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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).

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)
Related Names
Howland, Charles P. (Charles Prentice), 1869-1932
Language of Materials