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Mary C. Whitman Eddy Papers, 1837-1875
1 box ( 0.2 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 0851 (LD 7082.25 1849)

Eddy, Mary Coolidge Whitman, 1809-1875; teacher and college principal. Mount Holyoke Female Seminary graduate, 1839, teacher and Associate Principal, 1842-1849, and Principal, 1849-1850. Papers consist of correspondence, a notebook, biographical information, photographs and a portrait concerning both her personal life and her work at Mount Holyoke. Letters by Eddy are chiefly addressed to Hannah Porter and include references to Mary Lyon, the missionary work of Fidelia Fiske, and activities of the National Board of Popular Education; one letter (1848) mentions of Emily Dickinson as a student.

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Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections
South Hadley, MA

Historical Note

Mary Coolidge Whitman Eddy, a student, teacher and administrator at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, was born on August 4, 1809 in Bridgewater, Massachusetts. She worked as a teacher before entering Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in 1837. After graduating in 1839, she taught at Mount Holyoke and served as Associate Principal from 1842-1849. She became Principal of Mount Holyoke in 1849 after the death of the school's founder, Mary Lyon. Whitman resigned because of poor health in 1850 and married Morton Eddy in 1851. She died in Fall River, Massachusetts in 1875.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Mary C. Whitman Eddy Papers consist of correspondence, a notebook, biographical information, photographs, and a portrait. These materials date from 1837-1875 and concern both her personal life and her work as a teacher and administrator at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. Most of her letters are addressed to Hannah Porter, wife of Mount Holyoke Trustee Andrew Porter. Eddy frequently discusses Mary Lyon, the health of students and teachers, and religious life at the Seminary. In a letter dated January 17, 1848 she mentions the presence of Emily Dickinson (then a student at Mount Holyoke) at a meeting of "those who felt unusually anxious to choose the service of God." Correspondence also refers to the work of alumnae missionaries, particularly Fidelia Fiske's activities in Persia, and the efforts of the National Board of Popular Education and other organizations to recruit teachers to serve in the western part of the United States. Correspondence also includes four applications for admission to Mount Holyoke and Eddy's letter of resignation to the Board of Trustees in the spring of 1850. The notebook that she kept from 1849-1850 describes the duties of teachers, the daily schedule, and domestic work activities. This volume also includes notes for her remarks on "What is Character?" and "What is it to be a steward?" and a list of "Groceries to be bought in Boston." Biographical information consists of a published notice of her marriage to Morton Eddy in 1851. There are two copies of a daguerreotype of her in these papers, circa 1850, and a copy of a portrait of her painted after her death in 1875.

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

This collection is organized into four series:

  • Correspondence (1837-1850)
  • Notebook (1849-1850)
  • Biographical Information (1851)
  • Photographs and Portrait (circa 1850, 1875)

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


Preferred Citation

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

Mary C. Whitman Eddy Papers, Archives and Special Collections, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, USA

History of the Collection

Processing Information

Processed by Patricia J. Albright, 2007

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:

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.

  • Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886.
  • Eddy, Mary Coolidge Whitman, 1809-1875.
  • Fiske, Fidelia, 1816-1864.
  • Lyon, Mary, 1797-1949.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary--Administration.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary--Domestic work.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary--Faculty.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary--Presidents.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary--Regulations.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary--Religious life--1837-1850.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary--Schedules.
  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary--Students.
  • National Board of Popular Education.
  • Teachers--United States.
  • Women missionaries--Iran.

  • Porter, Hannah, 1797-1869.

Genre terms
  • Letters.
  • Notebooks.
  • Photographs.
  • Portraits.

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