The collection contains correspondence and manuscripts chiefly of the Sewall family of Massachusetts in the 19th
century. However, there is also correspondence from the
the Ward family and members of the family of author Henry David Thoreau, as well as a scrapbook of the Thoreau family.
Ellen Devereux (Sewall) Osgood was born on March 10, 1822, in Barnstable,
Massachusetts, to Edmund Quincy and Caroline (Ward) Sewall. Edmund Sewall was a
Unitarian minister in Scituate, Massachusetts, for seventeen years. In 1842, Ellen
met Reverend Joseph Osgood, born on September 23, 1815, to Dr. Joseph Otis and
Elizabeth (Fogg) Osgood in Kensington, New Hampshire. They married on May 20, 1844.
Rev. Joseph Osgood, like Ellen’s father, was a Unitarian minister, who served
fifty-five years as the pastor at the First Unitarian Church of Cohasset. Ellen and
Joseph had ten children: Caroline Ward, born in 1845 but died the same year due to
accidentally smothering in her bedding when no one was watching; Elizabeth, who
married George Lyman Davenport and had George L. Davenport, who maintained this
collection; Joseph Otis; Edmund Quincy Sewall; George; Ellen Devereux; Mary Fogg;
William Sherburne; Frances Parsons; and Louise Lovett, who helped her sister
Elizabeth write the article about their mother and Henry David Thoreau. Ellen died
on December 8, 1892 and Joseph died on August 2, 1898.
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one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.