This collection contains 78 letters addressed to members of the Knapp family of Walpole, New Hampshire, between 1824 and 1850. Frederick Newman Knapp received approximately 50 of the letters from acquaintances in Walpole, Boston, and other places in New England while attending Harvard College and Harvard Divinity School between 1838 and 1847. His parents, Jacob and Louisa Knapp, received personal correspondence from family and friends.
The bulk of the collection is made up of Frederick Knapp's incoming correspondence between 1838 and 1847. He received letters from friends at Walpole, New Hampshire; Harvard College; Newburyport, Massachusetts; and other New England towns. Fellow Harvard students provided Knapp with updates from Boston and Cambridge during his visits to New Hampshire. His Walpole friends occasionally reported news about their social lives and mutual friends. Some students commented on their educational experiences at Harvard, and one described a visit by Charles Dickens (February 13, 1842). Some letters are addressed to both Frederick and his brother Francis, who also corresponded individually with Frederick.
Frederick's parents Louisa and Jacob Knapp received around 25 letters from relatives and acquaintances between 1824 and 1850. The letters primarily concern the writers' personal lives in New York and around New England, and provide news from Walpole during the Knapps' time away from home. Frederick Knapp wrote 2 letters to his parents in 1848 and 1850. Louisa and Jacob's nephew Henry wrote one letter about the cotton industry around Mobile, Alabama (February 14, 1838). Later letters addressed to Jacob Knapp include one from Thomas Hill, who discussed the invention of the telegraph and the inventions of Samuel Colt (November 9, 1846).