Guide to the Collection
|Title:||Dall-Healey family papers
|Physical Description:||2 document
boxes and 2 cased volumes
|Call Number:||Ms. N-409
|Repository:||Massachusetts Historical Society
1154 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215
This collection consists primarily of the personal
papers of Unitarian minister Charles Henry Appleton Dall, and genealogical
information of the related Dall and Healey families, 1662-1957, including
scrapbooks and notebooks kept by Charles's wife Caroline Wells Healey
Mark Healey (1791-1876)
Mark Healey, born in Kensington, New Hampshire, was a merchant and banker.
His first financial successes were in shipping and importing, and he served as
first president of Merchants' Bank, president of the Atlantic Mutual Fund, and
as a railroad director. Healey suffered a financial reversal during the Panic
of 1837, leading to his family's bankruptcy, from which they recovered. After
converting in early adulthood, Healey was a dedicated adherent of Unitarianism.
He was a close confidant of his daughter Caroline.
Caroline Wells Healey Dall (1822-1912)
Caroline Wells Healey Dall was born in Boston to Mark Healey (1791-1876) and
Caroline Foster (1800-1871). She was the eldest of eight siblings, including
four sisters and three brothers. Caroline's sister Marianne Wells Healey (b.
1827) was the third of her family's siblings.
Caroline's father took great interest in her schooling, and she was
well-educated in private schools and by tutors. Following a temporary financial
reversal that led to the Healey family bankruptcy in 1837, Caroline became a
teacher, and she was vice-principal at Miss English's School for Young Ladies
in Georgetown, D.C. from 1842 to 1844. She was active in the Unitarian Church,
and shared religious interests led to her marriage in 1844 to minister Charles
Henry Appleton Dall. They had two children, William Healey Dall (1845-1927) and
Sarah Keene Dall (b. 1849), and they lived in Baltimore, Portsmouth, New
Hampshire, Needham, Massachusetts, and Toronto as Charles served various
parishes. The marriage was troubled, and in 1855, Charles became a Unitarian
minister-at-large in India and Caroline and their children remained in
In addition to her activity in the Unitarian community, Caroline also became
interested in transcendentalism and the ideas of Margaret Fuller in the 1840s.
She wrote Essays and Sketches (addressing Christian themes) in 1849 and became
a women's rights activist and a more prolific writer after Charles's move to
India, relying in large part upon her lecturing and writing to support herself
and her family. Perhaps the most influential of her many books is The College,
the Market, and the Court; or Woman's Relation to Education, Labor, and Law
(1867). Caroline lived in Washington, D.C. with her son William after 1879.
Charles Henry Appleton Dall (1816-1886)
Charles Henry Appleton Dall, a Unitarian minister and missionary, was born
in Baltimore to James Dall, Sr. (1781-1863) and Henrietta Austin Dall (b.
1788). He had seven siblings: James Dall, Jr. (1812-1834), Henrietta A. Dall
(b. 1814), William Holley Dall (1817-1824), Austin Dall (1819-1899), Joseph
Edward Dall (b. 1823), William Dall (1824-1829), and Maria Louisa Dall (b.
In 1824, Charles was sent to Boston, where he lived with relatives of his
father, for his schooling. Among the relatives close to him during his
childhood were John Dall (1797-1852), Sarah K. Dall (1798-1878), and William
Dall (1794-1875), siblings of his father. Charles graduated from Harvard
College in 1837 and Harvard Divinity School in 1840. In 1841, Charles was
ordained a Unitarian evangelist, and he served as a minister-at-large in St.
Louis from 1840 to 1842, in Baltimore from 1843 to 1845, and in Portsmouth, New
Hampshire in 1846. He served as a pastor in Needham, Massachusetts from 1847 to
1849 and Toronto from 1850 to 1854.
Charles met with mixed success as a minister, which led, along with his
marital difficulties, to his move to Calcutta, India in 1855. He served there
as the first and only American Unitarian foreign missionary, where he was
minister to the European and American Unitarian congregation and founded and
directed several schools, but he found difficulty winning converts to
Unitarianism. Charles lived in India until his death, visiting the United
States in 1862, 1869, 1872, 1875, and 1882.
William Healey Dall (1845-1927)
William Healey Dall was born in Boston to Caroline Wells Healey Dall
(1822-1912) and Charles Henry Appleton Dall (1816-1886). He married Annette
Whitney in 1880 and had two sons and one daughter.
