Mary Avery correspondence (1879-1881)

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

Summary Information

Title: Mary Avery correspondence
Creator: Avery, Susan
Inclusive dates: 1879-1881
Extent: 28 items
The Mary Avery correspondence consists of 28 letters written by Mary Avery, primarily to her mother, Susan C. Avery, from 1879-1881. In her letters, Mary described her academic and social life while attending Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in South Hadley, Massachusetts.
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

1998. M-3492.4.

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

Mary Avery Correspondence, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged chronologically.


Mary Angelyn Champion Avery was born in Connecticut on November 15, 1861. Her father, John Avery, was a Congregational minister for several congregations in Connecticut. Mary attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in South Hadley, Massachusetts, during the early 1880s, and graduated in 1884. She later became a teacher.

Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 28 letters written by Mary Avery, primarily to her mother, Susan C. Avery, from 1879-1881. Mary described her daily life at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, mainly regarding her social engagements. However, in her letter of November 15, 1880, she discussed her charitable efforts for a school for African Americans in South Carolina, and mentioned her donation toward a scholarship for a potential student. She also mentioned aspects of her recovery from an outbreak of measles that had spread throughout the school, and told of her need for a pair of dark colored glasses (February 22, 1881). Her letters revealed much about her family's life, as well; for example, her father, a clergyman, was temporarily unemployed and her mother suffered from a medical ailment that was causing her vision to decline.

Subject Terms

  • Mount Holyoke Female Seminary.
  • Women--Education--United States--History--19th century.
  • Avery, Mary, b. 1861.
Genre Terms:
  • Letters (correspondence)

Contents List (Request Materials)

Request materials for use in the Clements Library
Container / Location Title
Box   9, Small Collections  
Mary Avery correspondence [series]
Folder   28-30  

Additional Descriptive Data


Avery, Elroy M. The Groton Avery Clan. Higginson Book Company, 1998.