COLLECTION GUIDES

1797-1878

Guide to the Collection


Collection Summary

Abstract

This collection contains the family correspondence of three generations of the Binney family, primarily of Boston, Mass., consisting of family and professional correspondence including correspondence relating to Amos Binney (1830-1880) in his position as chief paymaster of the U.S. Army during the Civil War, two account books, and a travel journal.

Biographical Sketches

Amos Binney (1778-1833) was a merchant and agent of the U.S. Navy, born in Boston, Mass. He was the son of Amos Binney (1745-1782) and Mary Prentice (1751-1813) of Hull. Amos Binney (1778-1833) married Hannah Dolliver (1779-1847) of Marblehead. He was the father of Dr. Amos Binney (1803-1847). Between the years 1810 and 1811, he resided on Snow Hill Street in Boston.

John Binney (1780-1838) was a merchant seaman and commander of the United States garrison in Wiscasset, Maine (then Massachusetts). He was the son of Amos Binney (1745-1782) and Mary Prentice (1751-1813) of Hull, and brother of Amos Binney (1778-1833). His daughter, Mary Ann Binney (1805-1884), married her cousin, Dr. Amos Binney (1803-1847), in 1827 in Boston.

George Hayward (1791-1863) graduated from Harvard College in 1809 and received a medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania in 1812. He held a professorship in Clinical Surgery at Harvard Medical School and was one of the first surgeons to perform a major operation using general anesthesia. Hayward married Mary Ann Binney (1805-1884) after the death of her first husband, Dr. Amos Binney (1803-1847).

Amos Binney (1802-1878) was a Methodist Episcopal minister and a teacher at Wilbraham Academy in Wilbraham, Mass. He was the son of Spencer and Mary (Jones) Binney of Hull, and a cousin of Amos Binney (1778-1833) and John Binney (1780-1838). He was the co-author of Binney's Theological Compend (1875) and numerous religious commentaries.

Amos Binney (1803-1847) graduated from Brown University in 1821 and Harvard Medical School in 1826. He was the son of Amos Binney (1778-1833) and Hannah Dolliver (1779-1847). He married his cousin, Mary Ann Binney (1805-1884), in 1827 in Boston. He was the father of Amos Binney (1830-1880) and the founder of the Boston Society of Natural History.

Amos Binney (1830-1880) was the chief paymaster of the United States Army during the Civil War. He was the son of Dr. Amos Binney (1803-1847) and Mary Ann Binney (1805-1884). In 1856, he married Dr. Nancy E. Clark (1825-1901) in Boston.

Collection Description

The Binney family papers consist of one document box spanning the years 1797-1878. The papers cover three generations of the Binney family who lived primarily in Boston and New England. The collection documents family, business, and travel activities.

The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence, two account books, and a travel journal. Of the correspondence, the majority consists of letters between merchant and U.S. Navy agent Amos Binney (1778-1833) and his brother John Binney (1780-1838); letters of introduction for Dr. Amos Binney (1803-1847); professional correspondence of Amos Binney (1830-1880), chief paymaster of the U.S. Army during the Civil War, as well as his correspondence with his mother, Mary Ann Binney Hayward; and the letters of Dr. George Hayward (1791-1863), including letters from Henry Clay, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Rufus Choate. An account book belonging to John Binney (1780-1838) records the merchant seaman's travels and expenses. An account book belonging to Rev. Amos Binney (1802-1878), a cousin of Amos Binney (1778-1833) and John Binney (1780-1838), lists the expenses of the Methodist Episcopal pastor during his preaching circuit in New England. The travel journal of Dr. Amos Binney (1803-1847), describes the social, historical, and educational aspects of the southern United States during the doctor's journey.

The collection also contains a letter offering Dr. Nancy E. Clark (1825-1901), wife of Amos Binney (1830-1880), a position as chair of midwifery at the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania. Clark was the second female medical school graduate to practice in New England.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Martha Binney C. Vick, April 2010, with the exception of the Amos Binney (1802-1878) account book, which was acquired by purchase, October 2010.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Amos Binney (1778-1833) correspondence, 1810-1811

Arranged chronologically.

This series consists mostly of correspondence between Capt. Amos Binney (1778-1833) on Snow Hill Street in Boston and his brother John Binney (1780-1838) at the U. S. garrison in Wiscasset, Maine in the years 1810-1811. The letters detail family events, financial requests, activities at the garrison, and weather.

Box 1Folders 1-11

II. Amos Binney (1803-1847) papers, 1818-1846

This series consists letters to Amos Binney as well as his travel journal. The correspondence from 1818-1826 consists of letters from his friends and classmates about social life and university curriculum. The correspondence between 1845 and 1846 consists primarily of letters of introduction, including correspondents Alexander Lauren and Edward Hitchcock. The journal details Dr. Binney's travels in the years 1835 to 1836 in which he recounted the social, historical, and educational aspects of the cities in the South he visited by rail.

A. Correspondence, 1818-1846

Arranged chronologically.

