Cheever-Wheeler Family Papers [manuscript], 1773-1979

Cheever-Wheeler Family


40 boxes, 49 octavo volumes, 3 folio volumes, 1 oversize folder.
This collection represents four generations of the Cheever family of Hallowell, Me., and Worcester, Mass., and the Wheeler family of Lincoln and Worcester, Mass. Included are incoming and outgoing correspondence of thirty-one family members, as well as diaries, account books, business papers, bills and receipts, deeds, bank books, genealogical material, library catalogues, sermons, rough drafts of chapters, penmanship books, newsclippings, speeches and essays, and poetry.
The letters of Rev. George B. Cheever and Rev. Henry T. Cheever deal with their pastoral activity, problems with their parishes due to their involvement with controversial reform movements, and contacts with abolitionist leaders such as Charles Sumner (1811-1874) and Wendell Phillips (1811-1884) in 1860, and the Tappan brothers. Henry T. Cheever kept diaries and wrote letters concerning his studies at Bowdoin College and his trips to Spain in the 1830s and Hawaii in the 1840s, and received several letters from missionaries, e.g., Elias Bond (1813-1896), and Hawaiian students.
There are also letters of Henry's wife, Jane T. Cheever. He letters refer to social activities in Jewett City, Conn., and Worcester, Mass., and the rearing of her daughters.
The collection also contains voluminous correspondence of Henry and Jane's four daughters: Charlotte Barrell Cheever Tucker, Ellen Tyler Cheever Rockwood, Elizabeth Bancroft Cheever Wheeler, and Louisa Sewall Cheever. All four women wrote to one another and to firiends and relatives concerning their social and educational activities at Smith College during the late 1870s and early 1880s, their travels in Europe, and their many social activities in which they engaged in Worcester (Charlotte and Ellen live principally with their aunt, Elizabeth Washburn), especially the courtships of the three elder daughters. Ellen Rockwood generated correspondence with various genealogists, while her mother-in-law, Caroline Washburn Rockwood (1844-1923), wrote of her controversial decisions to join the Christian Science religion and to pursue a music-teaching career in the South during the early 1900s.
The Wheeler family correspondence is primarily a record of life in Lincoln and Worcester during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Dr. Leonard Wheeler's correspondence includes many letters concerning his medical studies in Germany and Austria in the 1870s, while Thomas B. Wheeler wrote of his efforts to establish a grain company in Troy, Ohio, in the late 1860s, and his earlier venture as a cotton merchant in the South. Other Wheeler letters recorded social activities, family illnesses, scandals, marriages, and deaths.
The collection also contains correspondence of Leonard and Elizabeth's four children: Dr. Bancroft Cheever Wheeler, Leonard Wheeler, Jr., Eunice Wheeler, and Nathaniel Wheeler. The four wrote to one another, their parents, and other relatives and friends concerning their social activities and life at their respective schools and colleges. Bancroft and Leonard, Jr. attended Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H., and Harvard University, Eunice attended Smith College, and Nathaniel was a graduate of the Middlesex School in Concord, Mass., and Harvard. They also wrote of their music lessons, their travels in Europe and their summers at the Jonathan Sayward house in York, Me. Leonard, Jr., an attorney, was a colonel with the Army in Washington during World War II and later participated in the prosecution of the Nuremberg Trials. He and his wife, Cornelia Balch Wheeler (1909- ), wrote of this and of life in general in Alexandria, Va., during the war. Nathaniel served in the Pacific during World War II and wrote many letters to his mother and sister during his tour of duty.
The remainder of the collection consists of letters from friends and relatives of the Cheevers and Wheelers. There are folders representing forty-one correspondents, as well as other letters grouped generally in the incoming correspondence folders. Many letters are addressed to Henry T. Cheever by ministerial colleagues and concern political and religious issues, e.g., Henry Sibree ( - ) of New York City wrote regarding the conflicts of Henry Cheever's brother, George, with his parishioners.
The volumes include diaries and travel journals and accounts of household expenses of many of the principal family correspondents. Among the material in the boxes are legal documents, church business papers, newsclippings of or concerning family members or political issues, school report cards, bills and receipts, speeches and addresses written mainly by Henry T. Cheever, rough drafts of his chapters, biographical and genealogical data, and diplomas.
Nathaniel Cheever (1778-1819), a nephew of Aaron Bancroft (1755-1839), after having been apprenticed to Isaiah Thomas (1749-1831), moved to Hallowell, Me., and founded the Hallowell _American Advocate_ in 1810. He married, on 16 September 1804, Charlotte Barrell (1778-1854), of York, Me. They had seven children, four who lived to maturity: George Barrell; Elizabeth Bancroft; Henry Theodore; and Nathaniel Barrell.
