Spotlight on Collections: Henry Cabot Lodge, Part V

By Tracy Potter

Over the last few segments of Spotlight on Collections, I focused on the life and career of Henry Cabot Lodge (HCL). Now I turn to his grandson Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. (HCL II) who left just as big a footprint on United States and world history as his grandfather.

HCL II was born on 5 July 1902 in Nahant, Massachusetts. He was the son of the well known poet George Cabot Lodge and Matilda Elizabeth Frelinghuysen Davis. After the death of his father, the family moved to Paris for two years, from 1912 until the beginning of World War I in 1914. To escape the war, the family returned to Massachusetts. Like his grandfather, HCL II attended Harvard University, graduating in 1924. In 1926 he married Emily Sears and they had two sons.

Seven years after his marriage to Emily Sears, in 1933, the people of Massachusetts elected HCL II to the Massachusetts legislature, where he served until 1936. In 1936 he was elected to the United States Senate. He served in the Senate until 1944 at which time he met with President Franklin Roosevelt to ask the President’s blessing for him to join the war. The President gave his consent and HCL II was on a plane to England when the Senate heard of his resignation. HCL II’s decision to join the army to fight in World War II made him the first senator to resign his seat in the Senate for battle since the Civil War.

After his return from serving in Europe, HCL II ran for and won a seat in the United States Senate in 1946. His time serving in WWII gave him a new perspective on life and politics. During the remainder of his time in the Senate, HCL II became a moderate Republican often voting against the Republican Party line (an estimated 40% of the time). He also found it easy to gather support for bills he introduced into the Senate from members of the Democratic Party. In 1952 HCL II decided to back General Dwight D. Eisenhower as the next U.S. President. He was involved in Eisenhower’s campaign from the beginning. He convinced the General he should run in the first place then became his manager during the 1952 Republican convention. Throughout the year he focused all his attention on the presidential campaign leaving little room for his own campaign to keep his seat in the Senate. By November 1952, HCL II lost his Senate seat to an up and coming Democrat named John F. Kennedy.

In 1953, Eisenhower began HCL II’s international career by appointing him a U.S. representative to the United Nations. HCL II remained in this position until 1960 when he ran as vice president on Richard Nixon’s presidential ticket. In an interesting coincidence, Nixon and HCL II lost to the young and charismatic senator that replaced HCL II in the Senate in 1952, John F. Kennedy. Kennedy, understanding the value of HCL II’s experience both in politics and in foreign relations, appointed him Ambassador to the Republic of Vietnam in 1963. HCL II arrived in South Vietnam in the midst of very turbulent times. Over the next four years he served under Kennedy and then Lyndon B. Johnson in Vietnam helping Johnson plan and execute the troop escalation until 1967.

Between 1968 and his retirement in 1977, three U.S. presidents called on HCL II to serve his country on the international stage including Lyndon B. Johnson who appointed HCL II as Ambassador to Germany in 1968, and Richard Nixon who appointed HCL II as the leader to the unsuccessful American delegation to the Vietnam peace negotiations in Paris in 1969. Both Nixon and Gerald Ford appointed HCL II as an occasional special envoy to the Vatican. In 1977 HCL II quietly retired to his home in Beverly, Mass.

Republican to the core, HCL II had the knack of crossing political and international lines always in an attempt to better the lives of the people of the United States and of Massachusetts. Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, he was never afraid to speak his mind or fight for what he believed in even if it was against the status quo. These qualities helped him excel as a senator and as an ambassador.

For more information about HCL II see:

Lodge, Henry Cabot. The Storm has Many Eyes. (New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc., 1973).

Miller, William J. Henry Cabot Lodge: A Biography. (New York: James H. Heineman, Inc., 1967).

Richardson, Elliot L. “Memoirs: Henry Cabot Lodge” Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 97, (1985): 149-152.

Join me on April 6th as I discuss HCL II’s connection with the MHS.

Spotlight on Collections: Lodge Papers, Part IV

By Tracy Potter

Last time in Spotlight on Collections, I wrote about Henry Cabot Lodge’s (HCL) family, education, and literary and political careers. This week I describe his connections to the MHS and look at the MHS holdings related to his life. 

HCL had many connections to the MHS.  Besides being a good friend of Henry Adams, who was from a long line of politicians and influential members of the MHS, HCL was also a long standing member of the MHS himself.  He spent 48 of his 74 years as a member of the Society.  Elected a member in 1876, HCL attended meetings and other events as a member of the Society while also performing his political duties in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate. 

