Processing of this collection was funded by a grant from the NHPRC (National Historical Publications
and Records Commission).
The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 161 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Rantoul, Harriet C., 1878-1975
Harriet C. Rantoul (1878-1975) Papers
5.5 linear feet (5 boxes)
The Harriet C. Rantoul Papers include correspondence, journals, genealogical records
for the Neal family, photograph albums, event programs, newspaper clippings and broadsides.
SERIES I. Harriet C. Rantoul Papers
A. Personal Papers
B. Albums and Clippings
SERIES II. Neal Family Papers
A. Family Papers
C. Albums and Engravings
Scope and Content Note
The Harriet C. Rantoul Papers include correspondence, journals, genealogical records for the Neal family, photograph albums,
event programs, newspaper clippings and broadsides. This collection has been arranged into two series.
Series I. Harriet C. Rantoul Papers includes correspondence, event programs, newspaper clippings and albums of photographs
and postcards. Correspondence to Harriet is primarily from her brother Beverley while he was abroad with the American Red Cross
in France. Publications and event programs document celebrations in Salem, including the Salem Tercentenary in 1926.
The albums include a family photograph album of travels abroad in Europe, dating circa 1909 to 1912, two postcard albums
that document travels to the West Coast of the United States and historic sites in Salem and New England, and a travel album
of the costumes of the Swiss cantons.
Series II. Neal Family Papers includes estate documents, genealogical records, journals, and an album for the Neal Family,
Ms. Rantoul's mother's family. Estate documents relate to various members of the Neal family and their property. Two personal
notebooks along with loose handwritten notes record genealogical information for the Neal family. A handwritten journal
related to the ship Navigator is included, most likely related to the work of Captain Jonathan Neal. Two journals are from
Mrs. Harriet C. Neal and date approximately 1824, presumably given to her by her brother Joseph Price. Correspondence dates
back to 1784 and includes letters from Captain Jonathan Neal, and David A. Neal.
Harriet C. Rantoul was born on February 16, 1878 in Paris, France, the youngest child
of Robert S. Rantoul (1832-1922) and Harriet C. Neal (1837-1899). She was a member of one of Salem's sea merchant
families; her grandfather Robert Rantoul Jr. was a Massachusetts State Representative and United States Senator and
her father, Robert S. Rantoul, was mayor of Salem, Massachusetts for four terms. Her mother, Harriet C. Neal, was the
daughter of David Augustus Neal and Harriet C. Price, and her grandfather was Captain Jonathan Neal who served during
the Revolutionary War before becoming a successful merchant in Salem.
Ms. Rantoul traveled extensively around the world; she was in China during the Peking Revolution in 1900 and was in
San Francisco during the 1906 earthquake. She was known for her social and philanthropic work, along with her love of the
Boston Symphony orchestra. She attended the Friday afternoon concerts and was honored on her 90th birthday in 1968 by the
Symphony directors who placed a gold plaque with her name inscribed on seat G-16, the one she had occupied for many years.
Ms. Rantoul died at age 97 in May 1975 at her home in Beverly Farms.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Neal, D. A. (David Augustus), 1793-1861
Neal, Harriet C., b. 1793
Neal, Jonathan, 1759-1837
Rantoul, Beverley, 1872-1928
Rantoul, Harriet C., 1878-1975
Estates, Administration of
Voyages and travels
Restrictions on Access
This collection is open for research use.
Request for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript
Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.