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Elizabeth Knight Hinckley Sturgis collection

Identifier: SCU-RBSC-2017-5

This collection contains documents related to the life of Elizabeth Knight Hinckley Sturgis (1809-1849) of Hingham, Massachusetts. The daughter of Isaac and Hannah Sturgis Hinckley, Elizabeth spent much of her time with relatives on the family property, visiting local landmarks like Plymouth Rock or attending lectures given by local and regional speakers including Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Much of this collection consists of correspondence between Elizabeth Knight Hinckley Sturgis and her fiancée, Boston based businessman William Sturgis (1806-1895). William was the son of Elizabeth’s great uncle and therefore her cousin. As a result, family members pass through each party’s narrative even before marriage. The correspondence includes a small sketch and a lock of Elizabeth’s hair. One letter from Elizabeth to William includes a hastily written note tucked into the earlier letter expressing her exasperation with his absence.

Also included are general family correspondence, including a collection of letters from Hannah Sturgis Hickley (1785-1871), Elizabeth’s mother, to Elizabeth and William Sturgis’ son, also named William Sturgis (1843-1936). Each William Sturgis is identified with their birth and death dates to differentiate them.

Two complete journals and two journal fragments are included detailing Elizabeth Knight Hinckley Sturgis’ activities through the time period from 1828-1830. These items include a near daily accounting of her activities. The journals also include a pressed flower and a paper seal decorated with birds.

The legal document section includes a trust agreement between William and Elizabeth and grave marker information for the Hinckley Family monument in Hingham, Massachusetts.


  • 1827 - 1866
  • Majority of material found within 1828 - 1830


Conditions Governing Access

Collection open to research

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.


3 boxes

Repository Details

Part of the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections Repository

Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library
1322 Greene Street
Columbia SC 29208 USA
(803) 777-3847

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