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Tracy family papers

Call Number: MS 816

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of papers of various members of the Tracy family. The materials are arranged in chronological order by individual, as follows:

Uriah Tracy, of Litchfield, Connecticut. His papers consist of twelve letters to his children, principally his daughter Susan, written while he was in Congress, 1794-1806; and seven letters to James McHenry and others. The letters concern appointments in the army, actions in Congress, and other matters. There is also a copy of Tracy's journal of a trip to the western part of the country in 1800.

Susan (Tracy) Howe, daughter of Uriah Tracy. We have one letter from her to her future husband, Judge Samuel Howe.

Martha Sherman (Evarts) Tracy, wife of Ebenezer C. Tracy. Her papers consist of nine letters to her cousin Sarah [Tracy?], written from Windsor, Connecticut. The letters discuss family matters.

Martha Sherman (Greene) Tracy, wife of Jeremiah Evarts Tracy. There is one letter from her to her husband.

Roger Sherman Tracy. His papers consist of fourteen letters to his parents and brother Jeremiah Evarts Tracy written from Yale College and from Berlin, describing his study in both places, and from other parts of Europe. There are also two letters from Jacob Riis and one from Roger Sherman Tracy about Riis to Jeremiah E. Tracy, enclosing four photographs, and an essay by Roger Sherman Tracy.

Howard Crosby Tracy. Included are twelve letters to his parents from Madison, Wisconsin, where he was visiting relatives, and from Yale College, and one letter from his mother written just before his marriage; sixty-four letters from friends and Yale classmates discussing travel, social events, and activities of the class of 1887; seventeen letters exchanged with service men and others during World War I, largely concerning gifts of knitted goods to the soldiers; and seven folders of political correspondence. The latter, which forms the largest part of Howard C. Tracy's papers, reflects his interests as an active Republican during the first third of this century. He writes opposing the re-election of John Dryden as New Jersey senator in 1907, and urges American entrance into World War I, ratification of the peace treaty, and participation in the League of Nations. Among the letters are two from Herbert Hoover concerning Tracy's views on the peace treaty (1920 Jun 4, 11) and one from Henry Cabot Lodge on the Court of International Justice (1923 Mar 3). Tracy also writes in favor of prohibition and other issues. The political correspondence is supplemented by a series of letters to the editor and other writings and notes by Tracy and others, and newspaper clippings. Also among Tracy's writings is an autobiographical sketch written in 1931.

Minerva Bingham (Lamson) Tracy, wife of Howard Crosby Tracy. Her papers consist of notes on her husband's life and letters of condolence for his death from friends of the family.

Evarts Tracy. His papers deal largely with World War I, except for five letters to his family from Madison, Wisconsin, and one from Paris. There are forty-five letters written to Tracy by friends in the States and from fellow servicemen during the war, concerning both his service in the army and non-military matters. In addition, there are three notebooks kept by Tracy during the war and a sketchbook; poems and other literary fragments written during the war by Tracy and others; military papers such as orders, memoranda, reports, and so forth, dealing for the most part with camouflage; and over sixty photographs of camouflage, army officers, and other military subjects, taken in both Europe and Panama. Other papers include a photograph of a portrait of Tracy in uniform; architectural materials such as photographs; printed matter; and plans for the George Washington Memorial Hall in Washington, D.C. There is also a selection of memorabilia such as Tracy's birth certificate, menus, and so forth.

Caroline Fredericka (Streuli) Tracy, wife of Evarts Tracy. There is one letter to her from Homer Saint-Gaudens concerning her husband and his work with camouflage.

Robert Storer Tracy. His papers consist of one letter to his mother, written from Madison, Wisconsin.

Micellaneous Tracy family papers. Included here are an unidentified letter, several early financial papers, assorted printed material about Tracy family members, and a notebook containing details about the Tracy family genealogy.

These papers were given to Yale University in part by Mrs. Howard C. Tracy in 1937 and by Emily Baldwin Tracy in 1952.


  • 1794-1937


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown, though much of the material in this collection is likely in the public domain. 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. Howard C. Tracy, 1937, and Emily Baldwin Tracy, 1952.


Arranged by name of family member.


