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Pierce family papers

Call Number: MS 633

Scope and Contents

This collection contains writings and other papers by and about David French Pierce (1840-1905) of Southbury, Connecticut, and his children. Papers pertaining to David F. Pierce include manuscript descriptions of visions seen by him and poems written by him. Papers pertaining to his daughter Anna Harriet Pierce (Yale B.F.A. 1916) include a typescript copy of "Reminiscences of an Art Student," newspaper clippings describing her paintings, programs of exhibitions of her works, and photographs and other reproductions of her paintings. Anna's sister Mary Elizabeth Pierce (d. 1934; Yale M.A. 1927) is represented by the manuscript "Memories of Life on a New England Farm"; their brother, Frederick E. Pierce, is represented by an obituary notice and a eulogy. The remaining items in the collection are two letters, photographs, and an essay all relating to the Pierce homestead in Southbury, and ten photographs of family members.

These papers were donated to Yale University in 1971 by Shelton B. Hicock.


  • 1898-1961


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 Shelton B. Hicock, 1971.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The two principal figures in these papers are David French Pierce, a Congregational minister of Southbury, Conn. and his daughter, Anna Harriet Pierce. Included are manuscripts by David F. Pierce, recounting his visions. The papers of Anna H. Pierce, who was an artist, contain her reminiscences as an art student as well as programs of exhibitions and photographs of her paintings. Also included are memoirs of another daughter, Mary Elizabeth, of her life on a New England farm together with family photographs and other papers.

Biographical / Historical

Frederick Erastus Pierce, B.A. 1904.

Born March 11, 1878, in South Britain, Conn.; Died March 26, 1935, in New Haven, Conn.

Father, Rev. David French Pierce, a Congregational minister in Southbury, Conn.; son of Erastus and Elosia (Platt) Pierce, of South Britain. Yale relatives include: Granville T. Pierce, '55 (uncle).

Private tutor. First McLaughlin Prize, first grade Berkeley Premium, and first Benjamin F. Barge Mathematical Prize Freshman year; second Benjamin F. Barge Mathematical Prize and Robert Callender Scholar Sophomore year; third TenEyck Prize, John Hubbard Curtis Prize, Cook Prize in Poetry, Waterman Scholar, Yale Literary Medal, and Pundit Club Prize Junior year; DeForest Prize Medal Senior year; philosophical oration appointments Junior and Senior years; treasurer Yale Union Junior year and president Senior year; on University Debating Team and board of Yale Literary Magazine Senior year; Class Poet, and Valedictorian; member Zeta Psi, Chi Delta Theta, Phi Beta Kappa, and Skull and Bones.

Studied in Yale Graduate School 1904-1908 (M.A. 1905, Ph.D. 1908); instructor in English, Yale 1906-1910, instructor in debating 1907-1908, assistant professor of English 1910-1926, associate professor since 1926; instructor summer session State Teachers' College, Greeley, Colo., 1921; author: The Collaboration of Webster and Dekker (1909), The World That God Destroyed and Other Poems (1911), Jordan Farms. An Epic in Homespun (1916), Currents and Eddies in the English Romantic Generation (1918), Poems of New England and Old Spain (1918); editor The Merchant of Venice (1911), Selections from the Symbolic Poems of William Blake (1915), and The Winter's Tale (for the Yale Shakespeare series 1918); co-author (with H. N. MacCracken and W.H. Durham, '04) An Introduction to Shakespeare (1911), and (with H. S. Canby, '99 S., and W.H. Durham) Facts, Thought and Imagination, a book on writing (1917); editor in collaboration (with S. Thurber) Macaulay's Essays on Clive and Hastings (1911), (with H.S. Canby) Selections from Robert Louis Stevenson (1911), (with H.S. Canby and W.H. Durham) Poems by John Masefield (1927), and (with Carl F. Schreiber, Ph.D. 1914) Fiction and Fantasy of German Romance (1927); contributed to: Philological Quarterly, Modern Philology, Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Modern Language Notes, North American Review, Literary Review, Yale Review, Anglica, and The Nation; member United (Congregational) Church, New Haven.

Married June 25, 1910, in West Haven, Conn., Delma Louise, daughter of Rev. Norman Jairus Squires (B.A. Wesleyan 1871; B.D. Methodist General Biblical Institute) and Mary Matilda (Minor) Squires. Children: David Frederick, Dartmouth '35; and Mary Eleanor, Wellesley '37. Mrs. Pierce died August 20, 1929.

Took his own life. Buried in Center Cemetery, South Britain. Survived by children and a sister, Miss Anna H. Pierce (B.F.A. 1916). His sister, Miss Mary E. Pierce (M.A. 1927), died October 7, 1934.

From Yale University Obituary Record.

Guide to the Pierce Family Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Janet Elaine Gertz
November 1982
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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