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Hapgood family papers

Call Number: MS 795

Scope and Contents

Correspondence and a few other items, 1789-1860, of the related Hapgood and Grout families of Petersham, Massachusetts, make up this small collection. The major correspondents are Jonathan Grout, Sr., and Hutchins Hapgood, Sr., and their children. The papers are arranged alphabetically by author.

Jonathan Grout's twenty-two letters date from the time of his service in the First Congress, 1789-1792, but refer only occasionally to Congressional activities; see, for example, the letter of 1789 Sep 6 on the building of the Capitol in Washington, and the letter of 1790 Jan 18 on the funding of the National Debt. The bulk of his letters to his son deal with family business and other matters which Jonathan Grout, Jr., was handling in his father's absence, as do Jonathan Grout, Jr.'s two letters to his father. The three letters of Jonathan Grout, Sr., to Hutchins Hapgood are also concerned with business.

The fifty letters of Hutchins Hapgood, Sr., to his sons Hutchins and Charles cover the period 1809 through 1827; two copies of his will (1825 Jan 28, 1837 Oct 3) are also included. The letters contain advice to his sons about their education and health, and comments on politics and current events, but deal for the most part with his own and Hutchins Hapgood, Jr.'s business activities and financial problems, including land purchases, the settlement of the estates of family members, and several law suits. A few letters from Hutchins Hapgood, Sr.'s children and his daughter-in-law Betsy Hopkins deal with family matters. Two letters from Hutchins Hapgood, Jr., also discuss the Dutch community of Harlem and New York City and a yellow fever epidemic in the city (1822 Sep 16, 1826 May 31).

The remaining items in the collection include receipts, notes, and letters pertaining to the Grout and Hapgood families; one of these letters; from Abner Morse (1860 Nov 23), deals with Hapgood family genealogy.

These papers were donated to Yale University by Elizabeth H. Backman in 1977.


  • 1789-1860


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Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain.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

Gift of Elizabeth H. Backman, 1977.


0.25 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


The papers consist chiefly of the letters of Jonathan Grout and of his son-in-law, Hutchins Hapgood, to their respective sons. The letters of Jonathan Grout are mainly about the family business which his son was managing while Jonathan Grout, Sr., was in Congress (1789-1792). Only a few letters allude to politics, one on the building of the Capitol in Washington and another on the national debt. The letters of Hutchins Hapgood are also concentrated on finances and business activities, but include passages of advice to his sons about their education and health. Two letters from Hutchins Hapgood, Jr., discuss New York City and a yellow fever epidemic in the city. Also in the papers are letters by various other family members.

Biographical / Historical

For a chart outlining the genealogical relations of the Jonathan Grout family, and a biography of the Hapgood family, please consult the Genealogical Chart and Biography.

Guide to the Hapgood Family Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Manuscripts and Archives Staff
September 1982
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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