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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 Ives-Gammell-Safe Papers

 Families of Providence, Newport, and Warwick, Rhode Island.

 Papers, circa 1800-1897.

 Size: 4 lin. ft.

 Catalog number: MSS 509

 Processed by: Robin P. Flynn, 1997

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            The Ives and Gammell families united with the marriage of Thomas Poynton Ives' granddaughter, Elizabeth Amory Ives, to William Gammell, in 1851. Their daughter, Harriet Ives Gammell, married Thomas Shaw Safe in the year 1900. Papers of several members from each family are present in this collection; the bulk is from the Ives family.

            Thomas Poynton Ives (1769-1835) was hired, at the age of thirteen, as a clerk for the mercantile trade firm of Nicholas Brown, eldest of the four famous Brown brothers of Providence. In 1791, upon the death of Nicholas Brown, Ives joined in partnership with Brown's son, Nicholas, thereby founding the famous Providence firm Brown & Ives. He married Hope Brown, sister of his partner, in 1792. Three of their children were: Charlotte Rhoda Ives, who married William Giles Goddard, in his youth a newspaper editor/owner and in later life, a professor at Brown University; Moses Brown Ives, who in addition to his business concerns at Brown & Ives, served as President of Providence Bank, as a trustee of Brown University, and as treasurer of Butler Hospital for the Insane; and Robert Hale Ives, who began his mercantile career with Brown & Ives in 1816, and became a partner in 1832. Robert Hale Ives was active in establishing both the Butler Hospital and Rhode Island Hospital, and was a trustee of Brown University for 45 years. In 1827, he married Harriet Bowen Amory.

            Robert Hale and Harriet (Amory) Ives had four children, only one of whom survived past the age of 30. Their first child died in infancy. One daughter, Harriet Bowen Ives, died of consumption in 1860, at the age of 28. A son, Robert Hale Ives, died in 1862 at age 25, of wounds suffered at the Battle of Antietam. Their eldest daughter, Elizabeth Amory Ives, united the Ives and Gammell families by marrying William Gammell in 1851, a man 18 years her senior. William, an 1831 graduate of Brown University, became Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature at the school in 1835, and was elevated to Professor of the department in 1836 upon the resignation of William Giles Goddard (husband of his wife's aunt, Charlotte Rhoda Ives). In 1851, the year of his marriage to Elizabeth Ives, he took over professorship of the new department of History and Political Economy at Brown; he remained in that position until his resignation in 1864. He also served as President of the Rhode Island Historical Society for several years in the 1880s. William and Elizabeth (Ives) Gammell had six children, three sons and three daughters. One daughter, Harriet Ives Gammell, married Thomas Shaw Safe.


Rogers, L. E., ed. The Biographical Cyclopedia of Rhode Island (Providence, National Bio-

            graphical Publishing Company, 1881).

Goddard, K. The Chad Brown Workbook, 2nd ed. (Providence, The Rhode Island Historical             Society, 1987).

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Scope and content:

            The papers consist of correspondence, diaries, social invitations, account books, and miscellaneous items from the Ives, Gammell, and Safe families. The bulk of the material is from the Ives family, and chronicles many years in the lives of Robert Hale Ives, Sr.(1798-1875), his wife, Harriet Bowen (Amory) Ives (1803-1868), and their children: Elizabeth Amory (Ives) Gammell (1830-1897), Harriet Bowen Ives (or, "Hally") (1832-1860), and Robert Hale Ives, Jr. (1837-1862).

            Also represented in the collection are: Thomas Poynton Ives (1769-1835), his wife, Hope (Brown) Ives (1773-1855), and their children, Charlotte Rhoda Ives (1792-1881), Moses Brown Ives (1794-1857), and Robert Hale Ives (Sr.; mentioned above); William Gammell (1812-1889), husband of Elizabeth Amory (Ives) Gammell; and three of Elizabeth and William's children, Robert Ives Gammell (1864-1932), Arthur Amory Gammell (1862-1887) and Harriet Ives Gammell (1864-1932). Additionally, the collection contains eight poetry notebooks from James William Safe, whose relation to Harriet's husband is unknown.

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            Several items in the collection were gifts from the Safe family and other donors. However, the provenance of the bulk of the papers is not known. The items that can be traced by donor and year are:  

            Letter from Moses B. Ives, gift of Mrs. Robert Rogers, 1886

            Letter: R. H. Ives to Francis Stead (12/18/1844), gift of Francis Stead, 1887

            "Autographs of Elton, Gammell, etc.", gift of C. S. Bridgham, 1900 

            Diaries of R.H. Ives, 1857-1865, gift of Mrs. Kenneth Shaw Safe, 1945

            Will of R.H. Ives; will of Elizabeth A. I. Gammell; inventory of John Brown House,                         gift of Kenneth Shaw Safe, 1948

            Gammell (Ives?) genealogical notes, anonymous donor, 1948

            Diary of R.H. Ives, Jr., Jan.-Sept. 1862, gift of Mrs. Kenneth Shaw Safe, 1961

            Copy book, R.H. Ives, Jr. (1857), gift of Mrs. Curtis Brooks, 1970

Three letters, Nicholas Brown to sister Hope Ives, gift of Eleanor Washburn, 1982

            Three letters to Charlotte R. Ives, 1809-1818, purchased from Russell Koza, 1998.

