Ellerton J. Brehaut collection of Edward Hartwell Savage papers
- 1826 - 1963
- Majority of material found within 1854 - 1878
Scope and Contents note
This collection documents the life of Edward Hartwell Savage and his role in the developement of the Boston Police Department from its roots in the Boston Watch. His materials include meticulous notebooks with chronological listings of events in his life and in Boston history; manuscripts of his published works, as well as some poetry and dialogue; local newspaper clippings; and records of the Boston Police Department. While on the police force Savage compiled departmental correspondence; lists of department members and shifts worked; receipts for returned lost/stolen property; and property inspection reports. This collection also includes a scrapbook of newspaper clippings and correspondence about Savage gathered by Ellerton J. Brehaut, the source of these papers.
Restrictions on access
Collection is open for research; portions also available digitially.
Restrictions on use
These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.
Edward Hartwell Savage was born in East Alstead, New Hampshire, on May 18, 1812. As a boy he attended school in winter, worked at maple sugaring in spring, and worked on his father’s farm the remainder of the year. On April 30, 1835, he married Zoa Houston of Acworth, New Hampshire, and the couple moved to nearby Marlowe. In Marlowe, Savage served as a Selectman, Surveyor of Highways, and as a member of the School Committee. Edward and Zoa Savage had two sons, but both died young.
After failing in business in Marlowe, Savage moved to Boston to find employment and pay his debts. He arrived in Boston in 1843, where he worked at his brother’s grocery in the North End. He also found work repairing clocks and as a handcart man at Haymarket. Savage joined the police force under Marshal Francis Tukey in 1851. When reorganization created the Boston Police Department in 1854, Savage was promoted to Captain and was placed in charge of Station Number One on Hanover Street in Boston’s North End.
Savage lived at several North End addresses, eventually moving to Boston’s South End. His wife Zoa died in 1859 and, in 1861, Savage married Fannie M. Baker. The couple had two children, Lillian and Edward (Neddie), though Neddie died of scarlet fever in 1869.
Savage was promoted to Deputy Chief in 1861 and to Chief of Police in 1870. On his retirement in 1878, he became Probation Officer of Suffolk County.
Savage had a keen interest in Boston history. His awareness of every sort of event taking place in the city and his detailed recordkeeping led to his authoring two books. His first book, A Chronological History of the Boston Watch and Police, from 1631 to 1865; together with the Recollections of a Boston police officer, or, Boston by daylight and gaslight, from the diary of an officer fifteen years in the service, was published in 1865 and again in 1873. His second book, Boston Events; brief mention and the date of more than 5,000 events that transpired in Boston from 1630 to 1880, covering a period of 250 years, together with other occurrences of interest, arranged in alphabetical order, was published in 1884.
Edward Hartwell Savage died at the age of 80 in January 1893.
"Edward Hartwell Savage’s Memorandum from May 18, 1812 to December 31, 1869; Book 1; Alstead NH to Boston Mass," Box 18, Volume 3, Ellerton J. Brehaut collection of Eward Hartwell Savage, MS.2004.069, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.
Letter from Ellerton Brehaut to Rudolph Elie, May 25, 1949, Box 2, Ellerton J. Brehaut collection of Eward Hartwell Savage, MS.2004.069, John J. Burns Library, Boston College.
Lane, Roger. Policing the City; Boston 1822-1885. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1967
11 Linear Feet (18 containers)
Language of Materials
This collection documents the life of Edward Hartwell Savage and his role in the development of the Boston Police Department from its roots in the Boston Watch.
Arranged into two series. I. Savage personal; and II. Boston Police Department. Because Savage published works on events he witnessed as part of the Boston Watch and Boston Police, many of his personal papers also document the history of the Boston Police Department. Files are chronological within series.
Originally part of the Ellerton J. Brehaut - Bostoniana Collection, these papers were purchased by Brehaut at a bookstore on Huntington Avenue, Boston, in the 1940s. One manuscript "A Dialogue," was purchased by Brehaut at an auction in Methuen, April 9, 1955.
Existence of Digital Copies
Portions of this collection are available digitally. Links are included in the inventory.
- Ellerton J. Brehaut Collection of Edward Hartwell Savage Papers
- 1826-1963 (bulk 1854-1878)
- Shelley Barber, 2004, and Lynn Moulton
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description