Inventory of the James Thomas Fields Papers, 1767-1914 (bulk 1850-1914)

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Manuscripts Department
The Huntington Library
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2203
Fax: (626) 449-5720
© 2000
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.

Inventory of the James Thomas Fields Papers, 1767-1914 (bulk 1850-1914)

The Huntington Library

San Marino, California

Contact Information

  • Manuscripts Department
  • The Huntington Library
  • 1151 Oxford Road
  • San Marino, California 91108
  • Phone: (626) 405-2203
  • Fax: (626) 449-5720
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
Huntington Library staff
Date Completed:
1983 (revised)
© 2000 The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: James Thomas Fields Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1767-1914
Date (bulk): (bulk 1850-1914)
Creator: Fields, James Thomas
Extent: 5,438 pieces
Repository: The Huntington Library
San Marino, California 91108
Language: English.

Administrative Information


Acquired from Rosenbach in 1922. FI 5097-5438 and FAC 1015 acquired from Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Bole in 1978.


Collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information please go to following URL .

Publication Rights

In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], James Thomas Fields Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


James Thomas Fields (1817-1881) occupied an important position in the nineteenth century literary scene in his dual role as editor of The Atlantic Monthly and publisher in the Boston firm of Ticknor and Fields. His career as publisher began in 1831, when he became a clerk for the Old Corner Bookstore, which evolved into the firm of William D. Ticknor and Company. During the forties, Ticknor and Co. began its rise to greatness, with extra impetus provided by its publication in 1847 of Longfellow's Evangeline. Soon after, the firm also established relations with other New England writers such as Whittier, Lowell, Hawthorne, and Holmes, each of whom contributed to the increasing prestige of Ticknor and Co. Meanwhile, Fields began a corresponding rise, advancing to a junior partnership in 1843, though the firm retained its title until 1849, when it became Ticknor, Reed and Fields. The title of Ticknor and Fields came into being in June, 1854, and lasted until 1868, when reorganization changed the name to Fields, Osgood and Company, with Fields as senior partner. Throughout his career as a publisher, Fields was extremely successful in establishing good relationships (and in a great many cases, friendships) with a large number of authors, both American and English. Through his fair and generous terms in dealing with them and through his policy of protecting their works against piracy in spite of the absence of any international copyright laws, he was able to attract established, well-known writers to his firm, as well as many who would yet achieve fame. Fields succeeded also in obtaining wide exposure of his firm's books by means of his extensive circle of friends and acquaintances among editors and book reviewers. Chiefly as a result of his promotional talents, Ticknor and Fields were able to develop a national market for their books and hence to make Boston the primary center in the United States for the publication of literary works.
In his capacity as editor of The Atlantic Monthly, Fields was no less successful. Created in May, 1857, the magazine was purchased by Ticknor and Fields two years later. The following year, Fields took over the editorship of the magazine from James Russell Lowell. During Field's tenure as editor, he continued to maintain the magazine's reputation for dignity and integrity which Lowell had established, and his promptness and business acumen provided a marked contrast to Lowell's sometimes casual methods. As in his role of publisher, Fields dealt fairly and generously with Atlantic contributors, inaugurating the practice of paying for articles when accepted rather than when published. Further, he actively sought out new writers in an effort to broaden the appeal of the magazine, also accepting more pieces of light fiction to ease the number of scholarly literary and historical articles. Under his leadership, the Atlantic significantly increased its circulation, becoming widely known throughout much of the United States and England, as well.
On December 31, 1870, Fields retired from business, partly because of health, but was able to continue his writing and lecturing. He also continued to enjoy the many friendships he had formed with authors and other literary figures. The Fields home, with James and his wife, Annie (Adams) Fields (1834-1915) receiving, had become a delightful gathering place for literary people in Boston. There were frequent visits from those in and around Boston, such as Dr. Holmes, who lived just down the street, and there were guests from abroad -- those whom the Fieldses had met on their several trips to England, and many distinguished visitors who were brought to the Fieldses' to meet the Boston literary circle. The story of the many hours spent with their literary friends is told in their memoirs: Authors and Friends, by Annie Fields, and Yesterdays with Authors, by James T. Fields.
Following James Fields's death in 1881, Annie continued to receive her many friends, with the frequent companionship of Sarah Orne Jewett, and continued her own literary activities until her death in 1915.

Subject matter

The collection consists primarily of letters from authors to James Thomas Fields, mostly relating to publication of their manuscripts by his firm. Letters concerning literary matters are also addressed to Annie Fields. Included in the collection are many autograph manuscripts of poems, essays, articles, etc. by American and English authors.


Austin, James C. Fields of the Atlantic Monthly. (San Marino, Calif.: The Huntington Library, 1953).
Charvat, William. James T. Fields and the Beginnings of Book Promotion, 1840-1855, The Huntington Library Quarterly VIII (Nov., 1944), 75-94.
Fields, Annie. Authors and Friends. (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1897).
Fields, James T. Yesterdays with Authors. (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Co., 1900).
Howe, M. A. DeWolfe. Memories of a Hostess. (Boston: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1922).

