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Nichols papers

Identifier: MS 0677

Scope and Contents

The Bethiah Miller Nichols Papers consist of a letter, lecture notes, biographical information, and a photograph. The material primarily relates to her year at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, 1837-1838, and her opinions on religion and education. Nichols wrote the letter to Pricilla Maxwell on January 16, 1837, and it describes Mary Lyon's visit to Heath, Massachusetts. During this visit, Lyon persuaded the residents of Heath to donate $1,200 in support of Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. Nichols' letter conveys surprise at Lyon's ability to bolster support for the Seminary from the people Heath. The letter also discusses death of a mutual friend from consumption (tuburculosis), and Nichols' religious beliefs have a heavy influence on all issues discussed in the letter. Notes on the history of ancient Greece, entitled "Abstracts from general history," taken on December 7, 1837, "Items from Miss Lyon's lectures on education," taken in 1838, and an undated set of notes from a lecture entitled, "Of Intellectual Habits" are included in the collection. The notes depict how Mount Holyoke Female Seminary students were taught in several subjects during the first year the seminary was open. The biographical information consists of a page of brief notes about Nichols, 1865, and one photograph of her husband, Reverend Washington Adams Nichols.


  • Creation: 1837 - 1838

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Bethiah Avery Miller was born in Heath, Massachesetts on February 14, 1815 to The Reverend Moses Miller and Bethiah Ware Miller. She came to Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in 1837 and remained at the school for one year. She is considered a non-graduating member of the Class of 1839. She married the Reverend Washington Adams Nichols in 1838. She died in Lake Forest, Illinois in 1865.


1 boxes (x1839 Miller)

Language of Materials



Nichols, Bethiah Avery Miller, 1815-1865; Student. Attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary 1837-1838. Papers contain a letter, lecture notes and a photograph. Primarily documenting her experience at Mount Holyoke and her interactions with Mary Lyon, including a visit she made to Heath, Massachusetts requesting funds for the Seminary. Housed in control files; two letters from John Kirkland Clark, grandson of Priscilla Maxwell, to Mary Woolley, regarding a letter written to his mother by Bethiah Miller Nichols.


This collection is arranged in four series: Series 1. Letter to Pricilla Maxwell. Series 2. Lecture Notes. Series 3. Biographical Information. Series 4. Photograph.

Nichols Papers, 1837-1838.
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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