COLLECTION GUIDES

1827-1969; bulk: 1827-1953

Guide to the Collection

Restrictions on Access

The Edith Emerson and William Hathaway Forbes papers and additions (except one volume) are stored offsite and must be requested at least one business day in advance. Contact the Library at library@masshist.org or (617) 536-1608 to request materials. Please discuss your request with the reading room staff before requesting cartons by barcode.

There are restrictions on the use of this collection. Users must sign an agreement stating that they understand these restrictions before they will be given access to the collection.


Collection Summary

Abstract

This collection consists of the family papers of Edith (Emerson) and William Hathaway Forbes, who married in 1865. The collection contains Emerson family correspondence, Forbes family papers (including correspondence, financial papers, special collections, diaries and other volumes, and miscellaneous papers), William Hathaway Forbes correspondence and letterbooks, Ellen (Forbes) and Waldo Emerson Forbes correspondence, and miscellaneous papers. The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence of the various families, and in particular of Edith (Emerson) Forbes with family members and friends.

Biographical Sketches

Emerson Family

William Emerson (1769-1811) married Ruth Haskins (1768-1853) in 1796. Among their children were: William Emerson (1801-1868), a lawyer and judge in New York City, living on Staten Island, who married Susan Woodward Haven (1807-1868) in 1833; and Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), who married 1st Ellen Louisa Tucker (d. 1831) in 1829, and 2nd Lidian Jackson (1802-1892) in 1835.

The children of William Emerson and Susan Woodward (Haven) Emerson were: William Emerson (1835-1864), who married Sarah Hopper Gibbons in 1863; John Haven Emerson (b. 1840), who married Susan Tompkins in 1868; and Charles Emerson (b. 1841), who married Theresia Keveschi ("Tercsi") in 1871.

The children of John Haven Emerson and Susan Tompkins Emerson were Ruth Emerson (b. 1870), William Emerson (b. 1873), Haven Emerson (b. 1874), and the triplets Helena Titus Emerson, Elizabeth Hoar Emerson, and Julia Titus Emerson (b. 1877).

The children of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Lidian (Jackson) Emerson were: Waldo Emerson (1836-1842), Ellen Tucker Emerson (1839-1909), Edith Emerson (1841-1929), and Edward Waldo Emerson (1844-1930). Ellen Tucker Emerson did not marry and lived in Concord throughout her life. She was devoted to family, community, and religion, and helped her father in various ways as a companion and assistant. Edward Waldo Emerson attended Harvard College from 1861 to 1866. After graduating from Harvard Medical School in 1874, he became a doctor and practiced medicine in Concord until 1882. He married Annie Shepard Keyes (1847-1928) in 1874. After Ralph Waldo Emerson's death in 1882, Edward turned to painting, writing, and editing his father's works. Edward Waldo Emerson and Annie Shepard (Keyes) Emerson had seven children, four of whom survived: Ellen Tucker Emerson (1880-1921), who married Charles Davenport in 1920; Florence Emerson (b. 1882); William Forbes Emerson (b. 1884); and Raymond Emerson (1886-1977), who lived in Concord, married Amelia Forbes in 1913, and became a civil engineer and later an investment manager.

On 3 Oct. 1865, Edith Emerson married William Hathaway Forbes, the son of John Murray Forbes and Sarah Swain (Hathaway) Forbes. See under Forbes family biographical information.

Forbes Family

John Murray Forbes (1813-1898) married Sarah Swain Hathaway (1813-1900) in 1834. Their children were: Ellen Randolph Forbes (1838-1860), Alice Hathaway Forbes (1838-1917), William Hathaway Forbes (1840-1897), Mary Hathaway Forbes (1844-1916), John Malcolm Forbes (1847-1904), and Sarah Forbes (1853-1917).

Alice H. Forbes married Edward Montague Cary (1828-1888) in 1875 and had no children. Mary H. Forbes married Henry Sturgis Russell (1838-1905) in 1863 and had six children. Sarah Forbes married William Hastings Hughes (1833-1909) in 1887 and had two children. J. Malcolm Forbes married Sarah Coffin Jones (1852-1891) in 1873 and had seven children, including Ellen Forbes (1886-1954), who married her first cousin Waldo Emerson Forbes. After the death of Sarah C. (Jones) Forbes, J. Malcolm Forbes married Rose Dabney (1864-1947) in 1892 and had three children with her.

