Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
John Parker Hale Correspondence, 1833-1856

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, May 2012

Summary Information
Title: John Parker Hale correspondence
Creator: Hale, John P. (John Parker), 1806-1873
Inclusive dates: 1833-1856
Extent: 16 items
Abstract:
The John Parker Hale correspondence is made up of 16 letters received by Hale, a New Hampshire lawyer and antislavery politician, between 1833 and 1856. The earliest 6 letters (March 19, 1833-August 13, 1840) concern his career as an attorney in Dover, New Hampshire, and his personal life. The final 10 letters (December 13, 1844-March 8, 1856) relate to Hale's outspoken opposition to slavery while serving in the United States Congress in the 1840s and 1850s. With the exception of Boston resident George W. F. Mellen, who wrote 4 letters between April and July 1848, each author contributed one letter.

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:

1995, 2002. M-3183, M-4187.

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:

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


Arrangement

The collection is arranged chronologically.


Biography

John Parker Hale was born to John P. Hale and Lydia C. O'Brien, in Rochester, New Hampshire, on March 31, 1806. After attending the Phillips Exeter Academy, Hale graduated from Bowdoin College in 1827. He was admitted to the bar in 1830. He practiced law in Dover, New Hampshire, and served as a United States district attorney between 1834 and 1841. He became an outspoken opponent of slavery, and also held several political offices, first as a Democrat and later as a member of the Free Soil and Republican parties. He served in the New Hampshire House of Representatives (1832), the United States House of Representatives (1843-1844), and the United States Senate (1847-1852 and 1855-1864). He was the Free Soil Party's presidential nominee in 1852. After completing his final term in the United States Senate, he returned to Dover, where he died on November 19, 1873. He and his wife, Lucy Lambert, were married in 1834 and had two children.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The John Parker Hale correspondence is made up of 16 letters received by Hale, a New Hampshire lawyer and antislavery politician, between 1833 and 1856. The earliest 6 letters (1833-1840) concern his career as an attorney in Dover, New Hampshire, and his personal life; the final 10 letters (1844-1856) relate to Hale's outspoken opposition to slavery while serving in the United States Congress in the 1840s and 1850s. With the exception of Boston resident George W. F. Mellen, who wrote 4 letters between April and July 1848, each author contributed 1 letter.

Hale received 6 letters from different writers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire between March 19, 1833, and August 13, 1840, pertaining to legal issues and to aspects of the authors' everyday lives, including the deaths of family members and an attempt to gain a political appointment as "carrier of the electoral vote" (August 13, 1840). The remaining 10 letters (December 13, 1844, and March 8, 1856), often written in depth, relate to the authors' opinions on slavery and to the impact of that issue on contemporary United States politics, such as the role of states' rights in national governance, the potential effect of abolition on the country's existence, and the significance of having a slaveholding president and slaveholding members of Congress. Others mentioned the moral and religious aspects of slavery in addition to providing political arguments. Many commended Hale for his antislavery speeches. Most of the political letters are dated 1848. In a letter dated September 30, 1852, a little over a month before the Presidential election, George Buchanan, "an Artist… & a Liberty man" requested Free Soil nominee John P. Hale's daguerreotype likeness.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Antislavery movements--United States.
    • Dover (N.H.)
    • Free Soil Party (U.S.)
    • Lawyers--New Hampshire.
    • Slavery--United States.
    • States' rights (American politics)
    • United States--Politics and government--1845-1861.
    Contributors:
    • Barnes, Isaac O.
    • Buchanan, George.
    • Cogswell, Charles.
    • Fuller, H.W., Jr.
    • Hibbard, H.
    • Hunt, Stephen.
    • Jennings, H.U.
    • Mellen, G. W. F. (George Washington Frost)
    • Moulton, Albanus K., 1810-1873.
    • Norton, Charles E.
    • Paine, Jno.
    • Tufts, Asa A., 1798-1884.
    • Whitney, Dr. E.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Box   8, Small Collections  
    John Parker Hale correspondence [series]:
    Folder   4-5  
      March 19, 1833-March 8, 1856
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    A letter in the African American History collection discusses John P. Hale: February 23, 1846.

    Brown, Thomas W. Funeral Ceremonies and Memorial Services on the Occasion of the Death of Hon. John P. Hale of Dover, N.H., Late U.S. Senator and Minister to Spain, Died Nov. 19, 1873, Aged 67 Years: Funeral Address, Saturday, November 22, 1873 : Memorial Sermon, Sunday, November 23, 1873. Portland [Me.]: S. Berry, printer, 1873.

    Bush, Fairbanks. The Slave's Lamentation. [Vermont?]: 1848.

    Hale, John P. In the Senate of the United States...: Mr. Hale Submitted the Following Report. [Washington, D.C.]: 1862.

    Hale, John Parker. Trial by Jury: Remarks on the Attempt by Chief Justice Parker, to Usurp the Prerogative of the Jury in Criminal Cases. Exeter [N.H.]: G.O. Odlin, pr., 1842.

    Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe. Information Respecting the History, Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Grambo & company [etc.], 1851-1857.

    Skinner, John S. Address Delivered Before the Agricultural Society of Newcastle County, Delaware, at the Annual Meeting, Held September 11, 1844. Published for distribution by order of the Society, 1844.

    Several institutions hold John P. Hale collections, including the New Hampshire Historical Society, Dartmouth College, the Minnesota Historical Society, and Phillips Exeter Academy.

    Bibliography

    Cole, Donald B. "Hale, John Parker." American National Biography Online. Oxford University Press, 2000. DOI: 04-00451.

    "Hale, John Parker." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Online edition. 2012.

    Index of Letter Writers
    Barnes, Isaac O.
    • 1833 March 19
    Buchanan, George.
    • 1852 September 30
    Cogswell, Charles.
    • 1837 February 14
    Fuller, H.W., Jr.
    • 1840 June 15
    Hibbard, H.
    • 1840 August 13
    Hunt, Stephen.
    • 1848 January
    Jennings, H.U.
    • 1848 May 26
    Mellen, G. W. F. (George Washington Frost) .
    • 1848 April 8
    • 1848 May 6
    • 1848 July 5
    • 1848 July 22
    Moulton, Albanus K., 1810-1873.
    • 1848 May 6
    Norton, Charles E.
    • 1837 November 16
    Paine, Jno.
    • 1834 July 3
    Tufts, Asa A., 1798-1884.
    • 1844 December 13
    Whitney, Dr. E.
    • 1856 March 3