Special Collections & University Archives University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Hudson Family

Hudson family Papers, 1780-1955 (Bulk: 1825-1848).
6 boxes (3 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 332

Correspondence (1825-1888) and journals (1830-1845) of Erasmus Darwin Hudson (1805-1880), anti-slavery organizer and orthopedic surgeon, relating chiefly to his activities for the Connecticut and American Anti-Slavery societies; his antislavery campaign map of New York state and surrounding areas (1841), with handwritten notes; account books (1831-1838) of Daniel C. Hudson and Erasmus Darwin Hudson; family records and writings of Erasmus Darwin Hudson, Jr. (1843-1887), thoracic physician, and other family members; notes on the branches of medicine and handwritten drafts of lectures; genealogies of the Hudson, Shaw, Clarke, Fowler, and Cooke families, and printed material, memorabilia, clipping and photographs. Includes correspondence from major antislavery figures, including Abby Kelley, Wendell Phillips, Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Isaac Hopper, and Samuel May.

Biographical Note

Erasmus Darwin Hudson, Sr. (1806-1880), was an anti-slavery organizer, agent for the Connecticut and American Anti-Slavery Societies between 1838-1849, pioneer orthopedic surgeon, and inventor of prosthetic devices.

1806
Born December 15, Torringford (now part of Torrington) CT, to Daniel Coe and Rhoda Fowler Hudson
Educated at Torringford Academy
1823-1827 Studied medicine with Dr. Remus M. Fowler, New Marlboro, MA; then at Berkshire Medical College (Pittsfield, MA), a branch of Williams College
1827 Received M.D. from Berkshire Medical College; member of Berkshire Historical Society; married Martha Turner, daughter of Deacon Isaac and Martha Humphrey Turner of Marlboro, MA
1828-1833 Private medical practice, Bloomfield, CT; member Hopkins Medical Association, Hartford County Medical Society, Connecticut Medical Society; physician and surgeon, Connecticut State Emigrant Hospital; temperance advocate and local leader in philanthropic work
1833-1837 Co-principal, with Rev. Epaphras Goodman, of Goodman and Hudson’s Family Boarding School, Torringford, CT
1838-1839 Lecturing agent, Connecticut Anti-Slavery Society
1839-1850 General agent, American Anti-Slavery Society; circuit included in turn, Connecticut, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware; family relocated to Oberlin, OH, then to Northampton, MA
1850-1855 Orthopedic surgeon in private practice, Springfield, MA
1855-1880 Orthopedic surgeon in private practice, New York City
ca. 1861-1865 Commission from Surgeon General of United States Army for the care and treatment of wounded soldiers requiring amputation and resection at the military hospital at Central Park in New York City and other hospitals; invented orthopedic apparatus, and wrote related surgical reports to the United States Sanitary Commission.
1867 Received awards for orthopedic apparatus, Exposition Universelle, Paris, France
1872 European Tour
1876 Received awards for surgical apparatus, Centennial Exposition, Philadelphia, PA
1880 Died of pneumonia December 31 in Riverside, Greenwich, CT

See Series 1, folder 5 for a bibliography of E.D. Hudson, Sr.’s published writings.

Erasmus Darwin Hudson, Jr. (1843-1887), was a thoracic physician and educator.

1843 Born November 10, Northampton, MA, to Erasmus Darwin, Sr. and Martha Turner Hudson
1855 Moved with family to New York City, attended public schools
1864 Graduated from College of the City of New York
1867 Received M.D. from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons
1867-1868 House surgeon, Bellevue Hospital, and private practice, New York City
1869-1870 Health Inspector, New York City
1870-1880 Attending physician, Bellevue Hospital, Trinity House, and Trinity Chapel Parish; professor, Women’s Medical College of the New York Infirmary; consultant to other physicians
1871 Married Laura Shaw, daughter of Dr. Samuel and Elizabeth Clarke Shaw of Plainfield, MA
1880-1887 Professor, New York Polyclinic; attending physician Bellevue and St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, New York City; librarian and member of the Library Committee, New York Academy of Medicine; chairman, Ethics Committee, Medical Society of the County
1887 Died of pneumonia May 9 in New York City

See Series 2, folder 1 for bibliography of E.D. Hudson, Jr.’s published writings.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Hudson Family Papers (1807-1963) derive from five generations of five New England families. They include the Hudsons and those related to them by marriage: the Fowler, Shaw, Clarke, and Cooke families.