In 1915, upon the death of MHS president Charles Francis Adams, brother of HCL’s friend and mentor Henry Adams, the nominating committee and MHS Council nominated HCL to sit as the next president. As was often the case with HCL, he had both supporters and critics within the MHS. This made for a very lively election. Those supporting Lodge eventually won out and elected him president. Although often absent due to his responsibilities as U.S. senator, once elected HCL served as president of the MHS until his death in 1924.

According to the MHS bicentennial history written by Louis Leonard Tucker, after the death of HCL the Lodge family placed his personal papers on deposit at the MHS. Almost four decades later a determined Stephen T. Riley, the Director of the Society from 1957 to 1976, made it his mission to convince the grandson of HCL, Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. (HCLII), to deed the papers over to the Society to ensure their safety then and in the future. Riley, who was known as an “unrelenting pursuer of his quarry” when it came to acquiring manuscripts, tirelessly pursued HCLII for several years.  In 1969 HCLII relented and signed a deed of gift to the Society for HCL’s papers.     

In total the MHS holds five collections directly related to HCL. The main body of manuscripts is in the Henry Cabot Lodge Papers, 1745-1966 containing 51 cartons and 2 oversize boxes of material. The collection includes personal, official, and family papers focusing on Republican Party politics and American foreign policy. This large collection is stored in an offsite facility. To provide more convenient access and long-term preservation for the manuscript materials the MHS microfilmed the collection (183 reels total) and stores the reels onsite for use by researchers. 

The MHS also holds a collection of eleven boxes (10 reels of microfilm) of correspondence between HCL and his long-time friend Teddy Roosevelt in the Lodge-Roosevelt Correspondence, 1884-1924. HCL published about half of these letters in his book Selections from the Correspondence of Theodore Roosevelt and Henry Cabot Lodge which was completed by his Secretary Charles F. Redmond after his death. Other HCL collections held by the MHS include 2,059 photographs in the Henry Cabot Lodge Photographs, ca. 1860-1945, letters to HCL’s nephew Ellerton James in Letters to Ellerton James, 1850-1924, and letters to HCL’s friend and lawyer William C. Endicott in the Henry Cabot Lodge papers IV, 1887-1933.

For more information about Henry Cabot Lodge’s connection to the Massachusetts Historical Society see:

Lord, Arthur.  “Tribute to Henry Cabot Lodge.” Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 58, (1924-1925): 97-99.

Morse, John T., Jr. “Tribute to Henry Cabot Lodge.” Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 58, (1924-1925): 99-110.

Tucker, Louis Leonard. The Massachusetts Historical Society: A Bicentennial History, 1791-1991. (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1996).

Join me on March 23rd when I turn to Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. and his contributions to history.


Spotlight on Collections: The Lodge Papers, Part 3

By Tracy Potter

Last time in Spotlight on Collections, I wrote about the history of the Cabot and Lodge families and touched briefly on Henry Cabot Lodge (1850-1924). Today I will further discuss Henry Cabot Lodge and his political and historical importance to both United States and world history.

Henry Cabot Lodge (HCL) was born in Boston in 1850. In 1871, he married Anna “Nannie” Davis. They had three children, including George Cabot Lodge who became a well known poet and the father of Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. (HCL II) During his early years at Harvard College, HCL began a friendship with one of his history professors, Henry Adams. Later, while in law school, HCL went on to work for Adams (unpaid) as assistant editor at the North American Review. HCL obtained a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1874 and continued on at Harvard University to obtain one of the first PhDs for history awarded in the United States in 1876. After obtaining his PhD, HCL returned to Harvard as a lecturer of American history and began writing a biography about his great-grandfather entitled Life and Letters of George Cabot. He later wrote biographies about Alexander Hamilton, Daniel Webster, and George Washington.

HCL began his political career serving in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1880-1881. In 1884 he became a delegate-at-large at the Republican National Convention where he developed a close friendship with fellow delegate-at-large Theodore Roosevelt of New York. During the convention both men faced a difficult decision: support the unpopular traditional party politics or the more popular party reformers. A reform movement had taken hold in the Republican Party by 1884, advocating for less corruption within party. When it became clear that the reformers would abandon party loyalty and support the Democratic nominee for president, both Roosevelt and Lodge made an unpopular choice. They remained loyal to their party supporting the Republican nominee, James Blaine, with the hope of initiating more change from within the party. This decision resulted in resentment from their reformer friends and constituents.

HCL’s and Roosevelt’s trial by fire cemented their respect for each other and their friendship, which would last through times of political partnerships and disagreements until Roosevelt’s death in 1919. The Republican National Convention of 1884 also set the tone for HCL’s political career. He was never afraid to give his opinion, to choose the unpopular choice (risking the backing of his constituents and even his own party), or to change his mind after further investigation. It was this type of politics that often alienated his constituents and fellow politicians.

