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Austin Foster Hawes papers

Call Number: MS 637

Scope and Contents

The Austin F. Hawes Papers contain correspondence, writings, photographs, newspaper clippings, and other papers related to Hawes's student life, his career as state forester in Connecticut and Vermont and as professor of forestry at the University of Vermont, as well as to forestry, the history of forestry in New England, and related topics.

The rather fragmentary selection of correspondence falls into two groups. The early correspondence (1900-1911) is largely in the form of typed transcripts compiled by Hawes from his letters to his family and annotated and illustrated with photographs. The letters emphasize his experiences in forestry school and in his early career rather than family matters. Some additional correspondence of this period may be found in Hawes's 1906 notebook (folder 52). The later correspondence (1942-1959) consists mostly of incoming letters discussing Connecticut forestry history; various short writings and other materials are enclosed. Prominent correspondents include Wilbur Cross, Gifford Pinchot, and Herman Chapman.

Hawes's writings, both holographs and typescripts, constitute over one-third of the papers. They deal with various aspects of forestry and the history of forestry, the major work being a two-volume typescript, "History of Forestry in Connecticut 1849-1944." Many of the writings are at least in part autobiographical. There are also two short excerpts from Hawes's diary describing trips to the Midwest (1917) and to Cuba (1938), and two notebooks. One, "Notes Taken on the Forest Conditions in Baden and Eastern France, Fall 1906," contains laid-in photographs and correspondence. The other (1912-1916) contains scattered notes on topics in forestry.

Also in the papers are memoranda and other materials of the Connecticut Forest and Park Commission, its chairman George Waldo, and Herman Chapman, president of the Commission on Forests and Wild Life, collected by Hawes. The bulk of these concern controversial changes in the administrative structure of the commission which led Hawes to resign from the commission in protest in 1943. Other materials in the papers include a few items from the Society of American Foresters; a selection of short writings by various authors, including Dorothy Canfield Fisher, on forestry and related topics; newspaper clippings; over one hundred photographs of foresters and forest scenes in Connecticut and elsewhere; memorabilia such as Hawes's certificates of appointment to the Bureau of Forestry in the Department of Agriculture, and a guestbook signed by numerous foresters; and, finally, miscellaneous papers, including a list of courses at the Yale School of Forestry, pine tree statistics from 1901, and so forth.

These papers were donated to Yale University by Mrs. E. A. Currier, sister of Austin Hawes.

Related material may be found in the Herman H. Chapman Papers, Mss Group No. 134.


  • 1880-1968


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by Austin Foster Hawes has been transferred to Yale University. These materials may be used for non-commercial purposes without seeking permission from Yale University as the copyright holder. For other uses of these materials, please contact

Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mrs. E. A. Currier, ca. 1963; and Kenneth Walthall, 1996.


3.25 Linear Feet (5 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The papers consist of correspondence, diaries, manuscripts, photographs, and newspaper clippings, which document Austin Hawes's student life, his career as state forester of Connecticut, his controversial retirement from that position, and his travels in Central and South America. Also included are papers concerning his European travels, his job as state forester of Vermont, and as professor of history at the University of Vermont. Correspondents include Henry Graves and Gifford Pinchot.

Biographical / Historical

Austin F. Hawes was born on March 17, 1879, in Danvers, Massachusetts, the son of Frank M. Hawes and Harriet (Foster) Hawes. He graduated from Tufts College with a B.A. in 1901, and from the Yale School of Forestry with an M.F. in 1903. He also studied forestry in Europe in 1906. In 1908 he married Alice Clapp.

Hawes was employed by the United States Forest Service during the summers of 1900, 1901, and 1902. In 1903 he assumed the position of forest assistant, and in 1904 that of state forester of Connecticut. From 1909 to 1917 he was state forester of Vermont, and professor of forestry at the University of Vermont.

In 1921 Hawes again took up the post of state forester of Connecticut, and remained there until 1943 when he resigned in protest over the re-organization of the Connecticut Forest and Park Commission.

Hawes was the author of numerous atticles, and the co-author of several books, including Forestry in New England with R. C. Hawley (1912), Manual of Forestry for the Northeastern United States with R. C. Hawley (1918), and Common Forest Trees of Connecticut with W. R. Mattoon (1925).

Austin Hawes died in 1962.

Guide to the Austin Foster Hawes Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Staff of Manuscripts and Archives
September 1996
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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