Five College Archives and Manuscript
Mount Holyoke College seal
Prince letters, 1853-1861.
3 folders
Collection number: MS 0577 (LD 7096.6 x1860 Prince)

Prince, Henriette Marsh, 1835-1869; Teacher. Attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, 1857-1858. Papers consist of letters written to a friend, principally describing her work at a plantation school in King William County, Virginia.

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Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Henrietta Prince was born in Thompson, Maine in 1835. She graduated from Thompson Academy, and journeyed to Virginia in 1853 to conduct a school in King William County. She left Virginia in 1857 to attend Mount Holyoke (x1860). In 1866 she married Raymond Hanford of Danville. They had two children. Henrietta Prince Hanford died shortly after the birth of her second child in 1869.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Henriette M. Prince Papers consist of correspondence and biographical information. The material primarily reflects Prince's time as a schoolteacher at J.P. Johnson's "Mount Airy" plantation in King William County, Virginia during the 1850s. Excerpts of the letters, written from Prince to Louise Paine, of Thomaston, Maine, were published in "Virginia Magazine of History and Biography" in October 1971. Prince frequently discusses friendships between people both in Maine and in Virginia, courtships between various men and women, and gives significant attention to dress. She also takes great pride in her social accomplishments such as learning to dance and in her work at the plantation school. She often relates to Paine that she is a well-liked teacher. Additionally, some of the letters reflect the escalating political tensions in the decade preceding the United States Civil War from Prince's perspective while living in Virginia, and later in Maine. The letters are also heavily influenced by religion, as Prince attempts to convince Paine to become a Baptist. Two letters are written from Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in 1858, and they continue the strong religious tone as Prince congratulates Paine for accepting religion into her life. She also briefly mentions her relationship with her roommates and her feelings about the school. The biographical information consists primarily of information provided by Prince's daughter, Henrietta Hanford Boyd.

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:


Preferred Citation

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

Henrietta Prince Letters, Mount Holyoke College, Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, Massachusetts

History of the Collection

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

Email Reference Form:
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.

  • Paine, Louise.
  • Prince, Henrietta Marsh, 1835-1869.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - History - Sources.
  • Plantation life - Virginia - King William County - History - Sources.
  • Teachers - Virginia - Correspondence.
  • Women teachers - Virginia - Correspondence.

  • Paine, Louise.

Genre terms
  • Letters- Collections

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