Five College Archives and Manuscript
Mount Holyoke College seal
Bushee papers, 1886-1956.
2 boxes (7.5 linear in.)
Collection number: MS 0514 (LD 7096.6 1891 Bushee)

Bushee, Alice Huntington, 1867-1956; College teacher and author. Mount Holyoke Seminary and College graduate, 1891. Papers consist of correspondence, journals, writings, research, autograph album, biographical information and photographs. Mainly documenting her experiences as a student at Mount Holyoke and her career as a Spanish teacher.

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Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Alice Huntington Bushee was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on December 3, 1867 to William Aldrich Bushee and Emily Jane Clapp. As a young girl she attended district schools in Brookfield, Vermont and the Graded School and Academy in Morrisville, Vermont. She graduated from Mount Holyoke in 1891. She recieved a Master's Degree in Spanish from Boston University in 1909. She taught at many schools and spent time in Europe before she became a professor at Wellesley College in Massachusetts in 1911. She retired in 1936 and lived with her family in Rhode Island. She wrote many books and essays throughout her life. She died on April 28, 1956 in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Alice Huntington Bushee Papers comprise journals 1886-91, writings 1892-1952, correspondence 1914-56, research material 1909-30, an autograph album 1886-91, biographical material, and photographs. The two journals reflect her reactions to classmates and teachers at Mount Holyoke, her visits to churches and other social and cultural activities during a visit to New York City, and her opinions about men and marriage. The writings consist of various articles and pamphlets, as well as some short books dealing with Spanish literature and the Bible. The research materials contain drafts of her publications. The autograph album has signatures and notes from many of her Mount Holyoke classmates.

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Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Alice H. Bushee Papers, Mount Holyoke College, Archives and Special Collection, South Hadley, Massachusetts

History of the Collection

Summary of Correspondence

Alice Huntington Bushee, the daughter of a minister, entered Mount Holyoke in the Fall of 1886 from Morrisville, in northern Vermont. She spent two years (1886 - 1888) at the Seminary, was apparently at home during 1888 - 1889 (there are no entries for this period) and returned in the Fall of 1889, graduating in 1891. Her father resigned from his church position in the Spring of 1888 and the resulting family turmoil no doubt was the reason for Alice's absence from the Seminary the next year.

At first, entries are fairly frequent and very brief but in January of 1887 she writes that she intends now to keep a journal rather than a diary-journal. Entries then become less and less frequent but they are more detailed and include comments and responses to events and people. It is apparent from the journals that she is very bright and her teachers think very highly of her, although it is not until her last year, especially when under Miss Clapp's influence, that she seems to take any pleasure in her work. She chafed under the rules and was absorbed in getting friends, particularly some young men friends, some of whom may have been cousins, to become Christians. A trip to New York visiting relatives (including Grandma) in the Spring of 1891 where she was exposed to the sophistications of the city for the first time must have been a shocking experience for her though she writes only "Shall I morally reflect or not? ... I wish I knew whether I did right in my decisions."

One year after Mount Holyoke, Alice went to Spain under the Woman's Board of the ABCFM to teach at the International Institute for Girls. She remained in Spain until 1907. In 1911 she went to Wellesley College where she taught Spanish until she retired in 1936.

The journals reveal only sketchy information about life at the Seminary during the years 1886 - 1891; of more interest may be her relationships with people, especially with teachers and young men.

Of special note:

