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Hapgood family papers

Call Number: YCAL MSS 41

Scope and Contents

The Hapgood Family Papers contain correspondence; manuscripts of books, plays, poems, articles, book reviews, essays, and short stories; business papers, diaries, maps, photographs, subject files, writings of others, and miscellaneous papers which document the lives and careers of various members of the Hapgood family and to a lesser extent the Boyce family, most notably Hutchins Hapgood and Neith Boyce Hapgood. The material spans the years 1829 to 1977, with the bulk falling between 1900 and 1940.

The papers are housed in forty-eight boxes and are divided into four series. Writings is by far the largest series in the collection. Family Correspondence comprises the second largest series. Personal Correspondence and Family Papers make up the rest of the collection. Oversize materials are placed at the end.

Series I, Personal Correspondence (Boxes 1-8), covers the period 1849-1950 and contains personal correspondence between members of the Hapgood and Boyce families with non-related individuals and business correspondence. The bulk of this material deals with Hutchins Hapgood and/or Neith Boyce Hapgood, although personal and business correspondence of other family members is also present. On the Hapgood side, these include Hutchins's parents Charles Hutchins Hapgood (1836-1917) and Fanny Louise Collins Powers Hapgood, his maiden aunt Emma Frances Hapgood who lived with his parents, his brothers Norman Hapgood and William Powers Hapgood, as well as the children of Hutchins and Neith, Harry Boyce Hapgood, Charles Hutchins Hapgood (1904-82), Miriam Hapgood DeWitt, and Beatrix Hapgood Faust. On the Boyce side, correspondents include Neith's parents, Henry Harrison Boyce and Mary Ella Smith Boyce, her sisters Margaret Boyce Bonnell and Faith Boyce, and her neice Elizabeth Boyce Reklaitis.

Included among the artistic and literary figures with whom the Hapgoods correspondended are Ray Stannard Baker, Arthur F. Bentley, Bernard and Mary Berenson, Bayard Boyesen, George Cram Cook, John Dos Passos, Theodore Dreiser, Max Eastman, Susan Glaspell, Hippolyte Havel, Robert Herrick, Mabel Dodge Luhan, Lewis Mumford, Georgia O'Keeffe, John Reed, Gertrude and Leo Stein, Maurice Sterne, Alfred Stieglitz, Carl Van Vechten, and Ella Winter. Hutchins's social and political activism is reflected in the correspondence of Abraham Cahan, John Collier, Edward J. Flynn, Emma Goldman, Anton Johannsen, Charles and Marguerite Kaeselau, Matthew and Katherine Schmidt, and Lincoln Steffens.

During the final years of their lives, Hutchins and Neith worked on a project which aimed to relate the story of the Hapgood family to the history of the United States. This work, entitled The Story of an American Family, was eventually published in 1953 (after the death of both Hutchins and Neith). It covered the years 1648 to 1917. In compiling the research materials for this book, Hutchins and Neith acquired copies of significant correspondence from prominent Hapgood family members, most notably that between Norman Hapgood, Hutchins's older brother, and Supreme Court justices Louis D. Brandeis and Felix Frankfurter, Learned Hand, and presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt. The folder of Theodore Roosevelt's correspondence reflects the relationship between the president and Colonel Henry H. Boyce, Neith's father.

The business correspondence primarily contains letters Neith exchanged with various magazines and other publishing houses about negotiations on submitted writings. The Letters of Bernard and Mary Berenson (Box 1, folders 17-19) provide information on the American literary circle in Florence over a fifty-year period. The Mabel Dodge Luhan correspondence (Box 5, folders 147-56), describes the activities of the Taos artistic and literary set. The correspondence of Fred J. Bowen (Box 1, folders 22-26) is mainly with Charles Hutchins Hapgood (1836-1917) and concerns the management of a 6000-acre cattle ranch he owned in Kansas. Bowen and T. H. O'Brien (Box 6, folder 177) discuss the death of Boyce Hapgood. A free-spirited soul who desired to experience the life of a cowboy on the western plains, Boyce was taken ill in Colorado and died suddenly at the age of eighteen in the influenza epidemic of 1918.

Scattered throughout the series is correspondence of close personal friends whom Hutchins and Neith knew from Key West, Florida, Provincetown, Massachusetts, and Richmond, New Hampshire. These include Edward and Peggy Bruce, Oliver and Ada Chafee, John and Elizabeth Cowles, Colin and Eva Cruikshank, John and Jane Dewey, Elsie Everts, Leslie Hopkinson, Russell and Katrina Johnson, William and Sally Johnstone, Bill and Lucy L'Engle, Harry Lorber (their personal physician), Eddie MacGowan, Frances Stanwood, Lucile Swan, Ridgley and Olivia Torrence, and Sam and Adele Wolman.

