Guide to the Collection

Collection Summary


This collection consists of papers of the Cutler family of Medway, Mass., as well as papers of the Thayer and Sanford families. The collection primarily includes family correspondence and travel diaries.

Biographical Sketch

Rev. Calvin Cutler, a Congregational minister of Medway, Mass., married Sarah Daniels Sanford (1838-1873), the daughter of Rev. David Harlan Sanford (1801-1875) and Sarah Parkhurst (Daniels) Sanford of Medway, in 1862. They had five children: Sanford Lyman (b. 1863), Mary Helen (b. 1865), Alice Daniels (b. 1869), Harriet Mabel (b. 1871), and Sarah Sanford Cutler (1873-1873).

Sanford Lyman Cutler married Emma Thayer, the daughter of Rev. Addison Parsons (b. 1814) and Lydia Sanford Partridge Thayer (b. 1830).

Collection Description

Papers of the Cutler family of Medway, Mass., in particular letters from Rev. Calvin Cutler to his wife Sarah Daniels Sanford Cutler; misc. poems and letters of Sarah Cutler; letters from Alice Daniels Cutler to her sister Mary Helen Cutler; and other misc. documents. Cutler family diaries include one kept by Sanford L. Cutler on a trip to England and Paris, 1 July - 27 Aug. 1885; an anonymous diary kept at Florida from 14-30 Apr. 1899; two diaries kept by Calvin Cutler in Europe from 20 May - 16 Aug. 1886; and two diaries kept by Harriet M. Cutler on a trip to Spain from 24 July 1892 - 24 March 1894. Also, papers of the interrelated Thayer and Sanford families, including letters from Lydia Partridge Sanford Thayer to her husband Addison P. Thayer and a few misc. letters of Rev. David Sanford.

Acquisition Information

The Cutler family papers were a gift of the estate of Helen E. Cutler, December 1989.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Cutler family history, [1936?]

Includes typescript transcriptions of family journal and notes, by Helen Eaton Cutler.

Box 1Folder 1

II. Cutler family papers, 1846-1904

Includes poems, most undated, and a few letters from Sarah Cutler to family members (1846-[1865]); 9 letters from Rev. Calvin Cutler to his wife Sarah (1871); 12 letters from Alice Daniels Cutler to her sister Mary Helen Cutler (1894-1896); a letter from Harriet M. Cutler to her mother Sarah (1894); and a few other misc. Cutler family documents.

Box 1Folder 2-6

III. Thayer family papers, 1849-1883

Includes 19 letters from Lydia Thayer of Medway to her husband Addison P. Thayer while he was in Chicago and Iowa (1856); a letter from Lydia Partridge (later Thayer) to her father Joel Partridge (1849); a partial typescript of a "Journal of a European trip made by Mr. Dean Walker and Addison P. Thayer," 2pp. (July 1851); and a letter from A. S. Thayer to his sister (1881).

Box 1Folder 7-10

IV. Sanford family papers, 1872

Includes 2 undated letters from David Sanford to (son-in-law?) E. Thompson; and a letter from David Sanford to daughter Sarah Cutler (1872).

Box 1Folder 11

V. Misc. documents, 1828, 1838

Includes a letter from John Codman of Second church of Dorchester to Mrs. Sarah Topliff, thanking her for a gift of a silver cup (1828); and a deed from Benjamin Ward to Christopher Slocum for land in Medway (1838).

Box 1Folder 12

VI. Diaries, 1885-1899

Includes diary and personal accounts of [Sanford Lyman Cutler?] on a trip to England and Paris, 1 July - 27 Aug. 1885, as well as an anonymous journal kept in Florida, 14-30 April 1899; diaries of Calvin Cutler on a trip to Europe, 20 May - 16 Aug. 1886 (2 vols.); and diaries of Harriet W. Cutler on a trip to Spain, 24 July 1892 - 24 March 1894 (2 vols.).

Box 1Folder 13-15

Preferred Citation

Cutler family papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.


Cutler, Alice Daniels, b. 1869.
Cutler, Calvin.
Cutler, Harriet Mabel, b. 1871.
Cutler, Mary Helen, b. 1865.
Cutler, Sanford Lyman, b. 1863.
Cutler, Sarah Daniels Sanford, 1838-1873.
Sanford, David Harlan, 1801-1875.
Thayer, Addison Parsons, b. 1814.
Thayer, Lydia Sanford Partridge, b. 1830.
Sanford family.
Thayer family.


Congregational churches--Clergy.
Voyages and travels--Diaries.
Women travelers--Diaries.
Family history--1850-1899.
England--Description and travel--1801-1900.
Europe--Description and travel--1800-1918.
Spain--Description and travel.
Women's diaries