William Hathaway Forbes entered Harvard in 1857, but was expelled in 1860, and then was employed at the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, 1860-1861. He served in the First Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry as second lieutenant and first lieutenant, Dec. 1861-Jan. 1863, and in the Second Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry as captain, major, and lieutenant colonel, 14 Jan. 1863-15 May 1865. He was a Union prisoner at Charleston and Columbia, S.C., 6 July-Dec. 1864, and was discharged from the Second Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry on 15 May 1865. He entered his father's firm of J.M. Forbes & Co. in July 1865 and married Edith Emerson on October 3 of that year. In 1871, he received the degree of A.B. from Harvard and built his summer house on Naushon Island (Buzzard's Bay, Mass.). In March 1879, William Hathaway Forbes was named president of the American Bell Telephone Company. For more information, see Arthur S. Pier, Forbes: Telephone Pioneer (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1953).

On 3 Oct. 1865, William Hathaway Forbes married Edith Emerson (1841-1929), the daughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Their children were: Ralph Emerson Forbes (1866-1937), Edith Forbes (1867-1926, "Violet"), William Cameron Forbes (1870-1959, "Cam"), John Murray Forbes (1871-1888, "Don"), Edward Waldo Forbes (1873-1969), Waldo Emerson Forbes (1879-1917), Ellen Randolph Forbes (1880-1881, "Rosebud"), and Alexander Forbes (1882-1965).

Ralph Emerson Forbes married Elise Cabot (1869-1959) in 1901. Their children were: William Hathaway Forbes (b. 1902), Ruth Forbes (b. 1903), Margaret Forbes (b. 1905, "Marnie"), David Cabot Forbes (b. 1908), and Pauline Forbes (b. 1911).

Edith Forbes married Kenneth Grant Tremayne Webster (1871-1942) in 1903. Their children were: Edith Emerson Webster (1909-1986) and Frederic Augustus Webster (b. 1912).

William Cameron Forbes worked as a partner in his grandfather's firm, J.M. Forbes & Co., after 1899 and was appointed by President Roosevelt in 1904 to the Philippine Commission, where he held several administrative posts and then served as governor-general of the islands, 1909-1913. He also served as the ambassador to Japan in 1931-1932 and led an economic mission to East Asia in 1935.

Waldo Emerson Forbes married his first cousin Ellen Forbes (1886-1954) in 1910. Their children were: Stephen Hathaway Forbes (b. 1910), Waldo Emerson Forbes (1912-1955), and Amelia Forbes (b. 1915).

Sources

Emerson, Benjamin Kendall. The Ipswich Emersons A.D. 1636-1900. Boston: David Clapp & Son, 1900.

Genealogical Index of the John Murray Forbes Family 1740-1988, a typescript photocopied genealogy in the collections of the MHS.

Pier, Arthur S. Forbes: Telephone Pioneer. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1953.

Concord Free Public Library, guides to various collections.

Collection Description

This collection is composed of the family papers of Edith (Emerson) Forbes, the daughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and her husband William Hathaway Forbes, the son of John Murray Forbes, of Milton, Mass. The collection contains Emerson family correspondence, 1827-1939, and includes letters of the wife and descendants of William Emerson (1769-1811). The main body of the collection consists of Forbes family correspondence and miscellaneous papers, papers concerning Naushon Island, household financial papers, Forbes family diaries and other volumes, private business correspondence of William Hathaway Forbes, and family papers and correspondence of Ellen (Forbes) Forbes and Waldo Emerson Forbes. Much of the correspondence is that of Edith (Emerson) Forbes with numerous family members--her children and her sister Ellen Tucker Emerson, in particular--and with many friends and acquaintances over the years, to 1927. There are also a number of diaries kept by Edith from 1861 to 1924, and they include detailed travel journals for voyages around the world in 1906-1907 and 1910-1911, when she traveled to the Philippines to visit her son William Cameron Forbes.

The additions (1827-1969) include family correspondence and papers of the Emerson family of Concord, Mass., including a series of letters written by Edith Davidson to Ellen Tucker Emerson, as well as family correspondence and miscellaneous papers of the Forbes family of Milton, Mass., mainly John Murray Forbes and Sarah Swain (Hathaway) Forbes and their descendants. This series includes Civil War correspondence of William H. Forbes of the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry with friends and family members, and several files of material concerning his expulsion from Harvard and trial for assault in 1860. Other series consist of separate business and personal papers of William H. Forbes, including some papers relating to his work with American Bell Telephone Co.; correspondence and papers of Ellen (Forbes) Forbes and Waldo E. Forbes; correspondence files for the J. Malcolm Forbes family and the Mary (Forbes) Russell family; bound volumes of papers related to Forbes family members, including a 1909 diary of Edith (Forbes) Webster, a poetry volume of William H. Forbes, and funeral books and an address book of Edith (Emerson) Forbes; and a letterbook (1909-1915) of Waldo E. Forbes. There is also one carton of transcribed correspondence of Edward Waldo Forbes with friends and family members. The location of the originals is unknown.

