Scope and arrangement
The Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn writings comprise six scrapbook volumes containing his published writings, speeches, and reports, and Dearborn’s collected papers regarding his role in the 1842 Dorr Rebellion in Rhode Island. The volumes were compiled by Dearborn for his family between 1844 and 1849; contents date from 1806 to 1849. Horticulture and American politics and government are the chief topics represented in his writings. A few illustrations, mostly botanical, are found within.
The collection consists of a complete three-volume set of writings on horticultural topics, and three remnant volumes of numbered sets of miscellaneous writings, the Dorr Rebellion volume among them. His published work, dating from 1806 to 1849, appears in printed and manuscript form. Horticultural topics include the creation of rural cemeteries and the activities of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Miscellaneous writings, which include some horticultural items, chiefly concern American politics and government, at the local and national level.
The volumes variously contain manuscript writings and clippings from newspapers, periodicals and pamphlets; only some of the content is dated. The Dorr Rebellion volume also contains original correspondence and documents. Many newspaper clippings are editorial in nature, some written anonymously. All volumes have title pages and tables of content with the exception of volume 5, which lacks a table of contents.
Volumes 1-3, a complete set of Writings on horticulture and other branches of rural industry, 1844, consists of pieces written within the previous twenty years, as stated by Dearborn. “The Vegetation of an Acorn,” a manuscript with pen-and-ink illustrations, is inserted but not indexed in volume 3. Volumes 1 and 2 contain designs for a medal for the New England Society for the Promotion of Manufactures and the Mechanic Arts in pen-and-wash, with a related report in volume 2. Additional agricultural and horticultural writings, with a few chromolithograph illustrations, are found in Volume 6.
Volume 4, Writings on politics, jurisprudence ... and other subjects, compiled 1846, and Volume 6, Writings on various subjects, compiled 1849, appear to be remnants of sets, with miscellaneous writings dating from 1806 to 1849. Volume 4 (originally volume 1 of a set of three volumes) contains mostly newspaper clippings concerning American politics and government, economic development, constitutional and legal matters, and military affairs, at the local and national level. Some of his pieces supporting his father Henry Dearborn’s 1818 account of the battle of Bunker Hill are included. Dearborn’s participation in the civic affairs of Roxbury, Massachusetts is particularly well documented in addresses, reports and clippings in volume 6 (originally volume 7 of a set), covering political, agricultural, horticultural and other topics, such as science and the arts. Newspaper items in both volumes reflect his adherence to nativism, leading to his U.S. Vice Presidential nomination by the Native American Party in 1847.
Volume 5, Writings on many subjects (compiled 1846, originally volume 2 of a set), sub-titled Papers in relation to the loan of arms to Rhode Island by H.A.S. Dearborn, on the XXV of June 1842, relate to his actions as Adjutant General of Massachusetts during the Dorr Rebellion and his dismissal from that office. Materials date from 1842 to 1844, consisting of letters written to Dearborn, orders, copies of letters sent, printed proceedings of the Massachusetts legislature, testimonials, newspaper clippings, and Dearborn’s explanatory writings. Correspondents include Massachusetts Governor Marcus Morton and Thomas J. Stead, aide-de-camp to the Governor of Rhode Island.