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Charles Prentice Howland family papers

Call Number: MS 292

Scope and Contents

The Charles Prentice Howland Family Papers are composed of correspondence and financial and legal papers of the Bellows and Howland families of Walpole, New Hampshire. The papers document the education and early life of Alfred Cornelius Howland, Henry Elias Howland, and Katharine Howland Bellows, all children of Aaron Prentice and Huldah Burke Howland. The papers also include legal files and domestic financial papers from the Bellows family and correspondence, writings, and research material of Charles Prentice Howland, son of Henry Elias Howland. The latter files relate to Howland's work in the field of international relations. The papers span the dates 1809 to 1958, but the majority date from 1844 to 1879 and 1916 to 1932.

The papers were donated to the Yale University Library between 1942 and 1954 by Charles Prentice Howland's wife Virginia Cunningham Lazarus Howland, his son David Howland, and his sister Frances L. Howland. The papers are arranged in five series: I. Family Correspondence, 1844-1958; II. Henry E. Howland Papers, 1850-1910; III. Charles P. Howland Papers, 1916-1932; IV. Legal and Business Papers, 1809-1893; and V. Bills and Receipts, 1841-1901.

Series I is composed of correspondence addressed primarily to Henry E. Howland, Alfred C. Howland, Aaron P. Howland, Huldah Burke Howland, Frederick Vose, Katharine Howland Bellows, Josiah Grahme Bellows, and Mary Ann Grahme Bellows. The correspondence is arranged alphabetically by name of the sender, and the authors of these letters include family members, school classmates, business associates, and friends from Walpole, New Hampshire, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and New York City. Materials date primarily from 1844 to 1879.

Letters exchanged between Aaron P. Howland, Huldah Burke Howland and their three children constitute the most concentrated source of biographical information on members of the Howland family. Henry Elias Howland writes detailed letters about his undergraduate activities as a member of the Yale College Class of 1854. Later letters refer to his studies in the Harvard Law School, his professional work in the New York office of John Sherwood, and his military service during the Civil War. Alfred Cornelius Howland's letters trace his artistic career from his arrival in Boston in 1857 to study drawing and lithography through work in New York, and further study in Düsseldorf and Paris. Some of Alfred's letters to his family contain pen and ink sketches. Katharine Howland Bellows letters recount her education in a school run by Alonzo Tripp in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

The series also includes letters from friends of Henry and Alfred including Edward Buffum, Emma Caroline Livermore Odiorne, Esther Crafts Underwood, Kate Valerio, and Emory Washburn. Correspondence of Frederick Vose, with whom Henry studied law in Walpole, includes personal as well as business letters. Series II incorporates Henry Elias Howland's personal memorabilia and writings. Account books (folder 96) document Howland's expenses at Yale and Harvard, while folder 101 includes a course outline and notes from undergraduate courses in meteorology and chemistry. Howland's activities as a civic leader and frequent banquet speaker are reflected in his scrapbook (folder 105) and in his speeches and writings (folders 99-100, 106-109). Poems (folders 102-104) are of a more personal nature and were written for his wife and children. Particularly poignant among these are several written on the deaths of his children.

The papers of Charles Prentice Howland comprise Series III. The materials include correspondence, reports, writings, photographs, and reference material, which relate to Howland's activities in the field of international relations during the last eight years of his life. Correspondence with Sir John Campbell, Montague C. Norman, Alexander Pallis, and Sir Arthur Salter documents Howland's tenure in Athens as chairman of the Greek Refugees Settlement Commission of the League of Nations. Additional material on Howland's concern for the Greek financial situation is filed under the heading "Greek Debt". Folders 115, 117, 134, and 180 include diary-like memoranda of meetings and conversations in Greece, while folders 198 - 200 include contemporary photographs of Greek refugees.

Howland's research interests in foreign relations are also reflected in correspondence, writings, and background material concerning Mexico, debt repudiation, and the Far East. These topics relate to Howland's term as research director of the Council on Foreign Relations and publications of the organization. Correspondents include Harold G. Moulton of the Institute of Economics, Manley O. Hudson, John Hunter Sedgwick, and Evans Clark of the Twentieth Century Fund. Folders 196-197 include a diary and reading notes for Howland's visit to China and Japan from September to November, 1929.

Series IV includes legal and business papers of Henry Howland, Frederick Vose, and Josiah Bellows. The papers include affidavits, insurance policies, deeds, testimony, pleas, writs, and estate papers relating to cases and individuals of the Walpole, New Hampshire area. Some refer to Bellows' work as justice of the peace in Cheshire County, New Hampshire. Folders 243-250 include printed material, business cards, photographs, and memorabilia relating to the Howland family.

