This collection contains the papers of Hawaiian physician and author Nathaniel Bright Emerson (1839-1915), including a
a wide range of material such as research material for his major publications about Hawaiian myths, songs, and history, manuscripts,
diaries, notebooks, correspondence, and family papers. The subjects covered in this collection are: Emerson family history;
Civil War and army hospitals; Hawaiian ethnology and culture; the Hawaiian
revolutions of 1893 and 1895; Hawaiian politics; Hawaiian history; Polynesian history; Hawaiian mele; the Hawaiian hula; leprosy
and the leper colony on Molokai;
and Hawaiian mythology and folklore.
Nathaniel Bright Emerson, born in Waialua, Oahu, on July 1, 1839, was the son of
Reverend John Smith Emerson and Ursula Sophia Newell Emerson, missionaries who came
to Hawaii in 1832. After completing his education at Punahou, Emerson left Hawaii
and moved to the United States to attend Williams College, in Williamstown,
Massachusetts. In September 1862, he enlisted in the First Regiment of the
Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. His regiment was involved in several major battles
including Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and several skirmishes of
the Wilderness Campaign; he was wounded at both Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville
and spent several months in army hospitals. In May 1864 he was mustered out of the
army and returned to college. Emerson studied medicine at Harvard and at the College
of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. He graduated with his medical degree in
1869 and remained in New York City where he had his own medical practice.
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to
quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such
activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is
one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services
Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.