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Hannah Maria Catlin Phelps papers

Call Number: MS 1112

Scope and Contents

This collection contains a typed transcript of the journal of Hannah Maria (Catlin) Phelps (1831-1880), kept between 1849 and 1859. Hannah Maria Catlin was the daughter of Julius Catlin, Lieutenant-Governor of Connecticut from 1858 to 1861; she married Bejamin Kinsman Phelps (1832-1880, Yale 1853). Her journal describes her life as a well-to-do young lady in Hartford, Connecticut, from the age of seventeen to twenty-one, with special detail being devoted to the summer of 1850, which she spent in Newport, Rhode Island. She made fewer entries in her journal after 1853, and stopped completely after 1855, resuming in October, 1857, only to describe her wedding, and then beginning again in October, 1858, with the birth of her daughter. The journal ends abruptly with December 1859. Throughout, the major topic is social life-callers, suitors, visits to New York, Washington, and Niagara Falls-but Hannah's interest in religion and in self-improvement are also documented, as are the frequent illnesses and deaths of friends and family members.

This journal was the gift to Yale University of Mrs. William H. Merrill, the daughter of Hannah and Benjamin Phelps, whose birth is described in the journal. She presented the typescript to Yale in 1953, and retained possession of the original.


  • 1849-1859


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Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain.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 Mary Phelps Merrill, 1953.


0.25 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 a typed transcript of a diary kept by Hannah Maria Catlin Phelps between 1849 and 1859. She was the daughter of Julius Catlin, lieutenant governor of Connecticut, 1858-1861. It depicts the social life of a young woman in Hartford, Connecticut, and her visits to New York, Washington, D.C., and Niagara Falls. The last two years of the diary include accounts of her wedding and the birth of her daughter in October, 1858.

Biographical / Historical

Hannah Maria Catlin was born in 1831, in Hartford, Connecticut. She was the only daughter of Julius Catlin, Lieutenant-Governor of Connecticut between 1858 and 1861. She married Benjamin Kinsman Phelps on October 21, 1857. He was a graduate of the Yale College class of 1853, a district attorney of New York County, and a law partner of Chester A. Arthur. They had three children together: Mary Cutler, Dudley, and Anna Kinsman. She died on December 21, 1880.
Guide to the Hannah Maria Catlin Phelps Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Janet Elaine Gertz
August 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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