Hull, George Harvey
Incoming Correspondence to bachelor George Harvey Hull, Esq., of Cambridge, Massachusetts, from various female friends and suitors, 1871-1935.

162 letters, 517 manuscript pages, (no retained mailing envelopes), dated 2 May 1871 - 28 August 1935. Of the 162 letters in this collection, approximately 25 of the letters date from 1871 to 1902, another 5 letters were written between the years 1919 to 1935, with the bulk of the correspondence written between the years 1902 to 1918. There are 47 letters that are not dated, but seem to be date from between 1900 to 1920.

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      While the letters stretch over three generations of the Hull family, most are incoming letters written to attorney George H. Hull, Esq., son of George H. Hull, Jr., grandson of George H. Hull. There are no envelopes in the letter archive, thus the correspondents' origins are somewhat difficult, but with careful reading, and researching the family genealogy, as well as further research and from internal evidence, the identities of correspondents could be revealed. The letters tend to be written by women to Hull.

     

      Hull Family:

 

      The Hull family is an old New England family. Samuel Phelps Hull (1766-18xx), of Norfolk, Connecticut and Frankford, Vermont, was the son of Jehiel and Ruth Phelps Hull. He was married first to Eunice Webster, 17xx – 1815, of Hebron, Connecticut and again in 1816 was married a second time to Relief Start, daughter of George Start of New Ipswich, New Jersey. In 1790, when the first census was taken, the family was living at the town of Bristol, Addison Co., Vermont. Samuel had at least eight children, six by his first wife: Anson Hull (1793-1861) married Mary Royce; Patty Hull (1795-?) married Aaron Sherwood; Orilla Hull (1796-?) married Joseph Bartram; Francello Hull (1801-?) married Sally Fairbanks; Albert S. P. Hull (1817-1899) married Emeline Castle; George Harvey Hull (1818-1902) married Ann H. Tyler. He had two children by his second wife: Jehiel Hull (1819-1906) married Harriet Judson, and Orion W. B. Hull (1822-1851) married Betsey Shaw.

 

    George Harvey Hull, son of Samuel Phelps Hull, was born Oct 1818, at Fairfield, Franklin Co., Vermont. He later moved to the city of Boston for awhile and the town of Saugus, Massachusetts. For over 30 years he was connected with the State Board of Charities, where he acted as a visiting agent for indigent and neglected children. Massachusetts was the first state to establish a State Board of Charities in America, which they did in 1863. By 1860, George H. Hull was already living in Saugus, Massachusetts, and working as a furniture dealer. Ten years later, in 1870, he is still living at Saugus, but now working as a clerk in the state house. By the time the 1900 Census was taken, he was listed as an agent for the State Board of Charities, presumably starting his position in state government as a clerk before joining the charities board. He married Ann H. Tyler (1847-1860) of Newburyport, Massachusetts, and together they had at least four children: George H. Hull, Jr. married Josephine Mott; Irving P. Hull married Eva Furber; Emma T. Hull, married C. A. B. Halverson; and Charles E. Hull, who died in infancy. After the death of his first wife George H. Hull married a second time to Susan W. Trevett. George H. Hull died on 8 August 1902. At least one letter in this collection was written by him, possibly others.

 

      George H. Hull, Jr., son of George H. Hull, was born September 2, 1848. He was for many years connected with the Mercantile Agency of Edward Russell & Co., a credit reporting company that eventually became a part of the well-known firm of Dun & Bradstreet. In the 1870 Census, Hull Jr. was listed as a clerk in a store, living at Saugus, Massachusetts. By the 1880 Census, he was living at Worcester, Massachusetts, with his family and was now listed as employed by the Mercantile Agency. He died young, at the age of 46, on July 23, 1894. At the time of his death, his son George was still a high school student. Hull, Jr. married in 1875 Josephine Mott, of New York City, daughter of Josiah C. Mott and his wife Eliza Morris. In 1880, Josephine's mother, then a widow, was living with the Hulls. After the death of her husband, Josephine and her children moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1897, where her son George H. Hull, Esq., attended Harvard University. Several letters appear to be incoming letters to Elizabeth Morris Hull from her family.

