Demeritt-Thompson Family Papers, 1844-1923

Collection number: MC 188
Size: 4 boxes (1.32 cu.ft.)

About the Demeritt-Thompson Family

Jennie Mabelle Demeritt, 1863-1936

Jennie M. Demeritt was born on June 2, 1863 to Ezra Edric Demeritt and Louisa Demeritt. She graduated in 1882 from Robinson Seminary in Exeter, New Hampshire and from 1892 until 1901 was employed as an assistant librarian in the Boston Athenaeum Library. From 1915 to 1919 she arranged the historical collection of the same library. She was also involved in many historical, patriotic and civic organizations, including the Boston Browning Society and the Daughters of the American Revolution. Jennie M. Demeritt was the author of several historical works including “The Story of the Old House,” a work on the Powder Major’s House in Madbury, NH. In addition, she corresponded with her distant cousin Mary Pickering Thompson about Thompson’s Landmarks in Ancient Dover.

Jennie M. Demeritt and her brother Major John Demeritt inherited the Powder Major’s House from their mother and their two aunts. The house was sold to Mrs. Charles C. Goss in 1930. It was in the Powder Major’s House that Jennie M. Demeritt died on July 29, 1936. (Philip Mason Marston, The DeMeritts of Madbury associated with the Powder Major’s House)

Mary Pickering Thompson, 1825-1894

Mary Pickering Thompson was born in Durham, the daughter of Ebenezer Thompson, “Sr.” and Jane Demeritt and the great grand-daughter of “Judge” Ebenezer Thompson, the Revolutionary War patriot. She received her early education in Durham and in 1845 graduated with honors from Mt. Holyoke Female Seminary. In 1847 she converted to Catholicism, entering the Notre Dame Convent in Cincinnati, Ohio. Subsequently she taught in Ohio, Kentucky, Texas, and Maryland, and made several trips to Europe, returning periodically to Durham.

From 1877 until her death MPT lived in Durham and engaged in local historical and genealogical studies. She contributed voluminously to Catholic World and published many articles elsewhere on religious and historical subjects. A Memoir of Judge Ebenezer Thompson appeared in 1886 and Landmarks in Ancient Dover.

In her time Mary P. Thompson’s library (which she bequeathed to her nephew Lucien, and which is now at the University of New Hampshire) was thought the “finest and rarest collection of books and manuscripts” in the state; she herself was considered the “best cultured woman in New Hampshire” (John Scales, Miss Mary Pickering Thompson).

Also see the Thompson Family Papers (MC 1).

Lucien Thompson, 1859-1924

Lucien Thompson was born in Durham, the son of Ebenezer Thompson “Jr.” and Nancy Carr. When he was ten, his father died and his mother moved to Manchester, N.H., where LT was educated in the public schools; he was salutatorian of his high school class. In 1878 the family returned to Durham, whereupon LT took charge of the Thompson farm and became active in public affairs. He was a member of the Durham Board of Supervisors, represented the town in the state legislature, served on the State Board of Agriculture, and was a trustee of New Hampshire College (now UNH). In 1887 he married Mary Lizzie Gage; they had four children.

LT maintained a close relationship with his aunt, Mary P. Thompson, and after her death continued her local historical and genealogical researches. He published several articles and co-authored the History of the Town of Durham (1913). In 1913 or 1914 LT moved with his family to Colorado, where he died in 1924.

Also see the Thompson Family Papers (MC 1).

About the Demeritt-Thompson Family Papers

This collection consists of manuscript material collected by Jennie Mabelle Demeritt (1863-1936). In addition to her own correspondence (the majority of which is from Mary P. Thompson), notes and works, she collected some of the diaries and notes of Mary P. Thompson (1825-1894), along with a limited number of Lucien Thompson’s (1859-1924) papers. Jennie also collected documents relating to Durham and vicinity; these documents date from 1854 to 1923, and include last will and testaments, and estates.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], [Folder], [Box], Demeritt-Thompson Family Papers, 1844-1923, MC 188, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Gift, Nancy D. Goss, Oct. 17, 2003 (Accession number: 2003.09)

Collection Contents

Series 1: Jennie Mabelle Demeritt, 1863-1936

Subseries A: Correspondence, 1886-1913

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 1To J. Demeritt from Mary P. Thompson, 1886
Box 1, Folder 2To J. Demeritt from Mary P. Thompson, 1887
Box 1, Folder 3To J. Demeritt from Mary P. Thompson, 1888
Box 1, Folder 4To J. Demeritt from Mary P. Thompson, 1889
Box 1, Folder 5To J. Demeritt from Mary P. Thompson, 1890
Box 1, Folder 6To J. Demeritt from Mary P. Thompson, 1891
Box 1, Folder 7To J. Demeritt from Mary P. Thompson, 1892
Box 1, Folder 8To J. Demeritt from Mary P. Thompson, 1893
Box 1, Folder 9To J. Demeritt from Mary P. Thompson, n.d.
Box 1, Folder 10To J. Demeritt from others, 1904-1913

