Thirza Finch diary and letter transcriptions  1858-1870
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 226 personal letters, 8 Greek-language examinations, and 5 loose newspaper clippings regarding Levi Henry Elwell and his family.

The Correspondence series contains letters between and to members of the Elwell family. During his early days as a student at Amherst College and as a teacher in Poughkeepsie, New York, Elwell wrote to his mother, Harriet Adaline Elwell, and fiancée, Abbie Miner Nickerson, about his scholarly life and experiences. In these letters, Levi and Abbie often discussed their engagement and wedding plans. Though later correspondence includes some letters that the couple sent to Levi's parents, most originated from their children, Marion, Florence, and James. The sisters frequently wrote each other to discuss Marion's experiences at Vassar College. They also received mail from various friends, several of whom enclosed sketches. Levi Elwell wrote many of the later letters to his daughter Florence during her studies at Vassar College, including a postcard entirely in Latin (June 1906) and a report on the family's reaction to witnessing Halley's Comet (May 10, 1910). Though the letters primarily concern personal news, correspondents occasionally discussed contemporary politics; in a letter to Marion dated October 30, 1904, Levi described the American political landscape and discussed his own political views. Around 11 newspaper clippings are enclosed in various letters.

The Newspaper Clippings and Exams series has 8 examinations (December 20, 1897-January 20, 1908) for students of Amherst College, who were required to translate and interpret classical Greek texts, printed in their original language. The 5 loose newspaper clippings concern women's colleges (May 14, 1910), faculty promotions at Amherst College (undated), dirigible balloons (undated), and Halley's Comet (2 items, ca. April 1910).

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