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Thomas F. Hunt (1841-1898) Papers

Thomas F. Hunt (1841-1898) Papers

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THOMAS F. HUNT (1841-1898) PAPERS, 1790, 1852-1886

Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 166 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-948-6012
Creator:Hunt, T. F. (Thomas Franklin), 1841-1898
Title:Thomas F. Hunt (1841-1898) Papers
Dates:1790, 1852/1886
Quantity:0.25 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract:The Thomas Franklin Hunt papers contain correspondence and personal papers relating to Hunt and his immediate family.
Collection Number:MH 129

Series List

SERIES I. Correspondence

Scope and Content Note

The Thomas Franklin Hunt papers contain correspondence and personal papers relating to Hunt and his immediate family. This collection has been divided into two series.

Series I. Correspondence contains correspondence to Thomas Franklin Hunt, sometimes addressed as "Frank" from his immediate family members, including his mother Elizabeth Cook, his aunt Abby Edwards Cook, and his uncle James P. Cook. Included in this series is a letter book, which contains correspondence to "Frank", the majority of which is from James P. Cook.

Series II. Other contains personal papers such as news clippings, invitations, and programs, including a program for a garden party with the Emperor of Japan. Also included in this series is a notebook written in what appears to be Chinese, a transcription of Abby Edwards Cook's journal, and some miscellaneous papers including genealogical information.

Biographical Sketch

Thomas Franklin Hunt was born on July 15, 1841, to Captain Thomas and Elizabeth (Cook) Hunt of Salem, Massachusetts. Captain Hunt lived in China for many years to work with his firm Thomas Hunt and Company; his partners were his brother-in-law, James P. Cook, and James Endicott. He eventually sold the firm to Cook. Captain Hunt owned many ships while he lived in China; one was used as a store ship, one served as a residence for the Hunt family and as a ship chandlery, while the other ships transported cargo.

Thomas Franklin Hunt moved with his mother to Whampoa, China, at the age of seven to join his father; they lived there for five years. Thomas returned to China in 1859, and spent three years in Hong Kong; he would return to China for the last time in 1864, on board the China, the first steamer to make the voyage from California to Asia. He then worked for the law office of Stephen H. Phillips and James A. Gills and was admitted to the Essex bar in 1866. In 1867, Thomas first became involved with the Essex Institute and was one of the originators and promoters of a series of art exhibits which began in 1873. He was a collector of books and manuals on art, painting, architecture, and sculptureā€”all of which he gave to the library of the Essex Institute. Additionally, he arranged an exhibition to illustrate the periods of colonial New England and donated 600 books about China to the Institute as well.

He was a member of the Salem East India Marine Society, a trustee of the Plummer Farm School, manager of the Home for Aged and Destitute Women, trustee of the Salem Athenaeum, and trustee of the Salem Public Library. Thomas was also elected as a trustee of the Peabody Academy of Science in November 1897, but he died before he had a chance to participate.

Thomas never married and died January 21, 1898.

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.

Cook, Abby Edwards
Cook, James P.
Hunt, E.
Hunt, T. F. (Thomas Franklin), 1841-1898


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Administrative Information


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

Thomas F. Hunt (1841-1898) Papers, MH 129, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


This material was donated by Mrs. Wheaton Kittredge on February 20, 1970 (accession #19,216).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Hilary Streifer, June 2015.

Related Material

Thomas Franklin Hunt Diaries, 1852, 1859-1862, 1867-1868, 1872. DIA 245

Scrapbook of Chinese images, undated. PHA 19

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