Dunham family papers
Scope and Contents
There is a large amount of material documenting the professional and other activities of the Dunhams. Edward Kellogg Dunham, Sr.'s, papers include correspondence; lecture notes and papers from Harvard Medical School; notes from his cholera research; research material, manuscripts, and published writings relating to antiseptics and empyema during World War I. There are also letters to Mary (Dows) Dunham, written after Edward's death, from his many friends and colleagues regarding the publication of his research on empyema and the establishment of the Edward Kellogg Dunham Lectures at Harvard Medical School. Additional papers related to the Dunham Lectures are located at the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine at Harvard.
Mary (Dows) Dunham's papers document her and Edward Dunham's various philanthropic activities during the early twentieth century, including the New York cooking school for nurses, the American Red Cross, and the Seal Harbor Village Improvement Society. There is also material relating to Mary and Theodora Dunham's work with the American Fund for French Wounded which includes letters from American and French soldiers, relief workers, nurses, and doctors stationed in World War I France.
Edward Kellogg Dunham, Jr.'s, Mount Desert Island material provides valuable information on the development of a rural seaside community. It includes correspondence; reports and minutes of committee meetings; and clippings and photographic material. These date from 1930 to 1949.
The Dunham Family Papers include correspondence and other material relating to a number of important individuals, most notably medical and academic colleagues of Edward Kellogg Dunham, Sr. These are located in the papers of Edward Kellogg Dunham, Sr., Mary (Dows) Dunham, and Edward Kellogg Dunham, Jr. Important correspondents include: Walter B. Cannon, physiologist; Samuel Colman, artist; Henry D. Dakin, English chemist and brother-in-law of EKD and MDD; D.L. Edsall, Dean, Harvard Medical School; Simon Flexner, pathologist; Graham Lusk, physiologist; John D. Rockefeller, Jr., philanthropist; Henry Osborne Taylor, author; William S. Thayer, M.D.; John L. Yates, surgeon.
A significant portion of the material consists of personal correspondence. Of particular interest are the travel letters of Harriet (Kellogg) Dunham to her family from Italy (1855-56), and Mary (Dows) Dunham to her mother from her various travels in the western United States, Bermuda, Europe, Greece, and Egypt dating from 1877 to 1914. These trips are particularly well detailed in Mary's letters which are complimented by her numerous photographs (located at the end of the collection).
Throughout the collection there are creative writings of various individuals, in particular, those of Harriet (Kellogg) Dunham, Beatrice Dunham, and Mary (Dows) Dunham. Carroll and Harriet Dunham, their children, and friends created a magazine called "The Phoenix" which consisted of articles, stories, poems, and artwork periodically compiled together and distributed to family and friends. They maintained and distributed this family magazine from 1883 to 1888.
A large portion of the collection is photographic material (prints, negatives, and photograph albums) including images of Europe, Egypt, Greece, Central America, the Caribbean, and the western United States, and ranging in date from the 1890s to the 1930s. There are also prints and many negatives of family, friends, and activities on Mount Desert Island, ca. 1910 to 1930. Many of the images are in negative format only.
The collection also includes genealogies, family histories, biographical material, legal documents, financial records, printed pamphlets, clippings, and memorabilia.
Dates of Materials
- 1814-1951 [ongoing]
- Majority of material found within 1855-1951
- Dunham family (Family)
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Biographical / Historical
Carroll Dunham (1828-1877) was a homeopathic physician and dean of faculty at the New York Homeopathic Medical College. He was also president of the American Institute of Homeopathy. In 1853, Carroll married Harriet E. Kellogg (1828-1878), the daughter of Edward and Esther Kellogg of Brooklyn, New York. They lived in Irvington, New York, and had six children: Carroll, Edward Kellogg, Theodore, Herbert, Constantine, and Beatrice. Herbert and Constantine both died before one year. Harriet's sister, Amelia Nash (Kellogg) Henshaw--affectionately called "Aunt Rabbit," studied under artist Samuel Colman (Anne Lawrence Dunham's husband). Beatrice Dunham was a prolific writer of stories and verses. She and other family members also compiled a family magazine called "The Phoenix."
Edward Kellogg Dunham (1860-1922) was well known for his work in the fields of pathology and bacteriology. He earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1886 then studied for a period at Koch's laboratory in Berlin where he discovered the "cholera-red" reaction. After returning to the United States, he worked for the Board of Health Commission in Boston and later became professor of pathology at the Bellevue Medical College of New York University. During World War I, he worked in U.S. Army hospitals, researching and treating meningitis cases. Soon he became involved in treating soldiers infected with empyema (a lung disease related to pneumonia) and in 1918 was appointed chairman of the "Empyema Commission." After Edward's death his empyema research was published by his wife, Mary (Dows) Dunham, and several of his colleagues. In 1923 Mary gave an endowment to Harvard Medical School for the establishment of the "Edward Kellogg Dunham Lectures for the Promotion of the Medical Sciences."