4 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Papers of ten members of the Tracy family, originating in Litchfield, Connecticut. The most prominent figures are Uriah Tracy, Roger Sherman Tracy, Howard Crosby Tracy, and Evarts Tracy. The papers of Uriah Tracy include letters to his children written while he was in Congress (1794-1806), letters to others on Congressional business, and his journal of a trip to the West in 1800. The papers of Roger Sherman Tracy consist chiefly of letters written to his family from Yale College in 1859 and from Berlin where he had gone to study in 1869. Included also are two letters from Jacob Riis. The correspondence of Howard Crosby Tracy contains twelve of his letters to his parents from Yale College and elsewhere and sixty-four letters to him from members of the Class of 1887. The largest part of his correspondence reflects his activities as a Republican on both the local and national level. Evarts Tracy's papers deal largely with World War I, and consist of letters written to Tracy as well as notebooks kept by Tracy during the war, a sketchbook, poems and other memorabilia. The women in the family are represented by only a scattering of letters. There are also miscellaneous financial papers and materials on Tracy genealogy.

Biographical / Historical

ROGER SHERMAN TRACY (1841-1926), B.A. 1862.

Born December 9, 1841, in Windsor, Vt. Died March 6, 1926, in Ballardvale, Mass.

Father, the Rev. Ebenezer, Carter Tracy (B.A. Dartmouth 1819); studied at Andover Theological Seminary; editor and publisher of Vermont Chronicle for over thirty years; son of Joseph and Ruth (Carter) Tracy; sixth in direct descent from Stephen Tracy, who came from England to Plymouth, Mass., in 1623 and later settled in Duxbury, Mass. Mother, Martha Sherman (Evarts) Tracy; daughter of Jeremiah Evarts (B.A. 1802) and Mehitabel (Sherman) Evarts; sister of John Jay Evarts (B.A. 1832) and William Maxwell Evarts (B.A. 1837); sister-in-law of the Rev. David Greene (B.A. 1821); granddaughter of Roger Sherman (honorary M.A. 1768), a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a member of the Continental Congress and of the Constitutional Convention, and treasurer of Yale College 1765-1776; great-granddaughter of Timothy Todd (B.A. 1747); descendant of John Evarts, who came to this country during the first half of the seventeenth century and settled in New England. Yale relatives include: J. Evarts Tracy, '57 L. (brother); Howard C. Tracy, '87, Evarts Tracy, '90, Robert S. Tracy, '93, and William E. Tracy, '00 (nephews); and Charles B. Evarts, ex-'66, Allen W. Evarts, '69, William Evarts, ex-'71, Sherman Evarts, '81, Maxwell Evarts, '84, Jeremiah M. and Roger S. Evarts, both '17, Effingham C. Evarts, '19, and Prescott Evarts, ex-'23 (cousins).

Windsor High School. High oration appointments Junior and Senior years; member Phi Beta Kappa.

Taught at Peekskill (N.Y.) Military Academy 1862-1864; studied medicine at College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia, 1864-1867, (M.D. 1868); connected with Bellevue Hospital, New York City, as junior and senior assistant and house surgeon 1867-1869; spent the next year abroad, during most of the time studying in Berlin; practiced medicine in New York City 1870-1873, then obliged to give up practice because of increasing deafness; member New York Board of Health 1870-1901 (deputy registrar and registrar of records 1870-1901; also assistant sanitary inspector 1870-1873, sanitary inspector 1873-1887, and chief sanitary inspector 1887); retired from public service in 1901, but for some time kept his room at the Department of Health, where he did much of his writing; in 1904 bought a farm in Winsted, Conn., where he lived two years; had since resided at Ballardvale. Author: Handbook of Sanitary Information for Householders (1884); The Essentials of Anatomy, Physiology, and Hygiene (1884); Outlines of Anatomy, Physiology, and Hygiene (1889); The White Man's Burden (under nom de plume of T. Shirby Hodge; 1915); monographs on vital statistics for Wood's Reference Handbook of the Medical Sciences (1893) and on sanitary subjects for the Annual Reports of the New York Health Department; contributed articles to the appendix of the American edition of Parke's Hygiene, to Michael Foster's Primer of Physiology, one of the series of Science Primers edited by Huxley, Roscoe & Balfour Stewart (1883), to Buck's Hygiene and Public Health, and to the Popular Science Monthly and the Century; affiliated with the Congregational Church.


Death due to chronic myocarditis. Buried in Old South Cemetery, Windsor. Survived by a sister, Mrs. George P. Byington, of Ballardvale.

( Yale Obituary Record, Number 85, pages 18-20)

* * * * *

HOWARD CROSBY TRACY (1866-1934), B.A. 1887.

Born August 1, 1866, in Westboro, Mass. Died April 19, 1934, in New York City.