Although he did not attend college, William became a noted natural
historian, paleontologist, and malacologist. As a teenager, William found
mentors in physician and naturalist Augustus A. Gould, Harvard zoologist Louis
Agassiz, and the faculty of the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology. In 1863,
he became a clerk in the land office of the Illinois Central Railway, which led
to his appointment in 1865 to the Western Union Telegraph Expedition to Alaska
and the Yukon. During his three years of travel, he collected thousands of
biological specimens, studied Indian and Eskimo linguistics, and completed the
first detailed examination of the resources of the interior of the territory.
With his 1870 book Alaska and Its Resources, William was recognized as the
nation's leading expert on Alaska. From 1871 to 1884, he worked for the United
States Coast Survey, where he directed a scientific survey of the Aleutian
Islands and adjacent coasts. Beginning in 1884, he served as paleontologist for
the Geological Survey, and he performed research on mollusks at the U.S.
National Museum in Washington, D.C. He continued to work in his office at the
Smithsonian Institution after his 1923 retirement until his death.
Benjamin, Marcus. "William Healey Dall. " Dictionary of American Biography. New York, C.
Scribner's Sons, 1928-1936. Reproduced in Biography
Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Michigan: The Gale Group, 2003.
Available at: http://www.galenet.com/servlet/BioRC.
"Caroline Wells (Healey) Dall." Contemporary
Authors Online, Gale, 2003. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Michigan:
The Gale Group, 2003. Available at:
"Caroline Wells Healey Dall. " Feminist
Writers. Detroit: St. James Press, 1996. Reproduced in
Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills,
Michigan: The Gale Group, 2003. Available at:
"Dall, Caroline Wells Healey." American
Reformers. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1985. Reproduced in Wilson
Biographies Plus Online. New York: H.W. Wilson, 2003.
Genzmer, George H. "Caroline Wells Healey Dall. "
Dictionary of American Biography. New York, C.
Scribner's Sons, 1928-1936. Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington
Hills, Michigan: The Gale Group, 2003. Available at:
Rose, Anne C. "Dall, Caroline Wells Healey." American National Biography, vol. 6. New York: Oxford
University Press, 1999. pp. 26-27.
Schneider, Robert A. "Dall, Charles Henry Appleton."
American National Biography, vol. 6. New York:
Oxford University Press, 1999. pp. 27-29.
Thomas, Phillip Drennon. "Dall, William Healey." American National Biography, vol. 6. New York: Oxford
University Press, 1999. pp. 29-30.
The Dall-Healey Family Papers comprise two boxes and four bound volumes of
material originating from 1633 to ca. 1957. The collection is divided into two
series relating to the Dall and Healey families: Personal Papers and
The Dall-Healey Family Personal Papers include personal papers of Charles
Henry Appleton Dall, a diary kept by Caroline Wells Healey Dall's sister
Marianne W. Healey, a scrapbook of newspaper clippings compiled by an unknown
creator, and a letter from Alexander Graham Bell concerning a subscription
banquet for William Healey Dall.
The Charles Henry Appleton Dall personal papers include a number of diaries
and recollections (some informal) from his childhood through the beginning of
his married and professional life, as well as correspondence received by
Charles from relatives, mostly from immediate family in Baltimore when he was
away in Boston for primary school and from extended family in Boston after he
left the city to pursue his religious career. The papers document Charles's
childhood and youth, in particular his education in Boston primary and
secondary schools from 1824 to 1833, at Harvard College from 1833 to 1837, and
at Harvard Divinity School from 1837 to 1840, as well as his deliberations on
selecting a profession. The papers provide limited documentation of Charles's
marriage to Caroline Wells Healey Dall.
The Marianne W. Healey diary, kept in 1849-1850 when she was living with her
family near Boston, provides a brief window onto the young woman's daily life.
Of special interest is the record of Marianne W. Healey's experience of a
lengthy illness. Caroline Wells Healey Dall is briefly mentioned several times
in the diary.
A few 1861 letters from William Dall, uncle of Charles, document perceptions
of the Civil War. Isolated items also shed light on race and ethnicity in
19th-century America; see in particular newspaper clippings in the scrapbook,
as well as undated recollections (ca. 1836) by Charles recalling a number of
slaves owned by the Dall family.
