bMS 571

American Unitarian Association. Letterbooks, 1822-1902.

Summary Information:

  • Call No: bMS 571
  • Title: American Unitarian Association Letterbooks, 1822-1902.
  • Repository: Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School, 45 Francis Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138-1911
  • Quantity: 233 boxes.

Administrative Information:

  • Preferred Citation: American Unitarian Association Letterbooks, bMS 571, Andover-Harvard Library, Harvard Divinity School.
  • Acquisition Information: Gift of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
  • Access Restrictions: There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Historical Information:

The American Unitarian Association was formally organized on May 25, 1825. Before this date, there was a club in Boston, which consisted of some 20 liberal-minded and public-spirited citizens, called the Anonymous Association. At a meeting of this club, a discussion arose concerning the advisability of forming an association- publish books and tracts setting forth the opinions and principles of the liberal party in the Congregational churches. The object of the proposed association was "to promote the growth of Christian truth and Christian charity, and the increase of religion in the land." The specific objects of the association were declared- be: "a)- collect and diffuse information respecting the state of Unitarian Christianity in our country, b)- produce union, sympathy, and co-operation among Liberal Christians, c)- publish and distribute books and tracts, d)- supply missionaries, especially- such parts of our country as are destitute of a stated ministry, and e)- adopt whatever other measures may hereafter seem expedient, such as contributions in behalf of clergymen with insufficient salaries or in aid of building churches." (from the 1900 Unitarian Yearbook).

The correspondence in this collection was usually directed- the various secretaries, assistant secretaries, and treasurers of the AUA. For correspondence after 1902 and up- 1927, see the papers of Samuel Atkins Eliot, bMS 496. A list of AUA secretaries is as follows:

Ezra Stiles Gannett 1825-1831
Henry Ware, Jr. 1829-1834
Alexander Young 1831-1833
Samuel Barrett 1833-1834
Jason Whitman 1834-1835
Charles Briggs 1835-1847
William Greenleaf Eliot 1847-1848
Frederick West Holland 1848-1850
Calvin Lincoln 1850-1853
Henry Adolphus Miles 1853-1859
James Freeman Clarke 1859-1861
George William Fox 1861-1865
Charles Lowe 1865-1871
Rush Rhees Shippen 1871-1881
Grindall Reynolds 1881-1894
George Batchelor 1894-1898
Samuel Atkins Eliot 1898-1900
Charles Elliot St. John 1900-1908
Lewis Gilbert Wilson 1908-1915
Louis Craig Cornish 1916-1925
Parker Endicott Marean 1925-1930
Walter Reid Hunt 1930-1937
Palfrey Perkins 1937-1945
Dana McLean Greeley 1945-1953
Walter Donald Kring 1953-1961

Scope and Content:

The AUA Letterbooks contain thousands of letters directed- various secretaries, assistant secretaries, treasurers, and presidents of the American Unitarian Association. Arranged chronologically, the bulk of the correspondence is from Unitarian ministers from the Eastern seaboard, though other states and countries are represented. The correspondence deals with how well the Unitarian religion is being received in various regions, the financial needs of the churches, the progress of missionary efforts in this country and in India, China, and other foreign countries, and the promotion and distribution of Unitarian publications. The collection contains correspondence from most of the significant Unitarian ministers of the nineteenth century, as well as from a number of prominent  people without obvious Unitarian connections. A partial listing of correspondents would include Henry Whitney Bellows (1814-1892), Olympia Brown (1835-1926), James Freeman Clarke (1810-1888), Dorothea Dix (1802-1887), Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909), Abiel Abbot Livermore (1811-1892), Charles Eliot Norton (1827-19081), John Gorman Palfrey (1796-1881), David Reed (1790-1870), Henry Ware, Sr. (1764-1845), Henry Ware, Jr. (1794-1843), and Booker T. Washington (1856-1915).

A chronological index- the Letterbooks is available in the Manuscripts and Archives Department of the Andover-Harvard Theological Library. Letters from 1836- 1858 were microfilmed, and this microfilm is located in box 194.

