MSS 101: Sarah Loomis Papers, 1965-1985 - New Bedford Whaling Museum
Inventory of the Sarah Loomis Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research LibraryProcessed by: Judith Downey; machine-readable finding aid created by: Kermit DeweyInventory of the Sarah Loomis Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Table of Contents

Biographical Note

Scope and Content Note

Information for Researchers

Related Materials

Separations List

Administrative Information


Subject Headings

Inventory of the Sarah Loomis Papers

In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Sarah Loomis Papers
Date Span:
Sarah Loomis, 1905-1985
Mss Number:
Mss 101
7.5 linear feet
Papers of Sarah Marcia Loomis: a teacher, archeologist, and Paul Cuffe biographer, 1965-1985.
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Phone: (508) 997-0046

Biographical Note

Sarah Marcia Loomis was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1905. She received her early education in Detroit, Michigan, and Toledo, Ohio, and attended school in Grenoble, France, in 1923. Sally, as she became known, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wellesley College of Wellesley, Massachusetts, in 1928. While at Wellesley, she served as editor of the Wellesley College News. Sally then went on to receive a Masters Degree from Radcliffe College in 1932.

Sally began her career as a teacher at Pine Mountain Settlement School in the poor mountain area of Kentucky. She continued to teach English at various secondary schools and colleges including Western College for Women, University of New Hampshire, and Wellesley College, her alma mater. Sally took time out of her teaching career to attend the University of Chicago as she worked towards her doctorate in the History of American Culture. She passed her preliminary exams in 1942 but never completed the requirements for the degree.

In 1957, Sally began another career at the Fogg Museum of Harvard University. She served as administrative and financial secretary for the Harvard-Cornell Archeological Exploration of Sardis under field director Professor George Hanfmann, a position she held until her retirement in 1967.

She continued to reside in Cambridge until 1975, the year after her heart attack, when she moved to Lexington. It was at the time of her retirement that Sally was able to devote her energies to extensive original research and writing on the subject of Paul Cuffe. Cuffe was an African American Quaker entrepreneur and trader of Westport, Massachusetts. He is most noted for his work in the Back to Africa Movement, which was to return freed blacks to Africa, and he established a colony on Sierra Leone to that end.

Sally spent the rest of her life on this project with the aim of publishing her work. She was able to publish an article in the Negro History Bulletin in 1974. Her goal of publishing a book on Cuffe, however, never came to pass. Sally died in February of 1985.

Return to the Table of Contents

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of correspondence between Sarah Loomis and various institutions ranging from corporations, foundations, associations, galleries, museums, centers, societies, presses, journals, libraries, and people. These letters are first arranged alphabetically by correspondent, and then chronologically.

Also included in the collection are research materials comprised of research done from general topics, most notably, African-American history, Quakers, and the Cuffe-Wainer families. During her research, Sarah Loomis consulted numerous primary source materials and took notes for her manuscript. This collection contains her notes taken from primary source material, including the Paul Cuffe Papers of the New Bedford Free Public Library and the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Loomis also compiled secondary sources where notable topics include biographies and articles on Paul Cuffe. This collection includes Loomis’s own note cards she compiled during her research. They are arranged by topic and then chronologically within each topic.

The bulk of the collection consists of a manuscript for publication: a biography on Paul Cuffe. Materials of note include a complete “old version,” a complete first version, and a complete second version. Other versions of the biography represented in this collection include the Langdon Associates version, the Lyle Boyd version, the Boyd version with Loomis corrections, drafts and notes for the Boyd version, quotations, notes, and research by Suzanne Newton on Boyd’s version, a revised version, illustrations and maps, and a bibliography with included note cards.

Also included in the collection are other publications on Cuffe, consisting of manuscripts and research note cards. Lastly, within the collection there exist writings by other authors. These writings include papers by Amanda Lee Brooks Macauly, which are arranged by year, and papers by Rosalind (Cobb) Wiggens.

Arrangement of Collection

Return to the Table of Contents

Access to Collections

Unrestricted. Consult librarian for an appointment.

Preferred Citation

New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 101, [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]

Copyright Notice

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 United States Code 552a) governs the use of materials that document private individuals, groups, and corporations.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a reproduction if the document does not infringe the privacy rights of an individual, group, or corporation. These specified conditions of authorized use include:

- non-commercial and non-profit study, scholarship, research, or teaching
- criticism or commentary
- as a NBWM archives preservation or security copy for research use
- as a research copy for deposit in another institution

If the researcher later uses a copy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," the researcher is personally liable for copyright, privacy, or publicity infringement and agrees to indemnify the New Bedford Whaling Museum from any legal action as a result of the error. Permission to obtain a photographic, xerographic, digital, or other copy of a document does not indicate permission to publish, exhibit, perform, reproduce, sell, distribute, or prepare derivative works from the document without permission from the copyright holder and from any private individual, group, or corporation shown or otherwise recorded.

Permission to publish, exhibit, perform, reproduce, prepare derivative works from, sell, or otherwise distribute the item must be obtained separately in writing from the holder of the original copyright (or if the creator is dead, from his/her heirs) as well as from any individual(s), groups, or corporations whose name, image, recorded words, or private information (e.g. employment information) may be reproduced in the source material. The holder of the original copyright is not necessarily the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The New Bedford Whaling Museum is not legally liable for copyright, privacy, or publicity infringement when materials are wrongfully used after being provided to researchers for "fair use."

