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Rufus and S. Willard Saxton papers

Call Number: MS 431
Scope and Contents

The Rufus and S. Willard Saxton Papers consist of correspondence, journals, memorabilia, and photographs that document the life of Samuel Willard Saxton and the career of his brother General Rufus Saxton during the Civil War. The largest portion of the papers is composed of S. Willard Saxton's multi-volumed journal, which he began in 1847 while at Brook Farm and continued until the 1920s. The journals chronicle S. Willard Saxton's career as a printer, aide-de-camp, and civil servant; his travels; family; and his interests in the cultural life of Boston and Washington, D.C. They also highlight his ardent abolitionist and reformist interests, his work on behalf of freedmen's education, and his strong Republican loyalties. Rufus Saxton's duties as military governor of the Department of the South are reflected, primarily, in contemporary letterbooks kept by his aides-de-camp.

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Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain.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

A portion of the papers was given by Paul S. Seward in 1965. Additional papers were given by Paul S. and W. Saxton Seward in 1972-1973 and 1980 and by Mrs. Mary S. Williams in 2012.


Arranged in three series: I. Letterbooks and Scrapbook, 1834-1926. II. Journals, 1847-1927. III. Personal Papers, 1849-1934, and one addition.

10.5 Linear Feet (25 boxes)
Related Names
Saxton, Rufus, 1824-1908
Saxton, Samuel Willard, 1829-1933
Language of Materials