Father, J. Evarts Tracy, '57 L. Mother, Martha Sherman (Greene) Tracy. Yale relatives include: Timothy Todd (B.A. 1747) (great-great-great-grandfather); Roger Sherman (honorary M.A. 1768) (great-great-grandfather); Jeremiah Evarts (B.A, 1802) (great-grandfather); Rev. David Greene (B.A. 1821) (grandfather); John J. Evarts (B.A. 1832) and William M. Evarts, (B.A. 1837) (great-uncles); J. Evarts Greene, '53, and Dr. Roger S. Tracy, '62 (uncles); Evarts Tracy, '90, Dr. Robert S. Tracy, '93, and William E. Tracy, '00 (brothers); and William E. Tracy, '34 E. (nephew).

John Leal's School in Plainfield, N.J., and Dr. Pingree's School, Elizabeth, N.J. Dissertation appointment Junior and Senior years; on Class Lacrosse Team Sophomore year; member Pundits, Gamma Nu, and Psi Upsilon.

LL.B. cum laude Columbia 1889; had since practiced law in New York and Brooklyn; clerk in office of his father's firm, Evarts, Choate & Beaman, 1889-1893; in partnership with Wolcott G. Lane, '88, under firm name of Tracy & Lane 1893-1902; practiced alone 1902-1903; connected with Lawyers Title Insurance Company 1903-1905, engaged in examination of titles to real estate; assistant attorney of its successor, Lawyers Title Insurance & Trust Company, 1905-1913; member of law firm of Dean, McBarron & Tracy 1913-1918, Dean, Tracy & Stanfield 1918-1919, and of Dean, King, Tracy & Smith 1919-1921; took three months' course in stock salesmanship with James W. Elliott's Business Builders November 1921 - February 1922; manager of closing department of U.S. Title Guaranty Company of Brooklyn 1925-1926, New York Title & Mortgage Company, Brooklyn 1926-1927, and since then an attorney in the department of general litigation; member of Republican City Committee of Plainfield, N.J., for several years from 1906; member district committee of Organized Aid Association of Plainfield (secretary 1899-1904); one of commissioners of sewer assessments of Plainfield in 1911 and 1912; secretary of reorganization committee of Oregon Railway & Navigation Company 1896; Private, Troop A, Cavalry, New York National Guard, 1889-1892; member Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and Grace Episcopal Church, Plainfield (vestryman 1917-1929).

Married June 24, 1893, in St. Paul, Minn., Minerva Bingham, daughter of Eastburn Ebenezer Lamson, Brown ex-'64, and Martha (Wardner) Lamson. No children.

Death due to a heart attack. Buried in Hillside Cemetery, Plainfield. Survived by wife and five sisters: Miss Emily B. Tracy and Dr. Martha Tracy (B.A. Bryn Mawr 1898; M.D. Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania 1904), both of Germantown, Pa.; Miss Mary Evarts Tracy, of Yokohama, Japan; Miss Edith H. Tracy, of Stockbridge, Mass.; and Mrs. Margaret Tracy Mix, of Muncie, Ind.

( Yale Obituary Record, No. 93, 1934, pp. 63-64)

* * * * *

EVARTS TRACY (1868-1922), B.A. 1890.

Born May 23, 1868, in New York City. Died January 31, 1922, in Paris, France.

Evarts Tracy, who was the second of the four sons of Jeremiah Evarts Tracy (LL.B. 1857) and Martha Sherman (Greene) Tracy, was born May 23, 1868, in New York City, where his father practiced law for fifty years. The latter's parents were the Rev. Ebenezer Carter Tracy (B.A. Dartmouth 1819) and Martha Sherman (Evarts) Tracy. He is a direct descendant in the seventh generation of Stephen Tracy, an Englishman who came to Plymouth, Mass., in 1623, later removing to Duxbury. Martha Evarts Tracy was the daughter of Jeremiah Evarts (B.A. 1802) and Mehetable Sherman, the latter being a daughter of Roger Sherman, treasurer of Yale College from 1765 to 1776, and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Evarts Tracy's maternal grandparents were the Rev. David Greene (B.A. 1821) and Mary (Evarts) Greene, the eldest daughter of Jeremiah Evarts, whose mother was the daughter of Timothy Todd (B.A. 1747). The first member of the Greene family to come to America was William Green, who came from Oxford, England, and settled at Charlestown, Mass., between 1640 and 1680. He later returned to England and died there, leaving a posthumous son, William Green, born on his mother's return voyage to America.

Evarts Tracy was prepared for college at the school conducted by John Leal (B.A. 1874) in Plainfield, N.J., where he had lived since he was eight years old. He was a member of the Intercollegiate Athletic Team for three years.

