Hudson Family Papers, 1663-1942 (Bulk 1851-1938)

Carte de visite of Frederic Hudson by Brady.
Frederic Hudson, from Carte de visite by Brady.

Vault A45, Hudson, Unit 1

SIZE AND PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 20 linear feet (6 containers)

ORGANIZATION: Organized into three series: I. Frederic Hudson, 1835-1932; II. Woodward and Bessie Hudson, 1861-1938. Subseries A. Woodward Hudson, 1874-1938; Subseries B. Bessie Keyes Hudson, 1861-1935; III. Genealogy, Family Papers and Photographs 1663-1942. Subseries A. Genealogy, 1832-1935; Subseries B. Family Papers, 1663-[1926]; Subseries C. Photographs, [1846-1935]

FAMILY HISTORY: Daniel Hudson came to America from England in 1640 and lived in Watertown. Between 1643-1651, Daniel settled in Lancaster, Massachusetts. In 1676, Indian attacks forced the settlers to seek shelter in Concord. In 1679, Daniel returned to Lancaster to help rebuild the settlement. On September 22, 1697, Indians attacked Lancaster, killing at least nineteen people, including Daniel Hudson, his wife, Joanna, two of his daughters, and two grandchildren. Daniel's son Daniel, a direct ancestor of Frederic Hudson, is assumed to have remained in Concord following the 1676 Indian attack. Daniel and Joanna Hudson had eleven children. In the seventh generation, Frederic Hudson was born in Quincy. He had close family ties in Concord. Frederic's three aunts -- Lucy Buttrick (Mrs. Jonas), Matilda Farrar (Mrs. Timothy) and Susan Barrett (Mrs. Samuel) -- lived in Concord. Woodward Hudson was in the eighth generation, Marion Hudson Wilmot (Woodward's daughter) in the ninth. Marion did not have any children.


A. Frederic Hudson (1819-1875) was a prominent figure in 19th century journalism. For many years he served as managing editor of the New York Herald. He was one of the founding members of the Associated Press. Upon his retirement from the New York Herald, Frederic Hudson wrote the History of Journalism in America from 1690-1872. The 800 page volume covered journalism from the earliest period in America and included Hudson’s own personal experiences and anecdotes.

He was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, the youngest child of Barzillai and Rebecca Eaton Hudson. He was educated in Boston and Concord. In 1830 he graduated from the Mayhew School in Boston. When Frederic was fifteen, his father relocated to Concord.

At the age of seventeen, Frederic joined his two older brothers in New York City. He worked on a short-lived paper called The Express and then served as a clerk for the city.

In 1837, Frederic began working for The New York Herald, a paper established in 1835 by James Gordon Bennett, Sr. He began as the ship news and foreign news collector and worked his way up to managing editor. Hudson acted as managing editor as early as 1846, while Bennett was away. Hudson was able to secure information well ahead of the local newspapers and government by establishing a system of expresses and agreements with papers and telegraph wires in other locations. He worked for the Herald, with the exception of six months, until his retirement in 1866. For six months in 1838, he worked for Horace Greeley.

In 1848-9, the Associated Press was established by New York papers as a way to coordinate shipping news. In a tribute to Frederic Hudson that appeared on October 22,1875, The Herald wrote " those early days the control of the association fell naturally into the hands of Mr. Hudson and the late Mr. Henry J. Raymond, and they together laid the foundation for the success afterward attained when the telegraph necessitated a consolidation of interests." At the time of his retirement, Frederic Hudson had served for fifteen years as the Herald’s representative and a member of its executive committee.

Frederic Hudson's wife, Eliza Woodward, had been born in Concord. Throughout his working years, Hudson periodically returned to Concord to visit. Upon retirement, he returned to Concord to live. In Concord, Frederic wrote History of Journalism in America from 1690-1872. In 1875 he wrote "The History of the Concord Fight" published by Harper's Magazine for the 100th anniversary celebration of April 19, 1775. He was involved with the management of the Concord Free Public Library from its incorporation in 1873, serving as chairman of the library committee from 1873-75. At the time of his death he was writing a portion of a new town history.