The Genealogical Material includes a number of genealogical scrapbooks and
notebooks kept by Caroline Wells Healey Dall, as well as loose letters, notes,
and documents. The scrapbooks contain original family papers (such as deeds, a
will, and property and court documents) annotated by Caroline Wells Healey Dall
for her genealogical work; correspondence; and newspaper clippings. The
notebooks record ancestry and marriages, births, and deaths. One of the
notebooks includes a few pages of autobiographical narrative by Caroline Wells
Healey Dall's father Mark Healey. Other than these genealogical items, the
papers do not directly record the life of Caroline Wells Healey Dall.
Photographs were removed from this collection to the MHS Photo Archives,
Dall-Healey Photographs, Photo. Coll. 69.
The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) library holds the following
collections that are related to the Dall-Healy family papers:
Caroline Wells Healey Dall papers, 1811-1917. Finding aid available at:
Caroline Wells Healey Dall journals, 1863-1912.
Dall-Healey family photographs, ca. 1850-1911. Photo. Coll. 69. Finding aid
Other collections of Caroline Wells Healey Dall papers are located at the
Schlesinger Library on the History of Women at the Radcliffe Institute for
Advanced Study at Harvard University, the Bryn Mawr College Library Special
Collection, and the Library of Congress Manuscript Division.
Charles Henry Appleton Dall professional papers are held by the
Andover-Harvard Theological Library at the Harvard Divinity School.
Additional collections of William Healey Dall papers are located in the
Cecil H. Green Library at Stanford University and the Smithsonian Institution
Collections of correspondence and other Dall family papers may be found at
the John Hay Library at Brown University and the Special Collections and
Archives of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts
The Dall-Healey family papers were a gift of Whitney and Barbara K. Dall,
The collection is organized into the following series.
|I. Dall and Healey Family Personal Papers, 1824-1915
|A. Charles Henry Appleton Dall Papers, 1824-1902
|B. Marianne W. Healey Diary, 1849-50/Scrapbook of Newspaper Clippings,
|C. William Healey Dall Subscription Banquet: Letter from Alexander Graham
Bell, March 30, 1915
|II. Dall and Healey Family Genealogical Material, 1662-1957
|I. Dall and Healey Family Personal Papers
This series is divided into three subseries, including the papers of Charles
Henry Appleton Dall, a diary kept by Marianne W. Healey that was later used as
a scrapbook of newspaper clippings, and a letter from Alexander Graham Bell
responding to an invitation to a subscription banquet for William Healey
|A. Charles Henry Appleton Dall Papers,
This subseries includes personal papers of Charles Henry Appleton Dall from
two disbound volumes entitled C.H.A. Dall Journals,
1831-1840 and C.H.A. Dall Letters, 1835 to
1861. The volumes were presumably bound by a Dall family member some
years after Charles's death and were disbound because the binding obscured text
of some of the journals and letters.
The volume of journals contained several gatherings of diaries and other
recollections written by Charles from childhood through his early years of
marriage. These include a sketch of an 1831 journey from Boston to Baltimore; a
very brief (three-page) journal entry from 1833, when Charles was between
secondary school and college; an 1836 "Account of Saturdays"; a diary kept
irregularly from 1836 to 1838 documenting college years; a draft of a short
autobiographical sketch; and notes on Charles's earliest memories of childhood,
undated but written in his early twenties. Also included was a draft of a
letter written to an uncle in 1835.
The travel sketch describes Charles's first visit home in 1831 after seven
years of schooling in Boston, a journey taken with his uncle John Dall. The
account narrates their travels by stagecoach and steamer and impressions of
time spent in New York and Philadelphia. In 1849, Charles copied at the end of
this sketch a set of notes he had taken during the Baltimore visit. These notes
recount a visit to Washington, D.C., a ride on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad,
and visits with friends and family. The 1833 journal documents Charles's school
life. The 1836 "Account of Saturdays" focuses on Charles's life outside the
Harvard College classroom. The 1836-38 journal records Charles's academic and
social life at Harvard College, his decision about pursuing a career in
divinity, academic and social life, and early experiences at Harvard Divinity
School. Charles also expresses his opinions on temperance, evaluates his
education at Harvard College, and reports on lectures by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
The autobiographical sketch, written for the Harvard College classbook, covers
his earliest recollections, his years in primary school, and his years at
Harvard College. The undated recollections written in Charles's early twenties
include his earliest recollections, focusing on his memories of a number of
slaves owned by his family (including his nurse maid), his family life, and
The 1835 draft of a letter replies to a letter from an unnamed uncle
(perhaps Charles Austin, whose January 1835 letter to Charles is bound in the
correspondence volume) that discusses Charles's decision between careers in law
or in the ministry. The draft drifts into a retort to a letter from his father,
James Dall, Sr., urging Charles against the religious vocation.
