Digital Commonwealth

Harrison Gray Otis (1765-1848) professional papers

Item Information

Title:
Harrison Gray Otis (1765-1848) professional papers
Description:
Harrison Gray Otis (1765-1848) professional papers (MS020) reflect the planning and work of Harrison Gray Otis (1765-1848), the Proprietors of Mount Vernon, and the Boston Mill Corporation in developing the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. The papers are largely comprised of professional correspondence; legal and real estate documents; and site plans. The collection focuses on the initial 1796 purchase of Copley Pasture in Boston, Massachusetts, from artist John Singleton Copley (1738-1815); the ensuing dispute of the land sale; and the challenges of the Proprietors right of title. Also represented within the collection are architect Charles Bulfinch (1763-1844); artist John Singleton Copley (1738-1815); the Overseers of the Poor; Boston Mayor Josiah Quincy, III (1772-1864); and other individuals involved in the disputed sale of Copley Pasture in Boston, Massachusetts. A small collection of personal papers (i.e., correspondence, deed extracts, genealogical material, photographs, clippings, etc.) belonging to other Otis family members and a small collection of printed material (including newspapers) relating to the political career of Harrison Gray Otis (1765-1848) are also included. The collection also contains a substantial amount of oversize and fragile material. The collection is arranged in three series. Background: In the 1960s, Historic New England acquired the business papers of Harrison Gray Otis (1765-1848) as a donation from Samuel Eliot Morison (1887-1976), great-great-grandson of Harrison Gray Otis (1765-1848). The papers formed the bases of the collection: Business Papers of Harrison Gray Otis (1765-1848) (now MS020). Initially, the collection was loosely arranged into fifteen folders and stored in a wooden trunk. In 1979, intern Susan Myerson processed the papers and created the original finding aid. The papers consisted of correspondence, financial records, and legal documents (primarily conveyances, indentures, and depositions). Original arrangement: Series I. Business Papers of Harrison Gray Otis, 1793-1845, [undated] [Subseries A.] Correspondence, Incoming, 1812-1840, [undated] [Subseries B.] Correspondence, Outgoing, 1831-1840, [undated] [Subseries C.] Correspondence, John Singleton Copley, 1793-1796 [Subseries D.] Financial Papers, 1793-1844 [undated] [Subseries E.] Legal Papers, ca.1795-1845 [undated] [Subseries F.] Maps and Drawings, 1769-1835 [undated] [Subseries G.] Printed Matter, ca.1826-1827 [undated] [Subseries H.] Miscellaneous Papers (folders 31-33) Series II. Papers of Harrison Gray (1711-1794), 1756-1783 [Subseries A.] Legal Papers, [1756-1783] Series III. Papers of Samuel A. Otis (1740-1814), 1768-1791 [Subseries A.] Legal Papers, [1768-1791] [Subseries B.] Financial Papers, [1771-1772] Series IV. Papers of William Foster Otis (1801-1858), 1829-1852, [undated] [Subseries A.] Correspondence, Incoming, [1835-1852, undated] [Subseries B.] Legal Papers, [1829-1835] [Subseries C.] Financial Papers, [1847] Series V. Papers of other persons, 1766-1820 [Subseries A.] Legal Papers, [1766-1820] Series VI. Papers of Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation, 1821-1828, 1842 [Subseries A.] Correspondence, Incoming, [1828-1842] [Subseries B.] Legal Papers, [1825-1828] [Subseries C.] Other Legal Papers, [1821-1826] [Series VII. Miscellaneous Papers, 1801-1807, undated] When fully processed, the collection comprised two file boxes (approx. 0.83 linear ft.). Fragile and oversize materials were placed in the vertical/flat files with the exception of some oversize correspondence and related attachments, which remained in the file boxes. Additionally, one continuous numbering system was applied to all the folders and the additional materials, found during the course of processing, remained unprocessed. Note: Prior to donating his great-great-grandfather's papers to Historic New England, Samuel Eliot Morison (1887-1976) used the papers to write his biographies on Harrison Gray Otis (1765-1848): ·Life and Letters of Harrison Gray Otis Federalist 1765-1848, 1913 ·Harrison Gray Otis 1765-1848: The Urbane Federalist, 1969. Update: 2013-2014 In 2013-2014, through a National Historical Publications and Records Commission grant (Award Number: NAR13-RH-50051-13: "Family Manuscript Collections: Expanding Online Access to New England Heritage Project"), twenty-six Historic New England manuscript collections of family papers were re-evaluated and processed/reprocessed