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James Hammond Trumbull papers

Call Number: MS 507

Scope and Contents

The papers of James Hammond Trumbull consist of correspondence, writings, notes, and other papers dealing with New England history and American indians. The bulk of the correspondence, which is arranged chronologically, from the 1840s on is that of James Hammond Trumbull, and is made up of letters exchanged with scholars and other individuals concerned with the history of New England, especially Connecticut, and the history and languages of American Indians, especially Indian placenames. Other letters deal with Trumbull's association with Yale College, as alumnus and lecturer, and with his activities as a member of the American Philological Society and other learned societies. Also included are several letters of Trumbull's father, Gurdon Trumbull, concerned with New England history. A letterbook for the years 1847-1855 with an index contains further incoming letters. Correspondents include Spencer F. Baird, Simeon E. Baldwin, Elihu Burritt, Samuel Church, Franklin B. Dexter, Theodore Dwight, Timothy Dwight, Daniel Cady Eaton, Charles W. Eliot, Asa Gray, Albert S. Gatschet, James Hadley, Edward E. Hale, Edward Claudius Herrick, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, James H. Linsley, Thomas R. Lounsbury, Noah Porter, Archibald H. Sayce, Benjamin Silliman, and William Dwight Whitney, among others.

Also filed in the correspondence are a number of early letters and other papers (several are copies, others originals) of the 1640s through the 1820s, relating to the early history of Connecticut and New England, which appear to have been collected by Trumbull. A sample of these items includes letters of the Newbery and Clarke families of Windsor from the 1640s and 1650s; a copy of a letter from Roger Wolcott to President Clap containing an outline history of New England, 1759; a copy of a 1707 letter of John Winston announcing the election of Governor Gurdon Saltonstall, with a list of lots in New London on the verso; a letter of 1766 from Joseph Fish to Nathaniel Whitaker about Indian schools, and another from 1779 about the burning of Fairfield, Connecticut; and a letter of 1803 from Leonard Chester to Elisha Babcock concerning Connecticut laws against immoral books.

The remaining papers in this collection include several manuscripts, notebooks and notecards by Trumbull on Indian languages and place names, along with other topics; two memoranda of receipts belonging to John Trumbull; and newspaper clippings and other printed matter concerning the Puritan-Quaker controversy and other elements of New England history.

These papers were the gift to Yale University of Anne E. Trumbull in 1943. Several items have been added since by later donors.


  • 1649-1897


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 Anne E. Trumbull, 1943.


1.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The papers consist of correspondence, writings, notes and other papers pertaining to Connecticut and New England history and American Indians.

Biographical / Historical

Historian, philologist, bibliographer; studied at Yale, 1838-1840; assisted James Harvey Linsley in cataloguing wildlife of Connecticut; assistant secretary of state in Connecticut, 1847, 1858; served as state librarian and registrar of state of Connecticut, 1861-1866; served as librarian of the Watkinson Library of Reference at Hartford, 1868-1890, librarian emeritus, 1890-1897; author of many books.

Guide to the James Hammond Trumbull Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Staff of Manuscripts and Archives
November 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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