 

       George Harvey Hull, Esq., son of George Harvey Hull, Jr., was born on June 22, 1879. He attended the Roxbury Latin School in Boston. In 1900, he was living in Cambridge with his mother and siblings and going to college, his father having died six years previously. After Roxbury, he attended Harvard University graduating in 1902. He then went to Harvard Law School graduating in 1906. He is supposed to have died in 1974, living at Cambridge. Massachusetts. He had three siblings, two died young (before 1900); the surviving sibling was Reginald M. Hull. Most of the letters in this collection are incoming letters to George Harvey Hull, Esq.

                                               

      Several letters in the collection relate to the Williamson and Hewitt families, who appear to have been friends of George Harvey Hull, Esq.  Samuel E. Williamson was born in April of 1844. He came from the well-known Williamson family of Cleveland, Ohio. He graduated from Western Reserve College (1864), studied law with his father, and completed a course at Harvard Law School. He was judge of the court of common pleas (1880-1882) and legal counsel for the Nickel Plate Road, heading the legal department of New York Central Railroad from 1898 until his death. He was one of the founders of the University School and a trustee of the Old Stone Church. In 1900, he was listed as an attorney, living at Glenville, Cuyahoga, Ohio. He is buried in Lake View Cemetery.  Williamson married in 1878 to Mary P. March and together they had twin daughters: Mary Peabody Williamson and her twin sister Ethel M. Williamson, both born in April of 1881. There are a couple of letters in this collection written by Mary Peabody Williamson to George Harvey Hull, Esq.

 

       Another person that figures in the correspondence is Helen Witter Hewitt and her brother Theodore Brown Hewitt. John Haskell Hewitt (1845-?), who was born in Connecticut, and worked as a college professor in the 1910 Census, at Williams College, as he was living at Williamstown, Massachusetts. He married Mary Louisa Downing (1844-1915) of Georgia and together they had at least four children: Helen Witter Hewitt (1870-1939); John Dowling Hewitt (1873-1880); Theodore Brown Hewitt (1881-1952); and Erastus Henry Hewitt (1888-1969).

 

     Theodore Brown Hewitt, son of John Haskell Hewitt, was born December 1881, in Germany. He was listed as a student, living at Farnam Hall, Yale University, in the 1900 Census, and in 1910, as a teacher at a college.  Both he and his sister Helen are living with their parents in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Like his father, he appears to have also become a professor at Williams College. By 1930, he was living at Buffalo, New York, with his wife and children, where he was now a professor at the University of Buffalo. He was a professor of German and wrote a number of books on the German Language. Theodore died 1952, at Buffalo. Theodore writes several letters, his sister Helen one. From the context of the correspondence, it would appear that Theodore Brown Hewitt and George Harvey Hull, Esq., were friends and perhaps classmates, or colleagues at one point.

 

      The correspondence consists mainly of letters from women to George Harvey Hull, Esq. Hull was a bachelor at least into his forties, if not for his entire life. The women are either individuals he was courting, or his friends. The women that write him appear to have affection for him, enjoy his company, and want to continue their relationship. One woman is Mary Peabody Williamson, mentioned above, and Theodore Brown Hewitt's sister, Helen, also mentioned above. Some women write on multiple occasions such as Anna W. Glidden of Boston, a possible widow, C[aroline] G. Sch[urmier], Grace Vinton Bedinger, Josephine R. Bates, and a couple of others.

 

        Anna W. Glidden, who writes the most letters to Hull, was by the 1882-1883 winter season, living at 82 Marlborough, in Boston's Back Bay. The home was owned by her father John Murray Glidden and his wife, Anna Maria (Warren) Glidden.  Earlier in 1882, they had lived at 10 Marlborough.  Anna Glidden is shown as the owner of 82 Marlborough on the 1883, 1888, and 1890 Bromley maps. John Glidden was a partner in his father’s shipping firm of Glidden & Williams, a major owner of clipper ships operating between Boston and San Francisco.  After the firm was dissolved in 1877, he became a commission merchant and also was president of the Pacific Guano Company. The Gliddens continued to live at 82 Marlborough in 1889, but probably moved soon thereafter to the Glidden family home, Gladisfen, in Newcastle, Maine.

 

     Several letters written to Hull are from his cousin Edith. There are also several copies of letters by Hull to various women, as well as small group of letters dated in 1918 are incoming letters to Hull offering condolences on the death of his mother. Overall an interesting group of incoming letters to a Boston bachelor from his women suitors.