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COLLECTION Identifier: A/T174

Papers of the Tappan family, 1750-1881 (inclusive), 1805-1881 (bulk)


Correspondence and legal documents of the Tappan family, the Winthrop family, and the Patten family.


  • Creation: 1750-1881
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1805-1881

Language of Materials

Most materials in English; some material in German.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by the Tappan 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.


.21 linear feet ((1 half file box) plus 1 folio+ folder.)

This collection includes correspondence of Tappan family, the Winthrop family, and the Patten family. These papers include letters, sermons, hymns, wills, deeds of land, and other legal documents. This material contains letters from Elizabeth Bowdoin Temple (Winthrop) Tappan to her father Thomas Lindall Winthrop, as well as letters with her husband the Reverend Benjamin Tappan.


Elizabeth Bowdoin Temple (Winthrop) Tappan was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 16, 1787, to Thomas Lindall Winthrop and Elizabeth Bowdoin (Temple) Winthrop. Thomas Lindall Winthrop was Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts from 1826 to 1833. Elizabeth Bowdoin Temple (Winthrop) Tappan married Reverend Benjamin Tappan on May 2, 1814; they had seven children. Benjamin Tappan was born in West Newbury, Massachusetts, on November 7, 1788, to David and Mary Tappan. Benjamin Tappan was elected pastor of the Congregational Church in Augusta, Maine, in 1811. Elizabeth Bowdoin Temple (Winthrop) Tappan died on March 9, 1860. Benjamin Tappan died on December 23, 1863.

Physical Location

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 82-M91

The papers of the Tappan family were given to the Schlesinger library by Mary Fawcett in January 1982.

Existence and Location of Copies

Digital surrogates of the items in this collection are available through Harvard Library's Worlds of Change online collection.

Processing Information

Processed: August 2019

By: Cat Lea Holbrook.

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Zetlin Sisters Fund,the Jane Rainie Opel '50 Fun, and the Matilda White Riley Fund.

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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