Frederic Hudson died from injuries sustained in a train accident on October 21, 1875. The carriage he was riding in, driven by Judge (John) S. Keyes, was struck by railroad cars. The custom was to separate the engines from the cars just before railroad crossing. The engine would go ahead to a sidetrack, the cars would go into the station. As Keyes approached the crossing, the engine had passed. A flagman tried to warn them of the cars following but Judge Keyes proceeded to drive onto the tracks. One of the wheels was struck by a railroad car, Judge Keyes was thrown from the carriage and suffered minor injuries. Frederic Hudson was dragged in the carriage about twenty feet and down an embankment. He died twelve hours later of internal injuries. The tragedy of his death spread quickly and numerous press notices were published. The press notices portrayed a well-liked, respected man who died before his time. He left behind his wife, Eliza, and son, Woodward.

B. Eliza Woodward Hudson (1818-1876), wife of Frederic Hudson, was born in Concord, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of lawyer Ebenezer Woodward and his second wife, Persis Davis Woodward. Ebenezer Woodward had first married Delia Adams of Lincoln. They had a son, Dr. Ebenezer Woodward (1798-1869), a well-respected physician in Quincy, Massachusetts. He began practicing medicine in 1823 and was Quincy's leading physician until his death. Having no children of his own, Dr. Woodward was very close to Frederic, Eliza, and Woodward Hudson.

Upon the death of his first wife, the elder Ebenezer Woodward married Eliza's mother, Persis Davis, widow of Jonathan Hubbard Davis. Persis had three daughters and one son from her first marriage. The Davis family materials in this collection contain information about the Davis children.

Prior to marrying Frederic, Eliza was a schoolteacher. The couple married in May, 1844. Their son, Woodward, was born in 1858. In her later years, Eliza suffered from fragile health. Frederic retired early in 1866 to care for her. She died within a year of Frederic's accident. Woodward was their only child.

C. Woodward Hudson (1858-1938) son of Frederic and Eliza Woodward Hudson spent most of his career as a railroad lawyer. He received both his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University (1879 and 1882). Throughout his life Woodward, remained involved the activities of the Harvard Class of 1879.

He began his career working for the firm Ropes, Gray and Loring for one year. From 1885-87, he formed the partnership Parker, Thorp, Hudson with classmates Joseph G. Thorp and Edmund M. Parker. In October, 1887, Hudson became the Assistant Counsel to the Boston & Albany Railroad Company. Samuel Hoar, of Concord, served as the General Counsel. In October, 1899, the Boston & Albany railroad franchises and property were taken over by the New York Central and Hudson Railroad Company. The New York Central retained Samuel Hoar and Woodward Hudson as counsel. Upon the death of Samuel Hoar in 1904, Woodward became the head of the law department, remaining in that position until 1916 when he became the Vice-President and General Counsel of the Boston & Maine Railroad. He retired on March 31, 1925.

Both Woodward and Frederic showed interest in family history, as demonstrated by the genealogical notebook located in Series III. Subseries A. Genealogy. The collection represents Woodward's efforts to record family history. Woodward added notes and articles to materials in his father's papers (now located in the Frederic Hudson series). Examples include Frederic's copy of "The Concord Fight" and Frederic's newspaper clipping journal. Woodward also accumulated information from his father's papers into Fragmented Chronicles of Frederic & Eliza Hudson, 1817-1876 With Some Earlier Family History. This chronicle includes a family tree and information on Dr. Ebenezer Woodward.

Woodward died in 1938. His wife, Bessie, and daughter, Marion Hudson Wilmot, survived him.

D. Bessie Keyes Hudson (1857-1942), wife of Woodward Hudson came from a distinguished family in Concord. She was the daughter of George and Mary Brown Keyes and granddaughter of Simon and Ann Caroline French Brown. Simon Brown served as Lt. Governor of Massachusetts from 1855-6 and as the Concord representative in the Massachusetts legislature of 1859-60. Ann Caroline Brown was the aunt of Daniel Chester French. Bessie's uncle was John Shepard Keyes, a lawyer, Massachusetts state senator, Sheriff of Middlesex County, and District Court Judge.

Woodward and Bessie married in 1880. With the exception of the two years abroad, they lived in Concord. They had two children, Frederic and Mary, who died in infancy, and had one daughter, Marion Hudson Wilmot who survived them. Bessie died in 1942.