Series II, Family Correspondence (Boxes 9-21), covers the period 1849-1950 and contains correspondence among five generations of Hapgoods and, to a lesser extent, Boyce family members. This series provides information on a well-educated and culturally influential American family active in the literary life of the nation during a formative period of American history. It also provides a look at an educated American family typical in respect to its births and deaths, marriages and divorces, joys and sorrows. This material runs the gamut from letters to parents from their children away at summer camp to letters between husband and wife discussing philosophical and metaphysical issues.

The letters from the nineteenth century provide poignant impressions of everyday life in small New England villages as well as large cities such as Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. For instance, while on a visit to Washington, D.C., Charles Hutchins Hapgood (1836-1917) writes in a letter of February 1, 1865, to his mother about attending a reception given by Mrs. Lincoln.

The bulk of the correspondence was generated by Hutchins and Neith. As they often lived apart, they wrote one another frequently. Boxes 11-13 house Hutchins's letters to Neith; Boxes 18-20, Neith's to Hutchins. The collection also contains considerable correspondence from Hutchins and Neith to their son Charles Hutchins (Boxes 14-18), and to their daughter Miriam (Box 14, folders 402-14), but relatively little to daughter Beatrix (Box 14, folder 415) and son Boyce (Box 18, folders 473-75). The correspondence between Hutchins and his parents and his Aunt Emma provides glimpses into his adolescence, college years and world travels, and his later career. In letters to his aunt and mother, for instance, Hutchins mentions visiting the Samuel Clemenses. Genealogical charts of both Hapgood and Boyce families are provided on pages 14-18.

Series III, Writings (Boxes 22-44), represents the creative output of Hutchins and Neith Boyce Hapgood. Hutchins Hapgood's writings are divided into three sections, Books, Plays, and Shorter Works. The Books section consists of research notes, manuscript drafts, galley proofs, page proofs, advertisements, publicity, copyright agreements, printed versions, and book reviews of Hutchins's works. The most notable are The Story of a Lover, which recounts the married life of Hutchins and Neith in some detail, and Hutchins's autobiography, A Victorian in the Modern World. The Plays section contains manuscript drafts of two plays, including Enemies, one of the first works performed by the Provincetown Players. Shorter Works is comprised of Articles, Book Reviews (written by Hutchins on the works of others), Essays, and Letters to the Editor. Articles contains clippings of Hutchins's journalistic writings. Excepting those in Box 27, folders 758 and 792, which were published in the Chicago Evening Post, all of these articles appeared in various New York City newspapers and are typical examples of the muck-raking style.

The writings of Neith Boyce Hapgood are arranged under the headings of Books, Plays, Poems, and Shorter Works. The Books section consists of research notes, manuscript drafts, advertisements, contracts, and book reviews of Neith's works. Of note in this section are manuscripts for Neith's "Autobiography," written in the third person; "The Doomed City," which details life in Key West, Florida, during the 1930s; and "The Town in the Forest," a history of Richmond, New Hampshire. The Plays section is comprised of some two dozen dramatic works. Poems contains more than fifty poetic renderings. Shorter Works is comprised of book reviews, more than two dozen essays, letters to the editor, more than one hundred short stories, and miscellaneous research notes.

Series IV, Family Papers (Boxes 45-47), represents the accumulated personal papers and effects of five generations of Hapgood and Boyce family members. This series contains business papers, diaries, maps, photographs, writings of others, subject files, and miscellaneous papers. Business Papers provides information on the Hapgood cattle ranch in Kansas and the Columbia Conserve Company in Indianapolis. The diaries of Neith Boyce Hapgood present accounts of the Hapgood's sojourns in Italy in 1903 and 1914. During much of this time they were houseguests of the Berenson's at I Tatti. There are around fifty photographs of family members, friends, and family pets. The subject files contain a rich cross-section of family memorabilia, including poems, drawings, calling cards, wedding invitations, wills, and obituaries.

Oversize (Box 48) contains materials from all four series. It includes personal and family correspondence, research notes, draft fragments, book reviews, maps, photographs, subject files, and miscellaneous papers. Of particular interest are a photograph of Hutchins and Neith in a scene from the play Enemies, co-written by them, in Provincetown in 1916, and also two 1914 neswpaper articles on Mabel Dodge Luhan's famous salon at 23 Fifth Avenue in New York City, both illustrated with drawings depicting Mabel surrounded by admiring literati.