Of principal interest are the papers, 1809-1880, n.d., of Erasmus Darwin Hudson, Sr. (1806-1880) which document through journals, correspondence, and writings, his service with the Connecticut Anti-Slavery Society and eleven-year tenure with the American Anti-Slavery Society (A.A.-S.S.). Covering a circuit of at least eleven states in the Midwest, middle-Atlantic region, and his native New England between 1839 and 1850, Hudson recorded, often daily, his experiences organizing local anti-slavery societies: traveling, arranging meetings, attending conventions, raising funds, confronting what was frequently violent opposition, and maintaining contact with supporters of abolition such as William Lloyd Garrison, Sydney Gay, Isaac Hopper, Abby Kelley, Wendell Phillips, Gerrit Smith, Theodore Weld, and Henry Wright.

In some respects the wealth of information contained in Hudson’s papers is not easily accessible. His handwriting poses one obstacle; his wife and other correspondents admonish him on this count. In addition, it was characteristic of him, particularly in the early years, to incorporate indiscriminately into a single volume financial records pertaining to the A.A.-S.S., personal financial records, and a faithful record of events, making it difficult for the reader to follow any one of these lines chronologically or thematically. Another factor is the amount of space he devotes to the reiteration of his moral stance, which had also motivated his establishing a boarding school with the Reverend Epaphras Goodman, as well as his temperance work. These problems can be circumvented owing to the contributions to the papers by their donor, Sidney Kaplan. The transcripts Kaplan prepared for most of the collection often include underlining to highlight names, dates, and places. He has also provided identification for many items and fragments, and an invaluable calendar of selected items (filed in the first folder of Box 1). Viewed from another perspective, Hudson’s eclectic style offers a sense of immediacy–a vivid account of his daily life and convictions until his participation in the A.A.-S.S. drew to a close (coinciding with the movement’s shifting emphasis from evangelism to politics). Samples of the articles Hudson wrote for The Liberator and the Anti-Slavery Standard (Boston and New York, 1837-1849), and The Charter Oak (Hartford, 1838-1841), which he co-edited, must be sought from other sources.

Regarding Hudson’s medical career, more material is available from his student years and private practice in Connecticut (e.g., notes, financial and academic records, and letters of recommendation) than from the period beginning in 1850, when he adopted orthopedic surgery as his specialty, becoming a distinguished inventor of prosthetic devices during and after the Civil War. In later years he cultivated an interest in family history and acquired most of the Hudson and Fowler genealogies included in the papers.

The son of Erasmus Darwin and Martha Turner Hudson, E. Darwin Hudson, Jr. (1843-1887), also achieved prominence as a physician, and his papers, 1862-1887, establish his credentials as a surgeon, educator, public health officer, staff physician at several hospitals, and consultant, all in New York City. As such, they tend to include more biographical records (e.g., certificates, letters of award and appointment, and printed materials) than personal papers. Insight into Hudson Jr.’s character can be gathered from his private correspondence, and from a lengthy memorial address, 1887, delivered by a fellow physician, Laurence Johnson.

The Hudson Family Papers contain correspondence, legal and financial records, writings, genealogies, clippings and other printed materials relating to extended family members who may be considered significant in a regional context. Clara Elizabeth Hudson (1880-1963) was a community leader and the last of the Hudsons. Her papers, 1923-1951, and her book of family and local history, Plain Tales from Plainfield, provide several important links within this diverse collection. Samuel Shaw (1790-1869), a physician in Plainfield, MA, his son, Samuel Francis Shaw (b.1833), a surgeon who served in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War, Charles Lyman Shaw (1842-1902), an educator, and Anne Laura Clarke (1788-1861), who traveled widely as a lecturer on history and who originated many of the Cooke and Clarke family records in the collection, are represented each by fewer than a dozen items. Even less is contained here for Martha Turner Hudson (1806-1887), Laura Shaw Hudson (1846-1921), Darwin Shaw Hudson (1876-1959), Sibyl Catlin Fowler (ca. 1787-1855), Elizabeth Clarke Shaw (ca. 1799-1863), and Stella Augusta Shaw (b. 1835). There is also a folder of unidentified letters, writings and fragments.

