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Hopkins Family letters

Identifier: C-83

Scope and Contents

Collection contains 12 folders with holograph letters from between members of the Hopkins family. Eight folders primarily contain letters written by Erastus Hopkins to his son, daughter, and granddaughter (names unclear), mostly from Northampton, Massachusetts. These letters mostly contain family news with occasional mentions of religious matters. One folder contains "Epistles," written by Erastus, and two folders contain letters written to Erastus by one of his children from Europe. A final folder contains fragments of letters.


  • Creation: 1859-1870


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish materials, contact: Special Collections & Archives Middlebury College Phone: (802) 443-2387 Email:

Biographical / Historical

Erastus Hopkins (1810-1872) of Northampton, Massachusetts, was a Presbyterian minister, founding member of the Free Soil Party, and a legislator for Massachusetts on Beacon Hill. He was born on April 7, 1810 to John and Lydia Hopkins, and attended Boston Latin School and then Phillips Andover Academy. He graduated from Dartmouth College and then attended Andover and Princeton Theological Schools. At 23, he became the Secretary of the Colonization Society of America. He married Sarah Bennett in 1834. Their son, William Swinton, was born in 1837. Sarah Bennett died of pleurisy in 1837, followed two days later by their newborn daughter. Erastus married Charlotte Freylingheusen Allen in 1841. Hopkins was also founding president of the Connecticut River Railroad, and an active agent of the Underground Railroad. Hopkins died in 1872 of "paralysis." He had nine children; six of whom predeceased him. Hopkins' house still stands at 101 King Street, Northampton, Mass.


1 Box (1 box, 12 folders. )


Collection is arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased by Middlebury College Special Collections and Archives from bookseller John Renjilian in 2007.

Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

Middlebury College
Davis Family Library
110 Storrs Avenue
Middlebury Vermont 05753 United States