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Adaline D. H. Kelsey Papers, 1878-1905
1.0 Box (0.2 linear ft.)
Collection number: ms0850 (LD 7092.8 Kelsey)

Kelsey, Adaline DeMontall Higbee, 1844-1931; Physician, missionary and college teacher, Mount Holyoke Female Seminary graduate, 1868. Mount Holyoke Female Seminary physician and faculty member 1876-78. The papers span the years of 1878-1905 and include correspondence, writings, biographical material and photographs. The material principally documents her work in Asia.

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Biographical/Historical note

Adaline DeMontall Higbee Kelsey, physician, medical missionary and college teacher, was born on February 2, 1844 in West Camden, New York to Asa Kelsey and Amanda Kelsey (nee Higbee). Following graduation from Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in 1868 she taught school for two years, after which time she entered the Women's Medical College of New York Infirmary. Dr. Kelsey took her medical degree in 1875 and returned to South Hadley to become a Dispensing Physician at the Mount Holyoke Infirmary in 1875. In 1876, Kelsey became the Resident Physician and physiology instructor at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, positions she retained until 1878. From October, 1878 onward, she practiced medicine and preached Christianity, first in Tung Chow, China and later in Yokohama, Japan. She returned to the United States sporadically, often accompanied by Asian students whose education and careers she supported and promoted. She died at age 86, in 1931, while living in St. Cloud, Florida.

Scope and Contents note

The papers of Adaline D. H. Kelsey (1844-1931) span the years of 1878-1905 and include: Correspondence, Writings, Biographical information and Photographs. The Correspondence consists of four letters and describes her first trip to China under the auspices of the Presbyterian Missionary Society; practicing medicine in Tung Chow where she was the only physician for 50 miles around; and a lengthy journey via a mule train into the interior of China. The Writings include an autobiography, a brief dictated statement about a pewter teapot that once belonged to her grandmother, and a published article entitled "Hospital Experiences" written from Nikko, Japan in 1905. Photographs include four formal sepia photos of Dr. Kelsey at the time of her graduation from Mount Holyoke Female Seminary.

This collection is organized into four folders:

  1. Correspondence (1878-1880)
  2. Writings
  3. Biographical Information
  4. Photographs

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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

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