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Correspondence, 1818-1849, n.d.


Scope and Contents note

Correspondence (1818-1849, n.d.) consists of letters by and to Lyon that concerning her activities as an educator, particularly her work as founder and principal of Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, and aspects of her personal life. Numerous letters describe the search for a location for the school, efforts to funds, and design, construction, and furnishing of the Seminary Building. Many other letters are by and to women who wished to attend Mount Holyoke or individuals recruiting teachers and missionaries to work in schools in the United States and other countries. There are also letters from Lyon's former pupils, often describing their experiences as teachers. Personal letters in the collection concern Lyon's religious views, her finances, and events affecting members of her family, such as the mental illness of her sister, Lovina Lyon Putnam. Correspondents include her friends and colleagues Zilpah Grant Banister and Eunice C. Cowles; Mount Holyoke trustee William Tyler; Hannah Porter (wife of Trustee Andrew Porter); L.T. Guilford (a Mount Holyoke graduate who established a school for girls in Cleveland, Ohio); Thomas White of Ashfield, Massachusetts (Lyon's friend and financial adviser) and his daughter, Hannah White; Lyon's niece, Abigail Moore Burgess, who served as a teacher at Mount Holyoke and a missionary in India; Laban and Elizabeth Wheaton (founders of Wheaton Female Seminary in Norton, Massachusetts); the Reverend Charles C. Beatty (principal of a school in Steubenville, Ohio); and Justin Perkins (missionary to the Christian Nestorians in Persia).


  • Creation: 1818-1849, n.d.

Conditions Governing Access note



5 boxes

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Arrangement note

Arranged chronologically in two sequences: letters by Lyon and letters to Lyon.

Repository Details

Part of the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections Repository

50 College Street
8 Dwight Hall
South Hadley MA 01075-6425 USA