Table of Contents
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.
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
Access to Collections
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New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 101, [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]
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Related Manuscript Collections
Mss 10: Paul Cuffe Papers
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.
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.
Processed by: Judith Downey, ca. 1991
Encoded by: Kermit Dewey, Catherine Labelle, and Caitlin Hayes, 10 August 2012
Please Consult Research Library for Detailed Description of Collection
Afro-American business enterprises--Mass.--Westport
Afro-American merchant seamen
Afro-American in business--Mass.--Westport
Afro-Americans in business
Bibliographies and guides in African studies
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
Friends' Historical Association
Loomis, Sarah, 1905-1985
Research notes and studies
- Discovery Center
- The Grand Panorama
- Herman Melville
- Captain Paul Cuffe
- Joshua Slocum
- Lighting the Way: Historic Women of the SouthCoast