Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Artemas Hale Correspondence, 1809-1881

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, May 2012

Summary Information
Title: Artemas Hale correspondence
Creator: Hale, Artemas, 1783-1882
Inclusive dates: 1809-1881
Bulk dates: 1839-1867
Extent: 1 linear foot
Abstract:
This collection contains approximately 430 items, nearly all of which are incoming letters addressed to Artemas Hale, a cotton gin manufacturer and politician from Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Hale received correspondence from acquaintances and political contacts throughout southeastern Massachusetts, as well as from politicians serving in Washington, D. C., and from family members who resided in Mississippi. Most letters concern mid-19th century politics on both national and local levels, and writers address issues such as the Whig Party, education, the Mexican War, and slavery. Approximately 10 items are letters by Artemas Hale, invitations, and a manuscript poem.

Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1972-1980. M-1607, M-1663, M-1930.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Artemas Hale correspondence, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


Biography

Artemas Hale was born in Winchendon, Massachusetts, on October 20, 1783, the son of Moses Hale and his wife, Ruth Foster Hale. Despite receiving little formal education, he worked as a schoolteacher in Hingham, Massachusetts, between 1804 and 1814. Afterward, he moved to Bridgewater, Massachusetts, where he became involved in the manufacture of cotton gins. Hale had a sustained interest in politics, and served in the following legislative bodies as a member of the Whig Party: the Massachusetts House of Representatives (1824-1825; 1827-1828; 1838-1842), the Massachusetts Senate (1833-1834), and the United States House of Representatives (1845-1848). After the dissolution of the Whig Party, he supported the Republicans. He and his wife, Deborah Lincoln, had three children: Carolina Augusta (b. 1818), Deborah Lincoln (b. 1820), and Artemas (1822-1854).


Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains approximately 430 items, nearly all of which are incoming letters addressed to Artemas Hale, an agent for a cotton gin manufacturer and a politician from Bridgewater, Massachusetts. Hale received correspondence from acquaintances and political contacts throughout southeastern Massachusetts, as well as from politicians serving in Washington, D. C., and from family members residing in Mississippi. Most letters concern mid-19th century politics on both national and local levels, and writers address issues such as the Whig Party, education, the Mexican War, and slavery. Approximately 10 items are letters by Artemas Hale, invitations, and a manuscript poem.

The majority of Hale's incoming letters concern political matters in Massachusetts and throughout the United States, particularly between 1839 and 1860. Most authors wrote from the area near Hale's home in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, or from Washington, D. C. Several politicians were frequent correspondents, and many discussed their involvement with the Whig Party, as well as other aspects of party politics. Others commented on local and national elections; the collection contains commentary on each presidential election between 1844 and 1860. Additional frequent topics include the Mexican War, slavery and sectionalism, and the affairs of the United States Congress. Early letters often concerned the budget and workings of the Massachusetts State Normal School (now Framingham State University), as well as national affairs. Notable contributors include Julius Rockwell, Horace Mann, Samuel Hoar, Samuel J. May, John S. Pendleton, Robert C. Winthrop, Daniel P. King, and Joseph Grinnell.

Personal letters Hale received from family and friends are interspersed throughout the collection, including family letters written before 1839 and 2 letters written in 1840 by Thophilus P. Doggett, a minister in Bridgewater, regarding his travels to Florida and throughout the Caribbean. Hale's brother Moses wrote of his life as a farmer in Westport, Mississippi (June 5, 1843). Another relative, Harrison Hale, wrote 4 letters between 1847 and 1851, providing his impressions of southern life and, particularly in his letters dated April 8, 1859, and February 3, 1861, about the upcoming Civil War. In addition, 2 of Thomas B. Lincoln’s letters concern railroad construction in Texas (December 23, 1855) and the outbreak of military hostilities (December 11, 1860), and [Keith A.] Bartlett wrote 1 letter about his Union Army service at Camp Brightwood (October 8, [1861]). The collection also holds two pages of indexes, possibly taken from a letter book, and a patriotic poem entitled "Sleeping for the Flag" (undated).

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Bridgewater (Mass.)
    • Bristol County (Mass.)
    • Camp Brightwood (Washington, D.C.)
    • Columbus (Miss.)
    • Education--United States.
    • Massachusetts--Politics and government--1775-1865.
    • Mexican War, 1846-1848.
    • Plymouth County (Mass.)
    • Slavery--United States.
    • Southern States--History--1775-1865.
    • State Normal School at Lexington (Mass.)
    • State Normal School at West Newton (Mass.)
    • United States. Congress--History--19th century.
    • United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
    • United States--Politics and government--1815-1861.
    • Washington (D.C.)
    • Westport (Miss.)
    • Whig Party (U.S.)
    Contributors:
    • Grinnell, Joseph, 1788-1885.
    • Hale, Harrison.
    • Hale, Moses.
    • Hoar, Samuel, 1778-1856.
    • King, Daniel P. (Daniel Putnam), 1801-1850.
    • Lincoln, Thomas B.
    • Mann, Horace, 1796-1859.
    • May, Samuel J. (Samuel Joseph), 1797-1871.
    • Pendleton, John S. (John Strother), 1802-1868.
    • Rockwell, Julius, 1805-1888.
    • Winthrop, Robert C. (Robert Charles), 1809-1894.
    Genre Terms:
    • Indexes (reference sources)
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Poems.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
     
    Artemas Hale papers [series]:
    Box   1  
      [October 4], 1809-December 30, 1844
    Box   2  
      January 13, 1845-June 30, 1848
    Box   3  
      July 8, 1848-December 28, 1850
    Box   4  
      May 27, 1851-January 22, 1881, and  undated
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Bibliography

    "Hale, Artemas." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Online ed. 2012.

    Mitchell, Nahum. History of the Early Settlement of Bridgewater, in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, Including an Extensive Family Register. Bridgewater, Massachusetts: Reprinted by Henry T. Pratt, 1897.

    Muzzey, Artemas Bowers. Prime Movers of the Revolution Known by the Writer[,] Being Reminiscences and Memorials of Men of the Revolution and their Families. Boston: D. Lothrop Company, 1891.