Five College Archives and Manuscript Collections
Mount Holyoke College seal
Welch papers, 1846-1848.
1 box (2.5 linear in.)
Collection number: MS 0775 (LD 7096.6 1847 Bell)

Abstract:
Welch, Elizabeth Mary Bell, 1829-1876; student. Mount Holyoke Female Seminary graduate, 1847. Papers consist of a commonplace book of sermons, a journal, drawings, and memorabilia documenting primarily her daily academic and social activities and her religious life while a student at Mount Holyoke.

Terms of Access and Use:

Unrestricted.

Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Biographical Note

Elizabeth Mary Bell was born in Cornwall, Connecticut on March 30, 1829. She was the daughter of Julius Bell and Elizabeth Carlins Bell. She graduated from the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in 1847. Upon leaving Mount Holyoke, she married John Hopestill Welch. She had five children. She died in Hartford, Connecticut in 1876 at the age of forty-seven.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Elizabeth Mary Bell Welch Papers consists of a journal (with typescript excerpts); weekly journal of sermons; notebook of drawings; pastoral pencil sketch; and memorabilia. The material in the collection primarily dates from her middle and senior years (1846-1847) as a student at the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. Her journal entries begin in the second term of her middle year and include her thoughts on religion, academic studies, health, domestic activities, regulations, and special events. One event that Welch makes particular note of is the July 4th excursion to the Mount Holyoke Range. Welch's entries mention not only her friends, but her teachers, including: Principal Mary Lyon, Associate Principal Miss Mary C. Whitman, and Mrs. Hannah Kingsbury Porter. She also addresses those in the community who awaited conversion and the illness and subsequent deaths of several members of the Seminary. The journal of sermons is a compilation of quotations dating from March 1846. The preachers include three who spoke at Mount Holyoke: Joseph Dayton Condit, Ebenezer Burgess, and J. Williams. The sermons incorporate the religious sentiments of the Second Great Awakening, the evangelical revival of the nineteenth century. The sermons concentrate on a Christian's obligations to God and missionary work. Of particular interest is a drawing of the Seminary Building and reference within one sermon (Mar. 29, 1846) to the Ahmadnagar mission in India.

This collection is organized into three series:


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

Unrestricted.

Preferred Citation

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

Elizabeth Mary Bell Welch 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: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/lits/library/arch/forms/areq.htm
URL: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/lits/library/arch/
Language
English.
Sponsor
Encoding funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
1846-1848.
2 folders

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

The two journals both date from Welch's years at Mount Holyoke. The first contains eight entries, of morning and evening services, for the month of March 1846. The sermons are led by Reverends Joseph Dayton Condit (a member of the board of trustees), J. Williams, and Ebenezer Burgess. The services parallel the political movement, Manifest Destiny, and the religious movement, the Second Great Awakening, of the period. The services focused on conversions, rejection and repenting of sins, and the elevation of one's life within the realm of Christianity. Within the March 29th entry are references to the people of India, their caste system, and the Ahmadnagar mission in India, and the doctrine of saving "the west, which is an infant giant ri[s]ing up to rule over us, and already has [its] voice of infidelity been heard in the halls of Congress." Welch's personal journal begins on February 20, 1846 and continues through her middle and senior years at Mount Holyoke. The entries highlight Welch's academics, health, domestic work, and special events. Welch's religious beliefs permeated every aspect of her life at Mount Holyoke. Of special note are several quotes from Mary Lyon about mission work and etiquette. She also makes reference to her geology teacher, Miss Mary Whitman and the counsels of Mrs. Hannah Porter. In addition, Welch notes the Independence Day excursion to the Mount Holyoke Range where they encountered the members of Amherst College. In the ensuing entries, Welch comments on the deaths of several members of the community, making special note of Anna Smith's (Class of 1846) death from consumption. In the final entries of her senior year, Welch mentions John Welch, her future husband, and her confusion upon leaving Mount Holyoke to marry him. The personal journal is accompanied by typed excerpts.

1846-ca. 1848
2 folders

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

The notebook of drawings consists of ten pencil sketches primarily of New England trees and architecture. One sketch, entitled "On Quinepaug Lake, North Guilford, Conn.," was done at Mount Holyoke on April 5, 1847 and incorporates a figure into the natural setting. The second piece of artwork is a pastoral pencil sketch.

1847
1 folder

Arrangement:

Arranged chronologically.

Restrictions on access:

Unrestricted

Scope and content:

Elizabeth Mary Bell's Mount Holyoke diploma, Class of 1847. The diploma was signed by Mary Lyon and Joseph Dayton Condit with a ribbon and paper seal attachment.

Contents List
Journals,
1846-1848.
2 folders

Journals


Box 1: folder 1
Typed Excerpts


Box 1: folder 2
Drawings,
1846-ca. 1848
2 folders



Box : folder 1
Drawing


Box 1: folder 3
Drawing pad


LD7096.6


1847


Bell


Folio
Memorabilia,
1847
1 folder



75 Folio

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.

Subjects
  • Lyon, Mary, 1797-1849.
  • Porter, Hannah, 1797-1869.
  • Welch, Elizabeth Mary Bell, 1829-1876.
  • Whitman, Mary C., d. 1875.
  • College students - United States - Religious life.
  • Death.
  • Disease.
  • Fourth of July - 1846.
  • Fourth of July - Massachusetts.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - Curricula.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - Student life - 1846-1847.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary - Students.
  • Second Great Awakening - Massachusetts - Sources.
  • Seminary Building (South Hadley, Mass. : Town) - Illustrations.
  • Women college students - United States - Religious life.
  • Young adults - United States - Religious life.

Genre terms
  • Commonplace books.
  • Diaries.
  • Drawings.


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