COLLECTION GUIDES

1816-1886

Guide to the Collection


Collection Summary

Abstract

This collection consists of diaries kept by merchant, businessman, and philanthropist Amos Adams Lawrence, 1814-1886, during his studies at Harvard University (Class of 1835); on trips to Europe, the Southern states and other parts of the U.S.; and while living in Boston and the vicinity. Also includes Lawrence's personal account books, 1827-86, with records of household accounts and charitable expenses.

Biographical Sketch

Amos Adams Lawrence (1814-1886), son of Amos and Sarah Richards Lawrence, was a prominent merchant, textile manufacturer, and philanthropist.

Sarah Elizabeth Appleton(b. 1822), daughter of William and Mary Anne Cutler Appleton, married Amos Adams Lawrence in 1842.

Mary Anne Cutler Appleton was the wife of William Appleton and the mother Sarah E. (Appleton) Lawrence.

Collection Description

The Amos Adams Lawrence diaries and account books consist of 53 small volumes in 5 pamphlet boxes, and 15 large volumes in cases that spans the years 1814-1886. The collection is divided into three series: Amos Adams Lawrence Volumes, Sarah Elizabeth Appleton Lawrence Volumes, and Mary Anne Cutler Appleton Diaries.

The bulk of the collection includes diaries kept by merchant, businessman, and philanthropist Amos Adams Lawrence from 1814-1886, during his studies at Harvard University (Class of 1835); on trips to Europe, the Southern states and other parts of the U.S.; and while living in Boston, Massachusetts and the vicinity. The collection also includes Lawrence's personal account books kept from 1827-1886, with records of household accounts and charitable expenses; a list of his Massachusetts rental properties, with the names of towns and residents; and a book of receipts and expenditures for recruiting the 2nd Regiment of the Mass. Cavalry under Col. Charles R. Lowell during the Civil War in 1862-1863.

In addition, the collection includes Sarah Elizabeth Appleton Lawrence's diaries kept from 1843-1864, and account booksof household expenses and wages for domestic help kept from 1842-53. Finally, the collection includes diaries kept by Sarah's mother, Mary Anne Cutler Appleton, during a voyage with her husband, William Appleton, to Italy and France, 1816-17, along with a line-a-day diary kept in 1836.

Acquisition Information

Amos Adams Lawrence volumes were the gift of Mrs. Frederick Cunningham in 1927, Mrs. Augustus N. Hand in Nov. 1939, John S. Lawrence in Nov. 1950, and Paul C. Coolidge in Oct. 1989.

Sarah Elizabeth Appleton Lawrence volumes and Mary Anne Cutler Appleton diaries were the gift of Paul C. Coolidge in Dec. 1987.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Amos Adams Lawrence volumes, 1827-1886

A. Diaries, 1834-1886

This subseries includes diaries kept by Amos Adams Lawrence during his travels in the U.S. and Europe, and while engaged in school, work, and personal activities in Boston, Mass. and the vicinity. This subseries also include some manuscript copies of volumes copied by Charles H. Gates, Lawrence's fellow classmate in the Harvard Class of 1835.

Arranged chronologically.

Box 1Folder 1-2
1834

These diaries contain descriptions of a trip to Washington, D.C.

Vol. 1
1834-1836

This diary contains entries kept while a student at Harvard and at the start of his career in the manufacturing business. The entries includes descriptions of college life; information on classmates (Class of 1835); and descriptions of trips to Washington, DC, Western Mass., N.Y., and other locations.

Vol. 2
1834-1835

Manuscript copy of Vol. 1, copied by Charles H. Gates.

Vol. 3
1834-1846

This diary contains descriptions of a trip to Washington, D.C. in 1834; Europe from Nov. - Dec. 1839; and Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1846.

Vol. 4
1836-1839

This diary contains descriptions of a trip to Washington, D.C. in 1836, a trip to the Midwest and Southern U.S. in 1836-1837, and while living in Boston, Mass. and the surrounding vicinity. Includes an index written by Charles H. Gates in the front of the volume.

Box 1Folder 3-6
1836-1840

These diaries contain descriptions of travels through the Southern and Eastern U.S. from 1836-37, and on a trip to Europe from 1839-1840.

Box 1Folder 7
1839-1842

This diary contains descriptions of life in Boston, Mass. and travels through Europe. The diary includes Lawrence's engagement to Sarah Elizabeth Appleton.

Box 1Folder 8-10
1840

This diary contains descriptions of travels in Italy, Scotland, and England.

Vol. 5
1842-1858

This diary begins with Lawrence's marriage to Sarah Elizabeth Appleton, and contains descriptions of life in Boston, Mass. and vicinity; life as capitalist, philanthropist, and cotton manufacturer; and various travels. The diary also contains some personal expenses and newspaper clippings.

Vol. 6
1842-1855

This volume contains a manuscript copy of Vol. 5 through 1855, copied by Charles H. Gates. The diary also contains a "List of appointments" of Lawrence's career, and an index.

Vol. 7
1855-1858

This volume contains a manuscript copy of Vol. 5 from 1855-1858, copied by Charles H. Gates. Diary also contains an index.

Box 1Folder 11
1850

This diary contains descriptions of a journey to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Vol. 8
1858-1868

This diary contains description of life in Boston, Mass. and the vicinity.

Vol. 9
1858-1865

This volume contains a manuscript copy of Vol. 8 through 1865, copied by Charles H. Gates. Includes a name index.

Vol. 10
1865-1868

This volume contains a manuscript copy of Vol. 8 from 1865-1868, copied by Charles H. Gates. Includes a name index.

