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Harriet Johnson Hale papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MS 0560

Scope and Contents

The Harriet Johnson Hale Papers consists of correspondence and a notebook chiefly dating from her years as a student at Ipswich Female Seminary, 1833-1837. Ten of the letters are addressed to her parents and siblings. Hale describes many aspects of her life at Ipswich, including her room and board arrangements, schedule, studies, the regulations and callisthenic exercises ("rather disgusting"). She makes many references to her teachers Zilpah P. Grant (later Banister) and Mary Lyon, describing several lectures given by them and discussing the teaching philosophies of both women. Her letter of April 5, 1837 includes a copy of Lyon's detailed description of the kind of bedding that she desired for rooms at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. Hale often expresses her own views concerning the education of women as well. She also describes excursions from school including a visit to factories in Amesbury, Massachusetts (November 20, 1833) and trips to Boston and Gloucester, Massachusetts. A letter written on May 3, 1834 describes her activities as a teacher in Byfield, Massachusetts. In a letter, probably written in 1835, to "the Editor of the Annals of Education" she discusses the importance of sharing ideas and information among students and encourages the purchase of books, periodicals, and slates for use in schoolrooms. Several other letters reflect her interest in temperance. Her notebook contains examples of "Practical and Ornamental" penmanship copied by Hale in 1830.


  • Creation: 1830-1837

Conditions Governing Access


Conditions Governing Use


Biographical Note

Harriet Johnson was born in Newbury, Vermont. Her father was David Johnson, a merchant. She began attending Ipswich Female Seminary in 1833 and graduated in 1837. For a time in 1834-1835 she also worked as a teacher in Byfield, Massachusetts. She married Isaac Hale of Providence, Rhode Island and had eight children before she died in 1865.


1.3 Linear Feet (1 specialty box)

Language of Materials



Hale, Harriet Johnson, d. 1865; student and teacher. Ipswich Female Seminary graduate, 1837. Papers contain a notebook of penmmanship examples and letters to family members concerning primarily her schedule, studies, and activities as a student at Ipswich with frequent references to Zilpah P. Grant Banister, Mary Lyon, and to her own ideas about women's education.

Harriet Johnson Hale Papers, 1830-1837
Finding Aid
Edited Full Draft
Finding aid prepared by Patricia Albright.
© 2005
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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