This sub-series includes letters written between 1818-1826 to Amos Binney from his peers, including Joseph H. Patter, George R. Russell, and John A. Bates. Additional correspondence includes letters of introduction written in 1845-1846 for Dr. Amos Binney from C. B. Adams and Edward Hitchcock, as well as a letter from Alexander Lauren to Binney.

Box 1Folder 12-13

B. Journal, 1835-1836

This volume is the travel journal of Dr. Amos Binney written from 1835-1836. It recounts Binney's travels through Hartford, New Haven, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Dumfries, Fredericksburg, Richmond, Raleigh, Columbia, Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans. There is an in-depth description of the sights of Washington D.C. including the U. S. House of Representatives, the Capitol rotunda, the Senate Chambers, the Library of Congress, the State Department, and the War Department. In Dr. Binney's account, he describes his visits to institutions and societies such as the American Philosophical Society, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Geological Society of Pennsylvania, and others.

Box 1Folder 14-26

III. Amos Binney (1830-1880) correspondence, 1851-1878

This series consists of family correspondence between Amos Binney (1830-1880), his mother Mary Ann Binney Hayward, and her second husband, Dr. George Hayward, between 1851 and 1878. The letters detail the Haywards' travels to Paris, as well as estate and property issues that Amos Binney resolved for his mother. In addition, the series contains professional correspondence related to his position as chief paymaster of the U.S. Army in the 1860s.

A. Family correspondence, 1851-1878

Arranged chronologically.

This sub-series consists of letters between Amos Binney, his mother Mary Ann Binney Hayward, and his stepfather Dr. George Hayward. The letters describe a journey to Paris by the Haywards, estate issues of the Binney family, and Amos's position as chief paymaster of the U.S. Army written from Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Norfolk, Virginia. It also includes a list of property belonging to Amos Binney and letters concerning the sale of family paintings.

Box 1Folder 27-31

B. Professional correspondence, 1864-1865

Arranged chronologically.

Contained within this sub-series are the letters from Major Amos Binney in his position as chief paymaster of the U.S. Army while in Norfolk, Virginia. It includes correspondence between the Office of the Paymaster and the First National Bank concerning a loan, a telegram, and a copy of a check to Major General B. W. Brice.

Box 1Folder 32

IV. Binney family papers, 1797-1859

A. John Binney account book, 1797-1801

The double-entry account book of John Binney (1780-1838) details his expenses from 1797 to 1801. It mentions travels to Cuba for Havanna sugar; Hamburg, Germany; and Tobago in 1801. It also contains newspaper clippings of a history of Hull, Mass. from the Hingham Journal in 1850.

Box 1Folder 33

B. Amos Binney account book, 1824-1847

The account book of Rev. Amos Binney (1802-1878) details the expenses he incurred on his preaching circuit as a Methodist Episcopal minister from 1824 to 1847. It includes the Massachusetts towns of Mansfield, Easton, Roxbury, Palmer, Three Rivers, and Middleborough; the Rhode Island towns of Kingston and Newburyport; and Stonington, Conn. It also includes the clothing expenses for his daughter, Harriet Binney.

Box 1Folder 34

C. George Hayward correspondence, 1812-1859

Arranged chronologically.

This sub-series contains the correspondence of Dr. George Hayward (1791-1863), who married Mary Ann Binney (1805-1884) after the death of her first husband, Dr. Amos Binney (1803-1847). It includes letters from Henry Clay, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Robert C. Winthrop, and Rufus Choate; letters of introduction for Dr. George Hayward;, and a letter from the London Athenaeum Club.

Box 1Folder 35

D. Miscellaneous papers, 1800-1856

Arranged chronologically.

These papers include a 19th-century reproduction of the 5 March 1770 Boston Gazette. It also includes an 1800 deed belonging to Mary Prentice Binney (1751-1813), a handwritten Prentice family genealogical chart, and letters dated from the 1850s most likely written to Mary Ann Binney Hayward. An 1856 letter offers Dr. Nancy Clark (1825-1901), later married to Amos Binney (1830-1880), the position of chair of midwifery at the Female Medical College of Pennsylvania.

Box 1Folder 36

Preferred Citation

Binney family papers, 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:

Binney, Amos, 1778-1833.
Binney, Amos, 1802-1878.
Binney, Amos, 1803-1847.
Binney, Amos, 1830-1880.
Binney, John, 1780-1838.
Choate, Rufus, 1799-1859.
Clark, Nancy E., 1825-1901.
Clay, Henry, 1777-1852.
Hayward, George, 1791-1863.
Hayward, Mary Ann Binney, 1805-1884.
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 1809-1894.
Binney family.

Organizations:

Methodist Episcopal Church--Clergy.
United States--Army--Pay Dept.

Subjects:

Account books--1797-1801.
Account books--1824-1847.
Clergy--New England.
Diaries--1835.
Diaries--1836.
Family history--1750-1799.
Family history--1800-1849.
Family history--1850-1899.
Merchants--Massachusetts--Boston.
Physicians--19th century--Massachusetts.
Railroad travel--diaries.
Southern states--Description and travel.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Army.
Women physcians.
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