New @ the MHS: Winslow Family Memorial
The Massachusetts Historical Society recently acquired a very interesting manuscript collection called the Winslow Family Memorial (Ms. N-2322). Begun by Boston merchant Isaac Winslow (1774-1856) in about 1837 and continued after his death by his daughter Margaret Catharine Winslow, this unique manuscript tells the story of the Winslow family in England and America from approximately 1620 to 1839. The bulk of the Memorial deals with political matters in early America, including the life of Isaac’s father Isaac Winslow (1743-1793), a Loyalist in Boston during the Revolutionary War. A combination of memoir, genealogy, and political history, the manuscript incorporates first-hand accounts of important events (excerpted from correspondence and diaries of various family members), interspersed with personal reflections and reminiscences by both Isaac and Margaret.
Though the Memorial fills only two manuscript boxes, its catalog record and online collection guide are extensive. This is because of the vast scope of the material; the manuscript touches on most of the major historical events that occurred in America and Europe between 1620 and 1839. Not just the American Revolution, but the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, and the War of 1812 figure prominently. Other subjects include state and national politics, Federalism and Anti-Federalism, commerce and trade, slavery, smallpox, the development of the Sandemanian Church (of which the Winslows were members), and Isaac’s two trips to Europe and the Mediterranean in 1795 and 1796. The Memorial also contains philosophical digressions, depictions of family relationships, and a poignant description of the depression and suicide of Isaac’s father.
The collection consists of five volumes: three volumes of unbound pages (many with additional material attached) and two bound volumes. Isaac’s portion begins with a preface addressed to his daughter Margaret:
The present work whether viewed as autography Biography or even Family history is certainly digressive, and were I to rewrite it much would be lop’d of[f], especially if I supposed it was intended for publication—Such not being the case I leave the work as it is, assured that you my dear daughter will not suspect me of Ancestral Pride so vain yet so common to man. No New Englander ought to have this, and yet none are without it.
The love of family is in fact but the love of country on a smaller scale. Both perhaps are a sort of instinctive feeling, but not the less agreeable for being natural—Both look with the eyes of affection and interest not only on the present, but on the past. The history of what has been, has always been interesting to man, especially of his own country—how much more so is the history of that part of his country, in which he is more immediately concerned, his own family. He feels as if he was a party in the events and circumstances in which his predecessors were actors, or sufferers. He exults in their success, sympathizes with their misfortunes, rejoices in their happiness, and feels grieved at their afflictions.
The Winslow Family Memorial was transcribed in 2009-2010 by the donor of the collection, Dr. Robert W. Newsom of the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Newsom’s transcriptions, which also contain chapter abstracts and extensive footnotes, are a great resource for researchers, so the MHS has incorporated his work into our collection guide. The guide for the Memorial, broken down by volume and chapter, includes links to Dr. Newsom’s transcriptions and detailed descriptions of each volume in PDF format.
This manuscript is a valuable addition to the many other collections at the MHS related to the Winslows. It also offers unique insight into a prominent New England family who lived through some of the greatest upheavals in early American history.
| Published: Friday, 15 April, 2011, 10:00 AM
Spotlight on Collections: Henry Cabot Lodge, Part VI
Over the last several weeks in Spotlight on Collections I discussed the life and influence of the Cabot family, the Lodge family, Henry Cabot Lodge (HCL), and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. (HCL II). Sadly, this week will be my final installment on the Lodges. To close up the series I will look to HCL II, to his connection with the Society, and to the many collections of his papers available at the Society.
Like his grandfather, HCL II became a member of the Society early in his career. In 1947 the nominating committee and MHS council elected HCL II a resident member of the Society. As the beginning of his membership corresponded with his first term as U.S. senator, HCL II was not available much of the time to take part in many of the member meetings and events. Although his work in the Senate and then as an ambassador took him away from the normal duties of a Society member, HCL II contributed to the Society by donating important Lodge family papers. These papers included the previously mentioned two collections of Henry Cabot Lodge papers, the Lodge-Roosevelt correspondence, the John Ellerton Lodge papers, and the papers of his father George Cabot Lodge. HCL II also donated many other family papers such as correspondence between Henry Adams and Matilda Elizabeth Frelinghuysen Davis in the Adams-Lodge correspondence, the John Davis scrapbook (HCL II’s maternal grandfather), and the George Cabot Lodge collection.
By 1975, as HCL II’s political and diplomatic career was winding down, HCL II retired as a member of the Society. Although his membership ended, HCL II continued a relationship with the Society by donating a very large collection of his own papers in 1978. HCL II’s papers, the Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. papers, is made up of over 66 cartons of material, most of which are stored offsite. This collection contains letters, speeches, scrapbooks, photographs, audio tapes, newsreels, and memorabilia concerning Lodge's career as a reporter for the New York Herald Tribune, Massachusetts state representative, United States senator, and representative to the United Nations. Although the Society microfilmed a small portion of this collection (Cartons 30-35 and 37), the majority of the collection is stored offsite and is available for researchers to view with advance notice.
Upon his death in 1985, HCL II bequeathed a slightly smaller set of his papers, the Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. papers II which included papers concerning his service in World War II, his diplomatic career in Vietnam and the United Nations, and his 1952 Senate race against John F. Kennedy. The entirety of this collection, consisting of fourteen cartons, four document boxes, and one oversize box, has been microfilmed. The original papers are stored off-site, but researchers can make use of the microfilm edition, which is stored onsite for researcher access.
Along with each collection of his personal papers, HCL II also donated a number of photographs. For preservation purposes, thirteen boxes, two oversize boxes, and thirty-nine volumes of photographs were removed from the Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. papers and renamed the Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. photographs. This collection includes loose photographs, scrapbooks, and photograph albums that depict his political career and family life. The 591 photographs removed from the Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. papers II were renamed the Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. photographs II . This collection contains photographs of HCL II, portraits of Lodge family members and political figures, photographs of Emily Sears Lodge's charity work in Vietnam, and photos of manuscripts. Both of these collections are available for researcher use in the library.
Although in different ways, both HCL and HCL II contributed to the Society. They helped shape its history, its collection, and its reputation. In their support for the Society both men demonstrated their belief in the importance of preserving history, whether it be books, manuscripts, artifacts, or photographs. I would like to think that their understanding of the importance of history was a key factor in making them so successful in politics and diplomacy, but I will have to leave the verification of that to the historians.
| Published: Wednesday, 13 April, 2011, 10:00 AM
Spotlight on Collections: Henry Cabot Lodge, Part V
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.
| Published: Wednesday, 23 March, 2011, 10:00 AM
Spotlight on Collections: Lodge Papers, Part IV
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.
| Published: Wednesday, 9 March, 2011, 8:00 AM
Spotlight on Collections: The Lodge Papers, Part 3
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.
| Published: Wednesday, 23 February, 2011, 8:00 AM