Skip to main content

Hewes Family Papers

Identifier: SpC MS 1741

Scope and Contents

Materials in the collection include many family letters, the diaries of two members of the family, and a few documents related to Benjamin’s attendance at Bowdoin College.

The majority of the letters were saved by Benjamin W. Hewes and were written to him by friends and family members including his parents, sisters, and cousins. One document served to guarantee payment of Ben’s tuition at Bowdoin College and was signed by his brother-in-law, Llewellyn Powers. Ben’s wife, Cora, saved a few letters written to her from mother, Phebe Tupper, and Ben’s sister, Puss. One of the letters was written by Cora’s aunt, I.N. Wier, to her father, Eliakim.

The vast majority of items, both letters and diaries, were transcribed prior to their donation. Brief comments have been recorded about many of the letters, noting topics that include family marriages, deaths, a trial, a murder in Levant in 1866, and a new railroad in 1871. A letter from Puss to her aunt Laura provides a detailed account of Martha’s two year affliction and treatment for cancer before her death in 1876. The majority of the topics in letters, however, relate to light-hearted, day-to-day affairs.


  • Creation: 1843-1918


Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions on access.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on literary rights available from the repository.

Biographical Note

Benjamin Albro Hewes (1812-1892) and his wife, Martha Adeline Linnell Hewes (1812-1876) settled in central Maine around 1856. They had three children: Virginia, known as Jennie, born in 1844; Augusta, or Puss, born in 1846; and Benjamin W., or Bennie, born in 1853.

The family had been living in Massachusetts, most recently in Plymouth. The census of 1860 shows them living with Martha’s brother, John, in the town of Exeter, Maine, but they later moved to Levant.

Jennie married Llewellyn Powers in 1862 and went to live in Houlton in Aroostook County. Llewellyn Powers served in the United States House of Representatives from 1877 to 1879, and as Governor of Maine from 1897 to 1901.

Puss Hewes never married. Ben W. graduated from Bowdoin College in 1875 and practiced law in Danforth in Washington County. He married Cora Tupper from Topsfield.

Mary E. (Betty) Linnell was a member of the family that lived with Jennie and Llewelyn Powers at the time of writing her diary in 1873.


1.5 linear feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Materials in the collection include many family letters, the diaries of two members of the family, and a few documents related to the attendance of Benjamin W. Hewes at Bowdoin College.


Arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Sally Tongren, 2012.

Guide to the Hewes Family Papers
Box And Folder List Available
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for uncoded script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States