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Samuel Hooper Collection

An inventory of his collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: KM
Date: May 1989

Biographical History

Samuel Hooper (1808-1875) was an American politician who served as a U.S. Representative from 1861-1875.

Samuel Hooper was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts on February 3, 1808. In 1832 Hooper married Anne Sturgis whose father owned a shipping firm. Hooper worked at his father-in-law's firm as a junior partner, gradually expanding his interests, eventually shifting into the iron business. In 1850, he was elected to the State House of Representatives. Hooper served as a representative from 1851-1853. He attended the Republican National Convention in 1860 as a delegate from Massachusetts. Hooper was elected to fill the vacancy left by William Appleton in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1861 and continued to hold a position in Congress from 1861 to 1875. While in Congress, Hooper was a chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, and served on the Committee on Banking and Currency and the Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures at various points. Hooper's daughter, Alice Mason Hooper, married Charles Sumner in 1866, making Hooper Sumner's father-in-law; however, the marriage was short-lived. Hooper died on February 14, 1875 while still in office.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Samuel Hooper Collection is a group of 20 items of Outgoing Correspondence written between 1856 and 1874, and a single Miscellaneous item, all of which relate to the U.S. congressional representative and senator from Massachusetts.

The Correspondence includes discussions about politics (Schuyler Colfax) and the interpretation of the usury laws (Nahum Capen) as well as social invitations (Mr. Anthony Adam Badeau, Benjamin Perley Poore) and a letter of introduction (Charles Sumner). The correspondence includes a series of three letters written in October of 1865 to Schuyler Colfax about Nathaniel Prentiss Banks who, upon returning from military duty after the Civil War, was nominated to run for the House of Representatives from Massachusetts (12 Oct 1865):

Talking with Sumner about Banks's nomination, last evening, Sumner said it was the greatest personal triumph a man ever had in Massts. - to come back here as he did into a district that seemed to be already disposed of - and in two weeks to be taken up and nominated over all the competitors.

Reassuring Colfax that the remarkable Banks had no intention of challenging the incumbent for leadership of the House, Hooper writes (13 Oct 1865):

...he will not be a candidate for the Speakership, and as I have said before, I am sure he will not be in your way, but on the contrary will cordially cooperate with your friends to secure your election.

The Miscellaneous series contains a printed letter from Benjamin Perley Poore, in his capacity as Clerk of Printing Records, to which is affixed a proof of the Hooper entry (with holograph additions) for inclusion in the Congressional Directory.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection contains two series: Correspondence, which is arranged chronologically, and Miscellany. An alphabetical Index to the Correspondence is located at the end of the finding aid.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Badeau, Adam, 1831-1895.
Banks, Nathaniel Prentiss, 1816-1894.
Capen, Nahum,1904-1886.
Colfax, Schuyler, 1823-1885.
Hooper, Samuel, 1808-1875.
Poore, Benjamin Perley, 1820-1887.
Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874.

Corporate Bodies

Republican Party (Mass.)


Legislators -- United States.
Politicians -- United States.
Usury laws -- United States.


Massachusetts -- Politics and government -- 1865-1950.
United States -- Politics and government -- 1865-1877.

Genres and Forms

Letters (correspondence)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Samuel Hooper Collection
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Table of Contents



Selected index to correspondence


Selected index to correspondence