The correspondence that was assembled in the bound volume consists primarily
of letters received by Charles from family members from 1824 through 1861. The
volume has been disbound and the letters organized by correspondent, but the
bound order may be discerned from page numbers that were written in the upper
Charles's father James Dall, Sr., mother Henrietta Austin Dall, sister
Henrietta A. Dall, brother James Dall, Jr., and brother Austin Dall wrote
Charles numerous letters when he was away in Boston for his primary schooling
(the bulk of the letters are from Charles's father). In these letters, dated
1824-1827, the correspondents discuss the decision for Charles to remain in
Boston for his education, inquire after his studies, and update him on news of
his family in Baltimore.
Most of the letters originating from the period after Charles's 1840
graduation from Harvard Divinity School were written by relatives close to him
from his childhood in Boston, including his Uncle John Dall, Aunt Sarah K.
Dall, and Uncle William Dall. Additional correspondence includes an 1840 letter
from his father James Dall and an 1845 letter from his mother Henrietta Austin
Dall. These letters discuss family news, including the 1840 suicide of his
uncle Joseph Dall, as well as news of local events and about friends and
1861 letters to Charles in London from his Uncle William Dall discuss the
Civil War, the secessionist leanings of some family members, and the financial
situation of Charles's wife Caroline Wells Healey Dall and their children.
|Journals (Disbound Volume),
|Box 1||Folder 1||Sketch of a Journey from Boston to Baltimore and Return,
|Box 1||Folder 2||Beginning of a journal,
|Box 1||Folder 3||Draft of letter,
|Box 1||Folder 4||Brief undated recollections,
|Box 1||Folder 5||Account of Saturdays,
|Box 1||Folder 6||Personal journal,
|Box 1||Folder 7||Biographical sketch for Harvard College Classbook,
|Correspondence (Disbound Volume) [letters received by Charles Henry
|Box 1||Folder 8||Hariette H. D. Aldrich,
|Box 1||Folder 9||Charles Austin,
|Box 1||Folder 10||Austin Dall,
|Box 1||Folder 11||Henrietta Austin Dall and James Dall, Sr.,
|Box 1||Folder 12||Henrietta Austin Dall,
|Box 1||Folder 13||James Dall, Jr.,
|Box 1||Folder 14||James Dall, Sr.,
|Box 1||Folder 15||John Dall,
|Box 1||Folder 16||Sarah K. Dall,
|Box 1||Folder 17||William Dall,
|Box 1||Folder 18||Other documents,
|B. Marianne W. Healey Diary, 1849-50/Scrapbook of Newspaper
The diary has been attributed to Caroline Wells Healey Dall's sister
Marianne W. Healey, who kept it between June 1849 and December 1850. Diary
entries record Marianne's daily activities, such as visits with family and
friends, church attendance, reading, and attendance of lectures and lessons. Of
particular interest are Marianne's reaction to the arrest of Charles Webster
for the murder of George Parkman and her description of her experience
suffering a prolonged digestive ailment, which she calls dysentery. The volume
was received with several diary pages sliced out.
The volume was later used as a scrapbook for newspaper clippings. Clippings
that were pasted over several pages of the diary were photocopied and removed.
The clippings are of diverse content, and include poems, obituaries, marriage
announcements, and reports on departing ships. There are a number of clippings
about Healey and Dall family members. Most of the clippings are undated, but
dated items originate from 1855 to 1881. A poem by William Healey Dall
responding to the 1874 death of naturalist Louis Agassiz (mentor to William) is
written in pencil on a page among the clippings (it is unclear whether William
himself inscribed the poem, or if it is was transcribed by someone else). In
addition to the clippings, the scrapbook includes the 1853 certificate of
matriculation at Harvard College for George W. Healey (brother of
|Box 1||Folder 19|| Marianne W. Healey diary,
|Box 1||Folder 20||Scrapbook of newspaper clippings,
|Box 1||Folder 21||Items removed from the volume.
|Box 1||Folder 22||C. William Healey Dall Subscription Banquet: Letter from Alexander
March 30, 1915.