Arrangement

The Edith Emerson Forbes and William Hathaway Forbes papers and additions are comprised of two sub-collections: the original "papers" in four series and the "additions" in six series. The arrangement of the "additions" reflects the original collection, with the addition of Series I and VI. The "papers" are stored in 31 record cartons, and the "additions" are stored in 10 document boxes and one carton at the end of the collection. The cartons are numbered 1-32, and the document boxes are numbered 1-10. The "additions" include a letterbook volume (not numbered) stored onsite at Ms. N-2306.

Acquisition Information

Deposited by the J. M. Forbes Family Archives Committee, Apr. 2003, Aug. 2003; Jan. 2004; merged with the William Hathaway Forbes papers, placed on deposit, 1995. Additions deposited by the J. M. Forbes Family Archives Committee, 2004, 2008, 2009.

Restrictions on Access

The Edith Emerson and William Hathaway Forbes papers and additions (except one volume) are stored offsite and must be requested at least one business day in advance. Contact the Library at library@masshist.org or (617) 536-1608 to request materials. Please discuss your request with the reading room staff before requesting cartons by barcode.

There are restrictions on the use of this collection. Users must sign an agreement stating that they understand these restrictions before they will be given access to the collection.

Restrictions on Use

The Massachusetts Historical Society does not claim ownership to the Edith Emerson and William Hathaway Forbes papers and additions, which have been placed on deposit at the Historical Society by the J. M. Forbes Archives Committee. The collection contains the private papers of a large extended family that retains copyright of the documents. Some materials in the collection refer to people still alive, or survived by children and grandchildren. A researcher planning to base major research on this collection is advised to consult the J. M. Forbes Family Archives Committee in advance.

The Massachusetts Historical Society cannot give permission to publish or cite documents by individuals for whom it does not hold literary rights. Use of the collection (including photocopying or any form of reproduction) does not imply permission to publish, all or in part, documents in the collection. It is the sole responsibility of the researcher to contact the Historical Society in writing to request permission to cite documents in this collection. The Historical Society will then forward the formal written request to the J. M. Forbes Archives Committee.

Photocopies are for personal use only. Personal use photocopies may not be donated or deposited in other libraries or archives, or made available to other researchers without the written permission of the J. M. Forbes Archives Committee.

Detailed Description of the Papers

NOTE: This collection is divided into two parts. This first section is the Edith Emerson Forbes and William Hathaway Forbes papers. The second section, the Edith Emerson Forbes and William Hathaway Forbes additions, is described below. There is significant overlap between the two parts of this collection, and information on various individuals and subjects may be found in both places.

I. Emerson family correspondence, 1827-1939

Correspondence among Emerson family members of Concord, Mass. and New York. Undated letters are filed alphabetically by author at the beginning of the series. There are letters, 1827-1847, of Ruth Haskins Emerson in Concord to her son William in New York City, with a few letters to Ralph Waldo Emerson and Lidian (Jackson) Emerson. (Please note that there are other letters to Ralph Waldo Emerson in Series II.) From 1849, the bulk of the series consists of family correspondence of Edith, Ellen, Edward, and Lidian Emerson. There are also letters written by various friends to Ellen Tucker Emerson and letters from other Emerson relatives to Ellen Tucker Emerson, Edward Waldo Emerson, and Edith Emerson (later Edith Emerson Forbes). Edith Emerson's correspondence with friends and family through 1864 is included in this series. There are letters written by Una Hawthorne to Edith in this series and also in Series II.A. Edith (Emerson) Forbes's correspondence with friends and Forbes family members beginning with her marriage in 1865 is located in the Forbes family correspondence series (II.A). All correspondence with Emerson family members is filed in the Emerson family correspondence series. This series includes many letters written by Edith (Emerson) Forbes to her sister Ellen Tucker Emerson, which constitute a record of Edith's married life and various activities, including extensive travel in Europe and the Far East. However, there are few letters written by Ellen to Edith in return. There are a number of letters from Ellen T. Emerson 2nd (daughter of Edward Waldo Emerson) to Edith, until Ellen's untimely death in 1921. There are also a number of letters written in the 1900s by the children of John Haven Emerson.

Arranged chronologically.