SCOPE AND CONTENT: Papers include: Diaries (1851-1870) and correspondence (1835-1875) of Frederic Hudson, Frederic's personal copy of "The Concord Fight," his newspaper collection (1835-1875), a newspaper clipping journal (1846-1930) with newspaper articles that were collected by him and articles about him that Woodward (in all likelihood) put together. The diaries do not cover a consecutive span. Frederic's correspondence includes a letter from Sam Sinclair offering Frederic a job as the London agent for the Associated Press. The newspaper clippings journal has a copy of a letter, dated October 15, 1852, that gave Power of Attorney of the Herald to Frederic Hudson in the absence of James Gordon Bennett; an interview with Hudson in Concord, articles about the Herald, the origin and resolutions of the Associated Press and numerous obituaries and tributes written about Frederic Hudson. Woodward Hudson papers include: diaries (1882-1916), correspondence (1882-1929), Harvard Class of 1879 materials (1879-1930), career papers (1904-1935), Social Circle memoirs (1919-1938), and a scrapbook (1874-1915). Two of the diaries (1878 and 1877) Woodward wrote on vacations to Lake Winnipeasaukee, Mt. Monadnock, and to Lake George, New York. The other two diaries (1885-1926, 1882-1916) offer brief entries. The Social Circle memoirs of Woodward Hudson contain correspondence and typescripts of memoirs written by Woodward and about Woodward. Woodward wrote memoirs for Francis Augustine Houston (1858-1919) and William Wheeler (1851-1932). Official notices, a telegram, and one handwritten note marking appointments and resignations are located in Career papers. Woodward's scrapbook has memorabilia/ephemera from events that took place in Concord and sporting events that involved Harvard University teams. Bessie Keyes Hudson papers include articles and memoirs (1900-1936), diaries, correspondence and poem (1861-1935). Articles include published materials that appeared in The Concord Journal and New England Magazine, and unpublished materials. Her unpublished work, "Memories of Mrs. E.R. Hoar (Caroline Brooks) 1820-1892" offers rare insight into the life of Caroline Brooks Hoar. Letters dating 1882-1884 between Bessie and her father are located in a correspondence. The letters were written when Bessie and Woodward travelled throughout Europe. Located with the letters is a Cunard Steam Ship Company brochure of the R.M.S. Pavonia. The brochure, dated May 28,1884, lists the passengers aboard its Liverpool to Boston trip. An interior diagram of the Cephalonia and Pavonia with Bessie and Woodward's cabin marked is also included with the correspondence. Genealogy materials include correspondence (1920-1934), a family record book (1862) with entries added until the early 1900's, a notebook kept by Frederic and Woodward Hudson (N.D.), Eaton family materials, (1932-1935), Davis family materials, (1893-1935), Simon Brown ancestry work, (1832, 1932-1933, plus undated) and miscellaneous family papers, (1902-1933). A transcript of a diary entry written by Simon Brown in 1837 can be found with the Brown materials. Newspaper clippings, such as obituaries, can be found throughout that series. Family papers (1663-[1926]), include photocopies of wills, inventory of estates, probate papers and deeds. The series of photographs [1846-1935] include portraits of Hudson and Keyes family members and places associated with them.

SOURCE OF ACQUISITION: Gift of Marion Hudson Wilmot.

PROCESSED BY: mk, Simmons College intern, May 2, 2000.  

