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Mary Carter (1766-1840) Papers

Mary Carter (1766-1840) Papers

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MARY CARTER (1766-1840) PAPERS, 1772-1917





Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Carter, Mary, 1766-1840
Title:Mary Carter (1766-1840) Papers
Dates:1772/1917
Quantity:0.25 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract:The major part of this collection consists of letters written to Mary Carter in Newburyport, Massachusetts, from her friend Hannah Tracy Emery, in Exeter, New Hampshire, along with a few letters from Mary to Hannah between the years 1787-1793.
Collection Number:MSS 328

Series List


Scope and Content Note

The major part of this collection consists of letters written to Mary Carter in Newburyport, Massachusetts, from her friend Hannah Tracy Emery, in Exeter, New Hampshire, along with a few letters from Mary to Hannah between the years 1787-1793. The correspondence began when Mary was 21 and Hannah was 16 years old. The letters discuss social events, courtship and marriage of mutual friends, and visits to acquaintances. Several letters deal with loss of family and friends. The collection also includes letters to and from various members of the Cutts family and the correspondence of Cecil Hampden Cutts Howard, the great-grandson of Mary (Carter) Cutts. These letters illustrate the almost total dependence of females upon the male members of their families, not only for financial support but as escorts and carriers of correspondence.


Also included is a poem written in honor of Hannah, probably by Mary Carter, with an appended note that Hannah T. Abbot died December 6, 1793. Her death was eight months after her last letter. Additional letters to Mary Carter and Mary (Carter) Cutts from friends and relatives are included in the collection. Of particular interest is a letter from Elizabeth Smith, dated December 6, 1791, written from Philadelphia. This describes the State House gardens, and the social scene in Philadelphia, then the nation's capital, events which include a levee held by the Washingtons.


The collection also contains miscellaneous letters mostly to and from members of the Cutts family from 1722 to 1822. One undated and unsigned letter alludes to the illness of Hannah Emery's mother, and thus was probably written prior to 1787. Two letters from Joseph Ward to Samuel Cutts (November 18 and 28, 1772) asking Cutts' support in his attempts to obtain an official position in New Hampshire from Lord Dartmouth in England may be of interest.


This collection will be particular interest to those studying elegies and memorial poetry of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Several examples, written for the deaths of family and friends of the Cutts family, are included along with copies of engravings, one of which depicts General William H. Harrison. All are undated and the authors of these writings unknown. The collection also provides insight into the precariousness of life and health in the 18th and early 19th centuries.


The collection also includes letters to and from Cecil H. Cutts Howard, the great-grandson of Mary (Carter) Cutts and the donor of the collection, written between 1874 and 1917. Most of the correspondence discusses his research about family genealogy, along with letters from publishers and historic societies concerning publication or purchase of his writing. A copy of Howard's letter of January 20, 1917, provides a list of the documents he sent to the Essex Institute for the "Cutts Howard Mss Collection."


Biographical Sketches

Mary Carter, one of nine children, was born on June 23, 1766, the daughter of Mary (Beck) and Nathaniel Carter of Newburyport, Massachusetts. Upon Mary's marriage to Edward Cutts on April 17, 1796, she moved to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The couple had seven children, four of whom died in infancy or early childhood. The two families were already related through the marriage of Edward's sister, Elizabeth, to Mary's brother, Nathaniel Carter. Upon the death of her husband, on September 20, 1824, Mary moved to Vermont to live with her son. She died on March 11, 1840, at the age of 74.


Hannah Tracy (Emery) Abbott was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, on March 7, 1771. She married the Reverend Benjamin Abbott, Preceptor of Exeter Academy, in 1791. She died at the age of 22, on December 6, 1793.


Cecil Hampden Cutts Howard was born August 27, 1861, the oldest child of Anna Holyoke Cutts and Abel Trumbull Howard, and great-grandson of Mary (Carter) Cutts. He was a writer and genealogist, author of Life and Times of General John Wolcott Phelps, and compiler of the Genealogy of the Cutts Family of America.


Index Terms

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.

Abbott, Hannah Tracy, 1771-1793
Cutts family
Howard, Cecil Hampden Cutts, b. 1861
Bereavement
Elegiac poetry, American
Female friendship
Women
Philadelphia (Pa.)--Description and travel
Philadelphia (Pa.)--Social life and customs--18th century

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.


Administrative Information

Copyright

Requests 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.

Preferred Citation

Mary Carter (1766-1840) Papers, MSS 328, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

The collection was donated to the Essex Institute in January 1917 by Cecil Hampden Cutts Howard.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Frances Malamy, December 2002 and Lee Jacoby July 2013.


Related Material

Howard, Cecil Hampden Cutts. Genealogy of the Cutts Family of America. Albany, New York: 1892.


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