George Barrell Cheever (1807-1890), noted Congregational minister, author, and uncompromising reformer, graduated from Bowdoin College in 1825 and from the Andover Theological Seminary in 1830. He was ordained and installed at the Howard Street Congregational Church in Salem, Mass., in 1833. He removed to New York City where he was pastor of the Allen Street Presbyterian Church from 1838 to 1844, and Church of the Puritans from 1846 to 1867. He married, on 21 November 1845, Elizabeth Hoppin Wetmore ( -1886) of New York City.
Elizabeth Bancroft Cheever Washburn (1812-1893) was noted for her philanthropy. She lived with her mother in Hallowell, Me., until her brother, Henry, became a pastor. After that she lived wherever his pastorate was. She married, on 13 October 1858, Ichabod Washburn (1798-1868), founder of the great wire industry in Worcester, Mass. She was his second wife.
Henry Theodore Cheever (1814-1897), noted Congregational minister, author, and active participant in the Church Anti-Slavery Society, graduated from Bowdoin College in 1834 and the Bangor Theological Seminary in 1839. He traveled extensively and wrote much concerning his travels. He actively entered the Congregational ministry after being ordained in 1847 and held pastorates in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Worcester, Mass. He married, on 27 April 1857, Jane Tyler (1834-1885), daughter of Dr. Lucius Tyler (1793-1847) and Olive Johnson Tyler (1801-1877), of Jewett City, Conn. They had five daughters: Charlotte Barrell; Ellen Tyler; Elizabeth Bancroft; Mary Charles (1865-1871); and Louisa Sewall.
Nathaniel Barrell Cheever (1816-1844) was always of delicate health and travel much. He studied medicine and began practice in Cuba where he shortly became seriously ill. He died on a ship bound for the United States and was buried at sea.
Charlotte Barrell Cheever Tucker (1858-1944) graduated from Smith College in 1881. She became the second wife of William Jewett Tucker on 23 June 1887. They had one daughter, Elizabeth Washburn (1889- ).
William Jewett Tucker (1839-1926) was a clergyman and educator. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1861 and from the Andover Theological Seminary in 1866. He was ordained in 1867 and held pastorates in Manchester, N.H., and New York City. From 1880 to 1893 he was professor of sacred rhetoric at Andover, and from 1893 to 1909 was president of Dartmouth College. He had two daughters with his first wife, Charlotte Henry Rogers ( -1882): Alice Lester and Margaret.
Ellen Tyler Cheever Rockwood (1860-1933), an ardent genealogist, attended Smith College from 1878 to 1881, but did not graduate. She married, on 13 November 1890, George Ichabod Rockwood. They had two children: George Ichabod and Ellen.
George Ichabod Rockwood (1868-1959), grandnephew of Ichabod Washburn, graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1888. He was an engineer and distinguished businessman in Worcester.
Elizabeth Bancroft Cheever Wheeler (1862-1947) graduated from Smith College in 1885. She married, on 23 November 1897, Dr. Leonard Wheeler. They had four children.
Louisa Sewall Cheever (1868-1957) graduated from Smith College in 1890 and received an M.A. from Columbia College in 1897. She studied at Columbia from 1894 to 1896, Gottingen in 1898, and Oxford in 1907. She was a lecturer of English literature at Madrid from 1919 to 1920. She taught Latin at the Brearley School in New York City from 1892 to 1895. From 1900 to 1909, she was an instructor of English at Smith, and from 1909 to 1934, an associate professor.
Abel Wheeler (1790-1868), the second child of Thomas and Mary (Hoar) Wheeler, was a schoolteacher at Norfolk, Va., White Plains, N.Y., and Boston, Mass. He settled in Lincoln, Mass., after 1838. He married, on 3 December 1833, Charlotte Bemis (1806-1897), the daughter of Amos and Susanna (Fiske) Bemis. They had six children: Ellen (1834-1895); Thomas Bemis; Augusta; Mary Elizabeth; Leonard; and Charlotte (1848- ).
Thomas Bemis Wheeler (1836- ) married, on 20 June 1867, Mary Richmond Smith (1848- ). They had four children: Leonard Abel (1868- ); Mary Hastings (1872-1873); Lucia May (1875- ); and Ellen Dean (1882- ).
Augusta Wheeler Scripture (1839- ) married, on 17 October 1865, James Oliver Scripture (1839- ). They had two children: Bertha (1866- ) and Mary James (1868- ).
Mary Elizabeth Wheeler Pierce (1841-1886) married, on 22 November 1863, John Howard Pierce ( - ). They had three children: Henry Huntington (1863-1867); Elsie (1866- ); and Robert Morris (1869- ).
Leonard Wheeler (1845-1935), a prominent Worcester physician, graduated from Harvard in 1866 and from Harvard Medical School in 1870. He married, on 23 November 1897, Elizabeth Bancroft Cheever. They had four children: Bancroft Cheever (1899-1992); Leonard (1901-1995); Eunice (1903-1981); and Nathaniel (1906-1979).
The collection is open for research use.
Cheever-Wheeler Family Papers, 1773-1979, Mss boxes / octavo volumes / folio volumes / oversize folders C, American Antiquarian Society, Worcester MA.
Related materials are located in the Cheever Family, Papers, c. 1800-c. 1900.
Materials in English.

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