The Ebenezer Hoar papers span twenty-three years of deep friendship between the distinguished attorneys, Ebenezer Hoar and William M. Evarts, a friendship owing to family ties, and similar professional pursuits and political beliefs. All but one of the letters in this collection was written by Hoar to Evarts. Close in age, they attended different schools, but both entered the legal profession and enjoyed similar political views. Each served several months, in succession, as Attorney-General of the United States.
The letters cover a myriad of political concerns, centered on the turbulent years leading up to the Civil War, the War itself, and Reconstruction. Particularly useful are the insights into political machinations, the personalities of various statesmen, and the intrigues of capturing political appointments. The Supreme Court is especially singled out for detailed commentary.
The collection includes one letter to lawyer Peleg W. Chandler, considered the best jury pleader in Massachusetts in his day.