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Hitchcock family papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00210

Scope and Contents

Contains diaries, photographs, manuscripts, and genealogical material. Autobiographies (1835-circa 1862 and 1850s) of Rufus Clark Hitchcock, relating to family life in Chittenden and Westminster, Vt., Springfield and Boston, Mass., and Thompsonville (Enfield), Conn., and trip to the Lake Superior region; a journal (1866) of his travels in Massachusetts as a bookseller and his birthplace in Chittenden, Vt.; family journal (1876-1890) with entries by various family members, containing genealogical records of the Farr, Hitchcock, and St. John families, and concerning life in various places including Keene, N.H., and New Orleans, La. Autobiography (1920) of Louise St. John Hitchcock, describing her parents, Zopher and Eunice Harmon St. John, other relatives, the St. John family home in Simsbury, Conn., and activities as wife and widow of Rufus C. Hitchcock; essays entitled "Simsbury Folks," by Alfred M. Hitchcock (son of Rufus C. and Louise), describing St. John family members in Simsbury, Conn., with notes by Helen Hitchcock Bjorvand; photographs of Rufus Clark Hitchcock.

Dates of Materials

  • 1841-1968


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

Materials in this collection may be governed by copyright. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. Researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical / Historical

This was a western New England Family. Rufus Clark Hitchcock (1835-1894) is represented by an autobiography extending through his early manhood, including a trip to Lake Superior, and a journal of his travels in Massachusetts and Vermont as a bookseller in 1866. His wife Louise St. John (1841-1938) is represented by an autobiography written around 1920. Their son was Alfred M. Hitchcock (1868-1941). There is also a collaborative family journal extending from 1876 to 1890. The Hitchcocks lived in Simsbury, Connecticut.


0.23 linear feet (2 containers)


Western New England family. Autobiographies of Rufus Clark Hitchcock relate to family life in Vermont, Massachusetts, and Connecticut; a journal documents his travels in Massachusetts and his birthplace in Vermont; a family journal includes genealogical records of the Farr, Hitchcock, and St. John families. Also included are an autobiography of Louise St. John Hitchcock; essays by Alfred M. Hitchcock; and photographs of Rufus Clark Hitchcock.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Hitchcock Family Papers were a gift of Mrs. Helen Marshall Hitchcock Bjorvand in July 1986.


Helen Hitchcock Bjorvand describes most of the family's writings:

Autobiography of Louise St. John Hitchcock - This is a hand-written autobiography by my paternal grandmother, finished in September, 1920 when she was seventy-nine, and an appendix to it which was finished in January, 1922. She described her father, Zopher St. John, and her mother, Eunice Harmon St. John, and mentions relatives in their generation; tells of her brothers and sisters and of life in the Simsbury homes; and finally treats her own life in various places as wife of Rufus C. Hitchcock and as a widow.

Autobiography of Rufus Clark Hitchcock - This is hand-written, and incomplete. The task of recording his life was apparently undertaken at the request of his son, Alfred, a fact that helps to give the document an approximate date. Assuming that Alfred would not have thought to ask for reminiscences from is father until he himself was around twenty-one, the autobiography would not have been started before 1889. Since it breaks off abruptly, one can surmise that it was not finished because of Rufus's death in 1894. The autobiography gives an account of events from the time of his birth until a year or two before his marriage in 1863. His life in Chittenden and Westminster, Vermont, Springfield and Boston, Massachusetts, Thompsonville, Connecticut, and then his adventurous trip west into the Lake Superior region are all desribed. The narrative breaks off as he and a friend, a Yale graduate, are about to go down the Mississippi River to take teaching positions on plantations. That this adventure was somehow interrupted is not mentioned, and nothing is said of his return to New England.

Journal of Rufus Clark Hitchcock - this journal was started July 30, 1866 and ended with an entry dated October 8, 1866. It is a day-to-day account of a trip Rufus took up through Massachusetts into Vermont, during a vacation period of his teaching year, as a canvasser for the sale of a book. He was, at the time, a young married man with a year-old son, attempting to make his free time profitable. The Journal gives glimpses into the appearance and life of the towns he visited. He describes rooming houses, hotels, churches, quarries, industries, local curiosities, scenery. One of the places he visited was his birthplace in Chittenden, Vermont. In his account of seeing the deserted cellarhole, his own somewhat romatic, sensitive temperament is revealed, as it is throughout the Journal.

A Family Journal of the Rufus C. Hitchcock Family - This was begun in 1876, when the sons were still children, and when the family's home was Keene, New Hampshire. It was continued intermittently through 1890. The handwriting varies, since entries were made by the children, by Louise and Rufus Hitchcock, and occasionally by visiting relatives. The final entry was made when the family lived in New Orleans, Louisiana. One of the last entries is a long one made by Alfred Hitchcock, who was almost twenty, when he was "home" visiting his family at Straight University. In the back of the Journal, in Rufus Hitchcock's handwriting, are many genealogical records of Farrs, Hitchcocks, and St. Johns.

Additional notes by Mrs. Bjorvand and Alfred Hitchcock throughout the papers provide historical and anecdotal information about the writings. The Louise St. John Hitchcock Autobiography is an original manuscript, the rest are photocopies. The Family Journal of Rufus Clark Hitchcock is a copy of the original by the Vermont Historical Society in Montpelier.

Processing Information

Processed by Susan Boone, 1988.

Hitchcock family papers
Finding Aid
Susan Boone
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2005-09-23: mnsss32 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:16-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2019-04-12: Made paper FA pencil edit changes.
  • 2019-07-10: Added paper FA content

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063