1820-1976; bulk: 1900-1940
Guide to the Collection
|Creator:||Sedgwick, Henry Dwight,
Dwight Sedgwick III and Robert Minturn Sedgwick papers
|Physical Description:||4 document
|Call Number:||Ms. N-2330
|Repository:||Massachusetts Historical Society
1154 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215
This collection contains the papers of Henry Dwight
Sedgwick III and his son, Robert Minturn Sedgwick, as well as other members of
the Sedgwick and Peabody families. It includes correspondence, personal papers,
historical and literary manuscripts of Henry Dwight Sedgwick III, a scrapbook,
printed material, and a collection of letters written by early Sedgwick family
Henry Dwight Sedgwick (1861-1957) was the second
child and oldest son of Henry Dwight and Henrietta Ellery Sedgwick, born 24
September 1861 in Stockbridge, Mass. He graduated from Harvard College in 1882,
was admitted to the bar in 1884, and practiced law in New York City with his
father. Retiring from law about 1898, HDS devoted his life to traveling and
writing and became a prolific historian and author. In 1893, he was elected a
member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Among his works were
A Short History of Italy (1905),
Ignatius Loyola (1923), Cortes the Conqueror (1926), Memoirs of an Epicurean (1940), and
Horace: A Biography (1947). HDS married Sarah
May Minturn in New York City on 7 November 1895. They had four children: Henry
Dwight Sedgwick; Robert Minturn Sedgwick; Francis Minturn Sedgwick; and Edith
Minturn Sedgwick, who died at birth. Widowed in 1919, HDS married Gabriella May
Ladd on 18 May 1953, at the age of 91. He died on 5 January 1957.
Robert Minturn Sedgwick (1899-1976) was the
second child of Henry Dwight and Sarah May Minturn Sedgwick, born 27 January
1899 in New York City. He graduated from the Groton School in 1917, and Harvard
College in 1921, where he was a championship boxer and football player. After
teaching for a year at Groton School, RMS worked for the Boston investment firm
of Scudder, Stevens, and Clark. He married Helen Peabody, daughter of Endicott
and Fannie Peabody, in 1924, and the couple lived in Dedham, Mass. with their
three children: May Minturn Sedgwick (later Osborne); Henry Dwight Sedgwick;
and Fanny Peabody Sedgwick. After Helen's death in 1948, RMS married Emily Ames
Lincoln, with whom he had three children: Robert Minturn Sedgwick, Jr.; Emily
Ames Sedgwick; and John Shaw Sedgwick.
This collection contains the correspondence and personal papers of lawyer,
historian, and essayist Henry Dwight Sedgwick III of New York and
Massachusetts, and his son, investment manager Robert Minturn Sedgwick of
Dedham, Mass. It consists of 4 document boxes spanning the years 1820-1976,
with the bulk from 1900-1940. The collection includes correspondence between
RMS and his parents when he attended Groton School from 1911 to 1917 and
officer training camp in Florida in 1918, and letters from HDS to his son and
his family during his trips to Europe and Morocco from 1923 to1935. Additional
correspondents include HDS's wife, Sarah May Minturn Sedgwick; RMS's wife,
Helen Peabody Sedgwick; HDS's brother, Ellery Sedgwick; and other family
members. The collection also contains personal correspondence and papers of HDS
and RMS; HDS's writings including a notebook of Italian history, an unpublished
novella, and copies of several published articles; and a scrapbook and journal
of RMS's childhood compiled by his mother. Additional papers relate to Endicott
and Fannie Peabody, the parents of Helen Peabody Sedgwick, and RMS's children
Henry Dwight Sedgwick and Fanny Sedgwick. Also of interest is a small
collection of early Sedgwick family correspondence, most likely collected by
HDS for historical or genealogical purposes, including that of Theodore
Sedgwick (1780-1839), Theodore Sedgwick (1811-1859) and Louisa Davis Minot.
The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) holds the following collections
related to the Henry Dwight Sedgwick III and Robert Minturn Sedgwick
Sedgwick family papers, 1717-1946. Ms. N-851. Finding aid available at:
Henry Dwight Sedgwick papers, ca. 1940. Offsite Storage.
