Mss 176: Howland Family Papers, 1872-1961 - New Bedford Whaling Museum
Inventory of the Howland Family Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research LibraryProcessed by: Emily Gagnon; machine-readable finding aid created by: Kristi MukkFunds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.Inventory of the Howland Family Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Table of Contents

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

Information for Researchers

Administrative Information

Collection Inventory

Subject Headings

Inventory of the Howland Family Papers

In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Howland Family Papers
Date Span:
Howland Family
Mss Number:
Mss 176
9 linear inches
Primarily correspondence to Matthew Morris Howland and William Dillwyn Howland, and various members of the Howland family of New Bedford, Massachusetts and Providence, Rhode Island.
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Phone: (508) 997-0046

Historical Note

Matthew Morris Howland (1850-1927) was one of three sons of Matthew and Rachel Smith Howland. He was known as Morris, and was often referred to as “Morrie.” Morris was the middle of the three sons. His brothers were Richard Smith Howland and William Dillwyn Howland. He spent most of his time living in the New Bedford and Providence areas. He attended Brown University, and worked for the Providence Journal on the editorial staff until 1906. He moved to Arlington after retiring from the Providence Journal, then later moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where he passed away on August 1, 1927.

William Dillwyn Howland (1855-1897) was the youngest of the three brothers. He stayed mostly in the New Bedford area, like his brother Morris. He married Caroline Thomas Child in 1875, and they had two sons, Llewellyn Howland and Edward Morris Howland. William was often known as Will, and sometimes by the nickname “Willie.” He was involved in business with his brothers, also getting involved in the mill business. He passed away on April 23, 1897, in New Bedford, Massachusetts, leaving behind his two sons.

Richard Smith Howland (1847-1930) was the oldest of the three brothers. He moved around a lot, living in California, Asheville, North Carolina, Mexico, and even Cuba, where he was involved in fruit business. He was the editor and publisher of the Providence Journal, which his brother, Morris, was also on the editorial staff of. He was married to Mary Hoppin Howland in 1869, and had children, Rachel, Frederick, Stanley, and Reginald. He passed away in 1930 in Arlington, Florida.

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Scope and Content Note

The Howland Family Papers contains correspondence, bills and receipts, invitations, telegrams, newspaper clippings, and other related documents from 1868-1961. The collection is arranged in three sub-groups, William Dillwyn Howland Papers, Matthew Morris Howland Papers, and Howland Family Papers

The first sub-group is a single series that includes the letter book, and documents, correspondence, a post card, and drawings, that had been loose in the letter book. Most of the documents discuss family matters and the various businesses that they were involved in. The majority of the correspondence was written to William by his brothers, Richard and Morris. It contains a letter book of papers from William Dillwyn Howland. The letter book contains correspondence to, and a few from, William, as well as an inventory list, from his brother, Richard, of whalers that arrived in the San Francisco port in 1879, poems, and drawings. The documents span from 1868-1961, and the book was likely put together by the family after William died in 1897. Most of the correspondence are personal, discussing how everyone in the family is doing, but some regard the textile and whaling business that he was involved in.

Most of the collection consists of correspondence addressed to Matthew Morris Howland, spanning from 1884-1908. Following William’s death in 1897, Morris kept very frequent contact with many members of the family, particularly his brother, Richard. The first series, includes the correspondence and telegrams from Richard to Morris from 1897-1908. Richard discusses mostly the family and business, as well as his travels, which he did a lot of. Richard was most frequently in Asheville, North Carolina, and California, and lived with his wife, Mary H. Howland, and their children. Richard checked in with Morris frequently, keeping him aware of the family, and how everyone was doing. His wife, Mary, often had poor health, and that is discussed in the correspondence. Richard also urges Morris to go live with him in Cuba. Morris does go to Cuba in 1908, but it does not seem as though he was there for very long.

The next series contains correspondence written to Morris from 1891-1908. These include personal, family, and business correspondence. He had many friends in the area, whom he sent gifts to, visited, and kept contact with, as seen in the personal correspondence in the collection. Morris also kept frequent contact with various family members, cousins, his aunt, and several nieces and nephews. He kept particularly good contact with his nephew, Llewellyn Howland. After William passed away, it seems that Morris and Llewellyn had a close relationship, writing often to each other spanning from 1895-1908. Llewellyn lived in Boston, and discussed business, but mostly talked about how he, his wife, Hope Waldo Howland, and daughter were doing. Morris’ other nieces and nephews, Hope, Guy, Stanley, Edward, Rachel, and Reginald, kept contact, similarly discussing business, but mostly checked in and talked about the family. The series includes correspondence between Morris and his aunt, G.M. Howland, and cousins. The series contains correspondence to Morris from his mother, Rachel S. Howland, in 1899, and correspondence to Morris regarding his mother’s death in 1902. This includes friends and family offering sympathies, and thanking him for gifting them items that had belonged to her. Business correspondence from 1906 to Morris, which are strictly of a business nature, letters from Frederic Culver regarding stock transfers to his brother, Richard, stock certificates, and a letter from John K. Faber regarding finding a photograph of his mother, Rachel Collins Smith Howland.