to meet current archival standards and "best practices;" corresponding finding aids were created/updated to be DACS-compliant and converted into electronic Microsoft Word document form; and the finding aids were made accessible/searchable online through the use of the Minisis M2A archival database of the Minisis Collections Management System. The Harrison Gray Otis (1765-1848) professional papers (MS020) were part of the grant project. Since 1979, following the initial processing of the collection and creation of the original finding aid, an index was prepared for the unprocessed portfolio material (site plans and oversize material); subsequent acquisitions/accessions were added to the collection; notations were added to the original finding aid; and an accumulation of unprocessed material remained. During the 2013-2014 collection reprocessing/updating, the 1979 arrangement scheme was updated; most of the original folder titles were maintained (appropriate headings and folder titles were supplied, as applicable); related folders were combined or rearranged, as applicable; the accumulated unprocessed material (except for the portfolio of site plans and oversize material) was incorporated into the collection; scope and content notes were updated to reflect the changes; and additional research was added to the biographical/historical sketch and genealogy. Preservation issues were identified and basic preservation methods were applied, as applicable; and papers throughout the collection were removed from envelopes (if applicable), unfolded, flattened, and related pages were noted with corresponding information in brackets ([x-1/3], [x-2/3], [x-3/3]. Oversize material was rehoused appropriately (or materials were interleafed within file boxes), as applicable. The collection was rehoused (in acid-free folders and boxes), numbered, labeled, barcoded, and stored accordingly; subsequent accessions were tracked and noted with their corresponding items; missing items were noted; and related collections held by Historic New England and other repositories were researched and noted. The original 1979 paper document finding aid was updated to be DACS-compliant, as applicable; converted into an electronic 2010-2013 Microsoft Word document finding aid (with corresponding paper finding aid); and entered into the collection record in the Minisis M2A online database. 2013 extent of collection (prior to updating): ·3 file boxes (legal-size)= 1.25 linear feet ·Vertical/flat files *Yale linear footage calculator: approximately 1.25 linear feet (3 file boxes) plus vertical/flat files. NOTE: Processing/updating the collection and making the finding aid accessible online were made possible through grants from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (Award Number: NAR13-RH-50051-13), the Bedford Family Foundation, and an anonymous donor.
Date:
1658–1966
Format:
Manuscripts
Genre:
professional papers
Location:
Historic New England
Collection (local):
MS020: Harrison Gray Otis (1765-1848) professional papers
Subjects:
abstracts (summaries)
account books
agreements
architects
artists (visual artists)
books
burial records
business (commercial function)
business letters
businessmen
card photographs (photographs)
certificates
civil actions
civil court records
commercial correspondence
contracts
conveyances
correspondence
deeds
depositions
district courts
financial records
genealogies
Georgian Revival
indentures
invitations
land subdivision
lawyers
leases
legal documents
legal notices
letters (correspondence)
mayors
memorandums
merchants
minutes
notebooks
personal correspondence
petitions
politicians
powers of attorney
professional papers
publications
real estate
real estate development
scrapbooks
sheet music
site plans
warrants
wills
writs
Boston (Mass.). History
United States. History. Civil War, 1861-1865
United States. History. Revolution, 1775-1783
Boston Latin School (Mass.)
Boston Mill Corporation
Church in Brattle Square (Boston, Mass.)
Harvard College (1636-1780)
Harvard College (1780- )
Mill Pond Corporation
Mount Auburn Cemetery (Cambridge, Mass.)
New Cornhill Corporation
Proprietors of Mount Vernon
Trinity Church (Boston, Mass.)
Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848
Andrews, William T.
Appleton, William Sumner, 1874-1947
Bayard, Samuel
Bowditch, N. I. (Nathaniel Ingersoll), 1805-1861
Braynard, Selden
Bulfinch, Charles, 1763-1844
Cabot, Samuel, 1758-1819
Carnes, David
Carnes, Thomas
Chapman, Thomas
Chase, Joshua
Coffin, Isaac
Cotting, Uriah
Cushing, Charles
Cunningham, Nathaniel
Cunningham, Susanna
Dennie, William
Dominion, William
Erving, George W.