The accretion from Arvilla Dyer, 1984, includes Erasmus D. Hudson, Sr. correspondence, 1837-1888; bio-bibliographic materials; journal “1845?”; writings; letters to Martha Turner Hudson. Also additional materials re: Erasmus Darwin Hudson, Jr., Clara Hudson, and Samuel Shaw.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Hudson Family Papers (MS 332). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

History of the Collection

Acquired from Sidney Kaplan in 1979. Accretion acquired from Arvilla Dyer, 1984. Copies of related papers were received from the Smith College Sophia Smith Collection, the Forbes Library, and the Northampton Historical Society in 1983.

Processing Information

Processed by Laurie B. Gans, October 1983.


Additional Information

Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Language
English.

Related Materials

Additional Hudson family papers passed from Clara Elizabeth Hudson, either directly or indirectly, to the Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College, the Forbes Library, the Northampton Historical Society (all in Northampton, Mass.), and the Shaw Memorial Library and Shaw Historical Homestead (Plainfield, Mass.). Photocopies of some of these materials are available in the collection.

Separated Material

The following books have been transferred to the Rare Books stacks:

Barber, John Warner, Historical Collections: Being a General Collection of Interesting Facts, Traditions, Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes & c., Relating to the History and Antiquities of Every Town in Massachusetts, with Geographical Descriptions, Illustrated by 200 Engravings. Worcester: Dorr Howland & Co., 1840. Call number: Special Collections F64 B23 1840.

Darby, William, and Theodore Dwight, Jr., A New Gazetteer of the United States of America. Hartford: Edward Hopkins, 1833. Call number: Special Collections E 154 D21 1833.


Contents List
Series 1. Erasmus Darwin Hudson, Sr., Papers
1809-1880
Subseries A: Bio-Bibliographical
Hudson Family records before E.D.
1809, ca. 1875
Box 1:1
Letters of introduction and
recommendation
1825-1841
Box 1:2
Legal, financial, and educational records

