Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Edmund Quincy Letters, 1757-1777

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, March 2013

Summary Information
Title: Edmund Quincy letters
Creator: Quincy, Henry, d. 1780
Inclusive dates: 1757-1777
Bulk dates: 1775-1777
Extent: 8 items
Of the Edmund Quincy letters, 7 are personal letters that Quincy wrote to his son Henry from Lancaster, Massachusetts, about the first years of the American Revolution. Quincy also wrote a letter to Dr. Cotton Tufts about personal matters.
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:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1975, 1976. M-1724, M-1746.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


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:

Edmund Quincy Letters, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically.


Edmund Quincy was born in Braintree, Massachusetts, on June 13, 1703, the son of Edmund Quincy and Dorothy Flynt. After graduating from Harvard College in 1722, he lived in Boston, where he and his brother Josiah started a merchant firm. When the firm broke up in 1750, Edmund Quincy joined two of his sons in a new merchant partnership, which went bankrupt in 1757. Quincy left Boston for Lancaster in 1775, and he later lived in Medfield and Newton, where he died on July 4, 1788. Edmund Quincy and his first wife, Elizabeth Wendell, married on April 15, 1725. Their children included Henry (d. 1780), Dorothy ("Dolly"), Esther, Elizabeth, Edmund, Abraham, and Jacob. After Wendell's 1769 death, Edmund Quincy married Anna Gerrish (d. 1787) on January 13, 1785. Dorothy Quincy married prominent Massachusetts statesman John Hancock (1737-1793).

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 8 personal letters that Edmund Quincy wrote in the mid- to late 18th century. The first item is Quincy's letter to Dr. Cotton Tufts of Weymouth, Massachusetts, about personal affairs. Quincy wrote 7 letters to his son Henry from Lancaster, Massachusetts, from May 1755-January 18, 1777. He commented at length about many aspects of the American Revolution, such as deteriorating relations between Great Britain and its North American colonies and his sympathy with the patriotic cause. Quincy sometimes mentioned military affairs, including early actions of George Washington, the number of missing persons after the Battle of Concord, privateers in the Caribbean, and recent battles. Some of Quincy's observations have religious overtones.

Subject Terms

    • Lancaster (Mass.)
    • Massachusetts--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.
    • United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.
    • Quincy, Edmund, 1703-1788.
    • Tufts, Cotton, 1732-1815.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   1  
    Edmund Quincy letters,  January 7, 1757, and  May 1775-January 18, 1777 [series]
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    Additional letters by Edmund Quincy may be found in the Thomas Gage papers and Joseph Dwight collection.

    The Clements Library has additional materials by and about Edmund Quincy and his descendants. Search the library's online catalog, Mirlyn, for more information.


    Shipton, Clifford K. Biographical Sketches of Those Who Attended Harvard College in the Classes 1722-1725 with Bibliographical and Other Notes. Sibley's Harvard Graduates Volume VII: 1722-1725. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1945.