Guide to the Collection

Collection Summary


This collection consists of correspondence, diaries, and literary manuscripts of Lucy Larcom, collected by Daniel D. Addison; personal papers of Addison; and Addison family papers.

Biographical Sketches

Lucy Larcom (1824-1893) was a poet, teacher, abolitionist, and editor from Beverly and Lowell, Mass. She was the daughter of Benjamin Larcom, a sea captain, and Lois (Barrett) Larcom. As a girl, she went to work in the Lowell, Mass. mills, attending school part of the year. She wrote poetry and short stories from an early age. It was at Lowell that she first met poet John Greenleaf Whittier, who became a mentor and friend.

As 22, Larcom moved to Illinois to work as a teacher, and while there she attended the Monticello Female Seminary in Godfrey. She returned to Massachusetts and taught at Wheaton Seminary in Norton from 1854 to 1862 while continuing to write. Her poems were printed in prestigious journals and magazines, and she edited Our Young Folks, a children's periodical. Her published works include Similitudes from the Ocean and the Prairie (1854), Poems (1868), An Idyl of Work (1875), Wild Roses of Cape Ann, and Other Poems (1881), the autobiographical A New England Girlhood (1889), and As It Is in Heaven (1892).

Daniel Dulany Addison (1863-1936) was an Episcopal priest, historian, and writer. His biography of Larcom is entitled Lucy Larcom: Life, Letters, and Diary (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1894).

Collection Description

This collection consists of correspondence, diaries, and literary manuscripts of Lucy Larcom, collected by Daniel D. Addison for use in writing his Lucy Larcom: Life, Letters, and Diary; Addison family papers, including letters (1834) of the Van Cortland family of England to members of the family in Quebec; and correspondence and reports relating to Addison's work (1896-1919) on committees of the Protestant Episcopal Church and as an official of the American Mount Coffee Association providing relief for Liberia, as well as to the Ramabai Association for the relief of Hindu widows. The collection also includes publishers' accounts and communications relating to Larcom's contributions and to her work as editor of Our Young Folks magazine. Her correspondents include John G. Whittier, Phillips Brooks, Annie and James T. Fields, and Esther Hamilton.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Julia Dulany Addison, 1952.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Loose papers, 1797-1951

A. Lucy Larcom papers, 1849-1893

Box 1
Box 2
Box 2
Undated manuscripts
Box 3
Undated manuscripts
Box 4
Undated manuscripts

B. Daniel Dulany Addison papers, 1797-1951

Correspondence, 1797-1951

Box 5
Box 6
Box 7

Miscellaneous papers, 1797-1951

Box 7
Manuscript concerning American Ramabai Association
Box 8
Box 8
Box 8
Thomas G. Addison illuminated memorial (ms.), 1896

Printed material

Box 8
Miscellaneous printed material
Box 8
Newspaper clippings
Box 9
Ramabai Association annual reports, 1893-1898
Box 9
American Ramabai Association annual reports, 1899-1916, 1922, 1928

II. Volumes, 1862-1909

Vol. 1
American Mount Coffee Association letter-book, 1906-1909

Lucy Larcom diaries, 1862-1863, 1881-1893

The diaries of Lucy Larcom include sporadic descriptions of her thoughts, observations, and experiences. Entries reflect her views on her life, humanity, and faith; nature, including seasons and weather; contemporary issues, including President Lincoln and the Civil War; music; and her health.

Vol. 2
20 Aug. 1862-10 Feb. 1863 (with pages missing)
Vol. 3
28 Nov. 1881-20 Feb. 1893
Vol. 4
13-23 Sep. [18--]

III. Oversize papers

Box OS
Lucy Larcom manuscripts hymns
Box OS
Miscellaneous printed material
Box OS
Certificates to Daniel D. Addison

Preferred Citation

Daniel Dulany Addison collection, 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.


Addison, Daniel Dulany, 1863-1936.
Addison family.
Brooks, Phillips, 1835-1893.
Fields, Annie, 1834-1915.
Fields, James Thomas, 1817-1881.
Hamilton, Esther.
Van Cortland family.
Whittier, John Greenleaf, 1807-1892.


American Mount Coffee Association.
Episcopal Church--Clergy.
Ramabai Association.


Authors, American.
International relief--India.
International relief--Liberia.
Women authors.
Women poets.

Materials Removed from the Collection

Photographs from this collection have been removed to the Daniel Dulany Addison photographs (Photo. Coll. 160).