  • 1829 - 2000
  • Majority of material found within 1900 - 1940


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Hapgood Family Papers are the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired primarily through gift from Charles Hutchins Hapgood, 1950s-1970s. For more information, consult the appropriate curator.


Organized into six series: I. Personal Correspondence, 1849-1950. II. Family Correspondence, 1849-1940. III. Writings, 1893-1977. IV. Family Papers, 1829-1951. V. 2006 Addition, 1911-2000. VI. 2022 Addition, 1965.


21.42 Linear Feet ((49 boxes) + 2 broadsides)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The Hapgood Family Papers contain correspondence; manuscripts of books, plays, poems, articles, book reviews, essays, and short stories; plus business papers, diaries, maps, photographs, subject files, writings of others, and miscellaneous papers which document the lives and careers of various members of the Hapgood family and to a lesser extent the Boyce family, most notably Hutchins Hapgood and Neith Boyce Hapgood.


Hutchins Hapgood, journalist and author, was born on May 21, 1869 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Charles Hutchins and Fanny Louise Collins Powers Hapgood. Hutchins's father, descended from a long line of Massachusetts Hapgoods, moved west prior to the Civil War to seek his fortune. After an unsuccessful law practice and several business failures, Charles Hutchins Hapgood settled in Alton, Illinois, and eventually became a successful plow manufacturer. In their latter years the Hapgoods traveled frequently throughout America and Europe and included many prominent individuals within their social circle, most notably the Robert Todd Lincolns and the Samuel Clemenses.

Hutchins Hapgood received his early education in the Alton public schools. Like his father and two brothers, he attended Harvard University, receiving the B.A. degree in 1892 and the M.A. in 1897. In the interim he spent two years in study at the universities of Berlin and Freiburg, Germany, reading sociology and philosophy, and also traveled extensively. For a time he was an instructor in English composition at Harvard and the University of Chicago. After trying his hand at various jobs, Hapgood eventually decided to become a journalist like his older brother Norman.

Charles Hutchins Hapgood had a tremendous influence upon the character of his sons. Although not a religious man, he imparted to them a strong moral sense, an abhorance of great wealth, and a basic belief in progressive socialism. This, coupled with a liberal Harvard education and appropriate connections, led Hutchins Hapgood into the thick of muckraking journalism. His first newspaper job was with the New York Commercial Advertiser under the tutelage of Lincoln Steffens. Here he met Steffen's assistant, Neith Boyce, whom he married on June 22, 1899.

In 1904 Hapgood became the drama critic for the Chicago Evening Post. Returning to New York, he later became an editorial writer for the Evening Post, the Press, and the Globe. While maintaining his career as a journalist, Hapgood also wrote books. During the first decade of the twentieth century, he produced the bulk of his major works, including Paul Jones (1901), The Spirit of the Ghetto (1902), The Autobiography of a Thief (1903), The Spirit of Labor (1907), An Anarchist Woman (1909), and Types from City Streets (1910). The anonymously published Story of a Lover (1919), describing the "open" marriage which he and Neith maintained, was initially suppressed as pornographic. Hapgood's last great work was his autobiography, A Victorian in the Modern World (1933).

Hutchins Hapgood was a close friend of Mabel Dodge Luhan and an habitué of her salon at 23 Fifth Avenue. Other close friends included Bernard and Mary Berenson, Jacob Epstein, Max Eastman, Anton Johanson, Walter Lippmann, Robert Morss Lovett, Gertrude and Leo Stein, Alfred Stieglitz, Maurice Sterne, and Mark Sullivan. He and Neith were founding members of the Provincetown Players.

Hapgood's career declined following the death of his eldest child, Boyce, in 1918 and the end of the muckracking era. The last several years of his life he spent with Neith in Key West, Florida, at their home in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and on a farm in Richmond, New Hampshire. Hutchins Hapgood died on November 19, 1944, in Provincetown, and was buried in the family plot in East Cemetery, Petersham, Massachusetts.

For further biographical information, see The Hapgoods: Three Earnest Brothers (1977) by Michael D. Maraccio and A Victorian in the Modern World (1933) by Hutchins Hapgood.


Neith Boyce Hapgood, author, was born on March 21, 1872 in Franklin, Indiana, the daughter of Henry Harrison and Mary Ella Smith Boyce. She spent her formative years primarily in Los Angeles where her father, a former Union captain in the Civil War, was part-owner of the Los Angeles Times. Her mother was one of the founders of the Flower Festival, forerunner of the Tournament of Roses parade. Henry Boyce later sold his interest in the newspaper and entered real estate. This proved successful until an economic downturn forced Boyce into bankruptcy. The family then relocated to Boston for a few years before settling in New York.