Fisher, Luther H.
Gayette, Anne R.
Gray, Harrison, 1712-1794
Gray, Harrison
Gray, John
Gray, Mary (Otis), 1730-
Gray, Sophia
Hancock, John, 1737-1793
Homer, William
House, Abner
Hull, William
Johnson, Joshua, 1742-1802
Jones, John Coffin
Joy, Benjamin, 1772-1829
Leach, Thomas
Lillie, Mehitable, 1756-1825
Lillie, Samuel Phillips, 1756-1836
Loring, C. J.
Lowell, John, 1743-1802
Lyman, Elizabeth Gray (Otis), 1791-1824
Lyman, George Williams, 1786-1880
Lyndhurst, John Singleton Copley, Baron, 1772-1863
Mason, Jonathan, 1756-1831
Minot, William
Moncrief, Joseph
Morison, Samuel Eliot, 1887-1976
Nichols, B. R.
Otis, Abigail, 1738-1766
Otis, Abigail, 1774-
Otis, Allyne, 1796-1806
Otis, Allyne, 1807-1873
Otis, Elizabeth, 1739-
Otis, Elizabeth, 1767-
Otis, Elizabeth Henderson (Boardman), 1796-1873
Otis, Elizabeth (Coffin)
Otis, Elizabeth Coffin (Marquand)
Otis, Elizabeth (Gray), 1747-1779
Otis, Emily (Marshall), 1807-1836
Otis, George, 1797-1798
Otis, George Harrison, 1810-1833
Otis, Hannah, 1732-
Otis, Harriet, 1787-
Otis, Harrison Gray, 1765-1848
Otis, Harrison Gray, 1792-1827
Otis, Horatio Nelson, 1816-1881
Otis, James, 1702-1778
Otis, James, 1725-1783
Otis, James F.
Otis, James William, 1800-1869
Otis, Joseph, 1725-1810
Otis, Maria (Walter), 1743-1826
Otis, Martha, 1736-1736
Otis, Martha (Church)
Otis, Mary, 1794-
Otis, Mary Allyne, 1702--
Otis, Mary Foster, 1795-1796
Otis, Mary Smith (Gray)
Otis, Nathaniel, 1734-1735
Otis, Nathaniel, 1743-1763
Otis, Rebecca (Sturgis)
Otis, Ruth (Cunningham)
Otis, Sally (Foster), 1770-1836
Otis, Samuel Allyne, 1740-1814
Otis, Samuel Allyne, 1768-1814
Otis, Sarah, 1742-1742
Otis, W. A.
Otis, William F. (William Foster), 1801-1858
Paine, Robert Treat, 1731-1814
Quincy, Josiah, 1772-1864
Richie, Andrew, 1786-1862
Richie, Sophia Harrison (Otis), 1798-1874
Sawyer, William
Scollay, William
Scott, Captain
Sears, David, 1787-1871
Smith, Joseph
Sohier, W.
Stearns, W. G.
Sullivan, William
Taylor, William
Thorndike, Israel
Thorndike, J.
Thorndike, Sally (Otis), 1793-1819
Ticknor, George, 1791-1871
Tucker, E.
Vinall, John, 1736-1823
Warren, Henry
Warren, James, 1726-1808
Warren, Mercy Otis, 1728-1814
Welles, Samuel
Wendell, Oliver
Wilkins, J. H.
Woodward, Joseph
Worcester, Thomas
Places:
MassachusettsBarnstable (county)Barnstable
MassachusettsMiddlesex (county)Cambridge
MassachusettsCharles (river)
MassachusettsSuffolk (county)Boston
Harrison Gray Otis House, First House (Boston, Mass.)
Harrison Gray Otis House, Second House (Boston, Mass.)
Harrison Gray Otis House, Third House (Boston, Mass.)
Extent:
Professional papers: 2.5 linear ft. (6 file boxes) plus 15 oversize folders and 1 oversize volume
Link to Item:
Terms of Use:
Rights status not evaluated.
Contact host institution for more information.
Notes:
Gift of Sameuel Eliot Morison, ca.1960
Identifier:
171178
Call #:
MS020