Carton 1SH 17PJ B
1827-1866
Carton 2SH 17PK C
1867-1882
Carton 3SH 17PL D
1883-1893
Carton 4SH 17PM E
1894-1903
Carton 5SH 17PN F
1904-1939

II. Forbes family papers, 1828-ca. 1964

A. Family correspondence, 1833-1932

Correspondence among the members of the John Murray Forbes family of Milton, Mass. Undated letters are arranged alphabetically by author at the beginning of the series. The series consists primarily of correspondence among Edith (Emerson) Forbes, William Hathaway Forbes, and their children, as well as John Murray Forbes, Sarah Swain (Hathaway) Forbes, and their daughters. This series includes the correspondence of Edith (Emerson) Forbes, beginning in 1865, with Forbes family members, William Hathaway Forbes, her children, and numerous friends and acquaintances. There are letters written to Edith by her childhood friend Una Hawthorne in this series, as well as in Series I. There are many notes and letters on the engagement (Mar. 1865) and marriage (Oct. 1865) of Edith and William Hathaway Forbes.

There are a significant number of letters written by William Hathaway Forbes to his sister Alice Forbes during the Civil War, when he served with the First Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry and the Second Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry. The letters are written from various points in South Carolina (Jan.-July 1862); Hilton Head (Aug. 1862); Fredericksburg (Sep. 1862); Sharpsburg (Oct. 1862); Snickers Gap, Virginia (Nov. 1862); Readville, Mass. (Dec. 1862); camps around Washington, D.C. (May-June 1863); Centreville (July-Sep. 1863); Vienna (Oct. 1863-May 1864); Falls Church (June 1864); and as a prisoner-of-war in Charleston (Sep. 1864). One letter of 30 July 1863 discusses the death of Robert Gould Shaw. A letter written in Feb. 1864 describes the ambush of part of his regiment near Dranesville.

Edith (Emerson) Forbes was a prolific letter-writer, and this series is particularly strong in correspondence between her and her children, particularly after the death of William Hathaway Forbes in 1897. Correspondence of Edith (Emerson) Forbes, William Hathaway Forbes, and their children with Emerson family members is located in the Emerson family correspondence series (I). Business and general correspondence of William Hathaway Forbes is located in the William Hathaway Forbes papers series (III). Edith (Emerson) Forbes's correspondence before 1865 is located in Series I.

Arranged chronologically.

Carton 6SH 17PQ I
1833-1862
Carton 7SH 17PR J
1863-1873
Carton 8SH 17PS K
1874-Aug. 1882
Carton 9SH 17PT L
Sep. 1882-Mar. 1890
Carton 10SH 17PU M
Apr. 1890-1896
Carton 11SH 17PV N
1897-Apr. 1901
Carton 12SH 17PW O
May 1901-Apr. 1905
Carton 13SH 17PX P
May 1905-Mar. 1909
Carton 14SH 17PY Q
Apr. 1909-1911
Carton 15SH 17PZ R
1912-Aug. 1914
Carton 16SH 17Q1 .
Sep. 1914-1917
Carton 17SH 17Q2
1918-1920
Carton 18SH 17Q3 $
1921-1932

B. Special correspondence and papers, 1842-1937

Arranged by subject

This series contains discrete sets of correspondence and papers that were separated from the remainder of the collection prior to their transfer to the Massachusetts Historical Society: Naushon papers, the Edith (Emerson) Forbes autograph collection, letters regarding the Hawthorne graves, letters regarding the J. Haskins tomb, letters written to Ralph Waldo Emerson by Edith (Emerson) Forbes and others, and Forbes family typescripts.

i. Naushon papers, 1842-1888

This section consists of correspondence and other miscellaneous papers relating to the purchase of Naushon Island, buildings, maintenance, farming, etc., 1842-1888; charades and riddles used at Naushon; poetry about Naushon; and Peabody family writings and correspondence regarding Naushon, 1850-1866.

Carton 19SH 17PP HFolder 1-21

ii. Autograph collection, 1872-1925

This section consists of letters written to Edith Emerson Forbes which were separated out prior to their transfer to the MHS. The authors in this autograph collection who wrote more than two notes or letters are William Allingham, Helen Allingham, Lady Ashburton, Alexander Ireland, F. Maxfield Parrish, Anne Thackeray Ritchie, John Tyndall, Sir Francis Younghusband, and Lady Helen Augusta Younghusband. This section includes photocopies of all autograph letters.

Carton 19SH 17PP HFolder 22-52

iii. Special correspondence, 1867-1921

This consists of letters written to Ralph Waldo Emerson, [1867]-1876, by Edith (Emerson) Forbes, William Hathaway Forbes, Sarah Swain (Hathaway) Forbes, and John Murray Forbes; letters to Edith (Emerson) Forbes regarding the Hawthorne graves, 1902-1921; and letters to Edith Emerson Forbes regarding the J. Haskins tomb, 1903-1905.

