The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Benjamin Ropes Family Papers
0.5 linear feet (1 box)
The papers in this collection
give insight into three generations of the Benjamin Ropes family of Salem,
Massachusetts, from the mid-nineteenth century into the twentieth
Scope and Content Note
The papers in this collection give insight into three generations of the Benjamin
Ropes family of Salem, Massachusetts, from the mid-nineteenth century into the
twentieth century. Included are miscellaneous deeds, correspondence, a wedding
album, and several albums and journals belonging to Martha Reed Ropes.
Folder 1 contains miscellaneous deeds, many of which concern property in Salem
acquired by Charles Augustus Ropes (1818-1890) or his brother Reuben Wilkins Ropes
Folder 2 contains one long letter to the "Home Folks", Reuben and Grace Ropes,
dated August 8, 1906, from "Austin," presumably Grace's younger brother Austin
Tuttle. It is written from St. Moritz, Switzerland, and describes Austin's hikes and
sightseeing in the Italian and Swiss Alps.
Folders 3 and 4 contain letters to Reuben and Grace Ropes from two of their
children while at college; there is also one letter addressed to Uncle Austin
(Tuttle). Laurence (1898-1968) (Folder 3) writes with enthusiasm about his freshman
year (1915-1916) at Tufts College in Somerville, Massachusetts, and mentions sports,
the school newspaper, chess club, and especially the Zeta Psi fraternity. Esther
(1899-1983) (Folder 4) writes in considerably more detail about her first two years
(1918-1919) at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, including descriptions
of her courses, friends, clothes, rooms, and school traditions.
Folder 5 contains one letter (1917) to Grace Ropes from Mary Campbell Rice of
the Women's National Missionary Association of the Universalist Church. It describes
the Association's efforts to place young women as missionaries in Japan and to
support Japanese women studying in the United States or Japan.
In Folder 6 is the large bound wedding album of Reuben and Grace (Tuttle)
Ropes. They were married on June 18, 1895, at the First Universalist Church in
Salem, Massachusetts. After honeymooning in Montreal and Quebec City, Canada, they
settled at 18 Felt Street in Salem. The wedding album contains signatures of all the
wedding party and many of the guests, the newspaper announcements, photographs of
the Church and several houses, a diary of the honeymoon, and also signatures of the
participants at the twenty-fifth wedding anniversary on June 18, 1920.
The remainder of the collection is a series of albums and journals belonging to
Martha Reed Ropes (1826-1888). One set of three bound albums entitled Affection, Sonnenie, and Amitié
mostly contain poetic farewells from family and friends written between
1845, when she was visiting family in St. Petersburg, Russia, and 1849, when she
married Charles Trask. There are also three booklets and one bound book containing
extracts of sermons (1840-1844, undated) and one booklet containing Martha Rope's
poetry and essays (1843-1844, undated).
The Benjamin Ropes branch of the Ropes family was descended from George Ropes who
arrived in Salem, Massachusetts, in about 1637. An abbreviated genealogy is included
in Appendix I.
Benjamin Ropes (1722-1790) married Ruth Hardy and they
had twelve children, including Benjamin (1747-1778), who married Margaret Symonds,
and Samuel (1757-1841), who married Sarah Cheever.
Benjamin Ropes, the first son of Benjamin and
Margaret (Symonds) Ropes, was born in 1772 and died in 1845. He was a cooper and
later a shipping merchant in Salem, Massachusetts. He and his wife Frances (Wilkins)
Ropes had eight children, including Benjamin Gardner, Fanny Wilkins, Henry James,
Amelia, Reuben Wilkins, Almira, Charles Augustus, and Eleazer Wheelock Ripley.
Charles Augustus Ropes, the son of Benjamin and Frances
(Wilkins) Ropes, was born in 1818. He was also a shipping merchant in business with
his brothers. He married Lucinda Whipple in 1854, and they had nine children,
Benjamin, George, Willis, Mary, Emile, Reuben Wilkins, Charles, Edwin, and Lucinda.
Charles died in 1890 as did his brothers, Reuben Wilkins and Ripley.
Reuben Wilkins Ropes (1861-1942) was the fourth son of
Charles Augustus and Lucinda (Whipple) Ropes. He married Grace Austin Tuttle
(1865-1923) in 1895, as documented in the wedding album in this collection, and they
had four children, Lawrence, Esther, Marian, and Austin.
William Ropes, the third son of Samuel and Sarah
(Cheever) Ropes, was born in 1784 and died in 1869. He was a merchant in Boston,
Massachusetts, and resided for several years in St. Petersburg, Russia. By his first
wife Martha Reed Ropes he had ten children, including Martha Reed Ropes. By his
second wife, Mary Anne Codman, he had five more children.
Martha Reed Ropes, the daughter of William and Martha
(Reed) Ropes, was born in 1826 and died in 1888. She married Charles Trask in 1849,
and they had seven children.
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.
Ropes, Charles Augustus, 1818-1890
Ropes, Grace Tuttle, 1865-1923
Ropes, Martha Reed, 1826-1888
Ropes, Reuben Wilkins, 1813-1890
Ropes, Reuben Wilkins, 1861-1942
First Universalist Church--Massachusetts--Salem
Restrictions on Access
This collection is open for research use.
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
Benjamin Ropes Family Papers, MSS 371, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem,
Part of this collection was purchased on September 25, 2003 (acc. #2003.048). The
deeds in Folder 1 were donated by Mary R. Cate on February 23, 1970. The provenance
for the rest of the collection is unknown.
Collection processed by Lee Jacoby, January 2008.
E. S. Waters, Materials for a History of the Ropes Family, Essex Institute HistoricalCollections, 7(1865), pp. 164-166, 198-199, 252-254,
and 8(1866), pp. 54-55.
Timothy Ropes Family Papers, 1680-1888, undated, MSS
365, Papers belonging to the family of Timothy Ropes (1773-1848), the
youngest son of Benjamin Ropes (1722-1790).
Part of this collection was purchased on September 25, 2003 (acc. #2003.048). The deeds in Folder 1 were donated by Mary R. Cate on February 23, 1970. The provenance for the rest of the collection is unknown.