Ellery Sedgwick papers, 1898-1969. Offsite Storage. Finding aid available
Theodore Sedgwick diaries, 1884-1950. Offsite Storage. Finding aid available
Gift of the children of May Minturn Sedgwick Osborne, given in her memory,
Dec. 2010 and Sept. 2011.
The collection is organized into the following series:
|I. Family correspondence, 1910-1941
|II. Henry Dwight Sedgwick III papers, 1895-1956
|III. Robert Minturn Sedgwick papers, 1889-1976
|IV. Correspondence of other Sedgwick family members, 1820-1946
|V. Peabody family papers, 1934-1946
|VI. Printed material, 1913-1947
|I. Family correspondence,
This series includes correspondence between Robert Minturn Sedgwick and his
parents, Henry Dwight Sedgwick and Sarah May Minturn Sedgwick when RMS attended
the Groton School in Groton, Mass. (1911-1917) and officer training camp in
Gainesville, Florida (1918). Additional correspondence includes letters between
HDS and his brother Ellery Sedgwick, between RMS and his grandmother Susannah
Shaw Minturn, his brother Francis Sedgwick, his aunt Jane Sedgwick Riccardi,
and correspondence with other aunts, uncles, and cousins. The series also
contains letters from family members congratulating RMS on his engagement to
Helen Peabody in 1924.
Later correspondence includes that of HDS, RMS and RMS's wife Helen Peabody
Sedgwick during HDS's trips to Europe and Morocco (1923-1935) in which he
describes his journeys, travel acquaintances, and sightseeing trips. Several
letters from HDS to his grandchildren include sketches and drawings of his
travels. Much of the correspondence in this series in undated, and has been
arranged by approximate year.
See also Series III. B., Scrapbook, for additional
letters from RMS to his parents.
|Box 1||1910-Sep. 1926
|Box 2||Folders 1-31||Oct. 1926-1941
|II. Henry Dwight Sedgwick III papers,
Papers in this series consist of selected personal correspondence,
historical and fictional writings, and mementos compiled by HDS's family to
commemorate a 1929 voyage to Europe.
|Box 2||Folders 32-33||A. Personal correspondence,
This series contains letters that HDS most likely retained for their
sentimental value. They include an 1895 letter to Owen Wister announcing his
engagement to May Minturn; a 1908 letter to W. C. Cabot (father-in-law of
Ellery Sedgwick) defending Ellery's decision to purchase the
Atlantic Monthly; sympathy letters received upon
the death of his wife in 1919; congratulatory letters received for the birth of
his granddaughter May Minturn in 1926; and letters announcing his membership to
the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Century Club, and other
honoraries and organizations.
HDS's writings include a 1917 poem to his wife, May, on her birthday;
several undated poems; two manuscript notebooks containing notes about the
history and literature of Italy (probably written in preparation for his 1905
book A Short History of Italy); and a draft of
an unpublished novella "The Three Suitors," (1946).
For additional writings of HDS, see Henry Dwight
Sedgwick papers, ca. 1940s, Offisite Storage.
|Box 2||Folders 34-35||Notebooks,
|Box 3||Folders 1-6||1917-1946
|Box 3||Folders 7-9||C. "St. Harry" papers,
Dedicated to "St. Harry," these poems, drawings, scrapbooks, and other
mementos were compiled by HDS's family and friends on the occasion of his 1929
voyage to Europe.
|III. Robert Minturn Sedgwick papers,
This series contains correspondence and personal papers of Robert Minturn
Sedgwick, as well as a scrapbook of his childhood compiled by his mother, and a
register of wedding and baby gifts.
|Box 3||Folders 10-25||A. Personal correspondence and papers,
Correspondence includes letters from Groton classmates and other friends
discussing school events, sports, and social activities (1914-1917); letters of
congratulations on RMS's engagement to Helen Peabody (1924); several letters
from his father's classmate and friend Owen Wister; and letters from U. S.
Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr.
Personal papers include RMS's birth certificate, two passports (1920, 1922),
a Groton School report card, 1916 enrollment papers from the Military Training
Camp at Fort Terry, New York; and copies of remarks and prayers made at the
funeral service of RMS in 1976.
Written and compiled by his mother, Sarah May Minturn Sedgwick, this
scrapbook records the childhood of RMS from birth through age 16 (1899-1915).