Carton 19SH 17PP HFolder 53
Letters to Ralph Waldo Emerson, [1867]-1876
Carton 19SH 17PP HFolder 54
Hawthorne graves, 1902-1921
Carton 19SH 17PP HFolder 55
J. Haskins tomb, 1903-1905

iv. Forbes family typescripts, 1843-1937

These are typed transcriptions of Forbes family letters which are not a part of this collection. The location of the originals is not known. The transcripts include letters of John Murray Forbes, 1843 and 1859; William Hathaway Forbes to Edward Waldo Forbes, 1888-1897; Edith (Emerson) Forbes to Edward Waldo Forbes, 1878-1924; Ralph Emerson Forbes to Elise (Cabot) Forbes, 1885-1937; and William Emerson Forbes to Edith (Emerson) Forbes, 1897-1911.

Carton 19SH 17PP HFolder 56-72

C. Financial papers, 1860-1923

Arranged chronologically

These financial papers consist of household bills of Edith (Emerson) Forbes and William Hathaway Forbes in Milton, Mass.; bills and receipts for foreign purchases made by Edith (Emerson) Forbes while traveling abroad at various times; and Edith (Emerson) Forbes's income accounts with J.M. Forbes & Co. (1899-1913).

Carton 20SH 17Q4 /
1860-June 1882
Carton 21SH 17Q5 +
July 1882-1892
Carton 22SH 17Q6 %
1893-1918
Carton 23SH 17Q7 0
1919-1923

D. Miscellaneous papers, 1831-ca. 1964

Arranged by subject

Carton 23SH 17Q7 0Folder 1
Edith (Emerson) Forbes address book, undated
Carton 23SH 17Q7 0Folder 2
Edith (Emerson) Forbes invitation lists, 1913-1916
Carton 23SH 17Q7 0Folder 3-6
Edith (Emerson) Forbes inventories of Sheridan Ranch, 1899-1912
Carton 23SH 17Q7 0Folder 7
Edith (Emerson) Forbes inventories of yacht Merlin, 1910-1915
Carton 23SH 17Q7 0Folder 8
Miscellaneous inventories of furniture, books, etc., 1905
Carton 23SH 17Q7 0Folder 9
William Hathaway Forbes memoranda, undated
Carton 23SH 17Q7 0Folder 10-11
John Murray Forbes, Jr. school papers, writings, and miscellaneous manuscripts, 1885-1888
Carton 23SH 17Q7 0Folder 12
Edith (Emerson) Forbes and William Hathaway Forbes travel ephemera, 1900-1906
Carton 23SH 17Q7 0Folder 13-16
Wills of J. Malcolm Forbes, 1904, Ralph Emerson Forbes, 1927, William Hathaway Forbes, 1897, and Emma Chambers Jones, 1917
Carton 23SH 17Q7 0Folder 17
Estate of Mrs. Francis Cunningham, 1904
Carton 23SH 17Q7 0Folder 18-20
Memorials of Ellen R. Forbes, 1860, J. Malcolm Forbes, 1904, Alice Forbes Cary, 1917, Mary Forbes Russell, 1917, and Sarah Forbes Hughes, 1917
Carton 23SH 17Q7 0Folder 21
Amelia Forbes Emerson, "Search for Point Repose," typescript, ca. 1964
Carton 23SH 17Q7 0Folder 22-23
Miscellaneous manuscripts
Carton 23SH 17Q7 0Folder 24-27
Miscellaneous printed matter, 1831-1952
Carton 23SH 17Q7 0Folder 28-30
Notes regarding the correspondence in the collection, written by family members, undated

E. Diaries and other volumes, 1828-1932

Arranged by author

This series consists of diaries and other volumes created by various Forbes family members. The bulk of the series consists of diaries of Edith (Emerson) Forbes. There are small line-a-day and page-a-day diaries, as well as extensive travel journals, written in the form of letters home to her children. There is also one shared diary volume with her sister Ellen Tucker Emerson, written in the hand of a third party (1846). Other family members represented in this series are: Emma Perkins Forbes, William Hathaway Forbes, an unidentified Forbes family member, Waldo Emerson Forbes, Edward Waldo Forbes, and William Cameron Forbes.

Carton 24SH 17Q8 1Folder 1
Edith (Emerson) and Ellen Tucker Emerson diary, 1846

Written by another hand. Intermittent entries. Describes activities at home.

