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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 290

Papers of the Bledsoe-Herrick family, 1750-1964 (inclusive), 1819-1954 (bulk)


Chiefly papers of editor and author Sophia Bledsoe Herrick, as well as papers and photographs of the Coxe, Bledsoe, Herrick, Fox, Wall, and Hunt families.


  • Creation: 1750-1964
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1819-1954

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 Bledsoe-Herrick 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.


3.75 linear feet ((9 file boxes) plus 30 folders of photographs, 2 folio volumes, 1 oversize folder, 1 folio+ folder)

The Bledsoe-Herrick Family papers contain genealogies, memoirs, correspondence, writings, and photographs of various members of the Coxe, Bledsoe, Herrick, Fox, Wall, and Hunt families.

A substantial amount of the correspondence and manuscripts in the collection center on Sophia Bledsoe Herrick, most prominent being a long series of letters to her daughter Louise Herrick Wall. The manuscripts include her unpublished memoirs, her Coxe family memoirs, and notes for her work on other family history and genealogy.

The material relating to Albert Taylor Bledsoe is from the 1830s and consists of letters to and from Harriet Coxe, who became his wife. Some biographical and genealogical material on Albert Taylor Bledsoe can be found in Series I.

The remainder of the collection contains the papers of later members of the family, primarily Sophia Bledsoe Herrick's daughters and their families: Virginia Herrick and her husband Hugh Francis Fox; Louise Herrick and her husband Francis Richardson Wall. A large quantity of photographs, including three daguerreotypes, one ambrotype, and a scrapbook of photographs of the aftermath of the San Francisco earthquake, complete this collection.

The papers are arranged in five series:

Series I, Coxe, Bledsoe, Herrick, and Fox Genealogies, contains histories of the families represented in this collection. Much of the material is manuscript or typescript though several genealogies are printed.

Series II, Coxe and Bledsoe Families: Correspondence, consists of letters among the members of the Coxe family and Harriet Coxe's correspondence with her fiance Albert Taylor Bledsoe (#14-18).

Series III, Sophia Bledsoe Herrick: Writings and Correspondence, contains the bulk of the papers in this collection, the major portion being Sophia Bledsoe Herrick's letters to her daughter Louise (#26-109). Also included are manuscript memoirs (#20-24), other correspondence, and manuscript cookbooks (#114v.-121).

Series IV, Children of Sophia Bledsoe Herrick, includes correspondence, writings, clippings, and other papers of Sophia Bledsoe Herrick's three children and their families. This series also contains biographical information not included in Series I.

Series V, Photographs, contains pictures of Sophia Bledsoe Herrick, her children, her ancestors, her descendant. Also included are photographs of Hugh Francis Fox's English relatives; the aftermath of the San Francisco earthquake; three daguerreotypes and one ambrotype.


Sophia McIlvaine Bledsoe, editor, author, and the eldest child of Albert Taylor and Harriet (Coxe) Bledsoe, was born March 26, 1837 in Gambier, Ohio. Though largely self-taught, she received her early education in a boarding school conducted by her aunt, Margaret Coxe. After the age of eleven she grew up in academic communities, her father being a mathematics professor first at the University of Mississippi and later at the University of Virginia. In June 1860 she married Reverend James Burton Herrick and moved to his mission parish in New York City. In 1868, unable to accept her husband's social views, which were leading him to the Oneida Community, Sophia assumed the responsibility of supporting their three children. She joined her father in Baltimore, first heading his girls' school (1868-1872), then serving as associate editor of The Southern Review (1874-1878). In 1879 she became an assistant editor for Scribner's Monthly, continuing with its successor, Century Magazine, until her retirement in 1906. Sophia McIlvaine Bledsoe died in 1919.


The collection is arranged in five series:

  1. I. Coxe, Bledsoe, Herrick, and Fox Genealogies. 1-7
  2. II. Coxe and Bledsoe Families: Correspondence. 8-19
  3. III. Sophia Bledsoe Herrick: Writings and Correspondence. 20-121
  4. IV. Children of Sophia Bledsoe Herrick. 122-169vf.
  5. V. Photographs. 170-205

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 79-M7

The papers of the Bledsoe-Herrick Family were given to the Schlesinger Library in January 1979 by Edward Eyre Hunt, Jr. and Virginia Hunt Wedgwood.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; see Vilma R Hunt papers, 1952-1993 (87-M155--92-M217 ); Vilma R. Hunt Additional papers, 1836-2013 (MC 807); Louise Fox Connell Papers, 1904-1986 (MC 386); Herrick-Hunt Family Papers, 1913-1951 (2000-M96); and Margaret R. Hunt Papers, 1967-1998 (2000-M110--2000-M171).


  1. Box 1: Folders 1-19
  2. Box 2: Folders 20-38
  3. Box 3: Folders 39-53
  4. Box 4: Folders 54-73
  5. Box 5: Folders 74-92
  6. Box 6: Folders 93-113
  7. Box 7: Folders 114v-127
  8. Box 8: Folders 128-147
  9. Box 9: Folders 148-169vf

Processing Information

Processed: November 1979

By: Madeleine Bagwell Perez

Bledsoe family. Papers of the Bledsoe-Herrick family, 1750-1964: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (RC-0051-79-1260).

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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