Guide to the Papers of John Otis, 1835 - 1851Manuscript MS-1132

Full Finding Aid

Title:

Guide to the Papers of John Otis, 1835 - 1851

Call Number:

Manuscript MS-1132

Collection Dates:

1835 - 1851

Size of Collection:

1 box (.25 linear ft.)

Abstract:

John Otis (1801-1856) Congressman from Maine and member of the Northeast Boundary Commission. Contains diary entries, notes, drafts of letters, drafts of resolutions, lecture notes, and essays related to his work on the negotiating team for the Webster-Ashburton Treaty. Also contains material related to his work in Congress and as a lawyer.

Access to Collection:

Unrestricted.

Use & Access

The materials represented in this guide may be accessed through the Rauner Special Collections Library at Dartmouth College. Rauner Library is located in Webster Hall. The materials must be used on-site and may not leave Rauner Library.

Rauner Special Collections Library is open to the public and in most cases no appointment is necessary. The exception is in the case of materials stored off site for which there may be a delay of up to 48 hours in retrieval. Please consult the Access to Collection statement below or contact Rauner Reference.

Access to Collection

Unrestricted.

Use Restrictions

Permission from Dartmouth College required for publication or reproduction.

Introduction to the Collection

Contains diary entries, notes, drafts of letters, drafts of resolutions, lecture notes, and essays of Congressman John Otis of Maine.

About half of the collection is related to Otis' role as a member of the Northeast Boundary Commission including diary entries made en route to, and during his stay in Washington in the summer of 1842. The entries provide detailed descriptions of meetings with the principal negotiators of Webster-Ashburton and include drafts of treaty provisions. The entries also record personal interviews with Albert Gallatin, Daniel Webster and Lord Ashburton as well as Otis' personal thoughts on fellow Commissioner Judge Preble and various deliberations, debates and boundary proposals. Also includes drafts of letters to Webster and Lord Ashburton as well as peripheral material related to matters involving federal compensation to Maine and other repercussions of the treaty.

The other half of the collection relates to Otis' role as a lawyer, politician and interest in literary/scholarly matters. These include a defense of a bill on cheap postage, a statement opposing Webster's appointment to Secretary of State, a House report on the censure of Rep. Joshua Gibbons for misconduct in postal affairs, a speech opposing a bill for the settlement of the Texas border, a resolution in support of Whig candidate Edward Kent for Governor of Maine, a lecture of the work of D'Aubigné and an essay on the art of Biography.

Biography

John Otis (1801-1856) United States Congressman from Maine, 1849-1851. Member of the Northeastern Boundary Commission.

Series, Box & Folder List

Series 1, Webster-Ashburton, circa 1841-1850

Contains materials related to Otis' role as a member of the negotiating team for the Webster-Ashburton Treaty.

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box: 1, Dates: circa 1842-1850

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted

Box Contents

  • Folder: 1, 'Resolves in relation to the northeastern boundary of this state', 1842
  • Folder: 2, diary, June 6-22, 1842
  • Folder: 3, diary, June 7-10, 1842
  • Folder: 4, diary, June 9, 1842
  • Folder: 5, diary, June 22, 1842
  • Folder: 6, diary, July 3, 1842
  • Folder: 7, diary, July 6-7, 1842
  • Folder: 8, diary, July 14, 1842
  • Folder: 9, Draft of letter to D. Webster, July 25, 1842
  • Folder: 10, Draft of letter to D. Webster, July 26, 1842
  • Folder: 11, Draft of letter to Lord Ashburton, July 28, 1842
  • Folder: 12, diary, undated
  • Folder: 13, diary, undated
  • Folder: 14, Interview with D. Webster, undated
  • Folder: 15, Drafts of Treaty provisions, 1842
  • Folder: 16, Letter from Sam Harris, August 23, 1850
  • Folder: 17, Maine petition , circa 1849

Series 2, Congressional, political and personal papers, Circa 1840-1850

Contains papers related to Otis' time as a lawyer, his work in Congress and interest in literature.

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted.

Box: 1, Dates: circa 1835-1850

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted

Box Contents

  • Folder: 18, Resolutions in support of Edward Kent, circa 1840

    Use Restrictions

    Unrestricted

  • Folder: 19, Lecture on D'Aubigné, undated

    Use Restrictions

    Unrestricted

  • Folder: 20, Essay on biography, undated

    Use Restrictions

    Unrestricted

  • Folder: 21, Writings on literature, undated

    Use Restrictions

    Unrestricted

  • Folder: 22, Law practice notes, circa 1835

    Use Restrictions

    Unrestricted

  • Folder: 23, Defense of Postage bill, undated

    Use Restrictions

    Unrestricted

  • Folder: 24, Whig politics re: Webster, 1850

    Use Restrictions

    Unrestricted

  • Folder: 25, House report on Joshua R. Giddings censure related to postal affairs, circa 1850

    Use Restrictions

    Unrestricted

  • Folder: 26, Texas Boundary Bill, 1850

    Use Restrictions

    Unrestricted

  • Folder: 27, Political writings, circa 1840-1850

    Use Restrictions

    Unrestricted

Finding Aids