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Elizabeth (Tyson) Vaughan (1871-1949) papers


The Elizabeth (Tyson) Vaughan (1871-1949) papers (MS013) contain material belonging to Vaughan, who lived in the Hamilton House in South Berwick, Maine, and members of her family (several of whom did not live in the house at any time). The majority of the collection is comprised of correspondence, which belongs to Elizabeth (Tyson) Vaughan's mother and George Tyson's (1831-1881) first wife, Sarah (Anthony) Tyson (1842-1873) and reflects her personal and social life in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and in Shanghai, China, during the mid-nineteenth century. The collection also contains an account book and diary belonging to Elizabeth (Tyson) Vaughan (1871-1949) detailing her social activities in Maine and Massachusetts and genealogical material relating to the Vaughan, Tyson, and Anthony families. The collection is arranged in two series.


In 1949, Historic New England was bequeathed the Hamilton House in South Berwick, Maine, from Elise (Tyson) Vaughn (died 1949). The papers within the house at the time of acquisition formed the bases of the collection: Elise Tyson Vaughan papers (now MS013).

Update: 2013-2014

In 2013-2014, through a National Historical Publications and Records Commission grant (Award Number: NAR13-RH-50051-13: "Family Manuscript Collections: Expanding Online Access to New England Heritage Project"), twenty-six Historic New England manuscript collections of family papers were re-evaluated and processed/reprocessed to meet current archival standards and 'best practices;" corresponding finding aids were created/updated to be DACS-compliant and converted into electronic Microsoft Word document form; and the finding aids were made accessible/searchable online through the use of the Minisis M2A archival database of the Minisis Collections Management System. The Elizabeth (Tyson) Vaughan (1871-1949) papers (MS013) were part of the grant project.

Prior to the 2013-2014 collection processing, the Elizabeth (Tyson) Vaughan papers (now MS013) comprised one legal-size file box (approx. 0.42 linear ft.). The file box contained a diary, an account book, correspondence with related envelopes, and genealogical material. Since most of the correspondence was arranged chronologically and read as a continuous narrative, the original order of the letters was maintained; folder titles were created; related folders were combined or rearranged, as applicable; and brief research was engaged to create a biographical/ historical sketch and genealogy. Preservation issues were identified and basic preservation methods were applied, as applicable; papers throughout the collection were removed from envelopes (if applicable), unfolded, flattened, and related pages were noted with corresponding information in brackets ([x-1/3], [x-2/3], [x-3/3]; and oversize materials were interleafed within file boxes, as applicable. The collection was rehoused (in acid-free folders and boxes), numbered, labeled, barcoded, and stored accordingly; subsequent accessions were tracked and noted with their corresponding items; and related collections held by Historic New England and other repositories were researched and noted. A DACS-compliant, electronic 2010-2013 Microsoft Word document finding aid was created (with corresponding paper finding aid) and entered into the collection record in the Minisis M2A online database.

NOTE: Processing/updating the collection and making the finding aid accessible online were made possible through grants from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (Award Number: NAR13-RH-50051-13), the Bedford Family Foundation, and an anonymous donor.


Collection Name
Elizabeth (Tyson) Vaughan (1871-1949) papers
Collection Code
1816-1958, undated, predominant 1862-1866
Correspondence; genealogical material; printed material; an account book; and a diary; reflecting the personal and social lives of the Anthony, Tyson, and Vaughan families of South Berwick, Maine and New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Acquisition Type
Date of Acquisition
Physical Description
Family papers: 0.42 linear ft. (1 file box)
Finding Aid Info
An electric finding aid is available through Historic new England's Collections Access Portal. A paper finding aid in the Library and Archives.
Collection Type
Description Level
Custodial History
1949 - Bequest of Hamilton House, South Berwick, Maine, and all its contents from Elizabeth (Tyson) Vaughan (1871-1949)
2008 (January 11) - Subsequent material added from Hamilton House in South Berwick, Maine (#1.20) [account book]
Undated - Subsequent material added from Hamilton House in South Berwick, Maine (#1.19) [diary]

Credit Line
Bequest of Elizabeth (Tyson) Vaughan (1871-1949), 1949
Reference Code

Historical/Biographical Note

In 1898, author Sarah Orne Jewett (1849-1909) convinced her friend Emily Tyson (1849-1922), widow of the president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and her stepdaughter, Elizabeth (Tyson) Vaughan (1871-1949) (Mrs. Henry G. Vaughan), to purchase Hamilton House in South Berwick, Maine. The Tysons were part of a new wave of summer residents who were caught up in the Colonial Revival romance of owning country houses which reflected the grace and prosperity of colonial forbears and provided a healthful rural retreat away from the heat and pollution of cities.

