Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Julia J. Bolton Student Notebook, 1852-1855

Finding aid created by
Catalina Oyler, January 2004

Summary Information
Title: Julia J. Bolton student notebook
Creator: Bolton, Julia J., b. 1837
Inclusive dates: 1852-1855
Bulk dates: 1852
Extent: 124 pages
This notebook was kept by Julia J. Bolton while a student at La Grange Female College, La Grange, Georgia. It includes seven short essays on moral philosophy, meditations, and poetry, and sentiments and poems from other students.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

2001. M-4168.1.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


No copyright restrictions.


Note in the book reads "This book taken from White Hall Street, Atlanta, Georgia December 1864 by John L. Stevens Jr."

Preferred Citation:

Julia J. Bolton Student Notebook, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Julia J. Bolton, the author of this notebook, was born on Jan. 10, 1837. She lived in Atlanta, Georgia, and attended La Grange Female College located in La Grange, about 60 miles southwest of Atlanta. This college was founded by the Methodists in 1831 as the La Grange Female Academy. In 1847 the name was changed to La Grange Female Institute, and in 1851 to La Grange Female College. In 1948, the college started accepting men, and became La Grange College.

The history of Julia Bolton is a mystery, but we know from her reflections in the notebook that she loved nature, fishing, and especially reading. She comments on the many authors she's read including Byron, Shakespeare, Pope, and Rousseau, "when you want to lose yourself in a mental dream-land." Julia held many opinions that she expresses in her essays, writing that "As a punishment Dueling is absurd," and "a state of happiness is not to be expected by those who are not governed by moral or religious rules." But she was also a well-loved friend and many of the poems addressed to her are signed "your sincere friend."

The notebook itself also has a history, as a note on the inside front cover states "This book taken from White Hall Street, Atlanta, Georgia, December 1864 by John L. Stevens. Jr." On July 30th of that year, Sherman's army shelled the houses and stores on White Hall Street. This little notebook survived the destruction of Atlanta by the Union army.

Collection Scope and Content Note

Julia J. Bolton's 124-page notebook begins with seven essays she wrote on eleven pages. The essays are titled: Wills, Charity, Dueling, Moral Sense, Promises, Virtue, and Slavery and include Julia's thoughts on each subject. Following that are three lists of books and two pages devoted to chemistry definitions. Most of the notebook is taken up with 56 poems written to Julia by various students, including Julia's cousin Mary E. Montgomery. These poems are mainly focused on friendship and are signed and dated, almost all from June 1852, however two are dated 1853, and one each from 1854 and 1855. Under some of the poems are notes written by Julia at a later time such as "deceased." Mixed in with the poems are Julia's meditations on love, life, womanhood, religion, reading, writers, and fishing, as well as her poetry and quotations. Two small pencil sketches are in the book, one of a bunch of grapes, and one of a heart and arrow.

Subject Terms

    • Education--Georgia--19th century.
    • La Grange Collegiate Seminary for Young Ladies (LaGrange, Ga.)
    Genre Terms:
    • Essays.
    • Notebooks.
    • Poetry.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    Julia J. Bolton student notebook,  1852-1855 [series]