Container List

1 Unfoldered Diaries, 1851-1870:
    Volume 1 - 1851
    Volume 2 - 1853
    Volume 3 - 1854
    Volume 4 - 1855
    Volume 5 - 1861
    Volume 6 - 1866
    Volume 7 - 1867
    Volume 8 - 1868
    Volume 9 - 1869
    Volume 10 - 1870
    Volume 11 - 1871
    Volume 12 - 1872
    Volume 13 - 1873
    Volume 14 - 1874
    Volume 15 - 1875
  1 Correspondence, 1835-1875:
1835 Aug. 26 Abby Tolman to Eliza Woodward
1844 Jan. 3 Frederic Hudson to Samuel Barrett
1856 Latin verse - J.B. Greenough
1865 Apr. 30 David D. Porter to Frederic Hudson
1865 Jul. 26 Frederic Hudson to Woodward Hudson
N.D. Frederic Hudson to Mr. Keyes
1865 May 29 Asa D. Smith (Dartmouth College) 
     to Dr. Ebenezer Woodward
1867 Dec. 24 Sam Sinclair to Frederic Hudson
1872 May Frederic Hudson to Woodward Hudson
1875 Sept. 30 Frederic Hudson to Admiral David Porter
1875 Oct. 21 David Porter to Frederic Hudson
1875 Oct. 22 R.W. Shufeldt to David Porter
  2 "The Concord Fight," 1875, notes added until 1932
  Unfoldered Newspaper clipping journal, 1846-1930
    (OVERSIZE 1) Newspaper collection, 1835-1875 
1835 Nov. 30 New York Herald
1865 Apr. 15 New York Herald
1875 Apr. 19 New York Herald (two copies)
1875 Apr. 19 Concord Freeman
1876 Jul. 6 Boston Daily Advertiser
  3 Fragmented Chronicles of Frederic & Eliza Hudson, 1817-1876 With Some Earlier Family History [diary selections transcript] 1932 (see Woodward's biography).
  4 [Diary selections] of Frederic and Eliza Hudson, transcript, 1932
  5 [Diary selections] of Frederic and Eliza Hudson, transcript, 1932
  6 Ephemera, 1855
 Box Folder  SERIES II. Woodward and Bessie Hudson, 1861-1938
         Subseries A. Woodward Hudson, 1874-1938
3 Unfoldered Diaries, 1882-1916:
    Volume 1, 1877
    Volume 2, 1878
    Volume 3, 1885-1926
    Volume 4, 1882-1916
2 1 Correspondence, 1882-1929:
1882 Nov. 14 Charles McLaren to Woodward Hudson
1884 Nov. 19 Charles H. Walcott to Woodward Hudson
1891 Oct. 14 William Barrett to Woodward Hudson
1893 Sept. 28 Henry F. Smith to Woodward Hudson
1894 Aug. 25 Samuel Hoar to Woodward Hudson
1894 Aug. 27 E.R. Hoar to Woodward Hudson
1904 Apr. 15 Mary Munroe to Woodward Hudson
[1904] Oct. 8 Annie Emerson to Woodward Hudson
1906 Jan. 14 James L. Whitney to Woodward Hudson
1906 Jan. 14 Annie Emerson to Woodward Hudson
1906 Mar. 11 Rockwood Hoar to Woodward Hudson
1909 Jun. 7 Samuel Hoar to Woodward Hudson
1909 Nov. 21 Samuel Hoar to Woodward Hudson
1910 Jun. 2 Woodward Hudson to Hon. George A. King
1911 Apr. 28 Woodward Hudson to Prescott Keyes
1917 Oct. 10 Woodward Hudson to Charles R. Brown 
1917 Oct. 17 Charles E. Brom to Woodward Hudson
1925 Mar. 27, Joseph Sargent, Attorney General, 
Washington, D.C., to Woodward Hudson
1929 Jan. 23 Joseph Sargent to Woodward Hudson
N.D. Oct. 17 Edward Emerson to Woodward Hudson
2 2 Harvard Class of 1879 materials, 1879-1920 (annotated 1930)
    (OVERSIZE 2) 1. Memoir of a Graduating Senior, photostat (negative) of 1879 paper made in 1926 
  3 (OVERSIZE 2) 2. Diplomas, awards, documents, 1879-1928. 
  4 Career papers, 1904-1935
  5 Social Circle memoirs, 1919-1938
    (OVERSIZE 2) Scrapbook, 1874-1915 
         Subseries B. Bessie Keyes Hudson, 1861-1935
2 6 Articles and memoirs, 1900-1936:
1900 Mar. "The Rome of Tacitus," New England 
Magazine, p. 21-31

1903 Sept. "An Afternoon Drive," The Delineator
p. 321-3

1909 "Memories of Mrs. E.R. Hoar (Caroline 
Brooks) 1820-1892" (unpublished)
1930 Apr./May "The Wright Tavern," The Concord Journal
1930 Jul. "The Hundredth Anniversary of 1775," 
The Concord Journal
1932 Mar. "The Religious Viewpoint of Louisa M. 
Alcott," The Concord Journal
1934 Aug. "Jessica Pratt, an appreciation," The Concord
1935 Feb. "Harriet Pelton Rood," The Concord Journal
1936 Feb. "Century of Concord Homes" (transcript)
N.D. Photograph by James H. Tolman of Mrs. 
Woodward Hudson, Miss Rebekah M. 
Briggs and Mrs. Hans Miller in front of the 
Alcott House