1827-1833
Box 1:3
Map of New York State showing Hudson’s
anti-slavery journeys
ca. 1841-1850
Box 1:4
List of publications of E.D. Hudson, Sr.
from National Union Catalogue
Box 1:5
Subseries B: Journals
Journal
1832-1838 (of Daniel Hudson, 1831)
Box 1:6
Journal
1838
Box 1:7
Journal
(1838), 1842, 1845
Box 1:8
Journal
1839-1840
Box 1:9
Journal
February-April, 1840
Box 1:10
Journal
1840-1842
Box 1:11
Journal
October, 1840-February, 1841
Box 1:12
Subseries C: Correspondence
Correspondence
1825-1829
Box 1:13
Correspondence
1830-1834
Box 1:14
Correspondence
1835-1838
Box 1:15
Correspondence
1839
Box 1:16
Correspondence
1840
Box 1:17
Correspondence
1841
Box 1:18
Correspondence
1842
Box 1:19
Correspondence
1843
Box 1:20
Correspondence
1844
Box 1:21
Correspondence
1845
Box 1:22
Correspondence
1846
Box 1:23
Correspondence
1847
Box 1:24
Correspondence
1848
Box 1:25
Correspondence
1851-1854
Box 1:26
Correspondence
1861-1880
Box 1:27
Correspondence
n.d.
Box 1:28
Subseries D: Writings
Medical, moral, and on brother Daniel’s
death
1831-1834
Box 1:29
Notes from Columbiana County Convention of
Abolitionists
1841
Box 1:30
Anti-slavery writings
n.d.
Box 1:31
Subseries E: Transcripts
Journal
1838
Box 2:32
Journal
(1838), 1842, 1845
Box 2:33
Journal
1839-1840
Box 2:34
Journal,
February-April, 1840
Box 2:35
Journal
October, 1840-February, 1841
Box 2:36
Journal (permanent copy),
1842-1843
Box 2:37
Journal (permanent copy)
1845
Box 2:38
Correspondence
1825-1829
Box 2:39
Correspondence
1830
Box 2:40
Correspondence
1831
Box 2:41
Correspondence
1832
Box 2:42
Correspondence
1833-1834
Box 2:43
Correspondence
1835-1836
Box 2:44
Correspondence
1837-1838
Box 2:45
Correspondence
1839
Box 2:46
Correspondence
1840
Box 2:47
Correspondence
1841
Box 2:48
Correspondence
January-June, 1842
Box 2:49
Correspondence
July-October, 1842
Box 2:50
Correspondence
January-August, 1843
Box 2:51
Correspondence
September-October, 1843
Box 2:52
Correspondence
1844
Box 2:53
Correspondence
January-April, 1845
Box 2:54
Correspondence
July-November, 1845
Box 2:55
Correspondence
1846
Box 2:56
Correspondence
1847
Box 2:57
Correspondence
1848
Box 2:58
Correspondence
1851-1854
Box 2:59
Correspondence
1861-1870
Box 2:60
Correspondence
miscellaneous, n.d.
Box 2:61
Writings
1831-1834
Box 2:62
Subseries F: Martha Turner Hudson
Incoming letters
1831-1842, n.d.
Box 2:63
Transcripts of incoming letters
1831-1842, n.d.
Box 2:64

Series 2. E. Darwin Hudson, Jr., Family Papers
1862-1951, n.d.
Subseries A: E. Darwin Hudson, Jr.
Certificates, letters of award and
appointment, and printed biographical records
1868-1887
Box 3:1
Outgoing letters
1869-1880
Box 3:2
Letters and tributes on his death
1887
Box 3:3
Subseries B: Laura Shaw Hudson
Outgoing letters
1862-1880, n.d.
Box 3:4
Subseries C: Darwin Shaw Hudson
Certificates and printed materials
1894-1924
Box 3:5
Subseries D: Clara Elizabeth Hudson
Typescripts of writings, 1947, 1951; and
financial record, 1923
Box 3:6

Series 3. Fowler, Shaw, Clarke, and Cooke Family Papers
1807-1886, n.d.
Subseries A: Fowler Family
Genealogical records
Box 3:1
Sibyl Catlin Fowler Papers
1837, n.d.
Box 3:2
Subseries B: Shaw Family
Genealogical records
Box 3:3
Samuel Shaw Papers
1826-1867, n.d.
Box 3:4
Elizabeth Clarke Shaw, Correspondence
1829-1863, n.d.
Box 3:5
Stella Augusta Shaw, incoming letters
1863-1880
Box 3:6
Samuel Francis Shaw Papers
1855-1880
Box 3:7
Charles Lyman Shaw, writings
ca. 1894
Box 3:8
Subseries C: Clarke Family
Genealogical records
Box 3:9
Anne Laura Clarke Papers
1815-1864, n.d.
Box 3:10
Other Clarkes
1807, 1886, n.d.
Box 3:11
Subseries D: Cooke Family
Genealogies; transcript of Aaron Cooke’s
will; account of Minutemen;
all n.d.
Box 3:12
Subseries E: Unidentified manuscripts
Unidentified letters, writings, and
fragments
Box 3:13

