The Bowles-Hoar Family Papers contain the combined family papers of Samuel Bowles III* -- editor of the Springfield Republican through much of the nineteenth century, friend of the Dickinson family,** and trustee of Amherst College -- and Judge Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar (1816-1895), member of an extraordinary family from Concord, Massachusetts.

Bowles-Hoar Family Papers

The Bowles and Hoar families are connected through the marriage of Samuel Bowles IV (1851-1915) to Elizabeth Hoar (1854-1924), daughter of Judge Hoar and Caroline Downes Brooks Hoar (1820-1892).  The nature of the materials in the papers suggests that we owe a debt to Elizabeth (known to family and friends as Beth), who seems to have been the main collector of materials from her own line as well as that of her husband.

Elizabeth Hoar Bowles, c. 1885Elizabeth Hoar Bowles, c.1885

The papers contain hundreds of letters from Samuel Bowles III and Judge Hoar to their respective family members and friends, as well as correspondence from family members to each other and to friends.  The collection is also rich in correspondence from women in the Bowles and Hoar families, including Mary Bowles (Sam's wife and a recipient of many of Dickinson's letters) and Judge Hoar's wife, Caroline, childhood playmate of the Emerson and Thoreau families, member of the Concord Female Anti-Slavery Society and stepdaughter of the founder and Secretary of the society, Mary Merrick Brooks.

The papers are also important for documenting Massachusetts political history, the history of the Springfield Republican, and women's history, to name a very few topics.  The Consecrated Eminence blog contains several posts about materials in the collection, and the papers are now fully processed and available for research use.  


*Although some writers, thinking about the Samuels involved with the newspaper, move the Samuels one generation forward, referring to Samuel b. 1826 as the second, the latter thought of himself as the third and we follow his practice.

We therefore count ours from Samuel I (1762-1813), with Samuel II (1797-1851) being the founder of the Springfield Republican and Samuel III (1826-1878) the editor.  Samuel Bowles IV (1851-1915) continued to run the Republican until his death.  Samuel V did not work at the paper.  Sherman (1890-1952; second son of Samuel IV) was the last of the Bowles family to work for the paper.  

**Correspondence from Emily Dickinson to Samuel Bowles came to the College as an earlier gift in the 1950s and is now part of our Emily Dickinson Collection.