Subseries B: Notes

Box 1
Box 1, Folder 11America, Past
Box 1, Folder 12American Literature
Box 1, Folder 13American Literature in Colonial Times
Box 1, Folder 14Birds
Box 1, Folder 15Blue Birds
Box 1, Folder 16Copied Articles
Box 1, Folder 17Dante
Box 1, Folder 18E., Miscellaneous
Box 1, Folder 19Emerson, R.W.
Box 1, Folder 20Germany
Box 1, Folder 21Ill-Natured Doctor
Box 1, Folder 22Literature and Library Extension
Box 1, Folder 23Literary Ability of Mary P. Thompson
Box 1, Folder 24Modern Painters
Box 1, Folder 25More, Thomas
Box 1, Folder 26October in the Revolution and Now
Box 1, Folder 27Old Durham
Box 1, Folder 28Quotes (13 pages)
Box 2
Box 2, Folder 1Scottish Art
Box 2, Folder 2Superstition
Box 2, Folder 3Tapestry
Box 2, Folder 4Travel
Box 2, Folder 5Utopia of the 19th Century
Box 2, Folder 6Washington
Box 2, Folder 7Weather Observations
Box 2, Folder 8Miscellaneous

Subseries C: Published Works

Box 2
Box 2, Folder 9"The Story of the Old House" (Photocopy)

Series 2: Mary Pickering Thompson, 1825-1894

Subseries A: Correspondence, 1854-1890

Box 2
Box 2, Folder 10From M.P. Thompson (Letters from Abroad, bound), 1854-1856
Box 2, Folder 11Other, 1889 and 1890

Subseries B: Diaries, 1845-1849

Box 2, Folder 12Volume II, Sept 28, 1844 to Nov 18, 1845
Box 2, Folder 13Volume III, Nov 19, 1845 to Nov 19, 1846
Box 2, Folder 14Volume IV, Nov 19, 1846 to Mar 11, 1849

Subseries C: Notebooks

Box 2, Folder 15Notebook, n.d.
Box 3
Box 3, Folder 1Loose Notes, from Notebook
Box 3, Folder 2Newspaper Clippings, from Notebook
Box 3, Folder 3Topic Book, June 1844

Subseries D: Notes

Box 3, Folder 4Meditations, 1887
Box 3, Folder 5Liber Naturae, "Complete," 1888
Box 3, Folder 6Liber Naturae, 1889
Box 3, Folder 7Liber Naturae, 1890
Box 3, Folder 8Liber Naturae, 1891
Box 3, Folder 9Liber Naturae, n.d.
Box 3, Folder 10Landmarks in Ancient Dover, "Places" A to G
Box 3, Folder 11Landmarks in Ancient Dover, "Places" H to M
Box 3, Folder 12Landmarks in Ancient Dover, "Places" P to W
Box 3, Folder 13Landmarks in Ancient Dover, "Places not used" B to H
Box 3, Folder 14Landmarks in Ancient Dover, "Places not used" K to W
Box 3, Folder 15Landmarks in Ancient Dover, Loose A to G
Box 3, Folder 16Landmarks in Ancient Dover, Loose H to M
Box 3, Folder 17Landmarks in Ancient Dover, Loose N to U

Series 3: Lucian Thompson, 1864-1896

Box 3, Folder 18Correspondence: from Lucien Thompson, 1889
Box 3, Folder 19Estate of Mary Demeritt, Probate Document, 1896
Box 3, Folder 20Estate of Mary Demeritt, Notebook, 1896
Box 4
Box 4, Folder 1Account Book, 1864-1877

Series 4: Legal Documents, 1854-1923

Box 4
Box 4, Folder 2Last Will and Testaments, 1896-1923
Box 4, Folder 3Power of Attorney Statement, M.P. Thompson, 1854
Box 4, Folder 4Probate Document, 1869
Box 4, Folder 5Town of Madbury, 1879
Box 4, Folder 6Estate of Sarah Emerson, 1878-1905

Series 5: Miscellaneous

Box 4
Box 4, Folder 7Correspondence: from Eva C. Hale, 1913
Box 4, Folder 8Notes: for "Meeting of Colonial Dames", n.d.
Box 4, Folder 9Notes: "One of Dover's Noted Women", by Anne Watson
Box 4, Folder 10Notes: Other
Box 4, Folder 11Thompson Family Clippings
Finding Aid Image TEMP
  • Mary Pickering Thompson while at Mount Holyoke, 1845, aged 20.