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OTIS, Harrison Gray

OTIS, Harrison Gray
Mass. Historical Society


OTIS, Harrison Gray, (son of Samuel Allyne Otis), a Representative and a Senator from Massachusetts; born in Boston, Mass., on October 8, 1765; graduated from Harvard University in 1783; studied law; admitted to the bar in 1786 and commenced practice in Boston; elected to the Massachusetts general court in 1794 and 1795; appointed by President George Washington district attorney for the district of Massachusetts in 1796; elected as a Federalist to the Fifth and Sixth Congresses (March 4, 1797-March 3, 1801); was not a candidate for renomination in 1800; appointed United States district attorney for Massachusetts by President John Adams 1801-1802; member and speaker of the State house of representatives 1802-1805; member, State senate 1805-1813, 1814-1817, and was its president 1805-1806, 1808-1811; overseer of Harvard University 1810-1823; delegate to the Hartford convention in 1814; judge of the court of common pleas 1814-1818; elected as a Federalist to the United States Senate and served from March 4, 1817, to May 30, 1822, when he resigned; unsuccessful candidate for mayor of Boston in 1822 and for governor of Massachusetts in 1823; fellow of Harvard University 1823-1825; mayor of Boston 1829-1832; retired from public life; died in Boston, Mass., October 28, 1848; interment in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Mass.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Boston Public Library

Boston, MA
Papers: 25 items.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: Correspondence in William Bingham papers, 1777-1917.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 11 microfilm reels of originals (1691-1870) in the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Massachusetts Historical Society

Boston, MA
Papers: 1691-1870. 7 linear feet. Includes letterbooks, letters, chiefly on politics and Boston land development. Finding aid.
Additional Papers: 75 letters in various collections.

Massachusetts State Library

Boston, MA
Papers: Photograph of portrait of presidents of Massachusetts Senate collection, 1781-1897.

New England Historic Genealogical Society

Boston, MA
Papers: Correspondence in William Foster papers, 1734-1879.

New-York Historical Society

New York, NY
Papers: 1801-1836. 12 items.

Pierpont Morgan Library

New York, NY
Papers: 1797-1830. 2 items.

Pilgrim Society

Plymouth, MA
Papers: Correspondence in Samuel Davis papers, ca. 1778-1829.

Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities

Boston, MA
Papers: 1793-1845. Ca. 750 items. Chiefly papers relating to his real estate interests in Boston, together with personal correspondence, legal and financial records, and family memorabilia. Finding aid.

University of Virginia
Alderman Library

Charlottesville, VA
Papers: Correspondence in various collections. Finding aid.

Virginia State Library and Archives

Richmond, VA
Papers: In Tazewell family papers, 1756-1931.

Yale University Libraries
Manuscripts and Archives

New Haven, CT
Papers: In Frost family papers, 1710-1923.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Morison, Samuel Eliot. Harrison Gray Otis, 1765-1848: The Urbane Federalist. 1913. Rev. ed. (2 vols. in 1). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1969. Originally published as The Life and Letters of Harrison Gray Otis ( 2 vols.).

Otis, Harrison Gray. Otis' Letters in Defence of the Hartford Convention, and the People of Massachusetts. Boston: S. Gardner, 1824.

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