Carton 24SH 17Q8 1Folder 2-7
Edith (Emerson) Forbes line-a-day diaries, 1861-1889
Carton 24SH 17Q8 1Folder 8-18
Edith (Emerson) Forbes page-a-day diaries, 1888-1894, 1896-1908
Carton 25SH 17Q9 2Folder 1-8
Edith (Emerson) Forbes page-a-day diaries, 1909-1922, 1924
Carton 25SH 17Q9 2Folder 9-14
Edith (Emerson) Forbes travel journal, 1906-1907 (letters)

"Around the world," original journal letters written to her children, 2 Nov. 1906-23 Apr. 1907, describing her journey from San Francisco to Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines (where she visited her son W. Cameron Forbes), other Asian ports, through the Suez Canal to Egypt, on to Europe, and back to Boston.

Carton 25SH 17Q9 2Folder 15-20
Edith (Emerson) Forbes travel journal, 1906-1907 (typescript)

Typescript of same. With photographs, postcards, and other ephemera glued onto pages.

Carton 25SH 17Q9 2Folder 21-26
Edith (Emerson) Forbes travel journal, 1907 (duplicate)
Carton 26SH 17QA 3Folder 1-7
Edith (Emerson) Forbes travel journal, 1910-1911 (letters)

Original journal letters written home on voyage "Around the World 2nd Time."

Carton 26SH 17QA 3Folder 8-14
Edith (Emerson) Forbes travel journal, 1910-1911 (typescript)
Carton 26SH 17QA 3Folder 15-20
Edith (Emerson) Forbes travel memorabilia
Carton 26SH 17QA 3Folder 21
Edith (Emerson) Forbes scrapbook, 1860-1920

Includes photographs and other ephemera glued in.

Carton 26SH 17QA 3Folder 22
Emma Perkins Forbes commonplace-book, 1828-1834

Contains both religious and philosophical entries.

Carton 26SH 17QA 3Folder 23
Emma Perkins Forbes commonplace-book, 1835-1843
Carton 26SH 17QA 3Folder 24
William Hathaway Forbes poetry volume, 1850
Carton 26SH 17QA 3Folder 25
William Hathaway Forbes Civil War narrative, 1861, 1863-1864

Manuscript and typed copies of William Hathaway Forbes's narrative of his Civil War experiences, 1861, 1863-1864, entitled "Account of the Rebellion of 1861 and his part in it, written for his children." Includes a description of events leading up to the war, his enlistment in the First Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry in 1861, his experiences in the Second Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry in the autumn of 1863, and his subsequent capture by rebel forces in July of 1864.

Carton 26SH 17QA 3Folder 26
William Hathaway Forbes operetta, "Marion Lee," 1865
Carton 26SH 17QA 3Folder 27
Unidentified Forbes family member's diary, 1882, 1883, 1891

Kept while visiting in California, with some entries for 1883 and 1891, including entries relating the illness and death of Sarah Coffin Jones Forbes (1852-1891).

Carton 26SH 17QA 3Folder 28
Waldo Emerson Forbes and Edward Waldo Forbes travel diary, Feb.-Apr. 1905

Trip to Greece and Italy.

Carton 26SH 17QA 3Folder 29
Waldo Emerson Forbes log of Mizbah, various cruises, 2 July-8 Sep. 1907

Includes notes on birds, weather, etc., on Naushon and Naushawena, as well as log entries for cruises.

Carton 26SH 17QA 3Folder 30
William Cameron Forbes American Embassy notebook, 1931-1932

Loose-leaf style notebook with memoranda on embassy domestic matters, arranged alphabetically by topic.

III. William Hathaway Forbes papers, 1857-1894

A. General correspondence, 1857-1894

This series contains "private letters" of William Hathaway Forbes, concerned primarily with investments and other personal financial interests, but not generated in his official business capacity. The series includes a series of letters to Charles E. Perkins beginning in 1857, mostly concerning various investments, and from 1877 and letters to numerous business acquaintances. The bulk of the correspondence consists of letters concerning railroad interests, Ralph Waldo Emerson's publications, household business matters, western land speculation, yachting, and Naushon Island matters. There are two 1864 letters written by prisoners-of-war to William Hathaway Forbes. Researchers should note that there is little, if anything, here that bears upon his professional work for the telephone company.

Arranged chronologically.

Carton 27SH 17QB 4
1857-1884
Carton 28SH 17QC 5
1885-1894

B. Letterbooks, 1865-1878

Arranged chronologically.

Three volumes of letterpress copies of outgoing correspondence of William Hathaway Forbes.

