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John T. Hughes papers

Collection MS-1986-160: John T. Hughes papers


  • Creation: 1909 - 1945
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1921 - 1945

Scope and Contents

The John T. Hughes papers contain correspondence including letters, cards, telegrams, and postcards addressed to John T. Hughes and his family, plus multiple copies of a cablegram from Hughes to Èamon De Valera. Ranging from the personal to the political, the correspondence highlights Hughes's active role in Irish Free State affairs. A staunch supporter and friend of De Valera, Hughes also corresponded with Senator Joseph Connolly, who served in De Valera's cabinet as Minister of Lands and Fisheries, and Sean O'Kelly, President of Èire (1945-1949) and first President of the Irish Republic (1949-1959).

The papers also includes a number of photographs of John T. Hughes, among them a picture taken with Douglas Hyde, co-founder of the Gaelic League (1893) and first President of Ireland (1938-1947). Photographs of family members include a portrait of Hughes and his young daughter Mary as well as a photo from 1918, probably depicting one of Hughes's sons in World War I (either Thomas or Edward).

Lastly, the papers holds newspaper clippings of letters written by Hughes that were published in Boston papers, articles concerning him and Irish politics, and his obituary. Drawn mainly from Boston newspapers, these writings reflect Hughes' active role in Irish issues in America.


Restrictions on access

Collection is open for research.

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.

Biographical note

John T. Hughes was born in Watertown, Massachusetts in 1871 and attended schools in the Brighton section of Boston before entering Boston College. He transferred to Harvard University, graduated in 1893, and attended Harvard Law School from 1893-1895. Hughes practiced law for over 45 years, most of them as the trial attorney for the Boston Elevated Railway.

Most noted for his active role in Irish politics in America, Hughes shared a close friendship with Èamon De Valera and did much to champion De Valera's policies in the United States. Hughes helped found the American Association for the Recognition of the Irish Republic in 1920. Remaining loyal to De Valera's Republicanism, Hughes supported De Valera's rejection of the Irish Treaty in 1922, and during the Irish Civil War made numerous speeches in Symphony Hall, Boston, to raise funds for the freedom movement.


"Obituaries." Boston Globe (Boston, MA), Sept. 29, 1945.

"Obituaries." Boston Herald (Boston, MA), Sept. 29, 1945.

"Obituaries." The New York Times (New York, NY), Sept. 29, 1945.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 container)

Language of Materials



The papers contain materials related to Boston area lawyer and Irish activist John T. Hughes (1871-1945) and his family. It includes clippings concerning Hughes and Irish politics; correspondence; photographs; letters written by Hughes and published in Boston papers; and Hughes's obituary.


Arranged in three series: I. Clippings, articles, and obituary, II. Correspondence, and III. Photographs.


Because the current accessioning system was not used until January 1986, it is not possible to know exactly the dates of acquisition of materials received before that time.

John T. Hughes Papers
1909-1945 (bulk 1921-1945)
Mark Roskoski
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States