COLLECTION GUIDES

1671-1866

Guide to the Microfilm Edition


Collection Summary

Abstract

This collection consists of the papers of Thomas Wallcut, Boston antiquarian, copier of documents, and writer.

Biographical Sketch

One of the founding members of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Thomas Wallcut was born in Boston on 16 August 1758. At the age of twelve, Wallcut was sent for missionary training to Moor's Indian Charity School in Hanover, N.H., and he later lived at a Native American village near Montreal.

At the outbreak of the American Revolution, Wallcut returned to Boston to enlist, and he spent most of the war serving as steward and wardmaster at a military hospital in Albany, N.Y. After the war, back in Boston, Wallcut began writing political articles and editorials for several local periodicals. He invested most of his savings in an unfruitful land venture in Ohio, which he was forced to sell bit by bit for taxes.

In 1780, Wallcut became an engrossing clerk at the Massachusetts State House, where he was employed for over forty years copying documents. In his spare time, besides writing letters and articles on a wide variety of subjects, he began accumulating a large and valuable collection of historically important books and manuscripts. It was this antiquarian hobby, as well as his liberal ideals and literary interests, which led to his joining the other founders of the Massachusetts Historical Society. He eventually donated his collection to the Historical Society and to Bowdoin College.

Wallcut never married. Impoverished, he died at the McLean Asylum on 5 June 1840, at 82, and was buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Mass.

Sources

A memoir of Thomas Wallcut by his nephew, Robert F. Wallcut, was published in the MHS Proceedings, vol. 2, 1841, pp. 193-208.

Collection Description

The Thomas Wallcut papers consist of personal correspondence, mainly on family matters; miscellaneous historical documents; notes, essays, and rough drafts of articles; and letters on various topics (some in duplicate). Also included are two small account books, 1834-1840, and a 1790 diary kept by Wallcut at Marietta, Ohio.

Subjects include: the topographical history and boundaries of New England states, Native American affairs, town and street place names, U.S. history, genealogy, legislative boundaries and town voting laws, religion and the Bible, plants and gardens, statistics relating to states' histories, and patriotism. The collection also contains calendars and lists of miscellaneous facts, dates, and ideas.

Arrangement

The items in this collection were formerly arranged in scrapbooks in no particular order. These scrapbooks have been disbound and the items arranged in chronological order. Undated items are located on Reel 1. Index numbers found on cards referring to old volumes should be disregarded.

Many items are individually described in the MHS manuscript catalog.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Robert F. Wallcut, Sep. 1879.

Other Formats

Thomas Wallcut's 1790 diary, kept at Marietta, Ohio, was published in the MHS Proceedings, vol. 17, 1879, pp. 174-206.

Reel List to the Collection

I. Undated papers

Most of the undated papers are scraps, drafts, and notes of essays, some in duplicate. Undated oversize items are located at the end of the reel.