Significant persons represented




Aldrich, Thomas Bailey


2 poems


Ames, Charles Gordon


1 poem


Andrew, John Albion


1 poem


Bartol, Cyrus Augustus


1 poem


Boker, George Henry


2 poems


Boyd, Andrew Kennedy Hutchinson


table of contents


Brooks, Phillips


1 prayer


Butler, Frances Anne (Kemble)


group of poems


Cable, George Washington


fragment of novel


Carman, Bliss


1 poem


Clarke, Mary Victoria (Novello) Cowden-


1 poem


Clemens, Samuel Langhorne


1 poem


Cooke, Rose Terry


2 poems


Cooper, James Fenimore


fragment of novel


Craik, Dinah Maria (Mulock)


preface and title page


Davis, Rebecca Blaine (Harding)


2 short stories


Duganne, Augustine Joseph Hickey


1 poem


Emerson, Ralph Waldo


preface to work by Thoreau


Everett, Edward


1 poem


Fields, James Thomas


3 poems


Galton, Sir Francis


1 poem (couplet)


Guiney, Louise Imogen


1 poem


Hale, Edward Everett


1 poem


Higginson, Thomas Wentworth


2 essays


Hill, George Birkbeck Norman


1 poem


Holmes, Oliver Wendell a


10 poems; 7 essays, 2 photographs


Howe, Julia (Ward)


3 poems


Landor, Walter Savage


1 essay


Lanier, Clifford Anderson


1 poem


Larcom, Lucy


1 poem


Lear, Edward


1 poem; 1 drawing


Lippincott, Sara Jane (Clarke)


1 poem; preface


Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth


1 poem


Longfellow, Samuel


1 poem


Lowell, James Russell


2 book reviews; 1 essay


Martineau, Harriet


2 essays


Mazzini, Giuseppe


1 essay


Novello, Mary Sabilla


1 poem


Osgood, Kate Putnam


1 poem


Parker, Nathan


1 sermon


Parsons, Thomas William


3 poems


Procter, Bryan Waller


2 poems


Reade, Charles


corrections for ms.


Sala, George Augustus Henry


1 essay


Sheppard, Elizabeth Sara


6 poems, and misc. verses


Stoddard, Richard Henry


5 poems


Stowe, Harriet Elizabeth (Beecher)


1 poem; 16 selections from fiction and essays, incl. Chimney Corner and House and Home Papers


Taylor, Bayard


2 essays; Poems of Home and Travel, and Poems of the Orient


Tennyson, Alfred, 1st Baron Tennyson


draft of a prelude


Thaxter, Celia (Laighton)


29 poems


Thomas, Edith Matilda


1 poem


Trowbridge, John Townsend


1 poem


Ward, Elizabeth Stuart (Phelps)


2 poems


Waterston, Anna Cabot Lowell (Quincy)


1 poem


Whitney, Adeline Dutton (Train)


2 poems


Whittier, John Greenleaf


7 poems, and extract from Margaret Smith's Journal


Woolsey, Sarah Chauncey


1 poem



Additional Note

(persons represented by 10 or more pieces)

Agassiz, Elizabeth Cabot, (Cary)


33 pieces, 1850<->1908


Alden, Henry Mills


50 pieces, 1861-1912


Aldrich, Thomas Bailey


60 pieces, 1855->1907


Allibone, Samuel Austin


29 pieces, 1855-1863


Armstrong, Samuel Chapman


16 pieces, 1881-1893


Arnold, Ethel Margaret


13 pieces, 1889-1912


Bartol, Cyrus Augustus


28 pieces, 1854-1883


Boker, George Henry


37 pieces, 1849-1867


Boyd, Andrew Kennedy Hutchinson


21 pieces, 1861-1862


Brooks, Phillips


13 pieces, 1879-1890


Brown, John h


25 pieces, 1860->1895


Brownell, Henry Howard


29 pieces, 1865-1867


Cary, Alice


17 pieces, 1856->1871


Child, Lydia Maria (Francis)


41 pieces, 1859-1879


Clarke, Charles Cowden- and Clarke, Mary Victoria (Novello) Cowden-


61 pieces, 1860-1896


Clarke, James Freeman


11 pieces, 1875-1884


Collyer, Robert


118 pieces, 1866-1912


Cooke, Rose Terry


10 pieces, 1860-1889


Craig, Margaret (deQuincey)


10 pieces, 1852-1855


Curtis, George William


47 pieces, 1854-1880


Cushman, Charlotte Saunders


44 pieces, 1860->1876


Dana, Richard Henry a


10 pieces, 1841-1878


Diaz, Abby (Morton)


51 pieces, 1863->1905


Dickens, Charles


32 pieces, 1859-1870


Dickinson, Lowes Cato


19 pieces, 1873-1888


Douglas, David


13 pieces, 1888-1911


Emerson, Ellen Tucker


15 pieces, 1864-1908


Emerson, Ralph Waldo


36 pieces, 1859-1873


Fairbanks, Charles B


11 pieces, 1851-1857


Farrar, Eliza Ware (Rotch)