Carton 28SH 17QC 5Vol. 1
1865-1873
Carton 28SH 17QC 5Vol. 2
1874-1876
Carton 28SH 17QC 5Vol. 3
1876-1878

IV. Ellen (Forbes) and Waldo Emerson Forbes papers, 1886-1953

A. Correspondence, 1886-1953

Arranged chronologically.

Correspondence of Ellen (Forbes) Forbes and Waldo Emerson Forbes with friends, family, and one another. The undated material is arranged alphabetically by author at the beginning of the series, followed by files for unidentified writers to Ellen and to Waldo.

Carton 29SH 17QD 6
1886-1912
Carton 30SH 17QE 7
1913-July 1931
Carton 31SH 17QF 8
Aug. 1931-1953

B. Miscellaneous papers, 1915-ca. 1945

Arranged topically

Carton 31SH 17QF 8
Library list, ca. 1945
Carton 31SH 17QF 8
Europe trip, memorabilia, 1923
Carton 31SH 17QF 8
"Rules for High Seas," a game
Carton 31SH 17QF 8
Miscellaneous children's papers, undated
Carton 31SH 17QF 8
The Magus (printed), 1915
Carton 31SH 17QF 8
Blank postcards

Detailed Description of the Additions

NOTE: This collection is divided into two parts. This second section is the Edith Emerson Forbes and William Hathaway Forbes additions. The first section, the Edith Emerson Forbes and William Hathaway Forbes papers, is described above. There is significant overlap between the two parts of this collection, and information on various individuals and subjects may be found in both places.

I. Emerson family papers, 1846-1878

A. Correspondence, 1846-1878

Letters written to Emerson family members, including Edith Emerson (before her marriage), Lidian Jackson Emerson, Ellen Tucker Emerson, and Edward Waldo Emerson, many written by Sarah Swain Hathaway Forbes. Also, a series of letters (1873-1875) to Ellen Tucker Emerson from her friend Edith Davidson, with a few items about Edith Davidson's death, 1877.

Box 1SH 183T 0Folder 1-22

B. Miscellaneous papers, undated

Miscellaneous Emerson family papers, including some facsimiles of early Emerson family items and some unidentified notes.

Box 1SH 183T 0Folder 23

II. Forbes family papers, 1827-1952

A. Correspondence, 1827-1952

Family correspondence of the Forbes family of Milton, Mass., primarily of John Murray Forbes, his wife Sarah Swain (Hathaway) Forbes, and their descendants, in particular their son William Hathaway Forbes, his wife Edith (Emerson) Forbes, and their children. This series includes many letters written by J. M. Forbes and S. S. H. Forbes to their children and grandchildren, as well as letters exchanged by Forbes siblings. Letters of the 1860s include family correspondence with William Hathaway Forbes while he served with the Second Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry during the Civil War. Several files of correspondence in 1860 concern William H. Forbes's expulsion from Harvard and trial for assault on a night watchman in the campus chapel. Later letters consist primarily of correspondence of W. H. Forbes and Edith E. Forbes with their friends, their children, and their grandchildren.

Box 2SH 183U 1
1827-1857
Box 3SH 183V 2
1858-1860
Box 4SH 183W 3
1861-1867
Box 5SH 183X 4
1868-1884
Box 6SH 183Y 5
1885-1899
Box 7SH 183Z 6Folder 1-15
1904-1952

B. Special papers (Naushon), 1857-[189-]

A few miscellaneous papers pertaining to Naushon Island. Includes a poem written by Josiah Quincy.

Box 7SH 183Z 6Folder 16

C. Miscellaneous papers, 1872-1947

This series includes undated writings of Walter S. Hughes, William Cameron Forbes, and William Hathaway Forbes; programs; printed memorials of various family members; miscellaneous printed matter; and ephemera.

Box 7SH 183Z 6Folder 17-29
Writings, programs, and printed memorials
Box 8SH 1841 GFolder 1-11
Printed matter and ephemera

D. Volumes, 1856-1917

Includes a memorandum book, an address book, and funeral books of Edith (Emerson) Forbes; a book of verses collected and/or written by William H. Forbes; and a diary (1909) of Edith (Forbes) Webster.

Box 8SH 1841 GFolder 12-13
Edith E. Forbes memorandum book, 1891-1912
Box 8SH 1841 GFolder 14-15
Edith E. Forbes funeral book, 1860-1911
Box 9SH 1842 HFolder 1-2
Edith E. Forbes funeral portfolio, 1872-1917
Box 9SH 1842 HFolder 3
Edith E. Forbes address book, undated
Box 9SH 1842 HFolder 4
William H. Forbes poetry volume, 1856-1867
Box 9SH 1842 HFolder 5
Edith F. Webster diary, 1909

III. William Hathaway Forbes papers, 1881-1897

Personal business papers, including correspondence and other items related to personal business matters of William Hathaway Forbes, such as property management, investments, yachting, and some items related to the American Bell Telephone Company.