            Letter, R.H. Ives Jr. to Elizabeth A. Ives, 1849, purchased from Paper Trails, 1999

            Four Anne A. (Dorr) Ives items, transferred from Museum Department, 1999

            Six letters address to William Gammell, President of the Rhode Island Historical Society, transferred from the printed collection, 2000.

            Photocopy of William Gammell diary, gift of Helena Hope Gammell, 2001

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Processing note:

            Much of the correspondence was removed from flat, acidic boxes to upright archival boxes, and rehoused in acid-free folders. Much of the loose correspondence from Harriet Bowen Ives and some from her father, Robert Hale Ives (Sr.), is in the form of copies of the original letters. It is evident from notes found in the collection that the letters were copied by

H. C. Potter and an "S. A. B.", acquaintances of the Ives family. There may also have been a third copier. In several cases, multiple copies of a single letter were found; these are filed separately, labeled as "manuscript duplicates."

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Thomas Poynton Ives.

Box 1, folder 1. Correspondence to, 1800-1824.

Box 1, folder 2. Estate of Thomas Bancroft of Salem, Mass., "in a/c with Brown & Ives", Oct.             7, 1813.

Hope (Brown) Ives.

Box 1, folder 3. Two letters to aunt, 1835; three undated letters from brother Nicholas Brown.

Box 1, folder 4. Medical history of Hope Brown Ives' illness, Dec. 29, 1834.

Box 1, folder 5. Christmas note to unknown recipient, undated.

Charlotte Rhoda Ives.

Box 1, folder 6. Correspondence to, 1809-1823.

Moses Brown Ives.

Box 1, folder 7. Letter from Robert Hale Ives (Sr.), Mar. 17, 1824.

Box 1, folder 8. Letter to Mrs. Peddy Brown re: establishment of Asylum for the Insane, Sept.             23, 1844.

Anne Allen (Dorr) Ives

Box 1, folder 9. Correspondence, 1844-1865 and undated:

            Letter from E.J. Mallett, Aug. 21 1844

Letters to from E. I. Russell referencing marriage of Hope Ives to Henry G. Russell, Feb. 1 and 13, 1864. (Letters are presumed to be to Anne Ives.)

            Note re death of son Thomas P. Ives, 1865

            Letter from sister Candace C. Dorr re cabinet, undated

            Letter from N. Phillip, undated

Eliza Ives.

Box 1, folder 10. School workbook, 1807.

Robert Hale Ives, Sr. and Harriet Bowen (Amory) Ives.

Box 1, folder 11. Correspondence to Robert Hale Ives, Sr., 1824-1867.

Box 1, folder 12. Account of sickness and death of Mrs. Lucy S. Wayland (by Harriet Amory             Ives?), 1834

Box 1, folder 13. Correspondence to Harriet (Amory) Ives,1839-1858, 1867, and undated.

Box 1, folder 14. Condolence letters to Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Ives on death of Harriet Bowen Ives,             1860-1861.

Box 1, folder 15. Correspondence to Robert Hale Ives, Sr., and Harriet (Amory) Ives, 1860-            1865.

Box 1, folder 16. Telegraphs to Mrs. R. H. Ives re: Robert Hale Ives, Jr., Sept. 23-Oct. 1, 1862.

Box 1, folder 17. Condolence letters to Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Ives on death of Robert Hale Ives,             Jr., 1862-1863.

Box 1, folder 18. Letter to W. Hayes, Feb. 12, 1872; and undated note to Col. Halsey, from             RHI, Sr.

Box 1, folder 19. Correspondence from Harriet (Amory) Ives?, undated.

Box 1, folder 20. Prayers, RHI, Sr., undated.

Box 1, folder 21. Miscellaneous document concerning RHI's commencement at Brown Univ.,             undated.

Box 2. Diaries, Robert Hale Ives, 1857-1875.

Box 3, folders 1-6. Social invitations, acknowledgments, and visiting cards, Robert Hale Ives,             undated (circa 1870s?).

Box 4, folder 1. Letters concerning construction of Wayland Building, 1872-1874.

Box 4, folder 2. Will, RHI, Dec. 10, 1874.

Box 4, folder 3. Account books, R. H. Ives farm (Potowomut), 1864-1895.

Harriet Bowen Ives.

Box 4, folder 3a. Diaries, 1858 and 1860

Box 4, folder 4. Correspondence to, 1848-1860.

Box 4, folder 5. Correspondence from HBI to Emily (Howland) Chauncey, 1848-1860.

Box 4, folder 6. Correspondence from HBI, 1847-1860 and undated.

Box 4, folder 7 and 8. Bible notes, undated, probably HBI.

Box 4, folder 9. Memorials to, 1860.

Box 4, folder 10. Duplicate manuscript copies of letters sent by HBI.

Robert Hale Ives, Jr.

Box 4, folder 11. Correspondence to, 1847-1849, 1856.

Box 4, folder 12. Correspondence from, 1851-1862 and undated.