In 1893 Edward married Mary Dows (1865-1936), daughter of David Dows (1814-1890) and Margaret (Worcester) Dows (1831-1909), also of Irvington, N.Y. David Dows headed the New York firm, David Dows and Company, one of the largest grain dealers in the country. He also served on the Board of Directors of Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Co. Mary was stricken with polio as a child and was left partially disabled. She suffered from almost constant pain throughout her life, nevertheless, traveled extensively and pursued various artistic and philanthropic activities. Mary became interested in photography at a young age and was encouraged in her endeavors by artist Samuel Colman (Anne Lawrence Dunham's husband). She traveled to the western United States and Europe numerous times before her marriage to Edward in 1893. Mary and Edward traveled together in Europe, Egypt, and the Western U.S. from the 1890s to the 1910s. In Egypt, they journeyed down the Nile River on a houseboat for three weeks in 1906.
Edward and Mary had two children: Theodora Dunham (1895-1983) and Edward Kellogg Dunham, Jr. (1901-1951). Soon after the birth of their daughter Theodora, Edward and Mary moved from Litchfield, Connecticut, to New York City. In 1898 they built a house in Seal Harbor, Maine, which they named "Keewaydin." The Dows family had spent many summers in Seal Harbor and several of Mary's siblings also made it their summer home.
During World War I, Mary and Theodora were involved with the American Fund for French Wounded (AFFW), an organization which provided medical and material aid to wounded soldiers and refugees. Theodora went to France to work as a volunteer at the front from 1916 to 1917. Mary organized volunteers in both New York City and in Seal Harbor to send relief packages overseas for the AFFW workers there to distribute to refugees and soldiers.
During the early twentieth century, Mary and Edward were involved in various philanthropic activities in New York and Seal Harbor. They worked with the New York Cooking School and several New York City hospitals to establish a cooking school for nurses with the aim of improving hospital food service. In Seal Harbor, Edward tested the milk of the local dairy farms, and Edward and Mary helped to organize the Mount Desert Chapter of the American Red Cross for which both Mary and Edward Dunham, Jr., were board members. The family was also active in the Seal Harbor Village Improvement Society.
Edward Kellogg Dunham, Jr. (1901-1951), was graduated from Harvard University in 1922, and worked as assistant manager for the Corn Exchange Bank (his great-grandfather's institution) in New York through the 1920s. After that, much of his time was occupied with other financial activities as treasurer of Dows Estates (established with the estate of his grandparents) and as trustee of his mother's estate. Edward lived for a few years in the western United States where, in 1933, he met and married Anne ("Nancy") Yellott. Edward and Nancy had two children: Edward Kellogg Dunham III and Elizabeth Dunham. They eventually moved to New York City and spent their summers in Seal Harbor where Edward continued in his parents' philanthropic footsteps.
57 boxes (20 linear feet)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Additions to the Collection
- American Fund for French Wounded
- American Red Cross. Mount Desert Island (Me.)
- Bodman family
- Bodman, Theodora Dunham, 1895-1983
- Cannon, Walter Bradford, 1871-1945--Correspondence
- Children's writings, American
- Colman, Samuel--Correspondence
- Commonplace books
- Dakin, Henry Drysdale, 1880- --Correspondence
- Dows family
- Dunham family
- Dunham, Beatrice, 1870-1911
- Dunham, Carroll, 1828-1877
- Dunham, Edward Kellogg, 1860-1922
- Dunham, Edward Wood, 1794-1871
- Dunham, Harriet Elvira Kellogg, 1820-1905
- Dunham, Mary Dows, 1865-1938
- Edsall, D.L.
- Egypt -- Description and travel
- Empyema -- Research
- Europe -- Description and travel
- Family -- United States
- Financial records
- Flexner, Simon, 1863-1946--Correspondence
- Harvard Medical School
- Italy -- Description and travel
- Jacobson, C. A. (Carl Alfred), 1876-1956
- Kellogg family
- Legal documents
- Lusk, Graham, 1866-1932--Correspondence
- Medicine -- Research -- United States
- Mount Desert Island (Me.)
- Nursing schools -- New York (State) -- New York
- Panama -- Description and travel
- Parker Family
- Pathology -- Research
- Philanthropists -- United States
- Public health nursing -- Mount Desert Island (Me)
- Rockefeller, John D. (John Davison), 1874-1960.
- Taylor, Henry Osborne, 1856-1941--Correspondence
- Thayer, William Sydney, 1864-1932--Correspondence
- Travelers' writings
- United States -- Social life and customs -- 19th century
- United States -- Social life and customs -- 20th century
- Upper class families -- United States
- Voyages and travel
- West (U.S.) -- Description and travel
- Women artists -- United States
- Works of art
- World War, 1914-1918 -- Medical care -- France -- Personal narratives
- World War, 1914-1918 -- Medical care -- United States
- World War, 1914-1918 -- War work -- France
- Yates, John L., 1873-1938--Correspondence
- photograph albums
- Dunham family papers
- Finding Aid
- Margaret Jessup
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (https://github.com/harvard-library/archivesspace-preprocessor)
- 2005-09-23: mnsss20 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
- 2017-07-26T17:48:13-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
- 2019-04-16: Made paper FA pencil edit changes.
Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063