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Lorenzo James Hatch and Hatch family papers, circa 1890-1950, bulk 1908-1914

Hatch, Lorenzo James, 1856-1914


This site provides access to the papers of Lorenzo James Hatch in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2010. The papers have been scanned in their entirety, and total 3,656 images.

Collection Information

Size: 1.7 linear feet

Summary: The Lorenzo James Hatch and Hatch family papers consist of family correspondence, printed material, scrapbooks of printed materials and photographs, and a travel account. Most of the collection concerns the family's time in Beijing (formerly Peking), China, from 1908-1914, while Hatch was assisting the Chinese government with creating a Bureau of Printing and Engraving. The papers reveal impressions of the social and economic conditions of the Chinese, the revolutionary events of 1911 and 1912, the Pneumonic Plague epidemic in China from 1910-1911, and sight-seeing trips. Included letters are from Lorenzo Hatch, his wife Grace Harrison Hatch, his son Harrison, and Grace's sister Miss Effie Harrison to mostly family members in the United States between 1908-1914. An addition of 0.4 linear feet donated 2015 includes biographical material, photographs of Hatch, his family and works of art, personal correspondence, artwork, printed material, and legal and financial records relating to the estate of Lorenzo Hatch. Also included is a horseshoe from Harrison Hatch's pony "Moses" (in China).
Letters trace the family's journey from California to Peking, China, and their life in China. Lorenzo's correspondence includes information concerning Chinese politics and the revolution, the roles of Sun Yat-Sen and Yuan Shih K'ai between 1911-1912 and the fall of the Qing Dynasty. Effie Harrison's and Grace Hatch's letters discuss day-to-day life in China, sight-seeing trips and their reactions to the social and political unrest in the country. Additional correspondence includes condolence letters sent to the family after Lorenzo's death. There is a also a written account by Effie Harrison describing her travel to China on a steamer ship.
Printed materials consist of clippings and a Macbeth Gallery exhibition catalog from a 1937 show of Hatch's paintings.
There are three photographs of Peking. Three disbound scrapbooks include photographs of the Chinese landscape and monuments, interior shots, and of the family traveling through China. Photographs are of the Ming Tombs, the Great Wall of China, as well as temples and city buildings. Some later photographs are of family members that were taken around 1920, after their return to the United States. The scrapbooks also contain examples of Chinese currency designed by Lorenzo James Hatch.

Biographical/Historical Note

Lorenzo James Hatch (1856-1914) was born in Vermont and is best known for his work as a portrait engraver in Washington, D.C. and New York. Hatch worked for the United States Bureau of Printing and Engraving, private bank note printers, and in China, assisting the government with establishing a government bureau of printing and engraving.


The papers of Lorenzo James Hatch and the Hatch family were donated in 1989 by Hatch's great-grandniece, Janet Young Brockmoller and in 2015 by John and Janet Fesler, who acquired the material from a neighbor who received the papers from Gail Hatch, Hatch's sister-in-law and executor for Grace Harrison Hatch, Hatch's wife.