Mass. Historical Society
OTIS, Harrison Gray (1765-1848)

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.

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.

  • 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.