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Austin Barclay Fletcher Papers

Call Number: MS121

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence, a family Bible with a copy of Austin Barclay Fletcher's marriage certificate bound into the text block, newspaper clippings, photographs of Austin Barclay Fletcher and Hortense M. Fletcher, and statements of the Tufts Board of Trustees concerning the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. The bulk of the material is dated from 1910 to 1923. The materials in this collection document Austin Barclay Fletcher's professional life as the president of the Tufts University Board of Trustees. Tufts President John Albert Cousens also appears prominently in this collection.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1910 -- 1923
  • Creation: 1876 -- 1976



This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. No documentation is available regarding the intellectual property rights in this collection.

Biographical / Historical

Austin Barclay Fletcher (1852-1923), A1876, was president of the Board of Trustees of Tufts College from 1913 to 1923. His generosity and loyalty to his alma mater led to the establishment of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Fletcher was born on March 13, 1852, in Mendon, Massachusetts, to descendants of an early settler of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. During his youth, his family moved to Franklin, where his parents had the supervision of the boarding department of Dean Academy. Fletcher entered the Universalist-chartered coeducational preparatory school, considered to be a "feeder" for Tufts College, in 1867. After attending the academy for three years, Fletcher moved on to Wilbraham Academy before matriculating at Tufts in 1872. He obtained a B.A. from the college in 1876 and returned to Dean Academy to teach Oratory. He later taught at Boston University and Brown University. During this time he published two books on the subject of oratory training.

Fletcher continued his studies at Boston University Law School, receiving LL.B. (1879) and M.A. (1880) degrees. Fletcher began practicing law in New York City in 1882, spending the remainder of his life there, serving as counsel for many large corporations and trustee of several substantial estates. He eventually became president and primary stock holder of the prominent law firm Eppinger and Russell. In January 1882, Fletcher married Hortense M. Follett, who died in 1905.

Active in several organizations, Fletcher served as president of both the New England Society of New York and the National Institution of Social Sciences. He was a trustee of Dean Academy and Boston University and was also president of the Fletcher Family Union, which had 10,000 enrolled members. Fletcher was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Zeta Psi fraternity, and a Templar Knight.

Fletcher delivered the oratory at Tufts' semi-centennial celebration in 1905. In 1909, he was elected to the Board of Trustees of Tufts College, serving as its president from 1913-23. Through Fletcher's coordination of bequests and his own generosity, the college received many substantial gifts. His personal friend and client, Henry J. Braker, bestowed $500,000 on the college after visiting campus only once, during the semi-centennial, to hear Fletcher's speech. The gift was intended to further the study of economics on campus.

Fletcher made Tufts the principal beneficiary of his estate, including bequests to establish five endowed professorships in oratory, English, music, philosophy, and public speaking and debate, a bequest to establish a school of law and diplomacy (The Fletcher School), and funds for the construction and maintenance of new buildings. He died July 5, 1923, at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in New York.


1.0 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection is organized into one series.

Processing status

This collection is processed.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States