See related collections of official AUA correspondence in bMS 388, bMS 419, bMS 496, bMS 11070, and bMS 11127.

Container List:

  • bMS 571/1 March 22, 1822 - October 24, 1825
  • bMS 571/2 November 3, 1825 - May 30, 1826
  • bMS 571/3 June 1, 1826 - December 31, 1826
  • bMS 571/4 January 3, 1827 - July 31, 1827
  • bMS 571/5 August 6, 1827 - December 31, 1827
  • bMS 571/6 January 9, 1828 - July 31, 1828
  • bMS 571/7 August 4, 1828 - December 23, 1828
  • bMS 571/8 n.d. 1829 - May 21, 1829
  • bMS 571/9 May 22, 1829 - December 29, 1829
  • bMS 571/10 January 6, 1830 - May 18, 1830
  • bMS 571/11 May 18, 1830 - December 10, 1830
  • bMS 571/12 1831
  • bMS 571/13 1832
  • bMS 571/14 1833
  • bMS 571/15 January 1834 - July 1834
  • bMS 571/16 August 1834 - December 1834
  • bMS 571/17 January 1835 - March 2, 1835
  • bMS 571/18 March 4, 1835 - April 19, 1835
  • bMS 571/19 May 1835 - July 1835
  • bMS 571/20 August 1835 - December 1835
  • bMS 571/21 January 3, 1836 - March 31, 1836
  • bMS 571/22 April 1, 1836 - May 31, 1836
  • bMS 571/23 June 1, 1836 - July 30, 1836
  • bMS 571/24 August 3, 1836 - December 29, 1836
  • bMS 571/25 January 7, 1837 - May 24, 1837
  • bMS 571/26 June 6, 1837 - December 28, 1837
  • bMS 571/27 January 1, 1838 - April 30, 1838
  • bMS 571/28 May 1, 1838 - July 31, 1838
  • bMS 571/29 August 4, 1838- October 14, 1838
  • bMS 571/30 January 1, 1839 - February 27, 1839
  • bMS 571/31 March 4, 1839 - April 30, 1839
  • bMS 571/32 October 18, 1838 - December 28, 1838
  • bMS 571/33 May 2, 1839 - June 15, 1839
  • bMS 571/34 June 16, 1839 - August 14, 1839
  • bMS 571/35 August 16, 1839 - October 31, 1839
  • bMS 571/36 November 1, 1839 - December 31, 1839
  • bMS 571/37 January 1, 1840 - March 31, 1840
  • bMS 571/38 April 1, 1840 - May 29, 1840
  • bMS 571/39 June 1, 1840 - August 31, 1840
  • bMS 571/40 September 2, 1840 - December 31, 1840
  • bMS 571/41 January 1, 1841 - March 29, 1841
  • bMS 571/42 April 1, 1841 - June 30, 1841
  • bMS 571/43 July 2, 1841- September 23, 1841
  • bMS 571/44 September 24, 1841 - December 29, 1841
  • bMS 571/45 January 1, 1842- March 22, 1842
  • bMS 571/46 March 23, 1842 - May 20, 1842
  • bMS 571/47 May 23, 1842 - August 31, 1842
  • bMS 571/48 September 1, 1842 - November 21, 1842
  • bMS 571/49 November 22, 1842 - February 28, 1843
  • bMS 571/50 March 6, 1843 - May 30, 1843
  • bMS 571/51 June 1, 1843 - August 31, 1843
  • bMS 571/52 September 1, 1843 - October 14, 1843
  • bMS 571/53 October 15, 1843 - December 28, 1843
  • bMS 571/54 January 1, 1844 - March 30, 1844
  • bMS 571/55 April 1, 1844 - May 31, 1844
  • bMS 571/56 June 1, 1844 - July 23, 1844*
  • bMS 571/57 July 22, 1844 - September 19, 1844*
  • bMS 571/58 September 20, 1844 - November 19, 1844
  • bMS 571/59 November 20, 1844 - February 27, 1845
  • bMS 571/60 March 3, 1845 - April 29, 1845
  • bMS 571/61 May 1, 1845 - July 31, 1845
  • bMS 571/62 August 1, 1845 - September 29, 1845
  • bMS 571/63 October 1, 1845 - December 30, 1845
  • bMS 571/64 January 1, 1846 - March 31, 1846
