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The Papers of Edmund Booth at Dartmouth CollegeWMAN MS-706

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Booth, Edmund
Title Remainder: Papers. 1832-1872
Dates: 1832-1872
Identification: MS-706


Edmund Booth 1810-1905

1810 Born, August 24, Chicopee, Massachusetts
1815 Left partially blind and deaf due to illness; became totally deaf 3 years later
1828 Entered Hartford, Connecticut “asylum,” or school for the deaf
1832 Was asked to become a teacher at the Hartford school even before his own course was finished
1839 Went to Iowa, helped to establish the town of Anamosa, near Dubuque
1840 Married Mary Ann Walworth, a former student at the Hartford school
1840-(1846) Served as county recorder
1843 Went to Iowa City; elected enrollment clerk of the Territorial Legislature
1849 Left Iowa for the gold fields of California
1854 Returned to Anamosa
1856 Became editor of the Anamosa Eureka
1858 Bought the Anamosa Eureka; took son, Thomas, as partner
1880 Received honorary Master of Arts from National Deaf-Mute College (now Gallaudet College), Washington, D.C., in recognition of his attainments as a scholar and journalist
1880 Helped found National Association of the Deaf at a meeting in Cincinnati of deaf persons from all over the U.S.
1895 Retired from active work
1905 Died, March 29, Anamosa, Iowa


The Dartmouth College Library received the Papers of Edmund Booth in 1989 and 1990, part of a larger gift from Philip Booth '47, great-grandson of Edmund Booth. Other sections of the gift have been processed separately; the Papers of Frank Walworth Booth, and an Addendum to the Papers of Edmund Hendershot Booth may also be found in Special Collections. The smallest of the three bodies of papers, the Edmund Booth collection is, nevertheless, rich in interesting items. Although totally deaf, Edmund Booth participated in the Gold Rush of 1849 to California, and later, owned and edited a newspaper in Anamosa, Iowa for almost forty years.

Edmund Booth was born August 24, 1810, in Chicopee, Massachusetts. Left partially blind and deaf by illness at the age of five, Booth retained his power of speech, but was unable to go to school. In 1828, he entered the Hartford, Connecticut “asylum,” or school for the deaf, and by 1832 had made such progress that he was asked to become a teacher in the school. He left the Hartford school after five years of teaching and travelled to Iowa, near Dubuque, where he helped to found a new town, Anamosa. In 1840, Booth married a former pupil, Mary Ann Walworth, who was both deaf and mute.

Edmund Booth left Iowa in 1849 to go to the gold fields of California, where he remained five years. His letters to his wife give a fascinating glimpse into life on the trail and in the mining camps of California. He returned home in 1854, and soon bought a newspaper, The Anamosa Eureka, which he ran, with his son, Thomas, until his retirement in 1895.

A highly respected newspaperman, Booth was instrumental in inducing the Iowa legislature to provide for sending deaf children to the Illinois School for the Deaf, and later, to establish the Iowa State School for the Deaf in Council Bluffs. In 1880, he helped to found the National Association of the Deaf, at a meeting in Cincinnati, of representative deaf persons from all over the United States. Also in 1880, Booth received an honorary Master of Arts degree from the National Deaf-Mute College (now Gallaudet College) in Washington, D.C., in recognition of his attainments as a scholar and journalist. Edmund Booth died in 1905 in Anamosa, Iowa.

The Papers of Edmund Booth are housed in 2 boxes, occupying 2.5 linear feet of shelf space. The materials consist of books, newspaper clippings, letters, journals, photographs and miscellaneous other items. Booth's letters to his wife, describing life on the trail and in the mining camps of California, are of particular interest, as are the family letters and Booth's journals, written from 1832-1837 while he was at the Hartford School. References in the collection to Edmund Booth: Forty-Niner, are to a book published by the San Joaquin Pioneer and Historical Society of Stockton, California, in 1953; a copy is housed in Special Collections.