The Tysons hired Herbert Browne of the Boston architectural firm Little and Browne to oversee some interior changes and to design additions to the west and east sides of the house. The Tysons also embarked on creating a grand Colonial Revival-style garden at the east side of the house encircled by an elaborate pergola. All major work was completed by 1900. Important additions to the property made in the following decade included murals painted in the parlor and dining room of the house by George Porter Fernald and the construction of a charming garden cottage fitted with interior paneling salvaged from a colonial home in Newington, New Hampshire. Luckily, Elizabeth (also known as Elise) Tyson was an accomplished amateur photographer whose photographs of interior and garden views provide a rare and wonderful documentation of the early years the women spent at the property.

After her stepmother's death in 1922, Elizabeth (Tyson) Vaughan and her husband Henry Vaughan (married 1915) were encouraged by William Sumner Appleton, the founder of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, now Historic New England, to keep the house. The Vaughans had built a house, again designed by the firm of Little and Browne and with murals by George Porter Fernald, in Sherborn, Massachusetts. Around 1925, Elizabeth did some redecorating at Hamilton House in keeping with the spirit of the earlier era and summered there until her death in 1949.

"Hamilton House History," accessed April 10, 2014,


The collection is arranged in two series: Series I. Correspondence. Series II. Other papers.

*Collection housing/storage code: #x.x=file box (i.e., #1.2= file box 1, folder 2); C=carton; FB=folio box; FF=fragile files; MB=multi-purpose box; OB=oversize box/folder; OV=oversize volume; VF=vertical files/flat files

Record details

Other People
Anthony, Anna, 1853-
Anthony, Annie, 1817-
Anthony, Caleb, 1797-
Anthony, Edward, 1844-
Anthony, Elisha, 1847-1914
Appleton, Curtis
Appleton, Eleanor
Tyson, George, 1831-1881
Tyson, Russell, 1867-
Tyson, Sarah (Anthony), 1842-1873
Vaughan, Elizabeth (Tyson), 1871-1949
Other Organizations
Russell and Company
Descriptive Terms
account books
family papers
personal correspondence
Material Type
family papers
China. History
China. Social life and customs
United States. History. Civil War, 1861-1865
Al-Iskandari¯yah governorate (Egypt) [governorate]
Baltimore (Baltimore Independent City, Maryland)
Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)
Cambridge (Middlesex county, Massachusetts)
Edinburgh (Edinburgh, City of, Scotland, United Kingdom)
Galle (Southern Province, Sri Lanka)
Hong Kong (China) [semi-independent political entity]
Liverpool (Liverpool urban district, Merseyside, England, United Kingdom)
Marseilles (Bouches-du-Rhône, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France)
Nagasaki (Nagasaki prefecture, Kyu¯shu¯ region, Japan)
New Bedford (Bristol county, Massachusetts)
New York City (New York state)
Paris (Ville de Paris department, Île-de-France, France)
Pawtucket (Providence county, Rhode Island)
Salem (Essex county, Massachusetts)
Shanghai (Shanghai Shi, China)
Places (Buildings)
Hamilton House (South Berwick, Me.)
.This collection is available for research.
.Unrestricted except for #1.19 and #1.20, which require handling with care.
.Note: due to aging materials and condition of the materials, the whole of the collection requires handling with care.

Location Note
Shelf HGO-02-102-C-C-501

Accruals Note
Accruals are not expected.
Conservation Note
See Scope and Content note.
Language Note
Materials in English.
Preferred Citation
[Item identification.] Elizabeth (Tyson) Vaughan (died 1949) papers (MS013). Historic New England, Library and Archives.
·[Item identification.] Elise (Tyson) Vaughan (died 1949) papers, (MS013). Historic New England, Library and Archives.

Processing Information
·2014 April: Originally processed by Emily Whitmore, intern; under the supervision of Bridgette A. Woodall, project archivist; and with assistance from Jennifer Pustz, museum historian
Rules and Conventions
This finding aid is DACS-compliant.

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