  • bMS 571/65 April 1, 1846 - June 30, 1846
  • bMS 571/66 July 1, 1846 - September 30, 1846
  • bMS 571/67 October 1, 1846 - December 27, 1846
  • bMS 571/68 January 2, 1847 - April 29, 1847
  • bMS 571/69 May 2, 1847 - July 31, 1847
  • bMS 571/70 August 2, 1847 - September 30, 1847
  • bMS 571/71 October 1, 1847 - January 28, 1848
  • bMS 571/72 February 1, 1848 - April 15, 1848
  • bMS 571/73 April 17, 1848 - May 23, 1848
  • bMS 571/74 May 24, 1848 - June 28, 1848
  • bMS 571/75 July 1848 - August 1848
  • bMS 571/76 September 1848 - October 1848
  • bMS 571/77 November 1848 - December 7, 1848
  • bMS 571/78 December 9, 1848 - January 31, 1849
  • bMS 571/79 February 1, 1849 - March 9, 1849
  • bMS 571/80 March 11, 1849 - May 10, 1849
  • bMS 571/81 May 11, 1849 - June 30, 1849
  • bMS 571/82 July 1, 1849 - August 31, 1849
  • bMS 571/83 September 2, 1849 - November 15, 1849
  • bMS 571/84 November 16, 1849 - January 31, 1850
  • bMS 571/85 February 1, 1850 - February 28, 1850
  • bMS 571/86 March 1, 1850 - March 30, 1850
  • bMS 571/87 April 1, 1850 - May 12, 1850
  • bMS 571/88 May 13, 1850 - June 18, 1850
  • bMS 571/89 June 19, 1850 - August 6, 1850
  • bMS 571/90 August 6, 1850 - August 31, 1850
  • bMS 571/91 September 1, 1850 - October 1850
  • bMS 571/92 October 7, 1850 - November 11, 1850
  • bMS 571/93 November 12, 1850 - January 13, 1851
  • bMS 571/94 January 14, 1851 - May 6, 1851
  • bMS 571/95 May 6, 1851 - September 22, 1851
  • bMS 571/96 September 22, 1851 - February 14, 1852
  • bMS 571/97 February 14, 1852 - June 8, 1852
  • bMS 571/98 June 8, 1852 - October 6, 1852
  • bMS 571/99 October 8, 1852 - January 26, 1853
  • bMS 571/100 January 28, 1853 - July 21, 1853
  • bMS 571/101 July 23, 1853 - November 22, 1853
  • bMS 571/102 November 23, 1853 - February 8, 1854
  • bMS 571/103 February 8, 1854 - March 17, 1854
  • bMS 571/104 March 18, 1854 - May 25, 1854
  • bMS 571/105 May 25, 1854 - August 4, 1854
  • bMS 571/106 August 4, 1854 - October 16, 1854
  • bMS 571/107 October 17, 1854 - December10, 1854
  • bMS 571/108 December 11, 1854 - February 16, 1855
  • bMS 571/109 February 16, 1855 - April 30, 1855
  • bMS 571/110 April 30, 1855 - June 22, 1855
  • bMS 571/111 June 24, 1855 - August 21, 1855
  • bMS 571/112 August 21, 1855 - October 30, 1855
  • bMS 571/113 October 30, 1855 - January 3, 1856
  • bMS 571/114 n.d. (January 1856) - March 27, 1856
  • bMS 571/115 March 27, 1856 - May 20, 1856
  • bMS 571/116 May 21, 1856 - August 7, 1856
  • bMS 571/117 August 9, 1856 - October 26, 1856
  • bMS 571/118 October 27, 1856 - January 12, 1857
  • bMS 571/119 January 13, 1857 - April 9, 1857
  • bMS 571/120 April 10, 1857 - June 17, 1857
  • bMS 571/121 June 18, 1857 - September 5, 1857
  • bMS 571/122 September 8, 1857 - December 28, 1857
  • bMS 571/123 December 29, 1857 - March 23, 1858
  • bMS 571/124 January 1, 1858 - March 1858
  • bMS 571/125 April 1858
  • bMS 571/126 May 1, 1858- June 30, 1858
  • bMS 571/127 July 1, 1858 - September 1858