Reel 1
Draft of a letter to Mr. Oswald
Reel 1
Dimensions of materials for building a frigate of 44 guns
Reel 1
Essay on the subject of "nuisances"
Reel 1
Essay on "Topographical department...on the opening and improvement of inland navigation"
Reel 1
Notes for topographical miscellany
Reel 1
Pages from an account book
Reel 1
Account page
Reel 1
Vocabulary of English names of places in the town of Sandwich
Reel 1
Notes and forms for officially aiding the poor and afflicted: "To his excellency the governor and honorable council...," with copy
Reel 1
Comment on charity; fragment of p. 16 of a geographical list (two-sided)
Reel 1
Fragment of an historical list
Reel 1
Draft of an essay on fever
Reel 1
Essay on police nuisances
Reel 1
Draft of an essay on criticizing ancestors
Reel 1
Notes on "unconstitutional board..."
Reel 1
Patriotic essay
Reel 1
Fragment of an essay on Samuel Adams
Reel 1
Draft of remarks and a poem on John Few, "blind boy"
Reel 1
Draft of an essay on "fops"
Reel 1
Ideas for essays
Reel 1
Draft of an essay on "the tyrant"
Reel 1
Draft of an essay on gunpowder and alcohol, with copy
Reel 1
Notes on the theater
Reel 1
Notes on real estate
Reel 1
Fragment on pensions
Reel 1
Notes on newspapers
Reel 1
Essay on the condition of Foothill
Reel 1
Extract of a letter from Mr. Simpkins
Reel 1
Extract of a letter from "a merchant in England"
Reel 1
Extract of a letter from "a principal ---- in London"
Reel 1
Fragment of a letter from Thomas Boutineau
Reel 1
Letter to Judge [James] Sullivan from Thomas Andrews
Reel 1
Fragment of a note from unknown
Reel 1
Obituaries
Reel 1
Subscription forms for a Boston newspaper
Reel 1
Note from Mr. Eliot to Mr. Walcutt
Reel 1
Note regarding rooms to let, with copy
Reel 1
Back-to-back social notes
Reel 1
Mrs. Codman note
Reel 1
Notes on civil constitution and town voting
Reel 1
Draft of an essay on the Bible
Reel 1
Draft of an essay on the Bible in school
Reel 1
Letter requesting a review of "War inconsistent with the religion of Jesus Christ"
Reel 1
Letter on pamphlets dealing with war and peace
Reel 1
Essay on the litany of King's Chapel
Reel 1
Items concerning sermons
Reel 1
Prayer
Reel 1
"Coppy of the Committees Return to Boston. And Concerning the Conflict between the Sachems and English on Nantucket..."
Reel 1
List of plants and herbs indigenous to Nantucket
Reel 1
List of plants
Reel 1
Copy of a page from Thomas Story's journal relating to Nantucket
Reel 1
Scraps of notes (two-sided)
Reel 1
Committee findings on the state of Massachusetts maps
Reel 1
Notes on Pennsylvania
Reel 1
Copy of notes on Pennsylvania; draft of an essay on the origins of man
Reel 1
Extract of a letter from Ohio
Reel 1
Notes on the Ohio Company
Reel 1
Draft of Thomas Wallcut's petition to the Senate, with copy
Reel 1
Draft of Clerk's petition to the General Court
Reel 1
Thomas Wallcut's genealogical notes
Reel 1
Genealogical notes
Reel 1
Prospectus for "Massachusetts Garden and the Patriot's Common Place Book"
Reel 1
Drafts of and notes for "Massachusetts Garden and the Patriot's Common Place Book"
Reel 1
Fragments on town police
Reel 1
Draft of a letter on manuscripts for the Massachusetts Historical Society
Reel 1
Notes on establishing a "Female Asylum"
Reel 1
Notes on "Improvement in Customs and Manners"
Reel 1
Drafts of an essay on the benefits of the American Revolution
Reel 1
Thoughts on personal happiness
Reel 1
Description of Bulfinch's pasture
Reel 1
Scraps of notes on naming streets and towns
Reel 1
Essay on the village of Bedford (New Bedford)
Reel 1
Fragment on naming towns
Reel 1
Notes on enquiries for a description of counties and towns
Reel 1
Notes on aspects of counties
Reel 1
Notes and drafts of essays on legislative districts and geographical boundaries
Reel 1
Political calendar of "memorable events in the American annals"
Reel 1
"Reflection" on a Pantheon in America
Reel 1
Remarks on American heroes
Reel 1
Fragment on preserving the history of the country
Reel 1
Writing on the subject of "National Principles"
Reel 1
Scraps and notes
Reel 1
Scrap on the Massachusetts Register
Reel 1
Note from Manning and Loring on the Register
Reel 1
Letter with a partial signature, possibly of Jeremy Belknap, that accompanied a book
Reel 1
Ten items related to Native Americans
Reel 1
Maps of lots in an unknown place (oversize)
Reel 1
Lists of cantons in Maine (oversize)
Reel 1
Statistical records on states (oversize)

II. Dated papers, 1671-1866

Arranged chronologically. Dated oversize papers are incorporated into the chronological sequence.

Reel 2
1671-1797
Reel 3
1798-1866

II. Volumes, 1790-1840

Reel 3
Account book, 1834-23 Mar. 1839
Reel 3
Account book, 23 Mar. 1839-1840
Reel 3
Diary kept at Marietta, Ohio, 1790

Preferred Citation

Thomas Wallcut papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.

Persons:

Wallcut family.
Walcutt family--Genealogy.

Subjects:

Account books--1834-1840.
American newspapers--History.
Antiquarians--Diaries.
Botany--Massachusetts.
Botany--Massachusetts--Nantucket.
Boundaries, State.
Chronology, Historical--Charts, diagrams, etc.
Chronology, Historical--Tables.
Diaries--1790.
Education, Higher--United States--History--18th century.
Election districts--New England.
Family history--1750-1799.
Indians of North America--New England.
Maine--Statistics.
Marietta (Ohio)--Description and travel.
Massachusetts--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
Names, Geographical--Massachusetts--Sandwich.
Names, Geographical--New England.
Nantucket (Mass.)--History.
New England--Boundaries.
New England--History--Statistics.
North America--Discovery and exploration.
Ohio--Description and travel.
Sandwich (Mass.)--History.
United States--History--Chronology.
Universities and colleges--United States--History--18th century.
Voyages and travels--Diaries.