Series 4. Photographs
1873-1879
Hudson Family
Box 3:1

Series 5: Printed Materials
E.D. Hudson, Sr.
Box 3:1
E.D. Hudson, Jr. and family
Box 3:2
Clara Hudson, Plain Tales from Plainfield
Box 3:3
Fowler genealogies
Box 3:4
Photocopies of excerpts from Samuel Orcutt, History of Torringford
1878
Box 3:5
Samuel Orcutt, History of Torringford
1878
Box 4:6
Nahum Mitchell, History of the Early Settlement of Bridgewater
1840
Box 4:7
Photo of a letter to E.D. Hudson Sr., removed from Mitchell’s history of Bridgewater
Box 4:8
“An Address to the Anti-Slavery Christians”; “Articles of Faith and Covenant…Congregational Church in Torringford.”
Box 4:9
Miscellaneous
Box 4:10

Series 6. Copies of Materials Located in Other Repositories
Photocopy of inventory of the Hudson Collection in Smith College Sophia Smith Collection, Northampton, MA
Box 3:1
Photocopies of the Clara E. Hudson Papers in the Forbes Library, Northampton, MA
Box 3:2
NO SERIES NUMBER: CARBON COPIES AND EARLY DRAFTS OF TRANSCRIPTS IN COLLECTION
File cards for correspondence (incomplete)
Box 5:1
Transcript of journal
1842-1843
Box 5:2
Transcript of journal
1845
Box 5:3
Transcripts of correspondence: early drafts
Box 5:4
Transcripts of correspondence: carbon copies
Box 5:5
Transcripts: miscellaneous; early drafts
Box 5:6
Calendar of Selected Items
Box 5:7

Series 7. Accretion
Subseries A: Erasmus Darwin Hudson, Sr.
Bio-bibliographic materials
1853-1883
Box 6:1
Journal
1853-1883, 1845?
Box 6:2
Correspondence (originals)
1837-1888, n.d.
Box 6:3
Correspondence, (photocopies)
1837-1846
Box 6:4
Correspondence, (photocopies)
1847-1848
Box 6:5
Correspondence, (photocopies)
1849-1858
Box 6:6
Correspondence, (photocopies)
1861
Box 6:7
Correspondence, (photocopies)
1862
Box 6:8
Correspondence, (photocopies)
1863-1866
Box 6:9
Correspondence, (photocopies)
1868-1869
Box 6:10
Correspondence, (photocopies)
1870-1871
Box 6:11
Correspondence, (photocopies)
1872
Box 6:12
Correspondence, (photocopies)
1875-1877
Box 6:13
Correspondence, (photocopies)
1880, n.d.
Box 6:14
Writings, undated
Box 6:15
Letters to Martha Hudson, (originals)
1862-1881
Box 6:16
Letters to Martha Hudson, (photocopies)
1862-1881
Box 6:17
Subseries B: Erasmus Darwin Hudson, Jr.
Notebook of essays, 1861; copyright
contract, 1886; memorial tribute to classmate
(?)Andrew Quakinbush, Jr.
Box 6:18
Subseries C: Clara Hudson
Journal
n.d.
Box 6:19
Subseries D: Samuel Shaw
Article of agreement for forming
partnership,
1818
Box 6:20
Subseries E: Unidentified
Two lithographs, two poems
Box 6:21

Subjects
  • Abolitionists
  • African Americans--History
  • American Anti-slavery Society
  • Antislavery movements--Massachusetts
  • Connecticut Anti-slavery Society
  • Connecticut--History--19th century
  • Massachusetts--History--19th century
  • Physicians--New York
  • United States--History--1783–1865
Contributors
  • Douglass, Frederick, 1818-1895
  • Foster, Abby Kelley, 1810-1887
  • Garrison, William Lloyd, 1805-1879
  • Gay, Sydney Howard, 1814-1888
  • Hopper, Isaac T. (Isaac Tatem), 1771-1852
  • Hudson Family
  • Hudson, Daniel Coe, 1774–1840
  • Hudson, Erasmus Darwin, 1806–1880
  • Hudson, Erasmus Darwin, 1843–1887
  • Phillips, Wendell, 1811-1884
  • Smith, Gerrit, 1797-1874
  • Stone, Lucy, 1818-1893
  • Weld, Theodore Dwight, 1803-1895
  • Wright, Henry Clarke, 1797-1870
Types of material
  • Diaries
  • Letters (Correspondence)
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