Scope and arrangement
The Executive Committee of Boston Associates archives, 1863-1866, document the efforts of this committee to provide special relief services to soldiers in the Boston area. The records illustrate the work of Executive Committee secretaries John S. Blatchford and James Barnard to coordinate and report on these services, as well as the work conducted by the superintendent and his staff at the office’s relief rooms, where transportation, lodging, clothing, meals, medical care, and aid in obtaining pay was provided for soldiers in need of temporary assistance, whether discharged, furloughed, sick, or disabled.
The Executive Committee of Boston Associates archives comprise three series: I. Secretary’s records, II. Superintendent’s records, and III. Scrapbooks.
The secretary’s records primarily reflect the activities of John S. Blatchford through correspondence, Executive Committee meeting files, statements, and miscellaneous documents. Blatchford’s incoming correspondence was received from USSC staff members, members of the New England Women’s Auxiliary Association, individuals affiliated with other relief associations, state officials, army officers, merchants, and soldiers and their relatives. Letters and telegrams concern the operations and policies of the USSC, orders and requests from USSC officers, ECBA’s special relief services, the work of other relief organizations, and the preparation and publication of reports. Outgoing correspondence is addressed to similar parties. Letters written to and by James M. Barnard and Charles F. Mudge are also found within the secretary’s correspondence. Also present are Blatchford’s reference files for Executive Committee meetings; statements classifying the type and amount of special relief services provided by the Executive Committee, and expenses for same; and miscellaneous documents. These include employee rosters, accounts, lists of permanent members and associate members, memoranda, and items from Barnard, Blatchford and Samuel E. Mudge.
Superintendent’s records include correspondence, record books, reports, notes on relief to soldiers and other materials documenting the work of Charles F. Mudge and Samuel F. Mudge, and the services provided under their direction at the relief rooms. Incoming correspondence generally concerns the status of individual soldiers under their care, and requests from soldiers and their relatives for assistance. Also included are receipts regarding supplies purchased by ECBA for relief work. Their outgoing correspondence, of a similar nature, also includes letters by Barnard and Blatchford.
The superintendent’s record books and reports convey the scope and magnitude of special relief work performed by this organization. Registers of relief to soldiers identify over 50,000 individuals who passed through their rooms, and the type of aid provided to them. Notes on relief to soldiers highlight the cases of particular soldiers listed in these registers as well as family members helped through their work; some of these stories were used in published reports. Similar services are reflected in a Hospital Directory register documenting inquiries from soldiers’ families and friends concerning their condition or whereabouts, and a surgical and medical record of soldiers receiving treatment under ECBA’s care. Administrative tasks are represented in the superintendent’s weekly and monthly reports on services provided, as well as a cash book. Also present are a small amount of soldiers’ military and personal papers, and ephemera.
Lastly, two scrapbooks contain newspaper clippings, circulars, and printed reports regarding the work of ECBA, NEWAA, USSC, and major developments in the war.
During the USSC’s 1878 arrangement some items, including journals, special relief volumes and receipts, a laundry account book, and a volume listing supplies drawn from NEWAA, were identified as destroyed and presumably discarded. Also at that time, financial records and reports that were originally part of this record group were relocated to the USSC Accounts and Vouchers record group (MssCol 18820). As a result, a small amount of records grouped and numbered I-XVI by John S. Blatchford at an earlier date are no longer complete or in order.
The United States Sanitary Commission records. Executive Committee of Boston Associates archives are arranged in three series:
- 1863 Jan-1866 Apr
- 1861 Sep-1866 Mar, and undated
- 1863 Jan-1865 Jul