1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

    List of finding aids

    R.I.H.S. Library page

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 Blake Family Papers

 Family, of New Haven Conn. and Peace Dale, R.I.

 Papers, 1790-1938. Bulk, 1895-1922.

 Size: 0.5 linear feet

 Catalog number: MSS 483 sg 53

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, September 1998

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            Mary E. (Blake) Bushnell (1828-1916) was a daughter of inventor and manufacturer Eli Whitney Blake (1795-1886) of New Haven, Connecticut. She married the Rev. George Bushnell of Beloit, Wisconsin. After his death in 1898, she settled in Peace Dale, R.I. with her daughter Mary P. (Bushnell) Hazard.

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Scope and content:

            Most of this collection consists of letters written from Mary E. (Blake) Bushnell to various sisters and nieces between 1899 and 1911. Other items of note include two spirited 1850s letter copy books by Edward F. Blake, who died young; a series of interesting letters on Providence society in the 1890s by Eli W. Blake 3rd; and a collection of amusing poems written in commemoration of a family gathering. Although the Blakes were largely a Connecticut family, the bulk of these papers have a strong Rhode Island connection.

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            The bulk of these papers were donated by Igor R. Blake in 1996. In his accompanying letter, he explained that "my uncle Anson Stiles Blake gave me these letters. It appears to have been a family custom to circulate letters to a wide circle of relatives." Three additional letters were donated by Blake in 2003, dated 8/24/1904, 5/12/1909 and January 20 (no year).

            Additional papers were deposited by the Hazard family in 1975, and then made a gift in 1985 as part of the Hazard Family Papers. The letters from Eli. W. Blake III to Annette Hain were found in the Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection. Their provenance is unknown; judging by their original folder, they were initially processed circa 1985, possibly as part of the Hazard Papers.

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Processing note:

            This collection is part of the Hazard Family Papers, which were processed with support from the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities, the Beinecke Foundation, and the extended Hazard Family.

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Blake, Anita (Symmes) (1872-1962). Wife of Anson S. Blake (son of Charles and Harriet) of Oakland, Cal.

Box 1, folder 1. Letter received, 1938.

Blake, Edward F. (1837-1862). Son of Eli W. Blake 1st.

Box 1, folder 2. Copybooks of outgoing letters, 1857-1858 and 1858.

Mostly letters to friends Nelly Simpson, Maria Louisa Blake, and Carrie Champlin. Also a letter to U.S. senator James Dixon (1814-1873) supporting his stand on the Kansas question, 3/5/1858.

Blake, Eli W. 1st (1795-1886). Inventor and manufacturer of New Haven, Conn.

Box 1, folder 3. Yale diploma, 1819; genealogical letter received, 1885


Blake, Eli W. 2nd (1836-1895). Son of Eli 1st. His first wife was a sister of Rowland Hazard II's wife. He was named Hazard Professor of Physics at Brown University in 1870. Later, his niece Mary P. Bushnell married Rowland G. Hazard II.

Box 1, folder 4. Account book as trustee for estate of wife Helen M. (Rood) Blake, 1869-1895

Box 1, folder 5. Death certificate of infant child, 1869


Blake, Eli W. 3rd (1867-1902). Manager of the Providence Society for Organizing Charity. He was a first cousin of both Rowland G. Hazard II and his wife Mary P. Bushnell.

Box 1, folder 6. Letters to Annette Hain, 1893-1898. Cleverly illustrated, with detailed discussions of Providence social life and reactions to the Spanish-American War.

Blake, Elihu. Father of Eli 1st.

Box 1, folder 7. Copy of list of children, 1791-1811

                        Fragment of material from wedding vest, 1790

Blake, Harriet (Stiles) (1840-1928). Widow of Charles T. Blake, who was son of Eli 1st.

Box 1, folder 8. Letters received from sister-in-law Mary E. (Blake) Bushnell, 1896-1911

Box 1, folder 9. Letters from various family members, 1903-1922, including Dotha Bushnell, Ada (Blake) Hazard, Mary I. Merrill, Elizabeth "Lillie" (Kingsley) Blake, and Helen (Hazard) Bacon.

Blake, Henry T. (1828-1922). Son of Eli 1st. Married to Elizabeth C. (Kingsbury) Blake.

Box 1, folder 10. Letters received from sister Mary E. (Blake) Bushnell, 1903-1912

Bushnell, George (1816-1898). Husband of Mary E. (Blake) Bushnell. Of Beloit, Wisconsin.

Box 1, folder 11. Undated, unsigned sermon from Beloit.

Bushnell, Mary E. (Blake) (1828-1916). Daughter of Eli 1st, widow of George Bushnell.

Box 1, folder 12. Letter received from sister-in-law Elizabeth Blake, undated.

Hazard, Alida (Blake) (1861-1938). Daughter of Eli 2nd, wife of Barclay Hazard.

Box 1, folder 13. Letter rec'd, 1871, from "A.S.A."

Box 1, folder 14. Letters rec'd, 1874-1879, from aunts Henrietta McWhorter, Fanny Osborne

Box 1, folder 15. Letter rec'd, 1879, from father Eli W. Blake Jr.

Box 1, folder 16. Letters rec'd, 1881-1883, from father-in-law Thomas R. Hazard, etc.

Box 1, folder 17. Letters rec'd, 1903-1911, from aunt Mary E. (Blake) Bushnell

Box 1, folder 18. Letters rec'd, 1922-1931, from Caroline Hazard, etc.

Box 1, folder 19. Letters rec'd, 1935-1938, from Caroline Hazard, etc.

Box 1, folder 20. Family history, 10/1917. Three pages. Includes anecdotes re Margaret Gouverneur Schuyler and Uzal Ogden.

Box 1, folder 21. "Will You Subscribe to a Revolution?" [anti-Progressive pamphlet ca.1912]

Family papers

Box 1, folder 22. Poems about 16 family members, circa 1895

Box 1, folder 23. Family tree compiled circa 1980, with explanatory letter from donor, 1996, and genealogical notes, circa 1911.

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Bacon, Helen (Hazard) (1861-1925)

Blake, Eli W. 2nd (1836-1895)

Blake, Eli W. 3rd (1867-1902)

Blake, Harriet (Stiles) (1840-1928)

Bushnell, Dotha (1861-1921)

Bushnell, Mary E. (Blake) (1828-1916)

Connecticut - Social life and customs

Hain, Annette

Hazard, Alida (Blake) (1861-1938)

Hazard, Anna (1820-1905)

Hazard, Caroline (1856-1945)

Hazard, Thomas R. (1797-1886)

Hurricane of 1938

Merrill, Mary I. (1854-1933)

Progressive Party

Spanish-American War, 1898

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