Also included are photographs of Alice, Agnes, Edith, Margaret, Andrew Holman, and Gertrude (Pond) Hamilton and Hamilton family members; Allen Hamilton Williams; Mackinac Island, Michigan; Oxford, England; Hadlyme, Connecticut, including Alice's home; Miss Porter's School students and classes, etc.

Material added to the collection in March 2017 (#102-139) includes date books; correspondence; photographs; clippings, etc. Most material belonged to Alice Hamilton. Date books include short entries and refer to conferences attended, friends and colleagues with whom she met, occasional references to the weather, and accounting. Most often entries record that she is in Chicago, Boston, Washington DC, and Hadlyme, Connecticut. There are two letters of interest in her correspondence, one which refers to the 1949 retreat of the Chinese Nationalist Army from Wuhan, China, and its subsequent takeover by the People's Army of China, and another with mention of a potential 1932 trip to Germany. Clippings printed material and obituaries are about Alice or produced by organizations with which she was involved. One photograph of Alice receiving the Lasker Award is also included. A small amount of material regarding Edith Hamilton is also included. It consists of clippings, reviews, and obituaries regarding Edith or her work, photographs of her at the beach in her later years, several articles written by Edith, and a speech given before the Classical Association of the Atlantic States. One speech entitled "Women in a Man's World," written by cousin Edward Weeks is also included. These folders were added at the end of the previously processed material and arranged alphabetically. Folder titles were created by the archivist.


Allen Hamilton came to America from the north of Ireland when he was eighteen years old (probably in 1818) and settled in the area that became Fort Wayne, Indiana. He traded with local Native Americans, opened a dry goods store, and eventually became a banker. In 1828 he married Emerine Jane Holman, the daughter of Jesse Lynch Holman and Elizabeth (Masterson) Holman. The couple had eleven children, only five of whom survived: two sons, Andrew Holman (1834–1895) and Montgomery (1843–1900), and three daughters, Mary (1846?–1922), Ellen (1852?–1922), and Margaret (1854–1931). Allen Hamilton's own lack of education made him ambitious for his children: the sons attended American colleges and German universities; the daughters were sent to Miss Porter's School in Farmington, Connecticut. The family was an extremely close-knit one; the two sons built homes near their father's and the grandchildren were raised together almost exclusive of outside friendships.

Montgomery Hamilton married Gertrude Pond in 1866. The couple had four daughters and a son: Edith, Alice, Margaret, Norah, and Arthur (Quint). Edith (1867-1963) was educated at Miss Porter's School in Farmington, Connecticut. She was a Bryn Mawr College graduate and one of the first women admitted to study at the University of Munich, was headmistress of Bryn Mawr School (1896-1922) and later a classicist. As the author and translator of numerous books (notably The Greek Way), she has been credited with arousing among general readers an interest in classical and Biblical life and literature. Alice (1869-1970) also studied at Miss Porter's School and completed her medical degree at the University of Michigan in 1893 before taking post-graduate courses in bacteriology and pathology at several European universities. She returned to the United States and completed her post-graduate work at Johns Hopkins University Medical School and began a career in industrial toxicology and medicine, working at Hull-House, studying factory conditions, and teaching at Harvard Medical School, where in 1919 she became the first woman professor. Margaret (1871-1969) was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1871. She attended Bryn Mawr and received a BA in biology and chemistry in 1897. In 1900 she was hired to teach science at Bryn Mawr. In addition to her teaching she began serving as assistant headmistress to her sister Edith in 1907, later serving as headmistress herself for five years. Norah Hamilton (1873-1945) was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1873. She attended the Fort Wayne School of Art and studied with Kenyon Cox and James Whistler. While studying in Europe she had an extreme emotional breakdown and her sister Alice returned home to care for her. Alice later moved Norah into Hull House. After a number of years at Hull House she became director of the children's art program (1921). She illustrated a number of catalogs, journals, and bulletins at Hull House as well as illustrating Jane Addams' Twenty Years at the Hull House. Arthur Hamilton (1886-1967) was born in 1886. He attended the University of Wisconsin studying Romance languages. During World War I he served with the Red Cross. He later served as a professor of Romance languages at Illinois State University and as Dean of Foreign Students.

Andrew Holman Hamilton married Phoebe Taber in 1861 and the couple had five children: Katherine, Jessie, Agnes, Allen, and Taber. Jessie Hamilton was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1864. She studied at the Fort Wayne School of Art from 1888 to 1893, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1898 to 1900. While in school, Jessie took classes with J. Ottis Adams, William Forsyth, and Cecilia Beaux. She focused on portraits in pastel, landscapes in watercolor, and etchings. She participated in group exhibitions in Philadelphia, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Richmond, Indiana. Her work was also shown as part of the traveling Society of Western Artists Annual Exhibition. Early in her career, she played a key role in founding the second Fort Wayne School of Art, where she also taught from 1893 to 1898. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Her younger sister Agnes (1868-1971) was a settlement house worker. Agnes was long identified with settlement work in Philadelphia and was on the executive committee of The Lighthouse there, which was established to serve as an alternative to the saloons for the working class inhabitants of the neighborhood. The Lighthouse had a library, a nursery, a restaurant, and a recreation center and offered a number of classes, including Bible study, dress-making, and business writing. It also operated successful boys and girls clubs. Taber Hamilton (1876-1961) was born in Fort Wayne in 1876. He received a BA from Yale University and later studied mechanical engineering at Purdue University. He worked for the railroad for most of his adult life. Little information could be found about Katherine (1863-1932) and Allen (1874-1961) Hamilton.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 83-M175. Accession numbers 86-M177, 93-M68, 94-M77 were added to the collection in March 2017.

These addenda to the Hamilton family papers were given to the Schlesinger Library between August 1983 and May 1993 by William Rush Gillan Hamilton, and by William Utermohlen in June 1994.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Hamilton family papers, 1818-1974 (MC 278; M-24) and Hamilton family papers, 1879-1947 (84-M210), and at the Indiana State Library, see Hamilton family papers (L 62; OBC 49; OBD 13; V 446).


  1. Box 1: Folders 1-15
  2. Box 2: Folders 16-21
  3. Box 3: Folders 22-26
  4. Box 4: Volume 4fb
  5. Box 5: Folders 27-32
  6. Fox 6: Folders 33-37
  7. Box 7: Folders 38-43
  8. Box 8: Folders 44-51
  9. Box 9: Folders 51a-53
  10. Box 10: Folders 53a-60
  11. Box 11: Folders 63-68
  12. Box 12: Folders 69-80a
  13. Box 13: Folders 80b-89
  14. Box 14: Folders 90-110
  15. Box 15: Folders 111-120
  16. Box 16: Folders 121-132
  17. Box 17: Folders 133-139
  18. Folio+ Box 18: 62f

Processing Information

Preliminary inventory: June 1985

By: Anne Engelhart

Updated and additional material added: March 2017

By: Mark Vassar

Hamilton family. Additional papers of the Hamilton family, 1850-1994: 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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