As a child, Neith exhibited a keen interest in books and later began writing stories, some of which her father published in his newspaper. After the family moved East her father frequently asked her for stories to publish. As a young woman, she was a frequent contributor to Vogue magazine. Neith Boyce's first full-time job in journalism was as a reporter with the New York Commercial Advertiser, where she was the assistant to the city editor, Lincoln Steffens. She married Hutchins Hapgood on June 22, 1899, and had four children: Harry Boyce, Charles Hutchins, Miriam, and Beatrix.

Neith soon left journalism and devoted her time to writing and to the demands of motherhood. Her major works include: The Forerunner (1903), The Folly of Others (1904), Eternal Spring (1906), The Bond (1908), Two Sons (1917), Proud Lady (1923), Harry: A Portrait (1923), and Winter's Night (1927). The death of their firstborn of influenza in 1918 had a profound effect upon Neith. The writing of Harry: A Portrait, a memorial to his life, helped to bring her out of a deep mental depression.

Together with her husband, Neith socialized with the leading members of the artistic world of the United States (both resident and expatriate) during the first two decades of the twentieth century. By the 1930s she had produced all of her major works and spent her remaining years in Key West, Florida, Provincetown, Massachusetts, and Richmond, New Hampshire. She died on December 2, 1951, in Provincetown and is buried in the Hapgood family plot in East Cemetery, Petersham, Massachusetts.


Henry Harrison Boyce (1841-1903) m. 1870 Mary Ella Smith (1845-1937)
.....Neith Boyce (1872-1951) m. 1899 Hutchins Hapgood (1869-1944)
..........See: Hapgood Family (2), pp. 16-17
.....Carl Boyce (d. in infancy)
.....Paul Boyce (d. in infancy)
.....Erle Boyce (d. in infancy)
.....Etha Boyce (d. in infancy)
.....Helen Faith Boyce (1884-1935) m. 1912 Paul Boehncke
..........Charles Boyce* (1914-1937)
..........Elizabeth Boyce* (1916- ) m. Joseph Reklaitis
...............Joseph Reklaitis
...............Julie Reklaitis
.....Margaret Boyce (1886-1981) m. 1905 Bayard T. Bonnell (1880-1963)
..........Alice Harrison Bonnell (1907-)
..........Kenneth Bonnell (1910-1911)
..........Florence Mary Bonnell (1914-1975)
..........Theodore Roosevelt Bonnell (1922-1926)
..........Bayard Henry Bonnell (1927- )

*following the divorce of their parents, the children were given their mother's maiden name


Hutchins Hapgood (1763-1837) m. 1789 Betsey Grout
.....Thomas Hapgood (1790- ) m. 1818 Betsey Hopkins
.....Hutchins Hapgood (1792-1828)
.....Eliza Hapgood (1796-1835) m. 1826 Aaron Arms
..........Hutchins Hapgood Arms (1827-1845)
..........Elizabeth Grout Arms* (1830- ) m. Heman L. Wayland
..........Sophia Holland Arms* (1835- ) m. 1863 Amory Bigelow
.....Maria Hapgood (1798-1842) m. 1825 Ephraim Hinds (1780-1858)
.....Lydia Hapgood (1802-1807)
.....Seth Hapgood (1806-1864) m. Lydia Seaver Wilson (1806-1898)
..........Charles Hutchins Hapgood (1836-1917) m. 1867 Fanny Louise Collins Powers ( -1921)
...............See: Hapgood Family (2), pp. 16-17
..........Emma Frances Hapgood
..........Sarah Hapgood (d. in infancy)
.....Charles Hapgood (1811-1828)

*adopted by Seth and Lydia Hapgood

For further genealogical information, see The Hapgood Family (1898) by Warren Hapgood, The Story of an American Family (1953) by Neith Boyce Hapgood, and the Hapgood Family Papers, manuscript group number 795, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library.


