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Lucy Larcom Correspondence

 Collection — Container: MS Acc 591
Call Number: MS Acc 591

Scope and Contents

Several reoccurring themes run throughout Lacy Larcom’s letters to Ada Elise Locke, among them are the challenges that come with writing for a living, her reasons for moving from place to place, and the grace she experiences from living according to her Christian beliefs. The letters also contain descriptions of the sermons Larcom heard preached by Phillips Brooks (1835-1893) at Trinity Church in Boston, Massachusetts, mentions her friendship with John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) and that she is making a Whittier calendar, and discusses the publication of A New England Girlhood. In addition, she provides details on the change of seasons and the kinds of flowers in that are in bloom whether she is in Bethel, Maine or in the White Mountains in New Hampshire.


  • 1879-1893


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Items in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. In most cases, the Boston Public Library does not hold the copyright to the items in our collections. It is the sole responsibility of the user to make their own determination about what types of usage might be permissible under U.S. and international copyright law.

Biographical / Historical


1824 - Born in Beverly, Massachusetts on March 5.

1835-1845 - Works in cotton mills in Lowell, Massachusetts.

1840-1845 - Contributes to the Lowell Offering.

1846-1852 - Moves with sister Emeline near St. Louis, Missouri and enters Monticello Female Academy. Graduates and stays on as a teacher.

1852-1853 - Returns to Massachusetts and publishes her first book, Similitudes from the Ocean and Prairie.

1854-1863 - Teaches at Wheaton Female Seminary in Norton, Massachusetts where she introduced the study of English Literature.

1854-1893 - Publishes and edits several books, among them Ships in the Mist and Other Stories (1859), Poems (1869), and Hillside and Seaside Poetry (1876), Wild Roses of Cape Ann and Other Poems (1880), and Easter Gleams (1890). Contributes to The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's New Monthly Magazine, and The New England Magazine.

1863-1874 - Starts as assistant editor and later becomes editor for Our Young Folks magazine (later St. Nicholas Magazine). Retires from Our Young Folks to write full time.

1885 - Writes Wheaton Seminary: A Semi-Centennial Sketch.

1889 - Publishes A New England Girlhood.

1893 - Dies in Boston on April 17.


70.00 Items

Language of Materials



Arranged chronologically.

Method of Acquisition

Purchased in 1939 with J. L. Whitney funds.

Related Materials

Letter to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, dated 16 Nov 1868. In XP.85.503

Letter to Justin Winsor, dated 5 Apr 1873. MS Am. 987

Letter to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, dated 19 Aug 1889. MS P.91.37 (78)

Letter to [Charles A. Richardson], dated 21 Apr 1858. MS Ch. B.12.124

Letter to Thomas Niles, dated 24 Oct 1870. MS Am. 1208

Letter from Lydia Maria Child, dated 18 Jan 1875. MS Am. 2221

Letter from Daniel Dulany Addison to Ada Elise Locke, dated 1893-1896. MS Acc 592

Letter from Lucy Larcom Spaulding to Ada Elise Locke, dated 1893. MS Acc 593

Processing Information

Finding aid written by Kimberly Reynolds, May 2011.

Processing Information

This electronic finding aid is transcribed from legacy data. In many cases, transcriptions were not verified against collection materials at the time of transcription. As a result, this finding aid could be incomplete and might only reflect a partial understanding of the material.

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