This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if fulfillment of the order is judged in violation of copyright or federal or state privacy law. This institution also places restrictions on the use of cameras, photocopiers, and scanners in the research room.

Return to the Table of Contents

Related Manuscript Collections

Mss 10: Paul Cuffe Papers

Return to the Table of Contents

Removed to Printed Collection

- Aptheker, Herbert. A Documentary History of the Negro People in the United States. (N.Y., 1968). Paperback Vol. 1 only.
- Crevecour, Hector St John.America in the Making. (London,1977).
- Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. (N.Y., 1968). Paperback.
- Dangerfield, George. The Era of Good Feelings. (N.Y., 1963). Paperback.
- Davidson, Basil. Africa in History. (N.Y., 1968). Paperback.
- DuBois, W.E.B. Souls of Black Folk (Greenwich, Conn., 1961). Paperback.
- DuBois, W.E.B. The Suppression of the African Slave Trade. (N.Y. 1969). Paperback.
- Forten, Charlotte L. A Free Negro in the Slave Era: The Journal of of Charlotte L. Forten. (N.Y., 1961).
- Franklin, John Hope. From Slavery to Freedom. (N.Y., 1969). Paperback.
- Fyfe, Christopher. A History of Sierra Leone. (London, N.Y., 1968).
- Fyfe, Christopher. Siera Leone Inheritance. (London, 1964).
- Grant, Joanne, ed. Black Protest. (N.Y., 1968).
- Harris Sheldon H. Paul Cuffe: Black America and the African Return. (N.Y., 1972).
- Jordan, Winthrop. White Over Black. (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1968).
- Kaplan, Sidney. The Black Presence in the Era of the American Revolution, 1770-1800. (Washington, D.C., 1973).
- Lincoln, C. Eric. The Negro Pilgrimage in America. (N.Y., 1967).
- Logan, Rayford W. The Negro in the United States. (Princeton, N.J., 1957). Paperback.
- Melville, Herman. Moby Dick. (N.Y., 1926).
- Old Dartmouth Historical Society. New Bedford &Old Dartmouth: A Portrait of a Region's Past. (New Bedford, 1975).
- Pamphlets. Sixteen on various subjects.
- Porter, Dorothy, ed. Early Negro Writings, 1760-1837. (Boston, 1971).
- Proceedings of the Free African Union Society and the African Benevolent Society, Newport, Rhode Island, 1780-1824. (Providence, 1976). Paperback.
- Quarles, Benjamin. Black Abolitionists. (N.Y., 1970). Paperback.
- Sherwood, Henry N. Paul Cuffe. (Washington, D.C., 1923).
- Sterling, Philip. Four Took Freedom. (Garden City, N.Y., 1967). Paperback.
- Stuckey, Sterling. The Ideological Origins of Black Nationalism . (Boston, 1972).
- Wilson, Ellen Gibson. The Loyal Blacks. (N.Y., 1976). Paperback.
- Samkange, Stanlake. African Saga. (Nashville, Tenn., 1971). Paperback.

Return to the Table of Contents


Materials in this collection were donated to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society by Sally Loomis on 22 July 1983 and by her estate on 11 September 1985.

Processing Information

Processed by: Judith Downey, ca. 1991

Encoded by: Kermit Dewey, Catherine Labelle, and Caitlin Hayes, 10 August 2012

Return to the Table of Contents


Please Consult Research Library for Detailed Description of Collection

Series A: Correspondence, 1965-1984 [7.5 inches]
Series B: Research Materials, 1965-1981 [2 linear feet]
General topics, primary sources, secondary sources, and research notecards.
Series C: Cuffe Biography--Manuscript for Publication, 1973-1980 [4 linear feet]
"Old Version", First Version, Second Version, Langdon Associates Version, Lyle Boyd Version, Boyd Version with Loomis corrections, drafts and notes for Boyd version, quotation notes and research by Suzanne Newton on Boyd's version, revised version, illustrations and maps, and a bibliography.
Series D: Other Publications on Cuffe, 1974-1982 [8 inches]
"The Evolution of Paul Cuffe's Black Nationalism,""On the Trail of Paul Cuffe (1759-1817),""Paul Cuffe: Black Quaker," and "Essay on Sources."
Series E: Writings by Others, 1977-1984 [2.5 inches]
Amanda Lee Brooks Macauly Papers and Rosalind (Cobb) Wiggens Papers.

Return to the Table of Contents

Subject Headings

Afro-American business enterprises--Mass.--Westport
Afro-American merchant seamen
Afro-American Friends
Afro-American Friends--Biography
Afro-American in business--Mass.--Westport
Afro-American studies
Afro-American--Colonization--Africa--Sierra Leone
Afro-Americans in business
Bibliographies and guides in African studies
Black studies
Cuffe family
Cuffe, Paul, 1759-1817
Cuffe, Paul, 1759-1817--Biography--Research notes and studies
Cuffe, Paul, 1759-1817--Research notes and studies
Cuffe, Paul, 1759-1817-Biography
Cuffe-Wainer family
Friends' Historical Association
Loomis, Sarah, 1905-1985
Research notes and studies
Sierra Leone
Wainer family

Return to the Table of Contents