Papers : 1709 - 1841.

Call Number: HIL-MICL FC LFR .W3M4P3
Category: Family
Creator: Warren, Mercy, 1728-1814.
Description: 2 microfilm textual records () ; 35 mm
            Mercy Otis Warren was born in Barnstable, Massachusetts, the daughter of James and Mary (Allyne) Otis. In 1754, she married James Warren (1726-1808), a prosperous merchant and farmer whose family was as prominent in the political and social circles of Massachusetts society as the Otis family. They lived in Plymouth for many years, but in 1781 purchased Governor Thomas Hutchinson's house in Milton.

James Warren was active in politics, and through her husband's and her own family connections, Mercy Warren became close friends with many of the leading revolutionary families of the day, i.e. Adams, Hancock, Washington and Winthrop. Using her talent for literature and public affairs, she began writing poetry and political satires which were widely circulated and became useful tools in promoting the revolutionary cause.

After the revolution, her family's ardent republican opinions, her vocal support for the French Revolution, and her insistence on educational rights for women, were attacked by an influential and powerful lobby of federalist conservatives in the state, and the family lost much of its influence. During this period, Mercy Warren wrote the History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution, a three volume work which is still looked upon as a useful record of events and a valuable commentary on the foremost personalities of the time. The History proved to be both popular and controversial when John Adams took exception to certain passages in the book in which he felt unjustly treated by the author. For several years, he and Mercy Warren exchanged a heated correspondence on the issue until a reconciliation was brought about shortly before her death in 1814.

            The Mercy Warren Papers consist of two reels of microfilm: 

Reel 1 contains copies of 35 letters written between 1770 and 1800 and bound in one folio volume. The Letter Book is accompanied by a list of correspondents and the page reference for each letter.

Reel 2 contains many loose letters and copies of letters, official papers of the Warren family, and correspondence with the Warren's five sons. Most of the Papers are arranged in chronologial order and are concentrated between the years 1772 and 1800. However, this reel also contains four topical folders, the first being letters from Mercy Warren to Winslow Warren entitled, Letters Containing Many of the Most Remarkable Events for the Memorable Era of the Stamp Act, 1765, to the Commencement of Hostilities between Great Britain and the American Colonies, 1775. The second folder contains letters from Mercy Warren to John Adams, 1775-1807. A folder, Poems, and another,Fragments of Dramatic Works, complete the reel.

Originals: The original records are held by the Massachusetts Historical Society.
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Finding Aids:
            An introduction to the Papers has been microfilmed on the first reel. Targets containing inclusive dates have been inserted at the beginning of each section. 

A combined microfilm shelf list and table of contents has been created by the author of the Loyalist Collection Inventory. This finding aid is available in print with the Loyalist Collection Finding Aids and electronically.

Electronic Finding Aid Record: Warren, Mercy Papers, Shelf List.pdf
Notes: Researchers may wish to consult the following published volumes: Massachusetts Historical Society Collections. Vol.72 and Vol.73. Warren-Adams Letters; Being Chiefly a Correspondence among John Adams, Samuel Adams and James Warren. Vol. 1, 1743-1777 (published in 1917) and Vol. 2, 1778-1814 (published in 1925). The UNB reference is: Hil-Stacks F61.M41.
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