Papers of Francis Sales, 1798-1854

About this Collection

Sales, F. (Francis) , 1771-1854
Legal instruments.
Collection Title
Papers of Francis Sales, 1798-1854
Multiple languages
.22 cubic feet (1 half-legal document box)
Harvard University Archives
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Sales, F. (Francis)
Harvard University--Faculty
Harvard University.
Spanish language--Study and teaching (Higher)--Massachusetts--Cambridge
French language--Study and teaching (Higher)--Massachusetts--Cambridge

Content Notes

This collection contains ten documents related to Francis Sales, Harvard instructor of French and Spanish from 1816 until 1854. While most of the documents are in English, two of the documents are in French. The records pertain to Sales's work as a translator, his honorary master's degree from Harvard in 1835, communication with French government leader Francois Argo (1786-1853) in 1848 and 1849, Sales's resignation from Harvard in 1852 and 1854, and letters of condolence to Sales's daughter, Mary, from the Harvard Corporation and Senator Charles Sumner following Sales's death on February 16, 1854. The documents include a translation certified by Sales of a 1798 power of attorney for ship captain Thomas Whippo, correspondence between Sales and Harvard President Josiah Quincy related to the delivery of his honorary diploma, an 1852 letter from Harvard Corporation member James Walker regarding Sales's letter of resignation, an autobiographical sketch by Sales written in 1853, and a copy of his 1854 resignation.

Biographical Notes

Francis Sales (1771-1854), a Harvard instructor of French and Spanish from 1816 to 1854, was born in Thuir, France. Sales immigrated to the United States in June 1793 and gave French and Spanish lessons in Boston until 1816, when he was appointed the instructor of French and Spanish at Harvard. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, George Ticknor, and Charles Sumner were among Sales's pupils, and beginning in 1822, Sales authored a number of French and Spanish language textbooks. In 1835, he received an honorary degree from Harvard. Citing his failing health, Sales attempted to resign from Harvard in 1852, but he continued to teach until January 1854. He died on February 16, 1854. Sales married Mary Peck on July 24, 1796 and they had one daughter, Mary Catherine Sales. The Sales Prize, which was funded by a bequest from Sales, continues to be awarded for the best essay written in Spanish by a Harvard undergraduate.