  • bMS 571/128 October 1858 - November 1858
  • bMS 571/129 December 1858
  • bMS 571/130 January 3, 1859 - March 30, 1859
  • bMS 571/131 April 2, 1859 - May 30, 1859
  • bMS 571/132 June 1, 1859 - August 1859
  • bMS 571/133 September 1859 - October 1859
  • bMS 571/134 November 1859 - December 1859
  • bMS 571/135 January 1860 - March 1860
  • bMS 571/136 April 1860 - June 1860
  • bMS 571/137 July 1860 - August 1860
  • bMS 571/138 September 1860 - November 1860
  • bMS 571/139 December 1860
  • bMS 571/140 January 1, 1861 - February 28, 1861
  • bMS 571/141 March 2, 1861 - June 27, 1861
  • bMS 571/142 July 1, 1861 - November 30, 1861
  • bMS 571/143 December 2, 1861 - December 31, 1861
  • bMS 571/144 January 2, 1862 - April 30, 1862
  • bMS 571/145 May 1, 1862 - October 26, 1862
  • bMS 571/146 November 4, 1862 - December 29, 1862
  • bMS 571/147 January 1 1863 - May 30, 1863
  • bMS 571/148 June 1, 1863 - October 31, 1863
  • bMS 571/149 November 2, 1863 - December 1863
  • bMS 571/150 January 1864 - May 1864
  • bMS 571/151 June 1864 - September 1864
  • bMS 571/152 October 1864 - December 1864
  • bMS 571/153 January 1865 - February 1865
  • bMS 571/154 March 1865
  • bMS 571/155 April 1865
  • bMS 571/156 May 1865
  • bMS 571/157 June 1865
  • bMS 571/158 July 1865
  • bMS 571/159 August 1865
  • bMS 571/160 September 1865
  • bMS 571/161 October 1865
  • bMS 571/162 November 1865
  • bMS 571/163 December 1865
  • bMS 571/164 January 1, 1866 - January 15, 1866
  • bMS 571/165 January 16, 1866 - January 31, 1866
  • bMS 571/166 February 1, 1866 - February 28, 1866
  • bMS 571/167 March 1, 1866 - March 31, 1866
  • bMS 571/168 April 1866
  • bMS 571/169 May 1, 1866 - May 31, 1866
  • bMS 571/170 June 1, 1866 - June 30, 1866
  • bMS 571/171 July 2, 1866 - July 31, 1866
  • bMS 571/172 August 1, 1866 - August 31, 1866
  • bMS 571/173 September 1, 1866 - September 30, 1866
  • bMS 571/174 October 1, 1866 - October 31, 1866
  • bMS 571/175 November 1866
  • bMS 571/176 December 1866
  • bMS 571/177 January 1, 1867 - January 31, 1867
  • bMS 571/178 February 1, 1867 - February 28, 1867
  • bMS 571/179 March 1, 1867 - March 31, 1867
  • bMS 571/180 April 1, 1867 - April 30, 1867
  • bMS 571/181 May 1, 1867 - May 31, 1867
  • bMS 571/182 June 3, 1867 - June 29, 1867
  • bMS 571/183 July 1, 1867 - July 31, 1867
  • bMS 571/184 August 1, 1867 - August 31, 1867
  • bMS 571/185 September 1867
  • bMS 571/186 October 1867? Missing?
  • bMS 571/187 November 1867? Missing?
  • bMS 571/188 December 1867? Missing?
  • bMS 571/189 January 1868
  • bMS 571/190 February 1868
  • bMS 571/191 March 1868
  • bMS 571/192 April 1868 - June 1868
  • Currently, there is no box 193
  • bMS 571/194 Microfilm, January 1836 - December 1858
  • bMS 571/195 Currently in four boxes: 195A) July - September 1868; 195B) October - December 1868; 195C) January- March 1869; 195D) April - July 1869
  • bMS 571/196 Currently in five boxes: 196A) August - October 1869; 196B) November - December 1869; 196C) January - February 1870; 196D) March - April 1870; 196E) May - July 1870
