Skip to main content

Tuckerman-Clark Family Papers

 Collection — Box: Boxes 1, OS1 and OS2
Identifier: MA.01026

Scope and Contents

The Tuckerman-Clark Family Papers contain limited documentation about the personal and professional lives of multiple members of the families of Margaret Tuckerman and her husband Orton Loring Clark. The papers span more than 150 years but occupy only approximately 4.0 linear feet of shelf space in three boxes. The bulk of the material falls into the period of 1840-1920. The material is arranged chronologically within each of two series.

Because the collection is small and yet contains information relating directly to more than a dozen individuals, it has the feel of a survey, where individuals are represented by a sample of documents but where there is not enough information to gain a full picture of any one person’s life. Information about Margaret’s line in Series 1 includes documentation about both the Tuckerman family of her father, Dr. Frederick Tuckerman, and the Cooper family of her mother, Abigail Girdler Cooper. For example, the Tuckerman family documentation includes a selection of material that samples poet Frederick Goddard Tuckerman’s early interest in poetry and literature, as well as the tragic family history he endured; lichenologist Professor Edward Tuckerman’s role as head of the family for his generation and his lifelong interest in genealogy; organist and composer Samuel Parkman Tuckerman’s interest in European travel, and his personal and professional contacts there, and – in the next generation -- Dr. Frederick Tuckerman’s wide-ranging interests in botany, genealogy, local history, and other subjects.

The Cooper line in Series 1 is less well represented in the Papers, but of particular interest is the logbook kept by Margaret Tuckerman’s grandfather James Sullivan Cooper (lived 1802-1870) during the family’s life in Calais, Maine, to their move to Amherst, Massachusetts, in May, 1866. The logbook contains information relevant both to the Cooper family and to transactions with people associated with Cooper’s work as a lawyer in Maine. In addition, the collection also provides a photographic glimpse of the young Margaret Tuckerman who inspired notes and verses from her neighbor Emily Dickinson. The Coopers were well known to the Dickinsons not only as neighbors living two short blocks apart, but also because Margaret’s uncle James Ingersoll Cooper was Austin Dickinson’s law partner, and her uncle Charles Wendell Cooper was a local physician. Both men were in the Amherst College Class of 1873.

The papers also contain a very limited selection of documents associated with Orton Loring Clark, who married Margaret Tuckerman in June, 1916. Clark was a botanist and biologist specializing in plant physiology at the Massachusetts Agricultural College (now the University of Massachusetts). He taught there from 1913 to 1946. Clark was a woodworker and an art lover who donated many of his own works to local organizations and individuals as well as to museums and to people he admired. The collection contains documentation in Series 2 of some of his donations. Albums containing photographs of his work and his home are in the separate collection called the “Orton Loring and Margaret Tuckerman Clark Papers” (MA 01027). The Clarks lived in what is now the Amherst College property known as the Clark House on College Street, and one of the designs Orton Clark used frequently, a modernized fleur-de-lis, is still visible on the front of the house.

The collections listed in the Related Materials Note are important resources for anyone interested in learning more about some of the major figures in the Tuckerman-Clark Family Papers. Researchers should consult the finding aids associated with these collections for more details.


  • Creation: 1802-1961


Conditions Governing Access

There is no restriction on access to the Tuckerman-Clark Family Papers for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the Tuckerman-Clark Family Papers should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.


4.0 Linear feet (1 record box, 2 oversize flat boxes)

Language of Materials



The Tuckerman-Clark Family Papers are a small group of documents related to the families of Margaret Tuckerman Clark (including her father, mother, grandparents, aunts and uncles) and her husband Orton Loring Clark (primarily papers related to Clark himself). The collection includes correspondence, photographs, unique documents, and genealogical material (especially for the Tuckerman line). Notable among the collections are items associated with Margaret Clark’s grandfather, poet Frederick Goddard Tuckerman, and his brothers Edward Tuckerman, a lichenologist, and Samuel Parkman Tuckerman, an organist and composer.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Tuckerman-Clark Papers were the gift of Hugh Clark in 2010.

Related Materials

For related material in the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections, see also:

  1. The Orton Loring and Margaret Tuckerman Clark Papers (MA.01027; unprocessed)
  2. The Cushing-Tuckerman-Esty Family Papers (MA.00293; in progress)
  3. The Edward Tuckerman Papers (MA.01029)
  4. The Edward Tuckerman Botanical Papers (MA.00043)

Related Materials at University of Massachusetts, Amherst

  1. Orton Loring Clark Papers, 1910-1922 (Call no.: FS 047)
  2. Henry James Clark Papers, 1865-1872 (Call no.: FS 048)
Margaret R. Dakin, Archives and Special Collections Specialist
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299