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Hadley family papers

Call Number: MS 985
Scope and Contents

The Hadley Family Papers is a collection of personal, professional and family materials concerning three generations of the Hadley family of New Haven, Connecticut.

The collection consists mainly of James Hadley's professional writings, Hadley household account books, and memorabilia.

The papers primarily document the activities of James Hadley, a professor of Greek and Yale College, and include his personal and professional writings and notes. A manuscript diary covers, sporadically, part of the period Hadley spent in graduate study, his early career as a member of the Yale faculty, and his courtship and marriage. The diary is, for the most part, a detailed record of his daily life at Yale, and of the conversations and personalities around him. Yale Press published an edition of the diary in 1951; a typescript prepared for the publication by Hadley's granddaughter, Laura (Hadley) Moseley, is also in the collection.

Most of the James Hadley correspondence consists of letters and drafts written by him. Several letters and memoranda concern the affairs of Yale College. Other letters discuss matters of linguistics, philology, and publications; correspondents include Theodore D. Woolsey, Edmund Clarence Stedman, William W. Goodwin, and New Haven Mayor William Fitch. The letters show Hadley as a concerned and conscientious teacher. Besides a couple of letters to students, there are seven addressed to parents, mostly on matters of discipline; one of these (1856 April 9) describes the Yale riot of March 10, and another (1858 March 23) discusses a shooting incident.

The decisions for college class disputes (in folders 9-11), even more than the letters, show Hadley the instructor at work. In his preface to Hadley's Essays Philological and Critical (1873), William D. Whitney explains that the decisions represent Hadley's opinions on particular questions, written out in preparation for the weekly junior class disputes at which he presided. The topics, some of which were debated more than once over the years, include: "Do present circumstances [1848 February] render improbable the permanent existence of the Union?", "Are the abilities of the sexes equal?", "Was Brutus justifiable in killing Caesar?", "Should the right of suffrage be extended to our colored population?", "Do spectres or ghosts ever appear?", "Was Aaron Burr a traitor?", and "Are popular superstitions more favorable to the cultivation of poetry than enlightened opinions?" The decisions have been arranged chronologically; the earliest were written when Hadley was still a student, and a participant in the disputes. There are some rather cryptic memoranda, which may be preliminary drafts for essays or speeches rather than decisions.

The papers contain some of Hadley's professional writings, but these manuscripts and notes were left in considerable disarray at the time of his death, and some manuscripts and parts of manuscripts appear to be missing. Of the three books, only his Greek Grammar was published in his life-time. The Introduction to Roman Law was edited by Theodore D. Woolsey, and most of the other writings were gone over by William D. Whitney when he and Hadley's family were selecting the papers published in Essays Philological and Critical. Some of the papers bear Whitney's annotations, and they are arranged in accordance with his lists. The notes are arranged roughly by subject.

James Hadley's wife, Anne Loring (Twining) Hadley, is represented in the papers by a series of household account books, begun the year after their marriage and continued for more than forty years.

Arthur Twining Hadley, son of James and Anne Hadley, was president of Yale University from 1899 to 1921, and his papers are part of the Presidential Records in the Yale Archives (YRG 2-A-13). The Hadley Family Papers contain some materials concerning the death of Arthur Twining Hadley. These include letters to his widow, Helen Harrison (Morris) Hadley, from Charles Seymour and others, regarding the printing of Seymour's memorial address; letters from James R. Angell, George Parmly Day, and Andrew Keogh concerning the establishment of the Arthur Twining Hadley Memorial Fund for the Yale University Library; and resolutions of sympathy adopted by organizations of which Hadley was a member.

Helen Hadley's papers also include a series of household account books, begun before her marriage; notes from a Sunday school course; and a scrapbook of printed memorabilia and photographs which she put together for her children, Morris, Hamilton, and Laura Hadley.

The papers also contain correspondence of the Hadley and Morris families, including letters to Helen Hadley Morris from her mother, Eugenia Morris, her siblings and children, and Arthur Twining Hadley before and after their marriage.

The papers conclude with two folders of World War I materials compiled by Morris Hadley while he was assigned to an Intelligence section in Germany beginning in December 1918. The bulk of the material is mimeographed copies of the Third Army's daily intelligence summaries. Other papers include manuscript and mimeographed reports and notes on food, coal, and other economic matters, and a copy of the army's rules for inhabitants of the occupied area.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright for materials in this collection created by James Hadley, Anne Loring Twining Hadley, Arthur Twining Hadley, and Helen Harrison Morris Hadley is in the public domain.

Copyright for materials in Accession 2009-M-036 created by Morris Hadley and Katherine Blodgett Hadley was transferred to Yale University in 2009. These materials may be used for non-commercial purposes without seeking permission from Yale University as the copyright holder. For other uses of these materials, please contact

The copyright status of 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 the children of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur T. Hadley, 1938, Morris Hadley, 1942, Robin Hadley, 2008, and Elizabeth H. Hadley, 2012. Purchased from Janet L. Ross, 2018.


The collection is arranged by accession.

Majority of material found within 1839 - 1933
1729 - 1982
47.92 Linear Feet (87 containers)
Related Names
Hadley family
Hadley, Anne Loring Twining
Hadley, Arthur Twining, 1856-1930
Hadley, Helen Harrison Morris, 1864-1939
Hadley, James, 1821-1872
Hadley, Katherine Blodgett
Hadley, Morris, 1894-
Language of Materials