COLLECTION GUIDES

1785-1980

Guide to the Collection

Restrictions on Access

The John Appleton Knowles family papers are stored offsite and must be requested at least two business days in advance via Portal1791. Researchers needing more than six items from offsite storage should provide additional advance notice. If you have questions about requesting materials from offsite storage, please contact the reference desk at 617-646-0532 or reference@masshist.org.


Collection Summary

Abstract

This collection consists of the papers of John Appleton Knowles of Boston, Dedham, and Cohasset, Mass., primarily diaries, 1902-1903, 1917-1918, 1920-1949.

Collection Description

This collection consists of the papers of John Appleton Knowles of Boston, Dedham, and Cohasset, Mass., primarily diaries, 1902-1903, 1917-1918, 1920-1949. The first two diaries contain entries about Knowles' studies at Harvard (Class of 1903), athletics, and social activities, including Hasty Pudding shows and dates with Agnes Lincoln (later Dean) and others, as well as entries related to Knowles family matters. Diaries beginning in 1917 discuss Knowles' work as a director for the St. Croix Paper Co. and other business and financial matters; his separation and divorce from his first wife Anna (Clement) Knowles (later Dowd); visits with his sons John and Robert; events leading to World War I; his service during World War I as captain in the Officers' Reserve Corps, including training at Forts McPherson and Oglethorpe, Ga., and combat in France with Company A, 326th Infantry, 82nd Division; and injuries sustained in a gas attack and his recuperation at the hospital. Entries also describe parties, dinners, dances, movies, plays, and other social activities; membership in clubs such as the Harvard Club, Dedham Country and Polo Club, and others; attendance at athletic events; visits with his sisters Harriette and Leslie and their families; health matters, including his struggle to give up alcohol; marriage to his second wife Nancy Boyle; and news of World War II, including air raids and rationing.

The collection also contains a scrapbook of clippings, correspondence, photographs, ephemera, etc., primarily related to Harvard athletics, 1897-1920; an inventory of Knowles' estate, 1912; a volume of accounts of his great-grandfather Capt. William Appleton related to the ship Hamilton, 1829-1830; and miscellaneous Knowles and Appleton family papers, including genealogies and a few family letters.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Gretchen Conklin, November 2017.

Restrictions on Access

The John Appleton Knowles family papers are stored offsite and must be requested at least two business days in advance via Portal1791. Researchers needing more than six items from offsite storage should provide additional advance notice. If you have questions about requesting materials from offsite storage, please contact the reference desk at 617-646-0532 or reference@masshist.org.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. John Appleton Knowles volumes, 1902-1949

Box 1SH 19G2 U
Diaries, 1902, 1903, 1917, 1918, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926
Box 2SH 19G3 V
Diaries, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936
Box 3SH 19G4 W
Diaries, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946
Box 4SH 19G5 X
Diaries, 1947, 1948, 1949
Box 5SH 19G6 Y
Scrapbook, 1897-1920
Box 5SH 19G6 Y
Inventory of property, 1912

II. Knowles and Appleton family papers, 1785-1980

Box 4SH 19G5 X
Volume of genealogical notes with photographs and letters pasted in, 1835-1903
Box 4SH 19G5 X
Loose genealogical notes and family trees, undated and 1980
Box 4SH 19G5 X
Historical papers, including a lease and printed matter, 1785-1919
Box 4SH 19G5 X
Volume of accounts of Capt. William Appleton (1772-1830) related to the ship Hamilton, 1829-1830
Box 4SH 19G5 X
Two military certificates of John Appleton Knowles, 1915-1916
Box 4SH 19G5 X
Two letters to Anna (Clement) Dowd from her son Robert C. Knowles, 1922-1924

Preferred Citation

John Appleton Knowles 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.

Persons:

Appleton family--Genealogy.
Appleton, William, 1772-1830.
Blake, Leslie Appleton Knowles, 1878-1968.
Dean, Agnes W. Lincoln, 1883-1963.
Dowd, Anna Elizabeth Clement Knowles, 1885-
Harding, Harriette Appleton Knowles, 1876-1959.
Knowles family--Genealogy.
Knowles, John Appleton, 1909-
Knowles, Nancy Findlay Boyle.
Knowles, Robert Clement, 1910-

Organizations:

Dedham Country and Polo Club (Mass.).
Hamilton (Ship).
Harvard Club of Boston.
Harvard College (1780- ). Class of 1903.
Harvard University--Sports.
Harvard University--Students.
Hasty Pudding Club.
St. Croix Paper Co. (Boston, Mass.).
United States. Army. Infantry Regiment, 326th.
United States. Army. Officers' Reserve Corps.

Subjects:

Account books--1829-1830.
Alcoholism.
Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customs.
Cambridge (Mass.)--Social life and customs.
Clubs--Massachusetts.
Diaries--1902-1949.
Divorce.
Fort McPherson (Ga.).
Fort Oglethorpe (Ga.).
Inventories of decedents' estates.
Scrapbooks--1897-1920.
Soldiers--Diaries.
Students--Diaries.
World War, 1914-1918--Causes.
World War, 1914-1918--Chemical warfare.
World War, 1914-1918--France.
World War, 1914-1918--Hospitals.
World War, 1914-1918--Medical care.
World War, 1914-1918--Personal narratives, American.
World War, 1914-1918--Regimental histories--United States--Infantry--326th.
World War, 1939-1945--Public opinion.

Materials Removed from the Collection

Photographs from this collection have been removed to the MHS Photo Archives.

Artifacts removed to the MHS Artifacts Collection.