Five College Archives and Manuscript
Mount Holyoke College seal
Putnam papers, 1845-1846.
1 box (2.5 linear in.)
Collection number: MS 0710 (LD 7096.6 x1848 Putnam)

Putnam, Lucy Pepper, 1823-1849; Student. Attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, 1845-1846. Papers contain a letter, ten compositions and poems. Primarily documenting her travel from her home in New Hampshire to Mount Holyoke and her social life and activities at school.

Terms of Access and Use:


Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Lucy Pepper Putnam, the daughter of Benjamin Putnam, was born in Washington, Vermont on March 22, 1823. She entered Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in September of 1845 from Plaistow, New Hampshire, where she was residing at the time. She remained at Mount Holyoke only through the end of the 1845-1846 session. Putnam died on February 21, 1849 in Haverhill, Massachusetts, at the age of twenty-five.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Lucy Pepper Putnam Papers contain a letter and ten compositions and poems, all written during her year as a student at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, 1845-1846. The letter, addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel Clarke, primarily discusses her travel to Mount Holyoke Female Seminary from New Hampshire and her reaction to her first three weeks at the school. Besides writing about her homesickness, Putnam describes her room in the Seminary Building, the furnishings, the rules, her domestic work, examinations, her schedule, the food, and Mary Lyon. There are six compositions as well as four poems. Two of the compositions, "A Visit to the Insane Asylum," (which describes an attempt to visit an insane asylum in Concord, New Hampshire) and "Character of Queen Esther," are probably creative pieces. The other compositions are entitled "Great Effects from Small Causes," "Female Education," "Early Rising," and "Uncertainty of Earthly Things." The poems are entitled "One Composition," "The Star of Bethlehem," "My Home," and "My Mother."

Material from this collection is available in an online digital format.

This collection is organized into two series:

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


Preferred Citation

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

Lucy P. Putnam Papers, Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections, South Hadley, MA.

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.

Contents List
1 folder

This series consists of a letter written by Putnam on October 11, 1845. The letter, addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Nathaniel Clarke, tells about her trip to "the Mount Holyoke convent," her homesickness, her response to the school's many rules, her room in the Seminary Building and its furnishings, domestic work, examinations, the schedule, the food, and Mary Lyon, who "who always seemed in a hurry."

1 folder


Arranged chronologically.

Scope and content:

The series consists of six compositions and four poems. Two of the compositions appear to be creative pieces. These two are entitled "Character of Queen Esther" and "A Visit to the Insane Asylum." The first describes the bravery of Queen Esther of the Jews. The second describes an attempted visit to an insane asylum in Concord, New Hampshire. The other compositions include "Great Effects from Small Causes," which describes many small events that changed the course of history. "Female Education" stresses the importance of a practical, "substantial" education for women as opposed to a "fashionable" one that focuses on singing, dancing, and other non-useful skills. "Early Rising" cites the benefits of waking up early in the morning. "Uncertainty of Earthly Things" states that money can't bring happiness. There are four poems entitled "One Compostion," "The Star of Bethlehem," "My Home," and "My Mother." The latter two poems indicate Putnam's homesickness.

Contents List
1 folder

Box : folder 1

Box 1: folder 1
Compositions and Poems,
1 folder

Compositions and poems,

Box 1: folder 2

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.

  • Lyon, Mary, 1797-1849.
  • Putnam, Lucy P. (Lucy Pepper), 1823-1849.
  • College students - Massachusetts.
  • Food.
  • Massachusetts - Description and travel.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - Buildings.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - Domestic work.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - Examinations.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - Furnishings.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - Housing.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - Schedules.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - Student life - 1845-1846.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - Student papers - 1845-1846.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - Students.
  • New Hampshire - Description and travel.
  • Seminary Building (South Hadley, Mass. : Town).
  • Voyages and travels.
  • Women college students - Massachusetts.

Genre terms
  • College students' writings, American
  • Examinations
  • Letters.
  • Poems.

Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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