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Collection Summary
Administrative Information
Access:
Publication Rights:
Acquisition Information
The Barrett Family Papers
Scope and Content
Container List

Barrett Family Papers

Collection Summary

Repository
University of Vermont Libraries Special Collections Burlington, Vermont 05405-3596
Creator
Barrett Family
Title
Barrett Family Papers
ID
mss.934
Dates [inclusive]
1788-1986, most from 1860-1930.
Quantity
8 cartons, 1 box, 1 oversize bd. vol., 2 oversize photograph folders, 1 oversize manuscript folder
Shelf location
Special Collections, Bailey/Howe Library.
Language
English
Abstract
The Barrett Family Papers consist of approximately nine linear feet of correspondence, bound manuscripts, books, diaries, photographs and other miscellaneous papers.

Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item] The Barrett Family Papers Collection, Special Collections, University of Vermont Library.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Vermont, Bailey/Howe Library, Special Collections © 1997 

Access:

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights:

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. John W. Barrett, 1985 and 1986

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The Barrett Family Papers

Captain John Barrett came to Grafton, Vermont in 1805 from Mason, New Hampshire and started the mercantile business. He served as a Selectman of the Town and also represented Grafton in the General Assembly. In 1841 the Freeman of Windham County elected Capt. John Barrett as one of their Senators. He married Lucy Joslyn of Grafton in December of 1822. They had four children: John H.,Charles, Susan, and Lucy. Charles, born in 1830, continued to live at the Barrett Homestead in Grafton until his death in 1892. He attended the Amaron Institute in Ramsey, Canada and later finished his studies at Dartmouth College. Like his father, Charles led an active political life. He served two terms in the State Senate, three in Legislature, and was Moderator and Town Clerk for Grafton many years. He also acted as Fish and Game Commissioner for Vermont. In 1859 Charles Barrett married Caroline Sanford of Orwell, Vermont, daughter of Emily Bascom and William Riley Sanford, a leading sheep farmer and president of the State Agricultural Association for many years.

Charles and Caroline had two sons, Charles S., born in 1860, and John, born in 1866. Their daughter Lucy died in infancy. Charles S. went to Exeter Academy and later worked for the Shepard & Morse Lumber Company in Burlington, Vermont. In Burlington he met Mary Brinsmaid. They married and moved to Freeport, Illinois, where Charles S. started a practice in optometry. His only child, John Walton, continued his father's practice after his death in 1937. Charles and Caroline's other son, John Barrett, was the most well known Barrett family member. He attended the Vermont Academy at Saxton's River and the Worcester Academy in Massachusetts. He then continued at Dartmouth College and graduated in 1889. Following his education, John Barrett traveled in South America, Asia, Hawaii and Europe as a special correspondent for newspapers on the West Coast. In 1894, President Cleveland appointed him United States Minister to Siam. John remained at that post until 1898 and on invitation by Admiral Dewey he traveled to Manila to act as a war correspondent during the Spanish-American War and part of the Filipino insurrection. After his return to the United States, John Barrett served as Minister to Argentina, Panama and Colombia. In 1902 to 1903 he visited China, Japan, the Philippine Islands, Korea, Liberia, India, Australia and the nations of Europe on behalf of the St. Louis Exposition. He was also instrumental in founding the Pan-American Union and was its Director-General from 1907 to 1920. Late in life Hon. John Barrett married Mary Tanner Wells Cady of Burlington. She died a few years before his death in 1938.

John Barrett's cousin, Heloise Brainerd, born in 1881, of the Sanford family branch, also played an important role in United States ties with Latin America. After she graduated from Smith College, Heloise spent three years in Mexico. Upon her return in 1909 she became connected with the Pan-American Union at Washington, D.C. and eventually she became Chief of the Division of Education which expanded into the Division of Intellectual Cooperation. Heloise Brainerd established scholarships bearing her name to support Latin American scholars in United States public schools and was an active member of the Jane Addams Peace Association. She participated in several Latin American Congresses and received special recognition for her work in education by the governments of Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Argentina. Heloise Brainerd died in 1969.

