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Winthrop family papers

Call Number: GEN MSS 274

Scope and Contents

The Winthrop Family Papers are organized in two series: I. Correspondence and II. Other Papers. The papers span the dates 1635-1720, with the bulk of the material dating from between 1670 and 1710.

Series I, Correspondence , is arranged in three subseries: Incoming Letters, Outgoing Letters, and Third Party Letters. Letters within each subseries are arranged alphabetically by recipient and then by correspondent.

The letters to Fitz-John Winthrop contain information on his particpation in the government of Sir Edmund Andros and his subsequent negotiations in London for the restoration of the colony's charter; Connecticut's border disputes with the colonies of Rhode Island and New York; and Indian conflicts and alliances. Letters to John Winthrop (1588-1649) include two from Roger Williams concerning disputes among Narragansett sachems and fights against the "Dutch Indians;" a June, 1636 letter from Jonathan Brewster discussing the war plans of the Pequots and their distrust of the English; a request for assistance from Lion Gardiner; and letters asking for medical advice and inquiring about conditions of settlement in Connecticut. The correspondence of John Winthrop (1681-1747) contains a request for a description of moose from Cotton Mather and a letter from Thomas Buckingham concerning the founding of the Collegiate School, which is also the subject of a third-party letter from Buckingham to James Fitch.

Series II, Other Papers , is arranged alphabetically by author and includes a "Note of payments disbursed to my son, for the affair of Connecticut" and a travel pass for the Niantic sachem Ninigret, both in the hand of John Winthrop (1588-1649). A contract by John Winthrop (1681-1747) authorizes his agents to purchase a Carbuncle stone from the Indians, if one can be located.


  • 1635-1727


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Winthrop 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

Gift of Robert C. Winthrop, 1897-1898.


0.4 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Contains letters from various people, including colonial officials and legislators, to Fitz-John Winthrop, John Winthrop (1588-1649), John Winthrop (1606-1676), and John Winthrop (1681-1747); one letter from Fitz-John Winthrop to Joseph Dudley; and various other documents, including Abraham Pierson's elegy on Theophilus Eaton, and a brief diary by John Winthrop (1606-1676).

Processing Information

This finding aid was produced from a previously existing card set in the Manuscripts Catalog, or from another inventory. All pertinent bibliographical information has been retained.

Guide to the Winthrop Family Papers
Under Revision
by Beinecke Staff
June 1997
Description rules
Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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Access Information

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