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Welch papers

Identifier: MS 0775

Scope and Contents

The Elizabeth Mary Bell Welch Papers consists of a journal (with typescript excerpts); weekly journal of sermons; notebook of drawings; pastoral pencil sketch; and memorabilia. The material in the collection primarily dates from her middle and senior years (1846-1847) as a student at the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. Her journal entries begin in the second term of her middle year and include her thoughts on religion, academic studies, health, domestic activities, regulations, and special events. One event that Welch makes particular note of is the July 4th excursion to the Mount Holyoke Range. Welch's entries mention not only her friends, but her teachers, including: Principal Mary Lyon, Associate Principal Miss Mary C. Whitman, and Mrs. Hannah Kingsbury Porter. She also addresses those in the community who awaited conversion and the illness and subsequent deaths of several members of the Seminary. The journal of sermons is a compilation of quotations dating from March 1846. The preachers include three who spoke at Mount Holyoke: Joseph Dayton Condit, Ebenezer Burgess, and J. Williams. The sermons incorporate the religious sentiments of the Second Great Awakening, the evangelical revival of the nineteenth century. The sermons concentrate on a Christian's obligations to God and missionary work. Of particular interest is a drawing of the Seminary Building and reference within one sermon (Mar. 29, 1846) to the Ahmadnagar mission in India.


  • Creation: 1846-1848

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Elizabeth Mary Bell was born in Cornwall, Connecticut on March 30, 1829. She was the daughter of Julius Bell and Elizabeth Carlins Bell. She graduated from the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in 1847. Upon leaving Mount Holyoke, she married John Hopestill Welch. She had five children. She died in Hartford, Connecticut in 1876 at the age of forty-seven.


0.21 Linear Feet (1 half Hollinger box)

Language of Materials



Welch, Elizabeth Mary Bell, 1829-1876; student. Mount Holyoke Female Seminary graduate, 1847. Papers consist of a commonplace book of sermons, a journal, drawings, and memorabilia documenting primarily her daily academic and social activities and her religious life while a student at Mount Holyoke.


Arranged in 3 series: Series 1. Journals. Series 2. Drawings. Series 3. Memorabilia.

Welch papers, 1846-1848.
Edited Full Draft
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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