Julia Atwood letters (1839-[1841])

Collection processed and finding aid created by Meg Hixon, July 2011
Manuscripts Division, William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan

Summary Information

Title: Julia Atwood letters
Creator: Atwood, Julia Tyler, b. 1822
Inclusive dates: 1839-[1841]
Extent: 3 items
This collection consists of three letters in which Connecticut women recounted events from their daily lives from 1839 to 1841. Of particular interest is a letter written by a young woman describing a lecture she attended, which featured speeches by Mary Gove Nichols, Jason Lee, and a Native American from the Pacific Northwest.
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: www.clements.umich.edu

Access and Use

Acquisition Information

1992. M-2782.2.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation

Julia Atwood Letters, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically.


Julia Atwood was born on November 9, 1822, in Mansfield, Connecticut, to Anson S. Atwood and Sarah Palmer (Atwood). She had two siblings, Anson Palmer and Sarah Palmer. During the early 1840s, she attended school in Hartford, Connecticut.

Collection Scope and Content Note

In the collection's three letters, Julia Atwood and two of her correspondents wrote about daily life and community news in early 19th century Connecticut. In a 4-page closely written letter dated January 26, 1839, Julia's friend Susan wrote that she and her family attended a series of lectures given by Mrs. Gove (Mary Gove Nichols) regarding physiology and other medical subjects. Mrs. Gove mentioned that she thought it would be a good idea to have an "Abolition Society" to abolish stays, and that tea and coffee were "very injurious." Susan also wrote about the lecture she attended given by "Mr. Lee" (Jason Lee) who went to the Oregon Territory with 3 other missionaries in 1834 to Christianize the Indians. They traveled on horseback for four and a half months from St. Louis, Missouri, to Oregon. After Lee's lecture, a Flathead Indian youth who came east with Lee spoke about the white people's talk of "pour Indians who …did not know about Jesus Christ," though he had seen white children play on the Sabbath since his arrival in Connecticut.

Julia Atwood wrote her cousin, Elvira Palmer, on September 9, 1840, and discussed her love of music; she also provided social news from Hartford, Connecticut. Atwood related an acquaintance's fear following an injury that "he would have to have his limb taken off it was so badly broken they could not make it heal. Oh dear, it will [be] dreadful if that should be the case." In the collection's final letter, Julia's mother chastised her for a lack of correspondence and gave a short update on her own life in Mansfield, Connecticut.

Subject Terms

  • Hartford (Conn.)
  • Lee, Jason, 1803-1845.
  • Nichols, Mary Sargeant Gove, 1810-1884.
  • Women--Education--United States--History--19th century.
  • Atwood, Sarah Palmer.
Genre Terms:
  • Letters (correspondence)

Contents List (Request Materials)

Request materials for use in the Clements Library
Container / Location Title
Box   1, Small Collections  
Julia Atwood letters [series]
Folder   5  
 January 26, 1839
 September 9, 1840
 October 30, [1841]