12 pieces, 1864-1866


Fields, Annie (Adams)


44 pieces, 1857->1915


Fields, James Thomas


337 pieces, 1845->1881


Forbes, Edith (Emerson)


15 pieces, 1898->1915


Fremont, Jessie (Benton)


26 pieces, 1861-1864


Furness, Horace Howard


18 pieces, 1874-1911


Furness, William Henry a


18 pieces, 1863-1881


Giles, Henry


41 pieces, 1849-1865


Godwin, Parke


15 pieces, 1861-1901


Griswold, Rufus Wilmot


41 pieces, 1840-1855


Guiney, Louise Imogen


126 pieces, 1884-1914


Hale, Edward Everett


47 pieces, 1863->1909


Hale, George Silsbee


14 pieces, 1879-1889


Hawthorne, Nathaniel


34 pieces, 1851-1864


Hayes, Isaac Israel


27 pieces, 1867-1872


Higginson, Ida (Agassiz)


20 pieces, 1893->1915


Hogarth, Georgina


93 pieces, 1869-1913


Holmes, Oliver Wendell a


136 pieces, 1850-1894


Howe, Julia (Ward)


68 pieces, 1852-1908


Howells, William Dean


111 pieces, 1860-1914


Ireland, Alexander


10 pieces, 1868-1886


Jackson, Helen Maria (Fiske) Hunt


21 pieces, 1867-1884


James, Henry b


12 pieces, 1882-1911


Jerdan, William


11 pieces, 1851-1855


Jesse, Edward


24 pieces, 1854-1867


King, Thomas Starr


11 pieces, 1853-1863


Larcom, Lucy


31 pieces, 1860->1893


Leonowens, Anna Harriette (Crawford)


49 pieces, 1873-1911


Lippincott, Sara Jane (Clarke)


70 pieces, 1848->1855


Livermore, Mary Ashton (Rice)


15 pieces, 1873-1887


Longfellow, Alice Mary


10 pieces, 1882-1899


Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth


142 pieces, 1845-1881


Longfellow, Samuel


14 pieces, 1864->1892


Lowell, James Russell


66 pieces, 1849-1891


Lowell, Josephine (Shaw)


13 pieces, 1882-1897


Lowell, Robert Traill Spence


12 pieces, 1861-1863


Meynell, Alice Christiana Gertrude (Thompson)


21 pieces, 1901-1914


Mitchell, Donald Grant


27 pieces, 1857-1868


Mitchell, Silas Weir


12 pieces, 1866-1908


Mitford, Mary Russell


65 pieces, 1848-1854


Modjeska, Helena (Opid)


14 pieces, 1879-1900


Norton, Charles Eliot


25 pieces, 1850-1907


Palfrey, Sara Hammond


10 pieces, 1861-1905


Parsons, Thomas William


18 pieces, 1850-1882


Parton, James


40 pieces, 1866-1877


Preston, Harriet Waters


12 pieces, 1873-1910


Procter, Bryan Waller


12 pieces, 1851-1864


Putnam, Mary Traill Spence (Lowell)


33 pieces, 1862->1898


Reade, Charles


77 pieces, 1855-1881


Rich, Hiram


19 pieces, 1865-1888


Richards, Laura Elizabeth (Howe)


17 pieces, 1891->1915


Ritchie, Lady Anne Isabella (Thackeray)


11 pieces, 1867-1912


Sinclair, May


13 pieces, 1905-1912


Stedman, Edmund Clarence


14 pieces, 1866-1897


Stoddard, Richard Henry


46 pieces, 1850-1858


Stowe, Harriet Elizabeth (Beecher)


132 pieces, 1860->1896


Sullivan, Thomas Russell


15 pieces, 1898-1912


Sumner, Charles


17 pieces, 1841-1868


Tennyson, Emily (Sellwood), Baroness, Tennyson


16 pieces, 1859-1894


Thaxter, Celia (Laighton)


62 pieces, 1861-1892


Thomas, Edith Matilda


10 pieces, 1885-1888


Trowbridge, John Townsend


18 pieces, 1865-1867


Ward, Mary Augusta (Arnold)


14 pieces, 1892-1914


Warner, Charles Dudley


32 pieces, 1880-1900


Wasson, David Atwood


49 pieces, 1861-1876


Waterston, Anna Cabot Lowell (Quincy)


20 pieces, 1860-1880


Wayland, Francis b


12 pieces, 1861-1867


Weiss, John


24 pieces, 1862-1875


White, Richard Grant


13 pieces, 1855-1863


Whitney, Adeline Dutton (Train)


36 pieces, 1861-1898


Whitney, Anne


23 pieces, 1867->1915


Whittier, John Greenleaf


305 pieces, 1843-1892


Willson, Byron Forceythe


19 pieces, 1865-1866


Woodberry, George Edward


36 pieces, 1889->1915