Box 2Folder 1
1867

This diary contains descriptions of life in Boston, Mass. and the vicinity.

Box 2Folder 2
1870-1871

This diary contains descriptions of a trip from New York to England, France, Switzerland, and Austria. The diary also includes descriptions of life in Boston, Mass. and the vicinity after Sept. 1870.

Box 2Folder 3-8
1871-1877

These diaries contain descriptions of life in Boston, Mass. and the vicinity.

Vol. 11-12
1878-1886

These diaries contain descriptions of life in Boston, Mass. and the vicinity. Entries for Jan.- Aug. 1886 are intermittently in the hand of Charles H. Gates, apparently from Lawrence's dictation.

B. Account books, 1827-1886

This subseries includes Amos Adams Lawrence's personal account books only, excluding business accounts and ledgers. The accounts include personal and household expenses, charities, property, and other investments.

Arranged chronologically.

Box 3Folder 1
1827-1835

This account book contains Lawrence's personal expenses, including while he was a student at Harvard College. Also contains notations by his father Amos Lawrence.

Box 3Folder 2
1842-1844

This account book contains personal expenses, including household expenses and personal contribution.

Box 3Folder 3
1844-1865

This account book contains accounts of land, stables, houses, and other properties owned.

Box 3Folder 4-6
1845-1847

These account books contain personal expenses, including household expenses and personal contributions.

Vol. 13
1847-1886

This account book contains accounts of property, real estate, stocks, and other investments.

Box 3Folder 7-14
1848-1876

These account books contain personal expenses, including household expenses and personal contributions.

Box 4Folder 1-2
1861-1876

These account books contain personal expenses, including household expenses and personal contributions.

C. Miscellaneous volumes, 1839-1840

Arranged chronologically.

Box 4Folder 3
Rental properties, n.d.

This volume contains a list of rented properties in Massachusetts, including towns and names of residents.

Box 4Folder 4
Passport, 1839-1840

This volume contains the passport of Amos Adams Lawrence.

Box 4Folder 5
Civil War receipt book, 1862-1863

This volume contains receipts and expenditures for recruiting 2nd Regiment Massachusetts Cavalry under Col. Charles R. Lowell during the U.S. Civil War.

Box 4Folder 6
"Greek fund" relief book, 1867

This volume contains accounts of "Greek Fund" relief fund, of which Lawrence was the treasurer.

II. Sarah Elizabeth Appleton Lawrence volumes, 1842-1864

A. Diaries, 1843-1864

This subseries includes diaries kept by Sarah Elizabeth Appleton Lawrence after her marraige to Amos Adams Lawrence in 1842. Diary entries pertain to her life in Boston, Mass. and the vicinity, and include descriptions of the weather, daily chores, church attendance, and time spent with family and friends.

Arranged chronologically.

Box 4Folder 7
Apr. 1843-May 1844
Box 4Folder 8
Oct. 1845-May 1847
Box 4Folder 9
May 1847-June 1848
Box 4Folder 10
July 1848-Oct. 1849
Box 4Folder 11
Nov. 1849-Mar. 1850
Box 4Folder 12
Mar. 1850-June 1851
Box 4Folder 13
June 1851-Dec. 1853
Box 4Folder 14
1854-Jan. 1855
Box 5Folder 1
Jan. 1855-Jan. 1856
Box 5Folder 2
Feb. 1856-Jan. 1857
Box 5Folder 3
Feb. 1857-Jan. 1858
Box 5Folder 4
Feb. 1858-Mar. 1860
Box 5Folder 5
Mar. 1860-Mar. 1861
Box 5Folder 6
Mar. 1860- Mar. 1861
Vol. 14
Mar. 1861- May 1864

B. Account books, 1842-1853

Arranged chronologically.

Box 5Folder 7
1842-1853

This account book contains wages of domestics.

Box 5Folder 8-10
1842-1844

These cash books contain accounts of moneys received and expended.

III. Mary Anne Cutler Appleton diaries, 1816-1817, 1836

Arranged chronologically.

Vol. 15
1816-1817

This diary contains entries kept during a sea voyage with her husband William Appleton to Europe, including descriptions of visits to Italy and France.

Box 5Folder 11
1836

This line-a-day diary contains descriptions of daily activities and events, including a notation of death of her son William in Europe.

Preferred Citation

Amos Adams Lawrence Diaries and Account Books, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Materials Removed from the Collection

An engraving of William Appleton was removed to the Engraving Collection.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.

Persons:

Appleton, William, 1786-1862.
Lowell, Charles Russell, 1835-1864.
Appleton, Mary Anne Cutler.
Gates, Chas. H. (Charles Horatio), 1816-1896.
Lawrence, Sarah Elizabeth Appleton, 1822-1891.

Organizations:

Harvard University--Students.
United States.-- Army.--Massachusetts Cavalry Regiment, 2nd (1862-1865)-- Recruiting, enlistment, etc.

Subjects:

Account books--1827-1886.
Businessmen--Diaries.
Businessmen--Massachusetts-- Boston.
Home economics--Accounting.
Merchants--Diaries.
Merchants--Massachusetts--Boston.
Ocean travel--Diaries.
Philanthropists--Diaries.
Philanthropists--Massachusetts--Boston.
Rental housing--Massachusetts.
Voyages and travels--Diaries.
Weather.
Women travelers--Diaries.
Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customs--19th Century.
Europe-- Description and travel--1800-1918.
France--Description and travel.
Italy-- Description and travel.
Southern States--Description and travel.
United States--History--Civil War--1861-1865--Finance.
United States--Description and travel--1783-1848.
United States--Description and travel--1848-1865.
Diaries--1816-1886.
Women's diaries.