Box 5, folder 1. Copybook, notes on the English constitution by Prof. Wm. Gammell, 1857.

Box 5, folder 2. Diary, "Providence to Halifax", Oct. 4-15, 1859.

Box 5, folder 3. Military appointment to Col. Rodman's staff, Aug. 19, 1862.

Box 5, folder 4. Diary, Jan. - Sept., 1862.

Box 5, folder 5. Memorials to, 1862.

Box 5, folder 6. Reports on Battle of Antietam, Sept. 23, 1862 (by J. D. Cox) and Sept. 30,             1862 (by Ambrose E. Burnside).

Ives Family.

Box 5, folder 7. Genealogy notes.

Box 5, folder 8. Unidentified correspondence.

William Gammell and Elizabeth Amory (Ives) Gammell.

Box 5, folder 9. Correspondence to Elizabeth A. I. Gammell, 1842-1860, 1871-1873, and 1880.

Box 5, folder 10. Commonplace book kept by Elizabeth A. I. Gammell, c. 1847-1860.

Box 5, folder 11. Diary of EAIG, 1851-1852

Box 5, folder 12. Menu book, EAIG, 1880-1894.

Box 6, folder 1. Account books, EAIG, 1880-1897.

Box 6, folder 2. EAIG address book, 1890.

Box 6, folder 3. Will, EAIG, Nov. 4, 1896.

Box 6, folder 4. Correspondence to William Gammell, 1871-1889

Robert Ives Gammell.

Box 6, folder 5. Letters, E. Bach to R. I. Gammell, May 8 and 9, 1883.

Box 6, folder 6. Letter from Elizabeth A. I. Gammell? to Robert I. Gammell?, undated.

Box 6, folder 7. Inventory of John Brown House by R. I. Gammell and Wm. Gammell, Aug. 27,             1897.

Arthur Amory Gammell.

Box 6, folder 8. Letter book, 1877-1878.

Box 6, folder 9. Correspondence to, 1882-1885 and undated.

Box 6, folder 10. Receipts, 1880-1884.

Box 6, folder 11. Letter book, 1885.

William Gammell (1885-1980)

Loose volume. Photocopy of typescript of diary kept from 7/1/1908 to 6/14/1909 while traveling in Japan, Burma, China, India, Egypt, and two months in Europe.

Harriet Gammell Safe.

Box 6, folder 12. Social planner and menu book, c. 1893 (assumed to belong to HGS).

Box 6, folder 13. Menu book, HGS ?, 1904.

Box 6, folder 14. Loose menus, c.1910/1912.

Box 7, folder 1. Menu book, 1914 (assumed to belong to HGS).

Box 7, folder 2. Menu books, c. 1916 and undated.

Box 7, folder 3. Invitation register, undated.

Box 7, folder 4. Address books, undated.

Box 7, folder 5. Social planning book (assumed to belong to HGS), undated.

Box 7, folder 6. Guest/address books (assumed to belong to HGS), undated.

Box 7, folder 7. Loose address list, typed, undated (assumed to belong to HGS).

Box 8, folder 1. Address/social list notebook, undated (assumed to belong to HGS).

Box 8, folder 2. Address book, undated, owner unknown.

Thomas S. Safe

Box 8, folder 3. Patent, Harford W. H. Powel and T. S. Safe for "devices for clearing obstructions from the paths of vehicles", 1909.

James William Safe

Box 8, folders 4-9. Poetry notebooks and loose poetry.

Box 8, folder 10. Miscellaneous document, typewritten biographical notes on Arthur Lee


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Antietam, Battle of, Md., 1862

Asia - Description and travel

Blackstone, William (1595-1675)

Brown, John Carter (1797-1874??)

Brown, Nicholas (1769-1841)

Burnside, Ambrose E. (1824-1881)

Diaries - 1908-1909

Dorr, Thomas Wilson (1805-1854)

Europe - Description nad travel

Fires - Providence

Gammell, Arthur Amory (1862-1887)

Gammell, Elizabeth Amory (Ives) (1830-1897)

Gammell, Robert Ives (1852-1915)

Gammell, William (1812-1899)

Gammell, William (1885-1980)

Gammell Family

Hope Mill - Rhode Island

Huguenots - Rhode Island

Ives, Anne Allen (Dorr) (1810-1884)

Ives, Charlotte Rhoda (1792-1881)

Ives, Harriet Bowen (Amory) (1803-1868)

Ives, Harriet Bowen (1832-1860)

Ives, Hope (Brown) (1773-1855)

Ives, Moses Brown (1794-1857)

Ives, Robert Hale (1798-1875)

Ives, Robert Hale Jr. (1837-1862)

Ives, Thomas Poynton (1769-1835)

Ives Family

Jenkins, Anna (1790-1849)

Jenkins, Sarah (1827-1849)


Rhode Island - Religious life

Rhode Island - Social life and customs

Safe, Harriet Ives (Gammell) (1864-1932)

Safe, James William (dates unknown)

Safe, Thomas Shaw (dates unknown)

Sprague, William (1830-1915)

Stevens, B.F.

Wayland Building - Providence

Women - Education - Rhode Island

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