In response to an invitation to a subscription banquet for William Healey
Dall, Alexander Graham Bell sent his regrets in this letter to The Cosmos Club
of Washington, D.C.
|II. Dall and Healey Family Genealogical Material,
This series contains genealogical scrapbooks and journals created by
Caroline Wells Healey Dall, as well as letters, notes, and documents relating
to Dall and Healey family genealogy.
Two disbound genealogical scrapbooks compiled by Caroline and kept in
botanical drying albums consist mainly of family papers with genealogical
annotations by Caroline, in addition to personal correspondence relating to
genealogical topics and newspaper clippings relating to genealogical,
historical, and other topics. The materials, which date from 1662 to 1901,
include property documents; records of marriages, births, and deaths; court
petitions and orders; correspondence; and other items. The papers document the
Dall and Healey families, including forbears from the Atkinson, Clifford,
Denison, Foster, Franklin, Hutchinson, Porter, Rogers, Symonds, Weare, and
Wells families. Page numbers were added to the left-hand pages (.5, 1.5, 2.5,
etc.) to complement the numbering already in place on the right-hand pages.
Preceding and succeeding page numbers are provided for items inserted between
Four genealogical notebooks begun by Caroline, as well as several folders of
loose material, detail relations to and descent from Abbot, Austin, Bachiler,
Bradstreet, Clarke, Cleveland, Denison, Dudley, Foster, Harlakenden, Hawthorne,
Hubbard, Hussey, Lawrence, Peabody, Perkins, Porter, Rindge, Rogers, Symonds,
Wallis, Warner, Weare, Wells, Whittingham, and Wise families, including
biographical profiles of some figures. A number of items inserted between the
pages of the notebooks were removed and are kept in separate folders.
A few pages of autobiographical narrative by Mark Healey, father of
Caroline, written in June of 1873, may be found in one of the genealogical
notebooks (Box 2, Folder 8). This short memoir recounts Healey's childhood,
early work assisting in a store, draft into the Army during the War of 1812,
and involvement in the shipping, insurance, and railroad industries. Healey
also reflects on the domestic political causes of the War of 1812, his
enthusiasm for the presidential candidacy of Andrew Jackson and his subsequent
commitment to the Democratic Party, and his views on religion, including his
decision to become involved with the Unitarian church. The notebook also
includes two short letters dating from 1861 and 1863 from relatives sharing
genealogical information with Healey.
|Box 2||Folder 1-2||Caroline Wells Healey Dall family genealogical scrapbook,
|Box 2||Folder 3-4||Caroline Wells Healey Dall family genealogical
|Vol. 1||Dall Family Genealogy, "A Family Journal,"
|Box 2||Folder 5||Loose items removed from Dall Family Genealogy, "A Family Journal,"
|Vol. 2||Family History of William H. Dall by Caroline H. Dall, Volume I,
|Box 2||Folder 6||Loose items removed from Family History of William H. Dall by
Caroline H. Dall, Volume I,
|Vol. 3||Family History of William H. Dall by Caroline H. Dall, Volume II,
|Box 2||Folder 7||Loose items removed from Family History of William H. Dall by
Caroline H. Dall, Volume II,
|Vol. 4||Healey and Dall families genealogical notebook,
|Box 2||Folder 8||Healey and Dall families genealogical notebook,
|Box 2||Folder 9||Clark family genealogical notes and correspondence,
|Box 2||Folder 10||Dall family genealogical notes and correspondence,
ca. 1863-1881, n.d. (ca. 20th
|Box 2||Folder 11||Healey family genealogical notes and correspondence,
|Box 2||Folder 12||Rogers family genealogical notes, n.d.
|Box 2||Folder 13||Symonds family genealogical correspondence,
|Box 2||Folder 14||Genealogical notes, n.d.
|Box 2||Folder 15||Caroline Wells Healey Dall correspondence,
|Box 2||Folder 16||Miscellaneous documents,
Dall-Healey family papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in
the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers
desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should
search the catalog using these headings.
|Bell, Alexander Graham,
|Dall, Caroline Wells Healey,
|Dall, Charles Henry Appleton,
|Dall, William, 1794 or 5-1875.
|Healey, Marianne Wells, b. 1827.
|Voyages and travels.
Photographs have been removed from this collection to the Dall-Healey family
photographs, ca. 1850-1911. Photo. Coll. 69.