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Gail Hamilton papers

Identifier: MS 0545

Scope and Contents

The Gail Hamilton Correspondence consists of nineteen letters, primarily to Hamilton's cousin, Eunice Caldwell Cowles, head of Ipswich Female Seminary, 1844-1876. The letters describe Hamilton's teaching experiences at the Hartford Female Seminary and in a Hartford public school. Subsequent letters describe Hamilton's activities while living with the family of politician James G. Blaine in Washington, DC. These letters briefly comment on Hamilton's reading, Blaine's health, and include cursory discussions about political events including relations with Russia and China and the problems in Hawaii during President Cleveland's administration.


  • Creation: 1849-1893

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Gail Hamilton was born Mary Abigail Dodge on March 31, 1833, in Hamilton, Massachusetts to Hannah Stanwood and James Brown Dodge. She graduated from Ipswich Female Seminary in 1850 and taught there until 1854. She then taught at Hartford Female Seminary, founded by Catherine Beecher, and then finally at Hartford High School. In 1858 she went to Washington, D.C. as a governess to Gamaliel Bailey's children. There she established herself as a writer. She returned to Hamilton from 1860-1868 to care for her mother. During this period she became very close to John Greenleaf Whittier. In 1871 she began spending winters in the household of House Speaker James G. Blaine, and many believe she wrote his speeches. She died on August 12, 1896, in Hamilton.


0.21 Linear Feet (1 half Hollinger box)

Language of Materials



Hamilton, Gail, (b. Mary Abigail Dodge) 1833-1896; Secondary school teacher and writer. Papers consist of correspondence to a cousin, primarily describing her activities as a teacher in Hartford, Connecticut and comments on the cities of Hartford and Washington D.C. while living with the family of politician James G. Blaine.

Hamilton correspondence, 1849-1893.
Finding Aid
Edited Full Draft
© 2003
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Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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