A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.


The papers, photographs, art, and artifacts of the Saltonstall family, one of the founding families of Massachusetts, chronicle five centuries of family history and involvement in public life, from before the European settlement of America through the 20th century. Saltonstall family collections at the Massachusetts Historical Society include papers of Leverett Saltonstall (1783-1845), mayor and U.S. representative from Salem, Massachusetts; Eleanor "Nora" Saltonstall's letters home to her family while serving as a volunteer in France during World War I; and the personal and political papers and photographs of U.S. Senator Leverett Saltonstall (1892-1979).

This website, which pays tribute to William L. Saltonstall, longtime friend, trustee, and supporter of the Massachusetts Historical Society, provides access to the family collection he loved. The Historical Society is pleased to honor him in this way. 

From Oliver Cromwell’s military instructions to Saltonstall ancestor John Leverett in 1653, to Sen. Leverett Saltonstall’s diary, letters, and photographs that bear witness to the first atomic bomb testing in the Bikini Atoll in 1946, the items presented here represent a cross-section of five centuries of family history and dedication to public life.

The Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation and
individual contributors to the

William L. Saltonstall Memorial Fund supported this project.