The third series are the bills and receipts included in the collection. This contains a single item, a promise by Matthew Morris Howland to pay twenty-eight hundred dollars the treasurer of the New Bedford Institution for Savings, with a six percent interest rate, agreed on in 1884. This was a loan from the bank, and it the only item of that nature in the sub-group. Morris knew had many friends and family members that were married, and the fourth series in the sub-group are wedding invitations to Morris from 1898.

The third sub-group in the collection are Howland Family Papers spanning from 1897-1907. These documents are from the Howland family and relatives, but are not addressed to Morris. These include correspondence between various family members, mostly discussing the family, invitations to weddings and other events from 1901-1906, and some newspaper advertisements, likely from the Providence Journal, Matthew Morris Howland’s borrower’s card from 1907, a photograph of Morris’ mother, Rachel S. Howland, and unknown correspondence from 1901.

Arrangement of Collection

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Access to Collections

Unrestricted. Consult librarian for an appointment.

Preferred Citation

New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 176, [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.

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Materials in this collection were donated by Llewellyn Howland III to the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library in 2018. Accession #2018.87.

Processing Information

Processed by: Emily Gagnon, 2019

Encoded by: Kristi Mukk, 18 October 2020

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Collection Inventory

Sub-group 1: William Dillwyn Howland Papers, 1868-1961
Series A: Letter Book, 1868-1961
Folder 1
Letter Book, 1872-1880
Folder 2
Correspondence, and drawings from Letter Book, 1868-1961
Sub-group 2: Matthew Morris Howland Papers, 1884-1908
Series A: Richard Smith Howland-Matthew Morris Howland Correspondence, 1897-1908
Folder 1
Correspondence, 1897-1899
Folder 2-3
Correspondence, 1900-1902
Folder 4
Correspondence, 1903-1904
Folder 5
Correspondence, 1905
Folder 6
Correspondence, 1906
Folder 7-8
Correspondence, 1907
Folder 9
Correspondence, 1908
Series B: Matthew Morris Howland Correspondence, 1891-1908
Folder 1-2
Matthew Morris Howland Personal Correspondence, 1891-1908
Folder 3
Llewellyn Howland-Matthew Morris Howland Correspondence, 1895-1905
Folder 4-5
Llewellyn Howland-Matthew Morris Howland Correspondence, 1906-1908
Folder 6
G.M. Howland-Matthew Morris Howland Correspondence, 1897-1899
Folder 7
Mary H. Howland-Matthew Morris Howland Correspondence, 1897-1905
Folder 8
Nephews and Nieces-Matthew Morris Howland Correspondence, 1898-1907
Folder 9
Cousins-Matthew Morris Howland Correspondence, 1898-1902
Folder 10
Rachel S. Howland-Matthew Morris Howland Correspondence, 1899
Folder 11-12
Correspondence regarding the death of Rachel S. Howland, 1902
Folder 13
Matthew Morris Howland Business Correspondence, 1906
Series C: Bills and Receipts, 1884
Folder 1
Bills and Receipts, 1884
Series D: Matthew Morris Howland Invitations, 1898
Folder 1
Matthew Morris Howland Wedding Invitations, 1898
Sub-group 3:Howland Family Papers, 1898-1907
Series A: Family Papers, 1898-1907
Folder 1
Howland Family Correspondence, 1898-1903
Folder 2-3
Howland Invitations, 1901-1906
Folder 4
Newspaper Clippings, Borrowers Card, Photographs, Unknown Correspondence, 1901-1907

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Subject Headings

Business records--Massachusetts--New Bedford
Domestic relations--Massachusetts--New Bedford
Family--Massachusetts--New Bedford
Howland family
Howland, Llewellyn, 1877-1957
Howland, Mary Hoppin, 1847-1922
Howland, Matthew Morris, 1850-1927
Howland, Rachel, 1816-1902
Howland, Richard Smith, 1847-1930
Howland, William Dillwyn, 1853-1897
New Bedford (Mass.)--Commerce
Providence Journal Company
Providence, Rhode Island--Commerce
Textile industry--Massachusetts--New Bedford--19th century
Tobacco industry
Vegetable trade
Whaling--California--San Francisco
Whaling--Massachusetts--New Bedford

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