Judith Sargent Murray Society
JSM's dates: 1751-1820
Sargent House Museum
Franklin Place, with the Bulfinch Urn
Franklin Place interiorJohn Murray Grave Site at Mount AuburnGovernor John Langdon HouseSayward-Wheeler House
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Sargent House Museum, Gloucester

Judith Sargent Murray lived here from 1782 (the year it was built) to 1794, with her first husband, John Stevens Jr., and then with her second husband, John Murray. The museum is open to the public from Memorial Day Weekend to Columbus Day Weekend. The handsome Georgian mansion is filled with a remarkably fine collection including a portrait of John Murray by Judith's cousin Henry Sargent. Paint testing revealed that Judith painted her house a vivid mustard color.

Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago
The Foundation owns the portrait of Judith Sargent Murray by John Singleton Copley, painted when she was eighteen or nineteen years old and known as "Mrs. John Stevens." The portrait may be viewed at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Cape Ann Museum, Gloucester
The museum's archives include early Universalist church records, pamphlets denouncing John Murray, and other papers belonging to the Sargent family, their friends and business acquaintances. In the galleries, you will see the silver confiscated from the Sargents by First Parish to punish the Universalists for not attending church and paying taxes.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The museum owns two paintings by Judith's cousin Henry Sargent depicting the interior of his townhouse at Franklin Place, Boston. Judith Sargent Murray lived in another townhouse at Franklin Place, but the interiors were no doubt very similar. Sargent's works are the only known interiors of Franklin Place. The museum also owns silverware and other artifacts owned by the Sargent family.

The Bostonian Society/Old State House
The Bostonian Society placed a plaque on Franklin Street in Boston to mark the site of Franklin Place, Judith's former home, which burned down in the Great Boston Fire of 1872. The Society also owns a rich collection of materials from eighteenth-century Boston.

Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge
John Murray is buried at Mount Auburn, having been moved from Boston's Granary Burying Ground in 1837 by the U.S. Convention of Universalists. Also located in the cemetery is the grave site of the renowned Boston architect Charles Bulfinch who built Franklin Place. The massive urn that marks his grave site used to stand in front of Franklin Place's central arch. Luckily, because Franklin Place burned down in the Great Boston Fire of 1872, this one remnant remains. Judith would have seen this urn every time she left or returned home to her townhouse.

Historic New England
Historic New England (formerly SPNEA) owns at least two properties Judith Sargent Murray visited—facts documented by her letters—and probably more: the Governor John Langdon House in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and the Sayward-Wheeler House in York, Maine, where the two orphan girls she took in eventually lived after marrying Jonathan Sayward Barrel—first Mary Plummer, then her sister Anna after Mary died. It is highly probable that Judith also visited the Otis House in Boston.

Adams National Historic Site
Judith Sargent and John Murray stayed here on their honeymoon journey in 1788. Ten years later, Judith dedicated her book, The Gleaner, to John Adams whom she admired greatly and with whom she maintained a correspondence. A copy of The Gleaner is housed in the Adams library; Abigail Adams inscribed one of the volumes with her signature.

Massachusetts Historical Society
The Society's collection contains the papers of Winthrop Sargent, Judith Sargent Murray's brother, which include letters written by his children to Judith. The papers of family friends also contain information about Judith and John Murray. You will also find early records of Gloucester's Universalist church.

Unitarian Universalist Sites
A brief biography of Judith Sargent Murray by Bonnie Hurd Smith is published in the Dictionary of Unitarian Universalist Biography.

Women's History Trails
Judith Sargent Murray is included on the Boston Women's Heritage Trail, Salem Women's Heritage Trail, and Boston Women & The Law.


Independent scholar and author Bonnie Hurd Smith is the president and CEO of History Smiths, a marketing company that works with businesses to incorporate history -- their own and their community's -- into their branding, marketing, and community outreach to attract customers, boost customer loyalty, and secure a high status reputation in the communities they serve.