59 School Street, Box 1310, Edgartown MA 02539 - 508.627.4441
Martha's Vineyard Museum MV Museum

A Finding Aid to the Dency Cleveland Luce Correspondence, 1831-1893, bulk 1839-1841

Descriptive Summary

RepositoryMartha's Vineyard Museum, Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539
Call NumberRU 441
Creator Luce, Dency Cleveland, 1812-1893
TitleDency Cleveland Luce correspondence
Date1831-1893, bulk 1839-1841
Extent1/2 box (0.252 cubic feet)
LanguageThe materials are in English.
AbstractThe collection consists of correspondence addressed to Dency Cleveland Luce of Tisbury, Massachusetts, dating from 1831-1893, bulk 1839-1841. The majority of the letters are from Dency Luce's younger brother, Lorenzo Dow Cleveland.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use and Reproduction Restrictions

Requests to reproduce material from this collection should be directed to the library's staff. Reproduction fees may apply.

Preferred Citation

Martha's Vineyard Museum, RU 441, Dency Cleveland Luce Correspondence.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Phyllis C. Carter in August 2001. (Accession no. 2001.044)

Custodial History

These letters were collected by the great aunt of Phyllis C. Carter. She was Laura McIntire, who married Henry Luce. The pair had no children and the materials passed to Laura's sister, Jeannette McIntire, whose daughter, Hermione Ann Smith married Arthur Bernard Callan, parents of Phyllis C. Carter.


American Institute of Architects. "Mr. Lorenzo D. Cleveland, F. A. I. A." In American Institute of Architects: Quarterly Bulletin 6:1 (April 1905): 22.

Cleveland, Edmund Janes. The Genealogy of the Cleveland and Cleaveland Families: An Attempt to Trace in Both the Male and Female Lines, the Posterity of Moses Cleveland... Hartford, Conn.: Case, Lookwood & Brainard, 1899. 3 vols.

Publication Information

Martha's Vineyard Museum

Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Insley Julier March 2013. Machine-encoded by Nathaniel Janick April 2014.

 Creation of this finding aid was sponsored by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Index Terms

Corporate Name(s)

  • Selma (Ship)


  • Correspondence
  • Invitations

Geographic Name(s)

  • Alton (Ill.)
  • Homes Hole (Mass.)
  • New Bedford (Mass.)
  • Tisbury (Mass. : Town)
  • Washington (Washington County, Pa.)

Personal Name(s)

  • Cleveland, Lorenzo Dow, 1822-1905

Biography/Historical Note

Prudence Luce Cleveland Luce, known as Dency, was born on August 4, 1812 to Prudence (Dency) Luce Cleveland, 1781-1873 and James Cleveland, 1778-1846, of Tisbury, Massachusetts. She had three siblings, Sophronia, George William and Lorenzo Dow. In 1840 or 1841 Prudence Luce Cleveland married Franklin Luce. Franklin Luce, 1805-1860, was a mariner. He sailed as a young man, on the ships Charles and Rousseau, both of New Bedford, Massachusetts. The ship Selma, under his command, was burned at sea on September 9, 1841 during a whaling voyage. He and his crew were rescued and delivered to Sierra Leone, Africa. Prudence and Franklin Luce had four children, James Franklin, Abbie Thomas, Daniel George and George Williams. Reportedly, Franklin Luce drowned at Nomans Land, an island off the south-west coast of Martha's Vineyard in 1860. Prudence Cleveland Luce died in 1893.

Lorenzo Dow Cleveland was born in Tisbury, Massachusetts, on July 5, 1822 to Prudence (Dency) Luce Cleveland, 1781-1873 and James Cleveland, 1778-1846. He attended the Dukes County Academy and then obtained an apprenticeship in New Bedford, Massachusetts to train as a joiner, contractor and builder, later studying architecture with Josiah Brown of Fall River, Massachusetts. Lorenzo Cleveland subsequently relocated to Illinois, living in Alton, Springfield and by 1870, Chicago. He worked as an architect in Chicago, forming several partnerships over the years. He also served as Commissioner of Buildings for the city in the late 1870s. Cleveland was elected an Associate of the American Institute of Architects in 1873 and a Fellow in 1886. He withdrew from private practice in 1892 to supervise the construction of two buildings for the World's Fair of 1893. He retired shortly thereafter, though he retained his membership in the Institute until his death. Lorenzo Dow Cleveland died in March 1905.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection consists of correspondence addressed to Dency Cleveland Luce, variously referred to as Miss Dency L. Cleveland or Mrs. Franklin Luce of Tisbury, Massachusetts, dating from 1831-1893, bulk 1839-1841. The majority of the correspondence is from her younger brother, Lorenzo Dow Cleveland. Dency Cleveland Luce also received letters from several of her cousins on her mother's side, including; Saloma (Sally) Frost, daughter of Nancy Luce and Barzillai Frost; Abisha L. Harding, son of Rebecca Luce and Ephraim Harding, Jr., and; Josias Luce, son of Hovey Luce and Nancy Clifford. In addition, the collection includes a few letters addressed to other members of the Luce family, as well as, bills and receipts, certificates, invitations, a photograph, a subpoena addressed to Franklin Luce and a Luce genealogy manuscript, made for framed display.


The collection is arranged by correspondent and therein chronologically, with miscellaneous materials filed at the end.

Collection Contents


Cleveland, Lorenzo Dow, 1839-1864? 


Cabinet Card of Lorenzo Dow Cleveland, circa 1881 


Frost, Saloma (Sally), 1835-1841 


Harding, Abishai Luce, 1838-1840 


Luce, Josias, 1840 


Invitations for Social Calls, 1837-1838?, undated 


Unidentified Correspondents and Miscellaneous Receipts, 1834-1841, undated 


Letter from Charles Luce to Hovey Luce, 1831 


Note: Charles was the son of Hovey Luce. He writes from aboard the Dwight (Brig). ,  

Subpoena and Letters to Franklin Luce, 1841-1842, undated 


Note: Letters relate to the Selma (Ship) and the subpoena concerns a case involving Peter Daggett, light keeper.


Boston Association of Odd Fellows, Certificate to Daniel Luce, 1893 


Luce Genealogy Manuscript, undated