  • bMS 571/197 Currently in four boxes: 197A) August - October 1870; 197B) November - December, 1870; 197C) January- February 1871; 197D) February- June 1871
  • bMS 571/198 Currently in four boxes: 198A) July- October 1871; 198B) November- December, 1871; 198C) January- April 1872; 198D) May- September, 1872
  • bMS 571/199 Currently in five boxes: 199A) October 1872- January 1873; 199B) February 1873- June 1873; 199C) July 1873- November 1873; 199D) December 1873- April 1874; 199E) May 1874- September 1874
  • bMS 571/200 Currently in five boxes: 200A) October 1874- January 1875; 200B) February 1875- June 1875; 200C) July 1875- December 1875; 200D) January 1876- May 1876; 200E) June 1876- December 1876
  • bMS 571/201 Currently in six boxes: 201A) January 1877- March 1877; 201B) April 1877- June 1877; 201C) July 1877- September 1877; 201D) October 1877- December 1877; 201E) January- April 1878; 201F) May 1878- August 1878 
  • bMS 571/202 Currently in four boxes: 202A) September- December 1878; 202B) January- April 1879; 202C) May- August 1879; 202D) September- December 1879
  • bMS 571/203 Currently in five boxes: 203A) January 1, 1880- April 7, 1880; 203B) April 12, 1880- August 31, 1880; 203C) September 1, 1880- December 31, 1880; 203D) January 1, 1881- March 31, 1881; 203E) April 1, 1881- June 30, 1881 
  • bMS 571/204 Currently in five boxes: 204A) July 1, 1881- September 30, 1881; 204B) October 1, 1881- December 31, 1881; 204C) January 1, 1882- March 31, 1882; 204D) April 1, 1882- May 31, 1882; 204E) June 1, 1882- September 30, 1882
  • bMS 571/205 Currently in five boxes: 205A) October 1, 1882- December 30, 1882; 205B) January 1, 1883- February 28, 1883; 205C) March 2, 1883- April 30, 1883; 205D) May 1, 1883- July 31, 1883; 205E) August 3, 1883- October 31, 1883
  • bMS 571/206 Currently there is no box 206
  • bMS 571/207 Currently in five boxes: 207A) November 1, 1883- December 31, 1883; 207B) January 1, 1884- February 29, 1884; 207C) March 1, 1884- April 30, 1884; 207D) May 1, 1884- June 30, 1884; 207E) July 1, 1884- August 31, 1884. 
  • bMS 571/208 Currently in five boxes: 208A) September 1, 1884- October 31, 1884; 208B) November 1, 1884- December 31, 1884; 208C) January 1, 1885- February 27, 1885; 208D) March 1, 1885- March 31, 1885; 208E) April 1, 1885- April 30, 1885. 
  • bMS 571/209 Currently in four boxes: 209A) May 1, 1885 - June 30, 1885; 209B) July 1, 1885- August 31, 1885; 209C) September 1, 1885- October 31, 1885; 209D) November 1, 1885- December 31, 1885.
  • bMS 571/210 Currently in four boxes: 210A) January 1, 1886- February 28, 1886; 210B) March 2, 1886- April 31, 1886; 210C) May 1, 1886- June 30, 1886; 210D) July 1, 1886- August 31, 1886.
  • bMS 571/211 Currently in four boxes: 211A) September 1, 1886 - October 31, 1886; 211B) November 1, 1886- December 31, 1886; 211C) January 1, 1887 - February 28, 1887; 211D) March 1, 1887 - April 30, 1887.
