Portsmouth Lyceum, 1834-1853 – MS089

Portsmouth Lyceum, 1834-1853 – MS089

Source: Bequest of Joseph Frost in 2008

Citation: Portsmouth Lyceum Papers, MS089, Portsmouth Athenaeum

Size: 1/2 Hollinger Box (3 linear inches)

Access: No restrictions

Processed by: Susan Stowe Kindstedt in 2009


Letters and meeting records of the Portsmouth Lyceaum from 1834 to 1853.

Scope and Content

The majority of the collection consists of letters to the Portsmouth Lyceum from potential speakers regarding scheduling speaking engagements. See index for complete list of names and dates. Correspondents include notable American poets, lawyers, doctors and writers. The materials appear to be primarily from the period of John H. Foster being the Lyceum secretary.

Historical Note

The first Lyceum was established in Millbury, Massachusetts in 1826 and quickly spread to other cities. An 1833 article in the Portsmouth Journal states: “…we rejoice in the establishment of a Lyceum in our town, and look with pleasant anticipation for a fund of knowledge to be opened a dispersed among a portion of our citizens…” The Lyceum brought poets, scientists, and nationally known speakers to Portsmouth to lecture. The lectures, held at The Temple were very popular with both men and women in Portsmouth.

Folder List

Folder 1 Correspondence 1848 to 1849

Edwin Percy Whipple

John Neal

Nathaniel Hawthorne

T. S. King

James T. Fields

Oliver Wendell Holmes

John S. Holmes

Thomas H. Hickey

Janius Hall

J. P. Leslie

Folder 2 Correspondence 1850 to 1851

John Godfrey Saxe

George Stillman Hillard

John Neal

Edmund Quincy

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Daniel Kimball

Robert Winthrop

Oliver Wendell Holmes

George Putnam

T. S. King

Rufus Church

Charles W. Upham

W. H. Kennard

Park Benjamin

H. N. Hudson

William Mountford

John Esaias Warren

Harvey Trask

Ephraim Peabody

Dr. Orville Dewey

H. L. Eustis

George N. Briggs

Sylvestor Judd

J. C. Bodwell

Edmund Quincy

Francis Parkman

H. N. Hudson

Folder 3 Correspondence 1852-1853

J. C. Bodwell

H. N. Hudson

Sylvestor Judd

E. W. Whipple

Stephen N. Philips

Cornelius Conway Felton

Sylvestor Judd

John G. Saxe

J. W. Chickering

Oliver Wendell Holmes

J. C. Bodwell

Mrs. Sylvestor Judd

P. W. Chandler

J. C. Bodwell

T. S. King

Edwin Percy Whipple

D. G. Mitchell

A. Bunn

J. G. Hoyt

P. W. Chandler

Joseph H. Williams

George Ticknor

Josiah Quincy

Epes Sargent

Rufus Choate

R. H. Dana Jr.

William E. Armitage

A. L. Stone

S. Johnson

Folder 4 Bound Record Book 1834 – 1853

“Record of the Proceedings of the Board of Directors of the Portsmouth Lyceum, 1834” Includes meeting minutes.

Folder 5 Accounts, Meeting Minutes and Miscellaneous

Nathaniel Hawthorne engraving by Thomas Phillibrown from a portrait by C. G. Thompson

1852 – Agreement for rent of the Cameneum by the Lyceum, including that the room by “lighted and warmed – a door keeper and music.”

1851 – Receipt for tickets sold for the Lyceum

1848 – Treasurer’s Report for the Portsmouth Lyceum

1849 – Minutes for the Portsmouth Lyceum

1852 – Minutes for the Portsmouth Lyceum

1853 – Minutes for the Portsmouth Lyceum

Fragment related to ticket sales [?]