In 1887 HCL was elected to the US House of Representatives, where he served until 1893. At that time he was elected to the US Senate and served there until his death in 1924. As a senator, HCL’s interests rested in foreign affairs. He often loudly advocated for issues he felt strongly towards such as a stronger US Navy, civil service reform, the federal supervision of national elections in the South, and the building of the Panama Canal. HCL just as forcefully campaigned against issues he did not agree with such as the direct election of senators by the people and the creation of the League of Nations. HCL was very vocal about his views, never pulling his punches in speeches regarding presidential policies or when confronted by disapproving pacifists. In the end, although not loved by all, HCL did a great deal for Massachusetts and for the United States as a whole (much more than I can touch on here), carrying on the legacy of the Cabot and Lodge families.

As the brevity of this blog post provides terribly inadequate space to fully describe HCL’s influence on the United States, you may wish to delve deeper into his world by reading more about his life in the following publications:

Lodge, Henry Cabot. Early Memories. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1913.

Thomas, Evan. The War Lovers: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, and the Rush to Empire, 1898. New York: Little, Brown and Co., 2010.

Washburn, Charles G. “Memoir of Henry Cabot Lodge.” Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society 58 (1925): 324-376.

Join me on March 9th when I write about the connection between Henry Cabot Lodge and the MHS, and give an overview of his collections held by the MHS.


Spotlight on Collections: The Lodge Papers, Part 2

By Tracy Potter

Continuing our series on the Henry Cabot Lodge & and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. collections, let us look at how the Cabot and Lodge families connect to Massachusetts and each other.

The elder Henry Cabot Lodge was the son of John Ellerton Lodge and Anna Sophia Cabot, a marriage that brought together two prosperous families. Anna Cabot descended from a John Cabot who emigrated from England at the beginning of the 18th century, married into a prominent family, settled in Salem, Mass., and built a fortune in shipping. Later generations of this family line expanded into Beverly and continued to prosper as cotton merchants. George Cabot of Beverly, the great-grandfather of Henry Cabot Lodge, served his country – and his own fortunes — during the Revolutionary War as a “patriot privateer,” and was later elected to the convention to form the constitution of Massachusetts. In 1791 he was appointed to the U.S. Senate, and had some influence on the creation of the Treasury Department.

The Lodges arrived in Boston quite by accident in 1791, almost a century after the first Cabots arrived. Giles Lodge, a London merchant (and future the grandfather of Henry Cabot Lodge), was traveling on business in Santo Domingo in 1791, when the Haitian Revolution broke out. He was able to find safe passage off the island on an American vessel, which brought him to Boston. Realizing the business opportunities in the city, he chose to settle in Boston and prospered, never returning to England again. In 1842 his son, John Ellerton Lodge – who it is said built one of the largest fortunes in Massachusetts at that time – married Anna Sophia Cabot, uniting the Lodge and Cabot names.

Henry Cabot Lodge was the second child of John Ellerton Lodge. His sister Elizabeth was seven years older. Cabot followed in his great-grandfather’s footsteps, obtaining political renown as a U.S. senator. He was also a noted historian and close friend and confidant of President Theodore Roosevelt.

The MHS holds several collections related to the early Lodge family including:

John Ellerton Lodge letterbooks, 1844-1861; Microfilm: P-33, 6 reels

George Cabot Lodge papers, 1873-1909; Microfilm: P-317

Be on the look out — the next installment in the Lodge series will appear on February 23rd.

Spotlight on Collections: The Lodge Papers

By Tracy Potter

We librarians often notice when a trend takes shape in materials researchers request in the library. Two summers ago a large number of researchers requested material from the Edward Atkinson Papers. Last summer the Old North Church Records where in unusually high demand. And this winter researchers are clamoring for the Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. Papers, 1920-1982 and the Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. papers II, 1920-1985.

There are a few reasons I find this trend interesting. For one, 20th century collections are sometimes thought of as outside our scope. Many think of the MHS as holding early American and Civil War era materials, but do not think of us as a repository for modern collections. While the strength of our collections is material from the 18th and 19th centuries, we are still actively collecting material and hold a (growing) number of collections containing 20th century material. Seeing the demand for the Lodge, Jr. collections demonstrates to me that the modern collections in our holdings are not being entirely overlooked.

Also interesting, and possibly the reason I noticed this recent trend, is that these particular collections often cause researchers much confusion, requiring them to contact the library staff in advance of their visit. The fact that there are two Lodge, Jr. collections — one held onsite on microfilm, the other in offsite storage — coupled with the fact that we also hold a collection of papers belonging to his grandfather, Henry Cabot Lodge , leads to many questions about how to access the collections, why the collections are separated they way they are, and which Lodge (both served as U.S. senators in their own lifetime) the researcher is actually interested in researching.