It includes daily events, milestones, illnesses, growth, school activities, and
sporting events. Pasted into the book are letters from RMS to his parents and
other relatives, report cards, and drawings. Loose papers within the scrapbook
have been foldered separately and include pages from the baby book of RMS's
older brother, Henry Dwight Sedgwick; letters from HDS to his wife about the
birth of their son; and letters from relatives.
|Box 4||Folder 1||Bound volume,
|Box 4||Folders 2-7||Loose papers removed from volume,
|Box 4||Folder 8||C. Wedding gift register,
Written in the hand of Helen Peabody Sedgwick, this volume records wedding
gifts and the names and addresses of those that gave them in 1924. The back of
the book includes a list of baby gifts given to Helen and RMS upon the birth of
their daughter, May Minturn Sedgwick, in 1926.
|IV. Correspondence of other Sedgwick family members,
Arranged chronologically by correspondent.
This series contains correspondence from various Sedgwick family members,
including Theodore Sedgwick (1780-1839), Theodore Sedgwick (1811-1859), Louisa
Davis Minot, and Ellery Sedgwick. Most 19th century correspondence appears to
have been purchased or collected by HDS or RMS.
|Box 4||Folder 9||Theodore Sedgwick (1780-1839) legal correspondence,
Included are two letters related to Theodore Sedgwick's legal practice.
|Box 4||Folders 10-11||Theodore Sedgwick (1811-1859) legal correspondence,
All letters in this group concern Sedgwick's legal practice, including an
1838 letter from his uncle Robert Sedgwick, with whom he shared a law office.
Another concerns an 1849 estate settlement in Jamaica.
|Box 4||Folder 12||Louisa Davis Minot letters to Jane Minot Sedgwick,
This group contains letters from Louisa Davis Minot to her sister-in-law,
Jane Minot Sedgwick, discussing family news and daily activities in Boston.
|Box 4||Folder 13||Ellery Sedgwick correspondence,
Included in this group is business and family correspondence of Ellery
Sedgwick, the brother of HDS. Many are congratulatory letters on Ellery's
engagement to Mabel Cabot in 1904.
|Box 4||Folders 14-15||Miscellaneous correspondence,
Correspondence includes a letter from Mary Morton to her nephew Jonas
Mintern regarding a recipe for the "Lisbon diet drink" (1822); a 1948 letter
from the English actress Gertrude Lawrence to "Mr. Sedgwick" (most likely HDS
or his son, Francis); correspondence of RMS's children Henry Dwight Sedgwick
and Fanny Sedgwick; and that of RMS's cousin Alexander Sedgwick.
|Box 4||Folders 16-17||V. Peabody family papers,
This series contains papers related to Endicott Peabody (1857-1944) and his
wife, Fannie Peabody (1860-1946), the parents of RMS's wife Helen Peabody
Sedgwick. It includes correspondence and papers concerning the 50th anniversary
of Groton School, of which Peabody was headmaster, the 50th wedding anniversary
of Endicott and Fannie Peabody, Peabody's retirement from Groton, and funeral
services for both.
|VI. Printed material,
Included in this series are published stories and articles written by HDS,
including The Country of the Dormer-Window
(1913) and an undated biography of the Roman poet Horace; newspaper clippings
that document RMS's football and wrestling career during his years at Harvard
University; and a set of postcards illustrating European scenes collected by
HDS about 1930.
|Box 4||Folders 18-19||Henry Dwight Sedgwick III writings,
|Box 4||Folder 20||Newspaper clippings about Robert Minturn Sedgwick,
|Box 4||Folder 21||European postcards,
Henry Dwight Sedgwick III and Robert Minturn Sedgwick papers, Massachusetts
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.
|Minot, Louisa Davis, 1788-1858.
|Peabody, Endicott, 1857-1944.
|Sedgwick, Ellery, 1872-1960.
|Sedgwick, Helen Peabody, 1890-1948.
|Sedgwick, Robert Minturn, 1899-1976.
|Sedgwick, Sarah May Minturn,
|Sedgwick, Theodore, 1780-1839.
|Sedgwick, Theodore, 1811-1859.
|Harvard University -- Students.
|Authors, American--20th century.
|Family history, 1900-1949.
|France--Description and travel.
|Italy--Description and travel.
|Morocco--Description and travel.
|Voyages and travel--Europe.