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Inventory of the Rufus King Papers, 1782-1830
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Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Persons represented by five or more pieces:
  • Some important or interesting items

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Rufus King Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1782-1830
    Creator: King, Rufus, 1755-1827
    Extent: 599 pieces
    Repository: The Huntington Library
    San Marino, California 91108
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    The Huntington Library has no record of the provenance of these papers, other than the immediate source: the George D. Smith Book Company (1927). This collection is not to be confused with the published correspondence of Rufus King, edited by Charles R. King, 1894-1900.


    Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information please go to following URL .

    Publication Rights

    In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Rufus King Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Rufus King (1755-1827) American statesman and diplomatist, was born in Scarborough, Massachusetts (now Maine). He attended Harvard College, graduating in 1777; after a short interval of military service, he devoted himself to the study of law, and was admitted to the bar in 1780.
    Entering public life in 1783, as a delegate from Newburyport in the Massachusetts general court, King rose rapidly to a position of prominence in the Federalist party. He was a member of the Federal Convention, and later U. S. senator from New York.
    In 1796 Rufus King was called to succeed Thomas Pinckney as minister plenipotentiary to Great Britain, where he remained for eight years. Again, in 1825, just as he was about to retire from public life, King was called once more to the Court of St. James, but illness forced him to return a year later, and his death occurred on Apr. 29, 1827.

    Scope and Content

    U.S. foreign relations, as shown in letters and dispatches addressed to Rufus King while American minister in London.

    Persons represented by five or more pieces:

    Adams, John Quincy
    Dawson, John
    Ellsworth, Oliver
    Gerry, Elbridge
    Hammond, George
    Madison, James
    Mountflorence, James C
    Murray, William Vans
    Pickering, Timothy
    Pinckney, Charles Cotesworth
    Randolph, Edmund
    Smith, William Loughton
    Talleyrand-Périgord, Charles Maurice
    Wolcott, Oliver

    Some important or interesting items

    Note: The following groups of letters have more significance in this collection than single pieces
    • Murray, William Vans, to Rufus King. Letters written from 1797 to 1801, in Murray's characteristic conversational style, giving news of the shifting rulers and governments in France and the Batavian Republic.
    • Adams, John Quincy. Letters to Rufus King, giving Intelligence regarding the German states, and conditions generally in the north of Europe, 1796 - 1801.
    • Smith, William Loughton. Letters to Rufus King, giving Reports of disturbances along the Mediterranean, 1797 - 1802