Sep. 8Arrival at Seminary.
Oct. 9Students and teachers gave $57 for poor to Armenian Turk lecturer; composition on Paul Revere's Friend
Nov. 6Prof. Bemis lectures on Political Economy - Socialists and Anarchists.
Nov. 8Prof. Bemis on R.R. monopolies
Nov. 12"I am not going to cry anymore over the rules. One night I forgot my domestic work until about 10 minutes had passed and I went to Miss Cowles about it and cried right there and she comforted me ... I should be excused."
Nov. 15Bemis on Labor organizations.
Nov. 18"Oh dear me, Miss S. Smith [Rhetoric], about the best teacher here is going away ... to be married."
Nov. 25Thanksgiving. Miss Bardwell showed magic lantern pictures of Norway
Nov. 27Miss Judd, Rhetoric - "I may like her ... but I do not believe she knows all she might." "I am beginning to find out how bad I am... so many angry feelings ... They have too many rules and when I found a seminary unless I change a good deal, I shall not have so many."
Dec. 10Miss Clapp dissects lobster
Dec. 13Dr. Peck dissects a cat.
Dec. 17Seniors read parody on first 6 Books of Homer
Dec. 23Worcester, at Aunt Julie's; visited Female Employment Rooms - 50 women take sewing home
Dec. 31"I talked with Lucy some about cards, theatre, etc. She believes in them too much for her good
Feb. 2"I am afraid I like Nettie H. too well in a wrong way...that will not do any good."
Mar. 2Encounter with Miss Blanchard. Miss Edwards intervenes. Nettie and Hattie also victims. "I found I had two friends in a time of need. Martha Washington party. Befriends Miss Willey who had unexcused exception.
Mar. 13For the first time in my life "I am going to write in my journal on Sunday." On March 5, "quite a time in Hall" - broken rules. Nettie "likes me and shows it. I like her and show it."
Mar. 31Worcester - read Burglars in Paradise. Mr. Lansing spoke "about the objections to revivals"
Apr. 1Reading. General Lew Wallace on Turks.
Apr. 2Wallace suggested an ABCFM be established in Turkey to send missionaries here.
Apr. 23"All boys but my brothers are frauds."
May 4Nettie "is the only girl here I want to mind. Mame and Ellen mind me more than I do them."
May 29Saw Miss Cowles - "always feel better when I come away than when I go." Missionary meeting - Cathie Barbour wants to go as missionary to Spain, teaching in a girls' school. Prof. Tyler of Amherst leaves at home his lecture on not giving enough to the Lord - MH did not need it
Sep. 21At home: talk with Frank Merriam on "tobacco question" Letter from Frank saying he believes in Bible but did not believe in "praying much"
Oct. 1Reading Room in spare time. Miss Blanchard won't permit rooming with Hattie - she wants us "to help someone else". To read: Natural Laws in Spiritual World
Dec. 10"Real nice talks on books, etc." with Miss Bridges
Jan. 8Continuing last year's New Year resolution not to use slang and will add: to find good qualities in everyone. MH Missionary Society - "I would not wonder if some time I was a missionary. Mama would not have me do anything like pledging my name now." Schedule of prayer for people and missions.
Jan. 10Dreams she is married.
Feb. 2Talk with Miss Bridges, who says Alice has imperious way but nothing to correct - will gain the respect of the right kind of boys. "I want it to be understood I am not 'mashed' on her and hope never to be."
Feb. 12Describes characteristics of man she would marry
Feb. 18More on Frank Merriam
Mar. 28Asked Miss Bridges her reasons for reading novels In Worcester, visit to YMCA - "didn't enjoy the young men in trousers and sleeveless and low-necked shirts."
Apr. 12Father has resigned; parsonage to be vacated by June 1; wants to go home at end of this half-series.
Apr. 20Concern re money for next year
May 16Tears over action of church council at home. Domestic work: reading letters for Mrs. Stow's catalogue
Jun. 26[Last entry for 1887; pages 81 to 128 have been removed.]
Nov. 17Given up scientific course; will graduate next year from Seminary course "with extras"
Dec. 28Lists Christmas gifts; fall term schedule
Feb. 14Elected class secretary. Mrs. Jenness-Miller lectured to very enthusiastic audience. "I think I may adopt some of her styles of dressing."
Feb. 20Studying evolution.
May 25Miss Clapp "so nice"
Jun. 8School closing - "sorry that I shall have no more good times in the zoo lab" Miss Clapp has "opened 'avenues' of knowledge." Comment on evolution.
Jul. 21Miss Clapp gives Alice her picture
Sep. 14Talk with Miss Clapp
Oct. 12Talk with Miss Clapp on science and heredity - "I am glad I do not like her the way I have some people, but as a friend."
Feb. 1Paper on the tariff
Mar. 1Elected class valedictorian. Tied with Hattie Hutchinson and "the girls voted for me."
Mar. 22Miss Clapp's birthday party
Mar. 26Talk with Miss Clapp on many subjects. "She said she wanted me to be perfect..."
Mar. 24Trip to New York - Sightseeing with young people. Dancing, card parties
Apr. 11Liquor-flavored candy. Lunch at Aldine Club. Discussed Darwinism with Mr. Temple. Reflections on Mr. Temple and on Mr. Stone in Vermont.
Apr. 19Talk with Miss Clapp "...her visit to New York when only 18. Poor girl, she a hard time."
May 20Parents leaving Newbury "and we know not where we shall be. Shall I go to Turkey?"
Jun. 20Worcester - everything over. "For the last few weeks we [Miss Clapp] have had a standing...engagement every Sunday eve. after meeting." Oration read to Miss Clapp under apple tree.

CR Ludwig

February 1993

Additional Information
Contact Information
Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
8 Dwight Hall
50 College St.
South Hadley, MA 01075

Phone: (413) 538-2013
Fax: (413) 538-2370

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Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

  • Bushee, Alice H. (Alice Huntington), 1867-1956.
  • Page, Mary Lyon, class of 1870.
  • Autographs.
  • Books and reading.
  • Friendship - United States - History - Sources.
  • International Institute for Girls in Spain.
  • Interpersonal relations - United States - History - Sources.
  • Marriage - United States - History - Sources.
  • Missions - Spain.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Rules and regulations.
  • Mount Holyoke College - Student life - 1886-1891.
  • Mount Holyoke Seminary and College - Faculty.
  • Mount Holyoke Seminary and College - History - Sources.
  • New York (N.Y.) - Social life and customs - Sources.
  • Thanksgiving - 1886
  • Women - Psychology.
  • Women - United States - Social conditions - Sources.

Genre terms
  • Diaries

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