  • bMS 571/212 Currently in four boxes: 212A) May 1, 1887 - June 30, 1887; 212B) July 1, 1887 - August 31, 1887; 212C) September 1, 1887 - October 31, 1887; 212D) November 1, 1887 - December 31, 1887.
  • bMS 571/213 Currently in three boxes: 213A) January 1, 1888 - February 29, 1888; 213B) March 1, 1888 - April 30, 1888; 213C) May 1, 1888 - June 30, 1888
  • bMS 571/214 Currently in three boxes: 214A) July 1, 1888 - August 31, 1888; 214B) September 1, 1888 - October 31, 1888; 214C) November 1, 1888 - December 31, 1888
  • bMS 571/215 Currently in four boxes: 215A) January 1, 1889 - February 28, 1889; 215B) March 2, 1889 - March 31, 1889; 215C) April 1, 1889 - April 30, 1889; 215D) May 1, 1889 - June 30, 1889
  • bMS 571/216 Currently in four boxes: 216A) July 1, 1889 - August 31, 1889; 216B) September 1, 1889 - October 31, 1889; 216C) November 1, 1889 - December 31, 1889; 216D) January 1, 1890 - February 28, 1890
  • bMS 571/217 Currently in four boxes: 217A) March 1, 1890 - March 31, 1890; 217B) April 1, 1890 - April 30, 1890; 217C) May 1, 1890 - May 31, 1890; 217D) June 1, 1890 - June 30, 1890
  • bMS 571/218 Currently in three boxes: 218A) September, 1, 1890 - October 31, 1890; 218B) November 1, 1890 - December 31, 1890; 218C) January 1, 1891 - February 28, 1891
  • bMS 571/219 Currently in five boxes: 219A) March 1, 1891 - March 31, 1891; 219B) April 1, 1891 - April 30, 1891; 219C) May 1, 1891 - May 31, 1891; 219D) June 1, 1891 - June 30, 1891; 219E) July 1, 1891 - September 30, 1891; bMS 571/220 Currently in five boxes: 220A) October 1, 1891 - November 30, 1891; 220B) December 1, 1891 - December 31, 1891; 220C) January 1, 1892 - January 31, 1892; 220D) February 1, 1892 - March 31, 1892; 220E) April 1, 1892 - April 30, 1892
  • bMS 571/221 Currently in five boxes: 221A) May 1, 1892 - June 30, 1892; 221B) July 1, 1892 - August 31, 1892; 221C) September 1, 1892 - September 30, 1892; 221D) October 1, 1892 - November 7, 1892; 221E) November 8, 1892 - December 31, 1892;
  • bMS 51/222 Currently in four boxes: 222A) January 1, 1893 - February 28, 1893; 222B) March 1, 1893 - April 30, 1893; 222C) May 1, 1893 - July 31, 1893; 222D) August 1, 1893 - October 31, 1893
  • bMS 571/223 Currently in four boxes: 223A) November 1, 1893 - December 31, 1893; 223B) January 1, 1894 - March 31, 1894; 223C) April 1, 1894 - June 30, 1894; 223D) July 1, 1894 - September 30. 1894
  • bMS 571/224 Currently in six boxes: 224A) October 1, 1894 - December 31, 1894; 224B) January 1, 1895 - March 31, 1895; 224C) April 1, 1895 - June 30, 1895; 224D) July 1, 1895 - September 30, 1895; 224E) October 1, 1895 - December 31, 1895; 224F)January 1, 1896 - March 30, 1896
  • bMS 571/225 April 1896 - June 1897
  • bMS 571/226 July 1897 - April 1898
  • bMS 571/227 May 1898 - October 1898
  • bMS 571/228 November 1898 - April 1899
  • bMS 571/229 May 1899 - February 1900
  • bMS 571/230 March 1900 - April 1901
  • bMS 571/231 May 1901 - June 1902
  • bMS 571/232 July 1902 - December 1902
  • bMS 571/233 August 28, 1897 - May 4, 1899

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