Box 9SH 1842 HFolder 6-11

IV. Ellen (Forbes) Forbes and Waldo Emerson Forbes papers, 1909-1954

A. Correspondence, 1909-1954

Correspondence of Ellen F. and Waldo E. Forbes and of their children with William Cameron Forbes. This series includes a letterbook (1909-1915) of Waldo E. Forbes (stored onsite), which contains copies of letters written by Forbes on personal business matters such as memberships in clubs, the National Association of Junior Republics, charities, investments, yachts, household employees and property management, and Nashawena and Pasque Islands.

Box 9SH 1842 HFolder 12-17
Correspondence, 1912-1954

Letterbook of Waldo E. Forbes, 1909-1915

Note: This letterbook is stored onsite at Ms. N-2306.

B. Miscellaneous papers, 1917-1930

Some items pertaining to William Cameron Forbes, miscellaneous printed items, and poetry by Waldo E. Forbes.

Box 10SH 1843 IFolder 1-3

V. Other Forbes family papers, 1856-1899

A. J. Malcolm Forbes family correspondence, 1856-1899

Letters written from family members to J. Malcolm ("Mac") Forbes, as well as letters to Amelia Jones from the children of J. Malcolm Forbes.

Box 10SH 1843 IFolder 4-11

B. Mary (Forbes) Russell family correspondence, 1863-1896

Letters written to Mary Forbes Russell and her husband from Forbes family members, mostly John Murray Forbes.

Box 10SH 1843 IFolder 12-20

VI. Typed transcriptions of Edward Waldo Forbes correspondence, 1860-1969

Typed transcriptions of letters to and from Edward Waldo Forbes over the course of his life (1873-1969). Correspondents include his parents, siblings, wife, children, grandchildren, and friends and colleagues. Also a few transcriptions of earlier family items dating from 1860. Location of originals unknown.

Carton 32SH 14MH 3

Preferred Citation

Edith Emerson Forbes and William Hathaway Forbes papers and additions, Massachusetts Historical Society.

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:

Allingham, Helen Paterson, 1848-1926.
Allingham, William, 1850-1919.
Ashburton, Louisa, Lady, 1827-1903.
Davidson, Edith, d. 1877.
Emerson family.
Emerson, Ellen Tucker, 1839-1909.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882.
Emerson, Ruth Haskins, 1768-1853.
Forbes family.
Forbes family--Finance, Personal.
Forbes, Edward Waldo, 1873-1969.
Forbes, Ellen Forbes, 1886-1954.
Forbes, Emma Perkins, 1801-1847.
Forbes, John Malcolm, 1847-1904.
Forbes, John Murray, 1813-1898.
Forbes, Sarah Swain Hathaway, 1813-1900.
Forbes, W. Cameron (William Cameron), 1870-1959.
Forbes, Waldo Emerson, 1879-1917.
Forbes, William Hathaway, 1840-1897.
Haskins, John, 1729-1814.
Hawthorne family.
Hawthorne, Una, 1844-1877.
Hughes family.
Ireland, Alexander, 1810-1894.
Parrish, Maxfield, 1870-1966.
Peabody family.
Ritchie, Anne Thackeray, 1837-1919.
Russell family.
Russell, Mary Hathaway Forbes, 1844-1916.
Tyndall, John.
Webster, Edith Forbes, 1867-1926.
Younghusband, Francis, Sir, 1863-1942.
Younghusband, Helen Augusta, Lady.

Organizations:

American Bell Telephone Company.
United States--Army--Massachusetts Cavalry Regiment, 1st (1861-1865).
United States--Army--Massachusetts Cavalry Regiment, 2nd (1862-1865).

Subjects:

Autographs--Collections.
Commonplace-books.
Family history--1800-1849.
Family history--1850-1899.
Family history--1900-1949.
Family history--1950-1999.
Naushon Island (Mass.).
Poetry.
Scrapbooks--1860-1920.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Regimental histories--Massachusetts Cavalry, 1st Volunteers.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Regimental histories--Massachusetts Cavalry, 2nd Volunteers.
Voyages and travels.
Women travelers.
Women's commonplace-books.
Women's diaries.

Materials Removed from the Collection

Loose photographs have been removed to the MHS Photo Archives, Nov. 2005. Some printed items have been cataloged separately in MHS printed materials collections. Mildewed items were photocopied and returned to the family. One watercolor painting has been stored with the photographs.