He studied architecture in the office of McKim, Mead & White in New York City until March 1892 and then continued his studies for his profession at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, graduating there in 1894. Upon his return to the United States he was again associated with McKim, Mead & White, continuing in this connection until 1896, when he opened an office of his own. Since 1900 Egerton Swartwout, '91, had been associated with him under the firm name of Tracy & Swartwout. The firm acquired a wide reputation by their work in designing important buildings in various parts of the country, and won a number of competitions, including the Cathedral and the U.S. Post Office and Court House at Denver, Colo., the National Metropolitan Bank and the George Washington and Victory Memorial in Washington, D.C. (the corner stone of the latter of these buildings was laid in November 1921); the Connecticut Savings Bank in New Haven; and the Missouri State Capitol. Other buildings designed by the firm included the National Armory at Washington, D.C., not yet under construction, and the original Yale Club in New York City. Mr. Tracy also made the plans for the remodelling of the sales offices of the Brick Row Print and Book Shop and the Yale University Press in New York City. In 1920 the firm of Tracy & Swartwout was awarded by the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects the Medal of Honor in recognition of their distinguished achievements in architecture, as exemplified in the Missouri State Capitol and the U.S. Post Office and Court House at Denver.

Evarts Tracy was one of the first men to offer his services to the government for the World War. He attended the Plattsburg Camp in 1917, where he commanded Company 15, and also underwent training at the American University in Washington. When plans were made for the organization of the Camouflage Section he was assigned to the staff of the Chief of Engineers for the purpose of recruiting, organizing, and equipping the section. At that time he held the rank of Captain in the Engineer Corps, but before going abroad in September 1917 he had received a commission as Major. After spending a brief period in England, he proceeded to France, where he commanded the 40th Engineers, a camouflage regiment, organized in France, largely from companies sent over from the United States. He was ordered to the British front and was at the first battle of Cambrai, where he received a slight wound. In January 1918 he was put in charge of camouflage training at the Army Engineer school at Langres. He was appointed Army Camouflage Officer in July 1918, having at one time over one hundred and fifty kilometres to look after, and by the following September was in charge of all camouflage sections, covering a large area of the western front. He was cited by General Pershing, and was recommended for the Distinguished Service Medal, which was awarded to him shortly before his death. In October 1918 he returned to America to recruit and train two additional battalions of men for his sections, but the armistice rendered this unnecessary.

He then served on the staff of the Chief of Engineers in Washington for several months, and subsequently went to Panama to make a report on the defenses of the Canal Zone. He was relieved from active duty August 29, 1919, and resumed the practice of his profession. In July 1921 he was at Camp Knox, where he gave instruction to various Field Artillery units. He then went to France, and while there unofficially represented the U.S. Army at French manoeuvres. Upon returning to the United States in September, he was assigned to General Headquarters, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Engineer Reserve Corps. He had been in France since December 13, 1921, and for several months before his death he had been engaged in reconstruction work, making his headquarters in Paris. He was a member of the council of the National Sculpture Society and of the committee of experts of the Advisory Council of Real Estate Interests of New York. He also belonged to the Beaux Arts Society of Architects, the American Institute of Architects, and the Architectural League of New York.

Colonel Tracy died at the American Hospital at Neuilly, France, January 31, 1922, after a brief illness from heart trouble. Interment was in Hillside Cemetery, Plainfield, N.J.

He was married June 23, 1894, in Plainfield, to Caroline Fredericka [(Streuli)], daughter of Alfred H. and Fredericka (Hooper) Streuli, who survives him. They had no children. In addition to his wife, Colonel Tracy is survived by his father; a brother, Howard C. Tracy, '87; and five sisters. Two other brothers graduated at Yale, Robert S. Tracy in 1893, and William E. Tracy in 1900. Other relatives who have attended Yale include two great-uncles, John Jay Evarts (B.A. 1832) and William Maxwell Evarts (B.A. 1837); two uncles, Jeremiah Evarts Green (B.A. 1853), and Roger Sherman Tracy (B.A. 1862); and seven cousins, Charles B. Evarts, ex -'66, Allen W. Evarts, '69, Sherman Evarts, '81, Maxwell Evarts, '84, Jeremiah M. Evarts, '17, Roger S. Evarts,'17, and Effingham C. Evarts, '19.

( Yale Obituary Record, No. 81, 1922, pp. 441-444)

Guide to the Tracy Family Papers
Under Revision
compiled by John Espy and Janet Elaine Gertz
October 1980
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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