This collection contains correspondence, writings, documents, and other items related to William Lawrence of Lincoln, Massachusetts; to his grandson, Jonathan Bass of Randolph and Braintree, Vermont; and to the Bass family.
The Correspondence series (65 items) is made up of incoming and outgoing letters related to the Bass family in the early 19th century. Early items include a Revolution-era love letter by Phebe Hammond, who shared her negative opinion of soldiers' behavior (August 29, 1778), and letters that members of the Lawrence and Bass families received during the late 18th century. The bulk of the series is comprised of incoming letters to Jonathan Bass from his siblings, parents, and friends in Randolph, Vermont, while he studied in Cambridge, Massachusetts, between 1800 and 1805, and after he moved to Braintree, Vermont, in 1805. Jonathan's correspondents shared social and personal news and occasionally commented on political issues. Around 1810, he and his family members discussed the life and death of his brother William, who died on September 25, 1810. Later items include letters from Caleb Butler of Groton, Massachusetts, to Henry Bass about the Lawrence family genealogy, written in 1846, and additional Bass family letters.
The Writings series contains essays and other pieces about religion, friendship, love, and other topics. One unattributed 25-page document, written around September 1766, concerns religious issues. The remaining essays and poems are grouped into four bundles, some of which are attributed to William Lawrence during his time at Harvard College around 1740. One of these items is William Lawrence's copy of Ovid's Amores I.5, "Corinnae concubitus."
The Financial Records series contains 3 items. Two accounts pertain to Boston resident Edward Bromfield's financial affairs (November 16, 1754). The third item is a list of subscribers who contributed money to purchase a cloak for "Reverend Mr. Strong" in Randolph, Vermont (March 24, 1812).
Legal and Military Documents (15 items) relate to the Lawrence and Bass families. Indentures concern the Lawrences' land holdings in Massachusetts in the 1700s and the execution of various wills; the earliest item is the will of Jonathan Lawrence, dated 1725. Also included is a set of military orders directed to Lieutenant Henry Bass, who served with the Massachusetts Militia's 1st Division (July 28, 1821).
The Photograph is a portrait of Sarah Bass Putnam. Genealogical Materials (12 items) include copied epitaphs and other notes related to the genealogy of the Lawrence and Bass families. A Diagram shows the layout of pews in an unidentified church. Printed Items are booklets about the history of Randolph and Braintree, Vermont, and about early battles in Massachusetts during the Revolutionary War, as well as 2 printed poems. One poem is decorated with pictures of daisies, and the other is dedicated to the memory of Mary Harvey Buel.