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Hooker family papers

Call Number: MS 289

Scope and Contents

The papers consist of correspondence, notebooks, scrapbooks, albums, genealogical material, and miscellanea relating to the personal lives and professional careers of several members of the Hooker family, including Edward Hooker (1822-1903), a naval commander for the Union forces during the Civil War.

The papers are organized in six series.

SERIES I, CORRESPONDENCE, 1623-1900, contains the letters of several family members. The earliest items are attributed to Thomas Hooker (1586/1587-1647). Letters of Edward Hooker (1785-1846) include references to life among the Moravians of North Carolina during the early 1800s. Correspondence and papers relating to Noadiah Hooker includes material documenting his service as a colonel in the Connecticut militia during the Revolutionary War. Much of the correspondence contains genealogical data used in the compilation ofDescendantsof the Reverent Thomas Hooker. Many deeds, leases, indentures, and wills of family members are also arranged in this series.

SERIES II, EDWARD HOOKER, 1805-1902, consists of the personal papers of a United States naval officer who was a leading figure in several Civil War battles. Two logbooks (1850, 1863) detail two of Hooker's naval exploits. The 1850 logbook charts the journey of the brigMarcelluswhich, with Hooker as master, sailed from New York to Puerto Rico, the Turkish Islands, and back to New York. The 1863 logbook records the activities of Hooker as commander of the second division, Potomac Flotilla, on board the U.S.S.Currituckand his log as acting commander aboard the U.S.S.Commodore Reed, which patrolled the Rappahannock River during the Civil War.

An account book (1847-1855) includes personal finances in addition to records for a variety of ships and voyages.

SERIES III, GENEALOGICAL FILES, 1823-1902, consists of several scrapbooks, notebooks, printed material, charts, and other items delineating the history of the Hooker family. Information on the earliest descendants of the family, on Massachusetts branches of the family, and biographical data on many individuals is contained in this series.

SERIES IV, FAMILY PAPERS, 1728-1845, consists of volumes, account books, deeds, and other material of Hooker family members including Mary Ann Bates Davenport, John Hooker, Julia Ann Hooker, and Nathaniel Hooker.

SERIES V, ALBUMS, consists of several volumes of family photographs, many of which are unidentified. The portraits include children and adults, men and women, and various scenes.

SERIES VI, PRINTED MATERIAL, 1914-1929, consists of scholarly articles written by Henry D. Hooker, Jr., relating to his work as a horticulturalist.

FOLIO consists of deeds, indentures, and documents relating to members of the Hooker family.

The Hooker Family Papers are a compilation of several donations to Yale University from 1946-1972. The papers of one family member; Charles Hooker, are arranged in a separate manuscript collection. For details on that collection consult the finding aid.


  • 1623-1929


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. 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

Various gifts to Yale University Library, 1946-1972.


Arranged in six series: I. Correspondence, 1623-1900. II. Edward Hooker, 1805-1902. III. Genealogical Files, 1823-1902. IV. Family Papers, 1728-1845. V. Albums. VI. Printed Material.


7.5 Linear Feet (17 boxes, 1 folio)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The papers contain correspondence, financial and legal records, genealogical material, account books, maps, autograph albums, scrapbooks, ships' logs, and memorabilia from several generations of the Hooker family of Farmington, Connecticut. Early family records contain correspondence and documents relating to the American Revolution. Eighteenth-century legal and financial records in the papers include deeds and leases on land in Farmington, Connecticut; indentures (1760-1763); wills; and inventories of estates. One of the major figures in the papers is Edward Hooker (1822-1903), commander in the United States Navy. Two volumes document his command of the Potomac Flotilla (1863) and of the U.S.S. Commodore (1864-1865), both during the Civil War. Maps and charts collected by Edward Hooker relate to the Civil War and eight are connected with his command of the U.S.S. Idaho during its voyage around the world (1867-1868).

Biographical / Historical

EDWARD HOOKER (1822-1903)

Edward Hooker was born on December 25, 1822, in Farmington, Connecticut. He served in the merchant marine (1837-1861) and entered the United States Navy as acting master on the gunboat Louisiana. Several promotions during the Civil War placed him in command of boats on the Rappahannock River. Hooker served as naval storekeeper in the Brooklyn navy-yard (1865-1867) and commanded the store-ship Idaho (1867-1869). He then served as inspector of yards and docks at the New York navy-yards (1820) and retired in 1884 with the rank of commander. Hooker died in Brooklyn, New York, in 1903.

* * * * *

EDWARD HOOKER (1785-1846)

Edward Hooker, the youngest of eleven children of Colonel Noadiah Hooker of Farmington, Connecticut, and a brother of John Hooker (Yale 1796), was born in Farmington on April 27, 1785. His scholarship in college was high, and he delivered at commencement an oration on the influence of foreign manners and opinions.

Immediately on graduation he joined his brother John in Columbia, South Carolina, for the study of law, intending to practice in the South. Later, he taught a school in what is now Cambridge, nearly sixty miles west of Columbia, from February 1806 until March 1807, and served as tutor in South Carolina College, in Columbia, from March 1807 to November 1808. He then, just as he was ready for admission to the bar, returned to Connecticut, to accept a tutorship at Yale, where he remained for three years.

While in this position he became engaged to Elisabeth, second daughter of Captain Henry Daggett (Yale 1771), of New Haven, and in preparation for his marriage he resigned his office in the College, returned to Farmington, assumed the charge of his aged father's farm and other business affairs, and built a home for himself.