Note

Other biographical sketches available in Special Collections:

Palmer, Francis A., History of the Town of Grafton, Vermont, (Brattleboro: The Shaw Press, 1954), p. 102-105.

Pettengill, Helen M., History of Grafton Vermont, 1754-1975, (Grafton: Grafton Historical Society, Inc., 1975), p. 51-56.

Other biographical sketches available in Special Collections:

Palmer, Francis A., History of the Town of Grafton, Vermont, (Brattleboro: The Shaw Press, 1954), p. 102-105.

Pettengill, Helen M., History of Grafton Vermont, 1754-1975, (Grafton: Grafton Historical Society, Inc., 1975), p. 51-56.

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Scope and Content

The Barrett Family Papers consist of approximately nine linear feet of correspondence, bound manuscripts, books, diaries, photographs and other miscellaneous papers. The chronological span of the papers is from 1788 to 1986, with the heaviest concentration of material falling between 1860 and 1930.

The Barrett collection consists mostly (cartons 1-7) of correspondence between family members, arranged in chronological order. The letters between Charles and Caroline Barrett dominate the period of 1850 to 1880. The early 1850's concentrate on Charles Barrett's correspondence between classmates as Secretary of the Dartmouth class of 1852. Correspondence between Charles and Caroline begins in 1858 with their courtship and continues during Charles' long absences, first in 1864 to 1865 as a State Senator at Montpelier, then in 1871 as a legislator at Boston, and again at Montpelier in 1876 to 1877. Charles' job as Fish and Game Commissioner also took him frequently away from Grafton. Most of these letters concern family matters, although Charles Barrett recounts some aspects of his business activities. Letters of special interest are Charles Barrett's descriptions of the Boston fire of November, 1872. Also during this period, 1858 to 1870's, there are letters to and from Caroline Barrett and her parents, Emily Bascom and William Riley Sanford.

In the early 1880's Charles S. Barrett, son of Caroline and Charles, writes to his parents from Exeter Academy and later as an employee at Shepard & Morse Lumber Company from Burlington. He writes in some detail of his duties with the company and life in Burlington. There is an interesting mention of the unveiling of the statue of Lafayette and the stone laying of the Billings Library. Charles also mentions the laying of tracks for Burlington's trolley system and other local news. Charles' courtship with Mary Molliel Brinsmaid begins during his residency in Burlington. There is a fair amount of correspondence between the two before they move to the Midwest. In the latter half of the decade there are letters from Caroline and Charles S. to John at Dartmouth, but there are no letters from John.

The lengthy correspondence between John and his mother begins in the 1890's and continues until 1926, the year of Caroline Barrett's death. Most of these letters relate to family matters although John discusses some political news. He writes mostly of social events, such as banquets, he has attended in honor of various diplomats. These letters are a rich source of names of prominent diplomats and politicians in the early part of the century. John also describes his activities in Washington, D.C., such as visits with different Presidents, as well as his various business travels. The bulk of correspondence from this period is between John and Caroline but intermixed is a fair amount of correspondence from other family members.

There are only a few folders of correspondence following Caroline Barrett's death. Most of these contain letters by John, Charles S., John Walton and Heloise Brainerd. Correspondence concerning Heloise centers on the Jane Addams Peace Association and her travels to South America.

The rest of the collection (cartons 7-9) holds undated correspondence fragments of letters and alphabetically arranged subjects related to the Barrett family, such as account books, manuscripts, obituaries, diaries, newspaper clippings, photographs, scrapbooks and other family material.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Jane Addams Peace Association.

Genre(s)

  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts (document genre)
  • Diaries
  • Photographs

Geographic Name(s)

  • Vermont--Politics and government
  • Grafton (Vt.)
  • United States--Ambassadors--Thailand

Occupation(s)

  • Ambassadors

Personal Name(s)

  • Barrett, Charles S., b.1860
  • Barrett, John, 1866-1938.
  • Barrett, Caroline (Sanford), d. 1926.
  • Barrett, Charles, 1830-1892.
  • Brainerd, Heloise, 1881-1969.

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