Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Hoyt family papers, 1855-1924

Summary Information


A collection of the personal papers, including personal correspondence and financial documents, of the family of James Otis Hoyt (1842-1896), a prominent New York Lawyer.

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0623
Bib ID 4078915 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Hoyt family
Title Hoyt family papers, 1855-1924
Physical Description 2.5 linear feet (5 document boxes)
Language(s) English .

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.



This collection is arranged in four series.



The Hoyt Family collection is comprised primarily of the papers of James Otis Hoyt, his wife, Emily (née Fellows), and two of their three daughters, Emily and Mary Fellows Hoyt. These papers include personal correspondence, financial documents, and printed materials.

  • Series I: Hoyt, James Otis, 1855-1896

    The bulk of James Otis Hoyt's papers date from the 1860s, when he was a student at Harvard College and Harvard Law School. Of his correspondence, most are letters of a personal nature, including a number of love letters from a woman named Sara W. There are also a number of his writings, including a dissertation written in his junior year at Harvard entitled "On Carey's View of Trade as the Instrument of Commerce" and a later work entitled "Concerning the Liability of Partners as to Third Partners." There are also financial documents (mostly bills), and teaching materials from his time as a teacher at St. Mark's School and at Harvard.

  • Series II: Hoyt, Mrs. James Otis (Emily Fellows), 1885-1909

    Mrs. Hoyt's papers are composed of personal correspondence and financial documents. Personal correspondence includes letters from friends (many are condolences written at the time of her husband's death) and from Mary, written during her time at Bryn Mawr. Among the financial documents are insurance policies, a deed to a family plot in Woodlawn Cemetery, and correspondence and official papers relating to the estates of her brother, Richard Christian Fellows, and Augustus Schell.

  • Series III: Other Family Members, 1882-1924

    This series contains the papers of Emily Hoyt (sometimes called Pansy), Mary Fellows Hoyt, and James O. Hoyt's mother, Harriet M. Hammond Hoyt (Mrs. James B. Hoyt). Emily's papers include financial documents and personal correspondence, the bulk of which are letters written to her by Mary in 1917 and 1918 during her time as an American Red Cross nurse in France. Mary's papers include her personal correspondence and financial documents. There are also several official papers for both sisters, including an automobile registration and Mary's passport. The letters addressed to Mrs. James B. Hoyt are mostly from her young grandchildren. The folder titled "Unidentified Correspondence" includes letters addressed to "Miss Hoyt" and to "The Misses Hoyt."

  • Series IV: Documents, 1860s-, 1910s

    This series is comprised of the less personal documents that were included in the family's collection. There are a number of calling cards and invitations, and ephemera, such as advertisements, programs, and mailings from various clubs. Of particular interest is a large collection of American and European postcards from the 1900s and 1910s, amassed by Mary Fellows Hoyt. Also included are the plans for a boat, a house, and a building which is most likely the family's townhouse at 310 west 75th st. in New York, built in 1893.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Hoyt Family Papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Custodial History

Gift of Joseph Katz, 1965

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 07/--/89.

Papers processed Marina Kastan, Pratt SILS 2012 2010 October.

Papers recataloged Lea Osborne 2010 November.

Revision Description

2009-07-07 File created.

2010-11-11 xml document instance created by Lea Osborne

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Correspondence Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Invoices Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Love letters Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Picture postcards Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Visiting cards Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
American Red Cross Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Harvard College (1780- ) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Harvard Law School Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Harvard University Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lawyers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Schell, Augustus, 1812-1884 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
St. Mark's School Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Woodlawn Cemetery (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
World War, 1914-1918 -- War work -- Red Cross Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

James Otis Hoyt (1842-1896) was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy and Harvard University, from which he graduated in 1865. Upon graduation, he spent a year as a teacher at Saint Mark's School in Southborough, Massachusetts. He returned to Harvard to pursue a degree in Law, which he received in 1868; while there, he was a proctor and teacher of history. He then moved to New York, where he worked briefly in several law firms before founding his own firm with Richard Christian (R.C.) Fellows in 1871. The firm would later become Fellows, Hoyt, and Schell (with Edward H. Schell), and finally Hoyt and Schell. Hoyt was a director and general counsel to the Manhattan Life Insurance Company, and general counsel to the National Butchers' and Drovers' bank and the Manhattan Savings Bank. In 1876 he married Fellows's sister, Emily Fellows (1847-1909), and the two had three daughters: Mary (1877-19??), Harriet (1880-19??), and Emily (1883-1919). Hoyt died unexpectedly of an illness in 1896. Mary attended Bryn Mawr from 1895-1898. From 1916-1917 she studied nursing and wireless signal work and from 1917-1919 she worked as an Auxiliary Nurse for the American Red Cross in France.