Table of Contents
Members of the Ricketson family of New Bedford and Boston, Massachusetts, trace part of their American ancestry to William Ricketson, a Quaker who settled in Dartmouth, Mass., around 1684. One of his descendants, Daniel Ricketson (1745-1824), was a merchant and ship chandler who operated a business at New Bedford with his son, Joseph (1771-1841), from about 1795-1819. Joseph Ricketson's son, Daniel (1813-1898), achieved a measure of fame as the author of two local histories, History of New Bedford (1858) and New Bedford of the Past (published posthumously, 1903), and two volumes of poetry. He is better known, however, as a friend and early admirer of Henry David Thoreau and as a correspondent of numerous contemporary American writers and abolitionists, including Amos Bronson Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Lloyd Garrison, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and John Greenleaf Whittier.
In 1834, Daniel Ricketson married Maria Louisa Sampson (1813-1877), by whom he had four children: Arthur (1835-1912), Anna (1836-1927), Walton (1839-1923), and Emma Louisa (1841-1874). Walton Ricketson was a sculptor of some note who, with his sister Anna, edited two collections of Daniel Ricketson's writings in 1902 and 1910. Edith Guerrier (1870-1958), daughter of Emma Louisa Ricketson and George Pearse Guerrier (1837-1911), was an artist, author, and librarian who served as supervisor of all Boston Public Library branches from 1899-1940. She also founded the Saturday Evening Girls (S.E.G.), a Boston-based library club for working women, in the early 1900s; wrote a children's book, Wanderfolk in Wonderland, in 1903; helped establish Paul Revere Pottery, Inc., a firm associated with the S.E.G. which made and sold quality ceramic ware between 1906-1942; and served as a volunteer in the Hoover Food Administration during the 1914-1918 world war.
Materials in this collection chiefly relate to Daniel Ricketson and his granddaughter, Edith Guerrier. The former individual's papers, dating from ca. 1840-1918, include one or more letters from Emerson, Garrison, Holmes, and Whittier, as well as drafts of several of Ricketson's outgoing correspondence. Comprising another major segment of his papers is a group of his journals and writings, including an 1844 account of a trip through New England to Montreal and Quebec and his notes on religious subjects which also contain vital records transcribed from those of the Society of the Friends in Rhode Island, ca. 1863. Similarly, Edith Guerrier's papers principally consist of correspondence, ca. 1891-1957, and journals of her travels in England, France, and the Caribbean, 1922-1937. Probably the most valuable item among her papers is a lengthy autobiographical sketch in which Guerrier discusses her family, describes her childhood and education, and depicts many aspects of her long association with Boston's branch library system, the S.E.G., and Paul Revere Pottery, Inc.
Also included in this collection are a journal and ledger of Daniel Ricketson & Sons, 1795-1819, and correspondence of Daniel Ricketson's brother, Joseph (1815-1876), his wife, Maria Louisa Sampson Ricketson, and four children. These materials, which include letters to Anna Ricketson from Albert Bierstadt and R. Swain Gifford, are complemented by correspondence and other papers of several relatives by marriage, notably George Pearse Guerrier, whose papers contain letters from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and William Lloyd Garrison, 1874-1879, as well as other correspondence and documents relating to his life and activities. Finally, the Ricketson Collection also encompasses post cards and greeting cards exchanged by the family of Margreta A. Hughes between ca. 1898-1923.
Materials in the Ricketson Collection have been organized into sub-groups representing letters and other papers of family members. These sub-groups are listed in the inventory in chronological order according to the date of birth of each person. All incoming correspondence is divided first by year, then alphabetically arranged by name of writer. Genealogical and biographical notes concerning the Ricketsons, compiled by Philip F. Purrington and Alton Bailey, are available for consultation in the Collection File for Mss 13.
Arrangement of Collection
Access to the Collection
Unrestricted. Consult librarian for an appointment.
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 13 [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]
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Handbook and Index to Daniel Ricketson's The History of New Bedford, compiled by Carol Fitzgerald
Removed to Photographs Collection
- Ricketson-Guerrier family photographs -- Edith Guerrier, 1875, 1950. 6 items.
- George Pearse Guerrier, ca. 1891. 2 items.
- Anna Ricketson, ca. 1870, 1895. 3 items.
- Daniel Ricketson, n.d.
- Maria Louisa Sampson Ricketson, n.d.
- Walton Ricketson, ca. 1870, 1910. 3 items.
- Photographs and prints of Ricketson and Guerrier family homes, ca. 1841-1900. 11 items.
- Photograph of "the head of the river," New Bedford, ca. 1880. 2 copies.
- Stereopticon views by T. E. M. White: Fanny Eliot and Quittacas Club, n.d. 2 items.
- Photographs of Hughes family members, ca. 1909. 2 items.
- Photographs relating to S.E.G. and Paul Revere Pottery, ca. 1906-1925. 4 items.