He was married on May 24, 1812.

His mother died in November 1816, and he then took his father to his own house and fitted up the old home as a school for the preparation of boys, especially from the South, for college.

The school became quite noted, but after a few years a movement was undertaken for the establishment of an academy in Farmington, and Mr. Hooker closed his own school to further this plan.

He then settled down to literary work, active participation in the public affairs of the town, and scientific farming. He filled the offices of Town Clerk (1828-1833), Justice of the Peace, and Judge of Probate (1834-1836). He represented Farmington in the General Assembly in 1835, 1837, and 1838. From 1822 to 1834 he served as Deacon in the Congregational Church.

He died in Farmington, after four days illness, from exhaustion and disease contracted by attendance on a dying brother, on May 5, 1846, at the age of 61.

His widow died in Hartford on August 2, 1869, at the age of 83.

Their children were two daughters and three sons. One daughter and one son died in infancy. The elder daughter married the Hon. Francis Gillette (Yale 1829). The elder son was graduated here in 1837, and the youngest became a Commander in the Navy.

Portions of Mr. Hooker's very interesting manuscript diary, from September 1805 to December 1808, were printed in the Annual Report for 1896 of the American Historical Association, volume I, pp. 842-929.

(Taken from Yale Biographies and Annals by F.B. Dexter)

* * * * *


Henry Daggett Hooker, B.A. 1912. Born January 25, 1892, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Died October 26, 1929, in Columbia, Mo.

Father, Henry Daggett Hooker, a non-graduate member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Class of 1884; an architect; son of Commander Edward Hooker, U. S. N., and Esther Ann (Battey) Hooker, of Brooklyn. Mother, Mary Theodora (Davenport) Hooker; daughter of Julius and Mary Ann (Bates) Davenport, of Brooklyn. Yale relatives include: John Davenport, a member of Yale Corporation 1714-1731 (great-great-great-great-great-grandfather); Henry Daggett (B.A. 1771) (great-great-grandfather); Edward Hooker (B.A. 1805) (great-grandfather); John Hooker (B.A. 1796) (great-great-uncle); John Hooker (B.A. 1837) (great uncle); William B. Davenport, '67 (uncle); and Thomas Hooker, '08, and Joseph K. Hooker, '09 (cousins).

Polytechnic Preparatory School, Brooklyn, and Hotchkiss School. Second Barge Prize in mathematics Freshman year; honors and oration appointment Junior year; honors in natural sciences and philosophical oration appointment Senior year; vice-president of University Chess Club Senior year (won Dimock Chess Cup) and on Intercollegiate Chess Team; member Sigma Xi and Phi Beta Kappa (awarded Borden Fellowship Senior year).

Studied at University of Strassburg -1913; continued graduate work at Yale 1913-1915 (M.A. 1913, Ph.D. 1915); during that period acted as an assistant in plant physiology for a year (1914-1915); instructor in botany at Yale 1915-1918. Worked under Gas Defense Service, U. S. Bureau of Mines, in New Haven September 1917 - September 1918, when commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the Chemical Warfare Service; served at the laboratory at Puteaux sur Seine September 30 - December 3, 1918, and given his discharge December 27. Subsequently entered the Reserve as First Lieutenant, Chemical Warfare Service, and was promoted to Captain on November 19, 1923, and to Major on February 15, 1929. Since January 1, 1919, had been connected with the University of Missouri as assistant professor of horticulture to August 31, 1920, and since then as associate professor of horticulture. Served on the Division of Biology and Agriculture of National Research Councils 1922, 1923, and 1924. Served as secretary 1920-1921, councilor 1923, and chairman 1924-1925 of University of Missouri section of American Chemical Society. Served as secretary 1925-1927, vice-president 1927-1928, and president 1928-1930 of University of Missouri Chapter of Sigma Xi, editing its lectures on Growth (published by Yale University Press in December 1928); co-author of The Fundamentals of Fruit Production (1922); and Orcbarding (1927). At time of death was completing the manuscript of a book on plant chemistry.

Contributor to Science, Plant World, Torrey Bulletin, Annals of Botany, Entomological News, American Naturalist, Journal of Experimental Zoology, American Journal of Physiology, Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, Journal of Pomological and Horticultural Science, Proceedings of American Society for Horticultural Science; and Proceedings of National Academy of Science. Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Science; member American Botanical Society, American Society for Horticultural Science, Missouri State Horticultural Society, Alpha Chi Sigma (honorary chemical society), Gamma Alpha (graduate fraternity, University of Missouri chapter), Gamma Sigma Delta (honorary agricultural society), and Clinton Avenue Congregational Church, Brooklyn.

Married December 16, 1919, at Grosse Ile, Mich., Mary Douglas, daughter of Frederick Pope Anderson (B.A. Harvard 1864; M.D. Miami Medical College 1871) and Mary Campbell (Douglas) Anderson, who attended University of Michigan two years (1874-1876). No children.

Death due to an accidental electric shock. Cremation took place in St. Louis. Survived by wife, mother, and a brother, Davenport Hooker, '08. In his memory the Henry Daggett Hooker Fellowship Fund in Plant Physiology has been established at Yale by his mother.

(Taken from the Yale University Obituary Record)

Guide to the Hooker Family Papers
Under Revision
compiled by William E. Brown, Jr.
October 1984
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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