No restrictions have been placed on the use of this collection; photocopying may be done at the discretion of Special Collections staff. Further information concerning Edmund Booth and the Booth family is available in Special Collections in the Dartmouth College Library.

BOX 1.

Edmund Booth


Book: Representative Deaf Persons of the United States of America...containing...Portraits and Character Sketches of Prominent Deaf Persons Who Are Engaged in the Higher Pursuits of Life, edited by James E. Gallagher; Chicago: James E. Gallagher, Publisher, 1898


Book: The Walworths of America. Comprising Five Chapters of Family History with Additional Chapters of Genealogy, by Clarence A. Walworth; Albany: The Weed-Parsons Printing Company, 1897


Certificate of election of Edmund Booth to the position of County Recorder, Jones County, Iowa Territory; 1844


Clippings; 1891, 1894, 1898, 1929, 1931, 1954-1955


Description of the wedding of Edmund Booth and Mary Ann Walworth, written by Thomas Eyre Booth; carbon, undated


Index cards with names and addresses of persons and institutions to receive copies of Edmund Booth: Forty-Niner; undated









FOLDER : 10.

Arthur Walworth to Thomas Eyre Booth; 1905

FOLDER : 11.

Edmund Booth to Frank W. Booth; 1873, 1898

FOLDER : 12.

Frank W. Booth to Edmund Booth; 1900, 1902-1903, 1905

FOLDER : 13.

Mary Ann Booth to Edmund Booth; 1868

FOLDER : 14.

Letters to Edmund and Mary Ann Booth from their son, Frank W. Booth; 1885-1886, 1889-1890, 1892-1897, undated

FOLDER : 15.

Letters to Edmund and Mary Ann Booth from Walworth relations; 1890, 1895, undated

FOLDER : 16.

Letter to Mary Ann Booth from Reynolds and Co., Dr. G. B. Minter, of Sonora, California; 1851

FOLDER : 17.

Letters to and from Edmund Hendershot Booth concerning the book, Edmund Booth: Forty-Niner; 1952-1955, 1957, undated, with photograph of Edmund Booth for a book of biographies of notable deaf persons; 1972

FOLDER : 18.

Misc.; 1853, 1866, 1902, undated

FOLDER : 19.

Page proofs of title pages of book, Edmund Booth: Forty-Niner, published by San Joaquin Pioneer and Historical Society, Stockton, California; 1953

FOLDER : 20.

Pamphlet: The Peacock Letters, April 7, 1850 to January 4, 1852, published by San Joaquin Pioneer and Historical Society, Stockton, California; 1950

FOLDER : 21.

Photocopies of letters from Edmund Booth to Mary Ann Booth from Iowa City, Iowa; 1844

FOLDER : 22.

Photographs of Caleb C. and James J. Walworth, brothers of Mary Ann Booth; undated

FOLDER : 23.

Photographs of Edmund Booth in middle and old age; ca. 1862, 1904, undated

FOLDER : 24.

Photographs of Mary Ann Booth in middle and old age; undated

FOLDER : 25.

Photographs of Walworth relatives; undated

FOLDER : 26.

Printing block of the photograph of Edmund Booth; undated

FOLDER : 27.

Program: Exercises at the Presentation and Unveiling of the Memorial Statue to Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, at Kendall Green, Washington, D.C.; June 26, 1889

FOLDER : 28.

Recommendation of Mary Ann Booth to the Christian community, by her pastor, Lemuel Foster, Bethel, Bond County, Iowa; 1844

FOLDER : 29.

Texts of sermons preached by various speakers at the Hartford Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb; 1831, 1833

BOX 2.

Edmund Booth: Oversize Materials


Book: The New York Mirror: A Weekly Journal, Devoted to Literature and the Fine Arts; July 7, 1832 - June 29, 1833, bound between boards


Photocopies of letters, Edmund Booth to Mary Ann Booth, from the California mining camps; 1849-1853, undated, negative photocopies

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