- Photographs concerning Edith Guerrier's work in Hoover Food Administration, 1915-1918. 24 items.
- Photographs taken at 1950 birthday celebration of Edith Guerrier. 5 items.
- Photograph of Walton Ricketson's bust of Thoreau, n.d.
Removed to Printed Collection
- Guerrier, Edith. "S.E.G. Camp Song," n.d. 20 copies.
- Guerrier, Edith. "S.E.G. Pin," 1954
- Guerrier, Edith. "Tribute to Anna Ricketson," 1927. Guerrier, Edith. Wanderfolk in Wonderland, 1903.
- Mason, Lowell. Boston Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music. 1834.
- Paul Revere Pottery, Inc., Brighton, Mass. Pamphlets relating to history and products of organization, ca. 1911-1942. 7 items.
- Saturday Evening Girls, Boston, Mass. S.E.G. News, 1914-1917, 954.
- U.S. Dept. of the Interior. General Land Office. Circular Instructions Relative to Survey of Public Lands, 1885.
Removed to Objects Collection
- Copper plate of Daniel Ricketson house at 109 Elm St., New Bedford, ca. 1903.
- Pen sketches of Walton Ricketson by F. Elwell, n.d. 2 items.
- Pencil sketch of church, artist unknown, n.d.
- S.E.G. pin, 1954, with descriptive pamphlet by Edith Guerrier.
- Post cards and greeting cards collected by members of the Hughes family, ca. 1898-1923. Uninscribed. 53 items.
Removed to Archives Collection
- Correspondence and legal documents concerning gifts of furniture, portraits, and other items to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society from the estates of various Ricketsons, 1928, 1958-1967. 37 items.
Most of the papers in this collection were given to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society on 8 May 1968 by Eva Hughes, a relative of Edith Guerrier's long-time companion, Margreta A. Hughes. Related documents, presented to the Society between 1903-1923 by Walton Ricketson, also comprise a portion of the collection.
Processed by: Patricia J. Albright, with assistance from Edna Carlson, ca. 1982
Encoded by: Robbin Smith, 22 August 2011; box list appended by Mark Procknik, 8 February 2012
Funds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Account books--New Bedford, Mass.--1795-1819
Artists--Mass.--New Bedford--correspondence,reminiscences, etc.
Authors, American--Mass.--New Bedford
Authors--United State--Correspondence, reminiscences, etc.
Business records--Mass.--New Bedford
Caribbean area--Description and travel
Daniel Ricketson & Son, New Bedford, Mass.
Decedents' estates--Mass.--New Bedford estates
Diaries--New Bedford, Mass.--1906-1923
Distribution of decedents' estates--Mass.--New Bedford
Draft Riot, 1863
England--Description and travel--1901-1945
European War, 1914-1918--Civilian relief--United States--Washington, D.C.
European War, 1914-1918--Food question--United States-- Washington, D.C.
European War, 1914-1918--United States--Washington, D.C.- Women's work
France--Description and travel--1919
Girls--Societies and clubs--Mass.--Boston
Great Britain--Description and travel--1801-1900
Guerrier, Edith, 1870-1958
Guerrier, Emma Louisa Ricketson, 1841-1874
Guerrier, George Pearse, 1837-1911
Hughes, Margreta A., d. 1967
Huws family Librarians--Mass.--Boston
Massachusetts--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
New Bedford, Mass.--Authors
New Bedford, Mass.--Commerce
New Bedford, Mass.--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Public opinion
New England--Description and travel--1775-1865
Paul Revere Pottery
Paul Revere Pottery, Inc., Brighton, Mass.
Poets, American--Mass.--Amesbury--Correspondence, reminiscences, etc.
Poets, American--Mass.--Cambridge--Correspondence, reminiscences, etc.
Poets, American--Mass.--New Bedford
Ricketson, Anna, 1836-1927
Ricketson, Arthur, 1835-1912
Ricketson, Daniel, 1745-1824
Ricketson, Daniel, 1813-1898
Ricketson, Joseph, 1771-1841
Ricketson, Joseph, 1815-1876
Ricketson, Louisa E., 1868-1958
Ricketson, Maria Louisa Sampson, 1813-1877
Ricketson, Mary Elizabeth Bliss, 1845-1926
Ricketson, Walton, 1839-1923
Saturday Evening Girls, Boston, Mass.
Ship chandlers--Mass.--New Bedford
Sims, Thomas M., fl. 1851-1877
Single women--Mass.--New Bedford
Snow, Benjamin, Jr., fl. 1874
Women--Mass.--Boston--Societies and clubs
Women--Mass.--New Bedford--Social conditions
Working women's clubs
- Discovery Center
- The Grand Panorama
- Herman Melville
- Captain Paul Cuffe
- Joshua Slocum
- Lighting the Way: Historic Women of the SouthCoast