Series V consists almost entirely of the domestic accounts, bills, and receipts of Josiah Grahme Bellows and his mother, Mary Ann Grahme Bellows. These include expenses for Josiah while at the Harvard Law School (ca. 1863) and for Josiah's daughter Mary Bellows while attending Smith College (1898-1901).


  • 1809-1983


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for 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. C. P. Howland, 1942-1954; of David Howland, 1944; the estate of Frances L. Howland, 1947; Esther Howland Montgomery, 1991; and David Howland, 1993. Gift of Mrs. David Howland and Faith Howland, 2008.


Arranged in five series and additions: I. Family Correspondence, 1844-1958. II. Henry E. Howland Papers, 1850-1910. III. Charles P. Howland Papers, 1916-1932. IV. Legal and Business Papers, 1809-1893. V. Bills and Receipts, 1841-1901.


8 Linear Feet (21 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The Charles Prentice Howland Family Papers are composed of correspondence and financial and legal papers of the Bellows and Howland families of Walpole, New Hampshire and correspondence, writings, and research material of Charles Prentice Howland. Family papers document the education and early life of Alfred Cornelius Howland, Henry Elias Howland, and Katharine Howland Bellows; legal affairs in Walpole; and the household expenses of Josiah Grahme Bellows's family. The papers of Charles Prentice Howland relate primarily to his work as chairman of the Greek Refugees Settlement Commission of the League of Nations and to his research on foreign affairs.

Biographical / Historical

HENRY ELIAS HOWLAND, son of Aaron Prentice Howland, an architect, and Huldah (Burke) Howland, was born June 30, 1835, at Walpole, N. H. He was prepared for college there, and at the Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, N. H. After graduation he studied law a year in Walpole with Judge Frederick Vose (B.A. Harvard 1822), and two years in the Harvard Law School, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Laws from Harvard in 1857. He was admitted to the New York bar in October of that year, and was associated with John Sherwood (B.A. Yale 1839) in the practice of his profession until 1878, when, with Henry H. Anderson (B.A. Williams 1848), the firm of Anderson, Howland, & Murray was formed. Soon after the death of Mr. Anderson in 1896, Mr. Howland's firm became Howland, Murray & Prentice, consisting of himself, George Welwood Murray and E. Parmalee Prentice (B.A. Amherst 1885) Later his son (B.A. Yale 1891) was admitted to the firm. He was a director of the Lawyers Title Insurance Co., the Lawyers Mortgage Co., and the Mortgage Bond Co.

During 1862 he was in the United States service for three months as sergeant of Company G, 22d Regiment, New York National Guard, at Baltimore and Harper's Ferry and the following year served as captain of the same regiment during the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania.

In 1873 he was appointed judge of the Marine (now City) Court of New York to fill a vacancy, and held the office for a year. For three years (1875-1877) he was annually elected a member of the Board of Aldermen. In 1880 he was appointed by Mayor Cooper president of the department of taxes for four years, but resigned after a few months on account of his private business.

Judge Howland received the honorary degree of Master of Arts from Yale University in 1893. He was first elected an Alumni Fellow of the Yale Corporation in 1892 and continued in the office for three terms, withdrawing in 1910. At the special meeting of alumni in 1909 he was appointed chairman of the Yale Civil War Memorial Committee. From 1893 to 1895 he was president of the Yale Alumni association of New York (later the Yale Club) He Was in frequent request as an after-dinner speaker, and presided at the Cambridge, England, Yale dinner in October, 1895, and also on many other notable Yale occasions. From 1901 to 1904 he was president of the New York University Club, and since its foundation in 1879 had been a member of its council.

He was active in many philanthropic civic, and social organizations, serving as president of the Society for the Relief of the Destitute Blind in the City of New York since 1898, president of the managers of the Manhattan State Hospital from 1895 to 1905, and trustee of the Marion Street Maternity Hospital, and was for many years connected with the State Charities Aid Association. He was a trustee of the New York Free Circulating Library (now included in the New York Free Library) He was president of the Society for the Preservation of the Adirondacks, in 1901 taking active part in preventing the destruction of the forests by contractors. He was a vestryman and warden of the Church of the Ascension.

Judge Howland died after an illness of two years from paralyses at his home in New York City, November 7, 1913, at the age of 78 years. The interment was in Walpole, N.H.

He married in New York City, October 5, 1865, Louisa, daughter of Jonathan Miller. She died February 6, 1884, and February 1, 1894, he married Mrs. Anna J. W. Curtis, widow of Dr. Thomas B. Curtis and daughter of Joseph S. Lovering of Boston Mass, who survives him. Two sons and a daughter by his first marriage are also living, three daughters having died. The sons graduated from the College in 1891 and 1894, respectively.

(Yale University Obituary Record, 1910-1915)


Born September 15, 1869, in New York City

Died November 12, 1932, in New Haven, Conn.