3 Unfoldered Diaries, correspondence, poem, 1861-1935
 Box Folder Series III. Genealogy, Family Papers, and Photographs 1663-1942
         Subseries A. Genealogy, 1832-1935
2 7 Correspondence, 1920-1934
  8 Hudson family, [1879-1926]
  Unfoldered Genealogical notebook of Frederic and Woodward Hudson, N.D.
  Unfoldered Family record book, 1862 (entries added until the early 1900's).
  9 Eaton family, 1932-1935
  10 Davis family, 1893-1935 
  11 Simon Brown ancestry work, 1832, 1932-1933, plus undated
  12 Miscellaneous family papers, 1902-1933
         Subseries B. Family Papers, 1663- [1926]
  13 Transcript of deeds of Daniel Hudson, 1663-1687 (1926)
  14 Photocopies of probate papers - Estate of Daniell Huttson, 1695-1697 (1926)
  15 (OVERSIZE 2) Commission of Barzaillai Hudson - 1813, 1816 
    (OVERSIZE 2) Deed of Joseph Joy to Frederic Hudson, 1856 
  16 Frederic and Eliza Hudson estates, 1871-1892
  17 Woodward family wills and inventory of estates - 1713-1803 (1932)
  18 The estate of Mary E. Keyes (Mrs. George), undated
  19 (OVERSIZE 2) Deeds in Concord, Massachusetts. 
         Subseries C. Photographs, [1846-1935]
4 Unfoldered           1. Frederic Hudson Family, [1846-1868]:
    Birthplace of Frederic Hudson, 1856
    Frederic and Eliza Hudson (in box), 1846 
    Frederic Hudson, N.D.
    Frederic Hudson, 1861
    Frederic Hudson, 1866
    Frederic Hudson, [1868]
    Eliza Hudson, N.D.
    Eliza Hudson, 1861
    Eliza Hudson, 1863
    Postcard of NYC house, N.D.
    Birthplace of Woodward Hudson, NYC, N.D.
    Young Woodward Hudson, N.D.
    Dr. Ebenezer Woodward, N.D.
              2. Woodward Hudson Family, [1888-1935]:
    Woodward Hudson, 1888
    Bessie Keyes, 1888
    Bessie Keyes Hudson, 1900
    Woodward and Bessie Hudson, N.D.
    Marion Hudson with Mrs. Simon Brown (Ann Caroline 
French Brown), 1897
    Marion Hudson (& doll "Emma Rose"), 1898
    Marion Hudson, 1903
    Jeannette Sohier, Bessie Keyes Hudson, Marion Hudson 
Wilmot, Lucy [unknown], [1925]
    Unknown, Sallie Bartlett, Marion Keyes Wilmot, Bessie 
Keyes Hudson, 1925
    Hudson graves, 1925
    Woodward graves, 1927
    Brown and French lots, 1935
    The following photos are mounted on posterboard:
Birthplace of Frederic Hudson, Eliza Woodward, 
Woodward Hudson, Bessie Keyes, Marion Hudson, 
two copies, N.D.
    Woodward Hudson, Lake George vacation, 1878
    Frederic and Woodward House, plus second unidentified 
house in Concord, Massachusetts, N.D. 
    Woodward Hudson house on Main St., Concord, 1893
    Woodward Hudson house, south and rear view, 1893
    Woodward Hudson house, southeast view, 1893
    Woodward Hudson house, library and dining room interior, 
              3. Keyes Family, [1852-1900]:
    Helen Maria Maynard (Mrs. Joseph Keyes), 1852
    Joseph Keyes, 1852
    Joseph B. Keyes (1829-1870), as child, N.D.
    John Shepard Keyes, N.D. 
    Alice M. Keyes (Mrs. George), N.D.
    Bessie Keyes, as child, N.D.
    Bessie Keyes (child) and father, George Keyes, 2 copies, 
    Unidentified Keyes, N.D.
    George & Arthur Keyes, age 5 yrs, son of George Keyes, 
    Ellen Emerson, 1897 (daughter of Dr. Edward Emerson)
    Margaret French, 1890 (daughter of Daniel Chester French)
    Marion Keyes & dog, N.D.
    Marion B. Keyes, 1900
    The following are mounted on posterboard:
--George Keyes family vacation, Monadnoc Mountain, 1879
"River Cottage," Liberty Street, Concord, Massachusetts,
--George Keyes family, 2 photos, one is at a tennis party and 
one is in front of Frederic Hudson house, 1882
--Keyes family, Concord, Massachusetts - "Gibraltar," 
Martha's Point, Egg Rock, Hemlocks, 188

c2002-c2006 Concord Free Public Library. Not to be reproduced in any form without permission from the Library.

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