James Hammond Trumbull (1821-1897) was the son of Gurdon and
Sarah Ann Trumbull of Stonington, CT. He was educated at Tracy's
Academy in Norwich, CT, then went to Yale in 1838, but had to
withdraw after two years because of his poor health. After leaving
Yale, his interest turned to natural history in which he did some
In 1847 Trumbull moved to Hartford and was appointed Assistant
Secretary of State in Connecticut, a position he held until 1852.
He was again appointed in 1858, and in 1861 he was elected Secretary
of State on the Republican ticket and held office until 1866.
Trumbull was appointed Trustee and Librarian of the Watkinson
Library and worked full-time as Librarian from 1866 to 1891.
Trumbull wrote extensively on Connecticut history, but he is
most known for his work as a scholar of American Indian languages.
His works include many grammatical and lexical studies, a translation
of John Eliot's Catechism for the Indians, and a manuscript version
of a dictionary to the Eliot Indian Bible, which was published
by the Smithsonian Institution after his death.
Trumbull was also a distinguished bibliographer. He wrote the
Catalogue of the American Library of the Late Mr.George Brinley
of Hartford, Conn., an extremely important work, and at his
death he left a manuscript version of a "List of Books Printed
in Connecticut, 1709-1800", the first bibliography of Connecticut
imprints, which his daughter, Annie Eliot Trumbull, edited and
Note: Two dashes precede each folder title within a subseries.
Subseries that are not followed by a listing of folders consist
of only one folder.
Series I: Background on Trumbull and the Collection:
1. Biographical materials: miscellaneous items
2. On the Collection
--Inventory sheets from previous processing of the collection
--Older listings of the collection
--Unaccounted for items
--[Listing of] uncatalogued papers of JHT.
Series II: Correspondence (see Trumbull Collection card
file for listing of individual letters):
1. Letters from Trumbull
Note: Additional letters under Ser. VIII.1. See also the Watkinson
2. Letters neither to nor from Trumbull
3. Letters to Trumbull:
--Bartlett, John R.
--Paine, George T.
--Palfrey, John Gorham
--Pe-Po (esp. John C. Pilling)
--Winsor, Justin: 1875-1876
Note: Letters of William H. Wells are in VIII.1.
Series III: History: Colonial New England:
1. United Colonies: Notes
2. United Colonies: Transcriptions by JHT:
--Articles of Confederation; Meetings: 1643-1644
3. General (mostly Massachusetts)
Series IV: History: Connecticut:
--Events in Hartford: 1687-1819
--Various topics: printing history, politics, Connecticut
2. Notes and Transcriptions: Colonial Period
3. Notes and Transcriptions: Extracts and clippings from Connecticut
4. Notes and Transcriptions: On eminent persons
Series V: History: Connecticut: Printing and Publishing:
1. Notebook: "Books and pamphlets printed in Connecticut,
1709-1800 and by Connecticut authors elsewhere, 1629-1800."
2. Notes: Advertisements in Connecticut newspapers.
See also: IV.1 and VI.2.
Series VI: History: Connecticut: Stonington:
1. Colonial History of Stonington, Chapters II-VII (6 folders)
2. Notebooks: Miscellaneous:
--Early settlers of Stonington
--Gleanings from history
--Long Point, etc.
--Notebook XVI: Towns and lands, colonial boundaries with
Rhode Island, books printed by John Trumbull, etc.
3. Transcriptions and Notes:
--Diary of Thomas Minor, 1635-1685
--Diary of Manasseh Minor, 1697-1720
--Records, First Church, Stonington, 1674-1728
Series VII: Indian Languages: Comparative Philology
(Arranged by authors; after first folder all by JHT):
--Trumbull, J.H.: A-C
--Trumbull, J.H.: D-L
--Trumbull, J.H.: M-Z
Series VIII: Indian Languages: Place Names:
1. Chicago (JHT, W. H. Wells, et al.)
2. Individual Items (most by JHT)
3. Notebook: "Indian names of places" in or on border
Series IX: Indian Languages: Texts:
--Parable of the Sower in 30 Indian versions
--Pierson, Abraham. Some helps for the Indians
See also: American Indian MSS. Collection
Series X: Indian Languages: Word Lists:
1. Individual Items:
--Gravier, Jacques: notes
--Gravier, Jacques: notebooks
--Trumbull, J.H.: A-L
--Trumbull, J.H.: M-W
2. Notebooks (covering colors, early weapons, numerals, and
transcriptions from early sources)
See also: American Indian MSS. Collection.
Series XI: Indian Languages: Varia:
--Items laid in Trumbull books
--Trumbull's Indian books: Card file (basis of typed list)
Series XII: Miscellaneous Manuscripts:
1. Commonplace book of verse compiled, in part composed (?),
and calligraphed by JHT
2. Miscellaneous items:
--Index, which seems to relate to Americana
3. Religion: Congregationalism:
4. Religion: Indians
Series XIII: Natural History:
--Trumbull, J.H. Notebook on conchology
--Trumbull, Mary. Album of ocean flowers
Series XIV: Printed Materials:
1. Articles by JHT
2. Articles and other printed materials not by JHT
3. Scrapbooks, mostly of news clippings, the majority of which
are by JHT (compiled by JHT except as noted):
--Blue Laws (not compiled by JHT?)
--Connecticut: political, social, and historical topics:
--Historical notes on some provisions of the Connecticut
Statutes, etc.: 1860-1861
--Occasional articles: Indian Languages
--Occasional articles: Miscellaneous
--[American] Philological Association
--State Capitol and its site, 1870+
Prepared by Jeffrey H. Kaimowitz, December 1988.
Prepared for electronic publication by Michael J. Breen '99, July