The 17 letters written by Caroline LeConte while she was a student at Mount Holyoke Seminary are dated between January 8, 1839 and June 28, 1841. The collection also includes an essay dated June 24, 1840 entitled "A visit to Mt.Holyoke". All the letters are addressed to various members of her family. She was one of seven children living on a farm in Ovid, a small town halfway between Geneva and Ithaca in the Finger Lake area of New York State.
Of special note:
||Arrival at South Hadley. "Since I left N.Y.State I have not seen but one black person and that was a mulatto girl whom I saw last Sabbath at church; have heard
some little said about abolition, but not much."
Encourages her sister to attend MH, despite her age - "There are
several ladies here of about your age, and one, that I don't
believe is the least bit under thirty.".
|Mar. 16, 1839
"The people in this place are not as dressy as the Lodi people
are." Service for conversion of impenitent.
|Jun. 25, 1839
||Climb of Mt.Holyoke; against law here to have cattle, sheep, hogs or even geese on road.
|Oct. 22, 1839
||Journey to South Hadley by boat and cars; arrived early to help Miss Lyon prepare for students; making maps.
|Dec. 25, 1839
||Care of sick; return next year when she would be "under Miss Lyon's peculiar care"; she will teach Caroline to work as fast as she does.
|Jan. 30, 1840
||Temperature January 19: 22 degrees
below; Christmas spent
in study and
composition - "A Visit to my Native Home". Burned a cord of wood ($5) in her room stove. Joins church; religious interest in Seminary. New Year's presents to teachers. Abolition lecture by Rev. Mr.Root.
|Apr. 15, 1840
||Sleigh ride with large party and Miss Lyon (2 shillings each.) Comments on educated person. Miss Lyon in chemistry class; bread baking.
|May 30, 1840
||Expenses home and return would be $37; if she remains in South Hadley for vacation board would be $16. Lectures on architecture by Professor Snell of Amherst. Religious life.
|June 13, 1840
||Whigs on money; "We don't hear much about politics but I believe the ladies are all good Whigs". Botany class.
|Aug. 25, 1840
||Spends the vacation with Mrs.Lymon in Granby; what she will do
with her life and learning.
|Sep. 14, 1840
||Illness and death among Seminary students.
|Nov. 5, 1840
||About 120 enrolled, about 30 of whom impenitent. "They don't like N.Y. money here".
|Nov. 25, 1840
||Thanksgiving plans; class in political economy.
|Apr. 27, 1841
||Mr.Heart on conditions in Western Kentucky. Description of Seminary Hall at examination time.
|May 22, 1841
||Visit to Boston area.
||Death of Miss Arnold.
By CR Ludwig. December 1987.