All this got me thinking about the importance of our Lodge collections. They all contain an extraordinary amount of interesting material from turbulent times in American and world history. For example the Lodge, Jr. collections hold material related to his service in the U.S. Senate, his tours of duty in Africa and Europe in World War II, and his tenure as both the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations (1953 to 1960) and ambassador to Vietnam (1963-1967).

So I decided to do a blog series to highlight the collections of Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. and his grandfather Henry Cabot Lodge. Look for the series on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month through February, March, and April. The series will start Wednesday, February 9, with a post on the background of the Cabot and Lodge families, and will continue with posts about the lives and careers of both Henry Cabot Lodge and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., how these collections came to be at the MHS, what types of materials can be found in the collections, how to access the collections, and what other materials related to the Cabot and Lodge families can be found at the MHS.


Collection Profile: Robert Keayne’s Sermon Notebooks

By Jeremy Dibbell

I’ve been reading the new collection of Edmund S. Morgan’s essays, American Heroes: Profiles of Men and Women who Shaped Early America (W.W. Norton, 2009), and one of the people he profiles is Anna Keayne (later Lane), the granddaughter of early Boston merchant Robert Keayne (1595-1656). Anna’s story is absolutely fascinating in its own right, but seeing Robert Keayne’s name reminded me that we hold several collections of his notebooks:

Robert Keayne sermon notes, 1627-1628. This volume contains notes taken by Keayne in London prior to his 1635 removal to Boston. Among the ministers represented are John Cotton, Hugh Peters, John Wilson and John Davenport. Extracts were published in the MHS Proceedings, Vol. 50 (March 1917), pp. 204-207.

Robert Keayne sermon notes, 1639-1642. This volume contains notes of sermons preached at Boston’s First Church by John Cotton. Keayne also includes minutes of the 1640-41 ecclestical trials of Sgt. Richard Wait and Ann Hibbins (the latter was executed for witchcraft in 1656). This notebook, which was given to the MHS as early as 1791 (possibly by founder Jeremy Belknap), was discussed at length by MHS Librarian Samuel Abbot Green at the March 1889 meeting of the Society. You can read an off-print of his paper here via the Internet Archive, or from the MHS Proceedings here via Google Books.

Robert Keayne sermon notes, 1643-1646. This volume contains notes of sermons preached at Boston’s First Church by John Cotton, John Wilson and Thomas Cobbet. Following Green’s remarks about the earlier volume at the 1889 meeting, Amos Perry of the Rhode Island Historical Society wrote to Green to inform him that this volume was then in the collections of RIHS, having been presented to them in 1851 by a Mr. Cooke. “People must have been smart in that early period to read such writing,” Perry wrote. The MHS purchased this third volume of sermon notes in 1969.

All three of the Keayne notebooks are available for consultation on microfilm, P-85.

Robert Keayne cut quite the figure in early Boston. He was the first commander of the town’s Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, and also served in various official capacities. His early success in business proved nettlesome to his neighbors; in 1639 he was tried before the General Court and fined for charging too much for his merchandise, and was later admonished by church authorities for this nefarious crime (also considered a grave sin). He issued a formal apology. He was later involved in a lengthy legal battle after being accused of stealing Mrs. Sherman’s sow (see Darren Staloff, The Making of an American Thinking Class. Oxford University Press, 2001, pp. 83-85).

Keayne’s sermons notes are interesting, but they are not his most remarkable legacy. That distinction must go to his will, one of the longest known to exist from the American colonial period. The document runs to more than 158 pages and 50,000 words, and contains lengthy justifications of his life and conduct, as well as instructions for the disposition of his complicated and extensive estate.

Among his gifts were £300 for the creation of a granary, plus a town-house to house meeting rooms, a library, a gallery and an armory. He ordered that several books of his own authorship (biblical commentaries) to given to the library, plus any books from his own library not desired by his son Benjamin or his widow. As a contingency plan, if the town did not create his desired library, Keayne specified that his books were to go to the library of Harvard College. The town did use Keayne’s legacy to partially fund the construction of the first town-house, which included the library (the first “public library” in Boston). The books were mostly saved from the 1711 fire which destroyed the building, but did not survive a second blaze in 1747.

For more on Keayne’s will, and an edited version of the text, see Bernard Bailyn, ed. “The Apologia of Robert Keayne”, Publications of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, Vol. 42 (1964), pp. 243-341.