Father, Henry Elias Howland (B.A. 1854; LL.B. Harvard 1857; honorary M.A. 1893); fellow of Yale Corporation 1892-1910; son of Aaron Prentice and Huldah (Burke) Howland, of Walpole, N.H. Mother, Sarah Louise (Miller) Howland; daughter of Jonathan and Sarah Ross (Blunt) Miller, of New York City. Yale relatives include: John Howland (B.A. 1894; M.D. New York University 1897 and Cornell 1899; honorary M.A. 1914) (brother); and John Howland, Jr., '30, and Elihu S. Howland, '35 (nephews).

Cutler School, New York City. High oration appointment Junior and Senior years; one-year honors in political science, history, and law; president of Freshman Football Association; secretary and treasurer of University Tennis Club; treasurer of University Club; member Delta Kappa Epsilon, Wolf's Head, and Phi Beta Kappa.

LL.B. and M.A. Harvard 1894; M.A. Yale 1894; admitted to New York Bar 1894 and practiced law in New York City until 1925; clerk with firm of Seward, Guthrie, Morawetz & Steele 1894-1896; member of firm of Anderson & Howland 1896-1900, of his father's firm, Howland & Murray, and its successors, Howland, Murray & Prentice and Murray, Prentice & Howland 1900-1921, and of firm of Rushmore, Bisbee & Stern (in which Henry Root Stern, '03, is also a member) 1921-1925; chairman of Greek Refugee Settlement Commission of League of Nations 1925-1926; research associate in government at Yale, with rank of professor, since 1927; civil service examiner in New York 1896-1900; member of Board of Aldermen of New York City 1902-1904; director of Mortgage Bond Company of New York 1908-1932, Lawyers' Mortgage Company 1913-1932, Continental Guaranty Corporation, New York Railways Company, 1915-1919, Albany & Susquehanna Railroad Company, and Robins Conveying Belt Company 1927-1928; in 1917 one of four attorneys for Emergency Fleet Corporation and went to England and France on special mission for the Department of State and American Red Cross in connection with relief service for American prisoners of war and feeding of Serbian prisoners in Austria and Germany; member of Priorities Committee of War Industries Board, representing United States Shipping Board, 1918-1919 and general counsel to United States Housing Corporation; director of research for Council on Foreign Relations 1927-1931 and edited and wrote in part the four volumes of Survey of American Foreign Relations published for the Council by Yale University Press in 1931; chairman of research committee of Institute of Pacific Relations 1929-1932; trustee of Johns Hopkins University 1926-1932 and of Institute of International Education (executive committee) 1927-1932; president of board of American trustees of Athens College, Greece, 1927-1932 and trustee of Salonica Farm School; member of administrative board of Lincoln School of Teachers College, Columbia, 1917-1924, of General Education Board (executive committee) since 1919, and of the Rockefeller Foundation (executive committee) since 1928; president of Public Education Association of New York City 1909-1925, a trustee 1909-1931, and member of its advisory committee 1931-1932; a director of Foreign Policy Association 1920-1932 and chairman of its executive committee 1923-1930; an incorporator of English-Speaking Union of the United States in 1918 and member of its board of directors 1920-1925; member of advisory committee of Geneva School of International Studies, Foreign Affairs, New Republic, Atlantic Monthly, Christian Century, Asia, Yale Review; at time of death engaged in writing a book on Manchuria; chairman of international law committee of Association of the Bar of the City of New York; honorary member of advisory board of Model Assembly of the League of Nations 1929-1930; in 1915 one of donors to Yale of the Howland Prize and in 1925, with his brother and sister, presented to the University a valuable collection of daguerreotypes.

Married September 6, 1905, in New York City, Virginia Cunningham, daughter of Frank and Alice (Furman) Lazarus. Children: Esther (B.A. Vassar 1926; M.A. Columbia 1927; Ph.D. Yale 1932), the wife of Hugh Montgomery (B.A. Haverford 1925; M.D. Harvard 1930); Henry Elias, David, '33; and Prentice (died in infancy).

Death due to injuries when struck by an automobile a few hours previously. Cremation took place in Springfield, Mass, and ashes were buried in Walpole, N.H.

Survived by wife, daughter, two sons, and a sister, Miss Frances L. Howland, of New York City. At a meeting of the Yale Corporation in December 1932, it was voted to approve the proposal that the Yale University Press send to each embassy and legation of the United States and to the Departments of Political Science and Government in one hundred leading American and British universities copies of Yale's important publications during the last three years in the fields of Government and International Relations, as a gift in each case in memory of Professor Howland. In his memory, also, Athens College has received the funded endowment of an annual prize from Stephen Deltas, Greek treasurer of the Greco-American Preparatory School near Athens.

(Yale College Class of 1891, Sixty Years After, pp. 86-89)

Guide to the Charles Prentice Howland Family Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Diane E. Kaplan and William E. Brown, Jr.
January 1986
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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