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Papers, 1844-1923

MC 188

4 boxes

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 1888.

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 Collection

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.

Folder Listing

  1. Jennie Mabelle Demeritt, 1863-1936

    1. Correspondence
    2. Notes
    3. Published Works
  2. Mary Pickering Thompson, 1825-1894
    1. Correspondence
    2. Diaries
    3. Notebooks
    4. Notes
  3. Lucien Thompson, 1859-1924
  4. Legal Documents
  5. Miscellaneous

I. JENNIE MABELLE Demeritt, 1863-1936

A. Correspondence

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

B. Notes

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

C. Published Works

f.9 "The Story of the Old House" (Photocopy)


A. Correspondence

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

B. Diaries

f.12 Volume II, Sept. 28, 1844 to Nov. 18, 1845 f.13 Volume III, Nov. 19, 1845 to Nov. 19, 1846 f.14 Volume IV, Nov. 19, 1846 to March 11, 1849

C. Notebooks

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

D. Notes

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


f.18 Correspondence: from Lucien Thompson, 1889. f.19 Estate of Mary Demeritt, Probate Document, 1896 f.20 Estate of Mary Demeritt, Notebook, [1896?] BOX 4 f.1 Account Book, 1864-1877.


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


f.7 Correspondence: from Eva C. Hale, 1913. f.8 Notes: for "Meeting of Colonial Dames", n.d. f.9 Notes: "One of Dover's Noted Women", by Anne Watson. f.10 Notes: Other. f.11 Thompson Family Clippings.

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