Charles Hutchins Hapgood (1836-1917) m. 1867 Fanny Louise Collins Powers (-1921)
.....Norman Hapgood (1868-1937) m. 1896 1. Emilie Bigelow ( -1930)
..........Ruth Hapgood
.....[Norman Hapgood (1836-1917)] m. 1917 2. Elizabeth Kempley Reynolds (1894-1974)
..........Elizabeth Hapgood (1918- ) m. _____ Backman
..........Norman Hapgood, Jr. (1919- )
..........Ten Eyck Hapgood (1926- )
.....Hutchins Hapgood (1869-1944) m. 1899 Neith Boyce (1872-1951)
..........Harry Boyce Hapgood (1901-1918)
..........Charles Hutchins Hapgood (1904-1982) m. 1941 Tamsin Hughes (1906- )
...............Fred Hapgood (1942- ) m. 1986 Susan Heideman
...............Will Hutchins Hapgood (1944- ) m. 1964 Marilyn Odell
....................Todd Hapgood (1966- )
....................Scott Eric Hapgood (1967- ) m. 1989 Christine Pagnozzi
..........Miriam Hapgood m. 1930 1. Edward Hamilton Bright (1894-1954)
...............Edward Bright (1934- ) m. Jill Marsell
....................Phoebe Bright
....................Adam Bright
...............Timothy Bright (1937- )
..........[Miriam Hapgood] m. 1947 2. Vaso Trivanovitch (1899-1949)
..........[Miriam Hapgood] m. 1956 3. John DeWitt (1910-1984)
..........Beatrix Hapgood (1910- ) m. 1934 Luke H. Faust (1909- )
...............Luke Faust (1935- )
...............Neith Boyce Faust (1940- ) m. Ernest Souza (1918- )
.....William Powers Hapgood (1872- ) m. 1898 Eleanor Page
..........Powers Hapgood (1900-1949) m. Mary Donovan
..........Barta Hapgood
.....Ruth Hapgood (1880-1889)


Reuben L. Hess m. 1817 Fanny Louise Collins
.....Fanny Hess
.....Laura Louise Hess m. Titus William Powers
..........Fanny Louise Collins Powers ( -1921) m. 1867 Charles Hutchins Hapgood (1836-1917)
...............See: Hapgood Family, pp. 16-17

Appendix: Nicknames With The Hapgood Family Papers

[Key: "Nickname" / Full Name / Person(s) Predominantly Using This Form]

"Bee" / Faust, Beatrix Hapgood / her mother

"Benny" / Hapgood, Elizabeth / general

"Beth" / Reklaitis, Elizabeth Boyce / general

"Betty" / Reklaitis, Elizabeth Boyce / general

"Bill" / Hapgood, William Powers / general

"Billy" / Hapgood, William Powers / general

"Boston" / Hapgood, Harry Boyce / "Cowskin Joe"

"Brunnhilde" / Berenson, Mary / general

"Charley" / Boyce, Charles / general

"Collarinsky" / DeWitt, Miriam Hapgood / childhood friends

"Dutchee" / Leeuwen, N. van / general

"Em" / Hapgood, Emma Frances / general

"Emmie" / Hapgood, Emma Frances / general

"Faf" / Hapgood, Hutchins / Bernard & Mary Berenson

"Fay" / Boyce, Helen Faith / general

"Freddy" / Hapgood, Fred / general

"Hal" / Hapgood, Hutchins / his father

"Harry" / Hapgood, Hutchins / his mother & father

"Hutch" / Hapgood, Hutchins / general

"Infant" / Hapgood, Hutchins / his wife

"Infant" / Hapgood, Neith Boyce / her husband

"Jig" / Cook, George Cram / general

"Kid" / Hapgood, Hutchins / his wife

"Kid" / Hapgood, Neith Boyce / her husband

"Lizzie" / Wayland, Elizabeth Grout Arms / general

"Lukie" / Faust, Luke / general

"Madre" / Hapgood, Fannie Louise Collins Powers / general

"Marianka" / DeWitt, Miriam Hapgood / her father

"Matie" / Boyce, Mary Ella Smith / general

"May May" / Bonnell, Florence Mary / general

"Mim" / DeWitt, Miriam Hapgood / general

"Mirianke" / DeWitt, Miriam Hapgood / her father

"Ned" / Bright, Edward / general

"Neithie" / Souza, Neith Boyce Faust / general

"Padre" / Hapgood, Charles Hutchins (1836-1917) / general

"Pater" / Hapgood, Charles Hutchins (1836-1917) / general

"Peter" / Hapgood, Norman, Jr. / general

"Sophie" / Bigelow, Sophia Holland Arms / general

"Tam" / Hapgood, Tamsin Hughes / general

"Trix" / Faust, Beatrix Hapgood / general

"Trixie" / Faust, Beatrix Hapgood / general

"Willie" / Hapgood, William Powers / general

"Yaya" / Hapgood, Emma Frances / Powers Hapgood

Guide to the Hapgood Family Papers
by T. Michael Womack
June 1989
Description rules
Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

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