Hovey, Ivory. Papers

Collection History

Please note that as of January 2022, the Ivory Hovey papers, 1731-1803, and all future digital collections are now hosted on the library's new digital archive.

Rev. Ivory Hovey (1714-1803) was born in Topsfield, Massachusetts, the son of Captain Ivory Hovey and Anne Pingree. He graduated from Harvard College in 1735 and subsequently taught school at Marlborough, Mass. He was ordained minister at the Second (West) Parish of Rochester, later known as the First Congregational Church of Mattapoisett, in 1740. He served there for nearly three decades, but left in 1769 after theological disputes over his ministry. He then became minister at the Second Church of Plymouth at Manomet in 1770, and remained there until his death. He married Olive Jordan in 1739, and they had five children who lived to adulthood; three of his sons served in the American Revolution and his daughter Olive settled with her husband on the Maine frontier.

The items in this collection include correspondence, sermons, ecclesiastical council decisions, church records, vital records, and other papers relating to family affairs and Rev. Hovey's congregations. The original manuscripts in this collection are owned by our project partners, the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Further information about the collection can be found in the NEHGS catalog.


Digital Materials

Family papers, 1731-1857

This family material includes four letters from Rev. Hovey's sons, Dominicus (b. 1740), Ivory III (b. 1748), and Samuel (b. 1750), who witnessed noteworthy events of the American Revolution. They describe the evacuation of New York in 1783, the Siege of Boston in 1775-1776, the reading of the Declaration of Independence, and the American retreat from Ticonderoga. Rev. Hovey also received a letter in 1781 from his daughter Olive Hovey Pope describing the wilderness of Wells, Maine which she and her husband were attempting to farm.

1731 September 17 by Stephen Sewall (secretary)   handwritten copy of Harvard College's "Leges Collegii"
1732 May 31 from Ivory Hovey, Sr. to Rev. Hovey letter from Rev. Hovey's father regarding his progress at Harvard and money sent
1738 February 6 by Samuel Jordan (Town Clerk)   marriage intention of Ivory Hovey and Olive Jordan, Biddeford, Maine
1770 December 10 from Rev. Hovey to Anne Hovey letter to his daughter with advice on coming of age
1775 July 17 from Rev. Hovey to Olive J. Hovey letter to his wife with general correspondence from Rochester
1776 March 30 from Samuel Hovey to Rev. Hovey letter to his father from Roxbury describing the evacuation of Boston
1776 July 10 from Samuel Hovey to Rev. Hovey letter to his father from N.Y. describing the reading of the Declaration of Independence in Heath’s Brigade
1776 October 7 from Dominicus Hovey to Rev. Hovey letter from Harlem, N.Y. describing the evacuation of New York and other notes on his military service
1777 July 17 from Ivory Hovey III to Rev. Hovey letter to his father from Fort Miller, N.Y. describing the retreat from Fort Ticonderoga
1781 May 25 from Olive H. Pope to Rev. Hovey letter from Rev. Hovey's daughter in Wells, Maine describing the farm and her experiences during the Revolutionary War
1748-1789 by Rev. Hovey   memoranda on charitable contributions made over the years, including shorthand notes
1794 February 25 from subscribers of a tax committee to Mr. James Clarck record of a payment to James Clarck
1857 September 17 from Laura I. Curtis to Mrs. Augusta R. Hovey letter from Brooklyn, N.Y. requesting a reply
1857 October 2 from Laura I. Curtis to Mrs. Augusta R. Hovey letter from Brooklyn, N.Y. requesting a visit
1857 October 27 from Laura I. Curtis to Rev. Alvah Hovey letter from Brooklyn, N.Y. requesting a reply
undated     typewritten genealogy of several generations of the Hovey family

Mattapoisett church records, 1746-1770

These papers document Rev. Hovey's relations with his congregation during his time at the First Church of Mattapoisett, mainly consisting of correspondence with parishioners and fellow clergy.

1746 September 30 by Rev. Hovey (scribe)   an examination of complaints against the installation of Othnaiel Campbell at the Church of Christ in Tiverton, R.I.
1747 August 5 from Rev. Hovey to Rev. George Whitefield letter inviting Whitefield to preach at Mattapoisett
1749 January 12 from Rev. Hovey to "Mrs. Bride" letter offering congratulations and advice on a recent marriage
1752 November 13 from Rev. Hovey to the Mattapoisett Precinct letter with suggestions for financial support
1755 September 9 from Rev. Hovey to his debtors notice asking for payments to support his ministry
1759 September 17 by Israel Cheever   summary of a vote taken by the First Congregational Society, New Bedford, Mass.
1768 December 9 by an Ecclesiastical Council of four churches   statement from meeting at Rochester (Mattapoisett) Mass., recommending that Rev. Hovey be dismissed as pastor of the First Church
1769 July 11 from Rev. Hovey to the First Church in Rochester, Mass. letter proposing his schedule of dismissal
1769 September 9 from Jonathan Moore to Rev. Hovey letter inviting Rev. Hovey to a lecture and dinner
1770 January 29 from Chandler Robbins to Rev. Hovey letter assuring Rev. Hovey that he will get sermons ordered from Boston when the harbors thaw
1770 February 22 from Chandler Robbins to Rev. Hovey letter confirming receipt of sermons from Boston


Plymouth (Manomet) church records, 1775-1803

This small volume of loose records contains records of ceremonies performed by Rev. Hovey at Manomet, Mass., subsequent to his dismissal from the First Church of Mattapoisett. These include marriages, baptisms, and admissions of new members.


Sermons, 1763-1798

This volume contains a selection of handwritten sermons preached by Rev. Hovey between 1763 and 1798.

  • 1 Corinthians 15:26 – "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death…"
      first preached at Medfield, 24 April 1763
  • Lamentations 3:21-22 – "This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not…"
      first preached 1776
  • 2 Corinthians 1:12 – "For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world …"
      first preached 28 September 1783


Related Materials

Mattapoisett, Mass. First Church, 1736-1886


Special Thanks

These digital resources have been made possible in part by the Council on Library and Information Resources, through a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this resource do not necessarily represent those of the Council on Library and Information Resources.