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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 569

Papers of Mary Stone Rousmaniere, 1817-1994 (inclusive), 1896-1922 (bulk)


Papers of Mary Stone Rousmaniere include biographical and personal material; family letters; photographs; travel journal of a European trip; memorabilia and documents related to her training as a Froebelian kindergarten teacher; and a scrapbook compiled by her sister Frances Rousmaniere during her time at Wellesley College.


  • 1817-1994
  • Majority of material found within 1896-1922

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Mary Stone Rousmaniere is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


1.67 linear feet (3 file boxes, 2 1/2 file boxes, 1 folio folder, 3 photograph folders)
Additional material was added to the collection in August 2020 and is located in #5.1-5.3 and #PD.4.

The collection consists of biographical and personal material, family letters, one travel journal, one scrapbook, photographs, and memorabilia and documents related to Mary Stone Rousmaniere's training as a Froebelian kindergarten teacher. Biographical and personal material (#1.1-1.2) consists of a family Bible page with births and marriages recorded; a family tree showing descent from a Mayflower passenger with accompanying correspondence from Mary Dewing Morain; a commentary on and transcription of letters written by Mary to her sister Frances Rousmaniere Dewing in 1915 completed by Mary Dewing Morain; and a play script and program in which both Mary and Frances appeared in Petersham, Massachusetts, in 1902. Roughly half of the letters (#1.5-1.9) in the collection were addressed to Mary's mother, Fannie (Wheelock) Rousmaniere, the majority written by Mary during her trip to Europe in 1899, with several by Sophie (Knight) Rousmaniere and Edward Swett Rousmaniere whom Mary accompanied. The bulk of the remainder were addressed to Frances and were written by Mary, brother John E. Rousmaniere, and friend Lucy Wright. The travel journal (#1.3-1.4) was kept by Mary on a trip through Europe in 1896; the scrapbook (#3.1v, 2.6) was kept by Frances during her time at Wellesley College (1894-1899), and consists of letters, course schedules, invitations, exams, flyers, dance cards, play programs, correspondence, etc., as well as a small number of photographs.

Memorabilia and documents related to Mary's training as a Froebelian kindergarten teacher (#1.10-2.5, 4.1m-4.6m, FD.1) consist of four boxes of wooden blocks of geometric shapes, one box of parquetry blocks, and a set of primary colored pencils, the majority produced by the Milton Bradley Company; a booklet of Froebel drawings; three booklets, hand-made by Mary, containing examples of paper-folding exercises; two diaries of Mary's observations of kindergarten classes at the Joshua Bates School (Boston, Massachusetts), the Parsons School (Brookline, Massachusetts), and Ms. Joyce's and Ms. Seaver's kindergarten class on Brookline Avenue (Brookline) in 1904; a paper on Plato; and several booklets of needlework patterns, presumably related to Froebel's teachings. Friedrich Froebel established the first kindergarten in Germany in the 1830s and his teachings spread throughout Europe and the United States. His methods included twenty "gifts" consisting of a variety of objects used as learning tools, including two- and three-dimensional geometric shapes, rings, paper (for weaving and folding exercises), colored pencils and graph paper, peas, modeling clay, etc., which allowed children to employ their imagination and learn spatial relations and symmetry, as well as other concepts. This collection includes "gifts" two, three, four, five, seven, ten, thirteen, and eighteen. It is likely that Mary attended the institute established by Elizabeth Palmer Peabody in the late nineteenth century in Boston to train kindergarten teachers.

Photographs (#PD.1-PD.3) include images of John Easton Rousmaniere; Peter Wheelock's house in Roxbury, Massachusetts (presumably he and other family members are standing in the gateway); John Louis Rousmaniere and his wife, Fannie (Wheelock) Rousmaniere; Edmund Swett Rousmaniere and his wife, Sophie (Knight) Rousmaniere; Mary Stone Rousmaniere and her siblings, John E. Rousmaniere and Frances Rousmaniere Dewing at various stages of their lives; a boarding house in East Andover, New Hampshire, with a large group of people, including the Rousmaniere family; several photographs of the Rousmaniere family at their summer home at Bass Rocks in Gloucester, Massachusetts (ca.1890's), including images of the interior and surroundings; several photographs of a house identified only as "Grey Shingles"; and one photograph of the Rousmaniere siblings with friend, Jim Rorer, haying, presumably at a family home in Petersham, Massachusetts. Also, included is a small album created by Jim Rorer as a gift to the family after a visit in 1902, entitled A Visit to Petersham; images include the Rousmaniere family's main house and cottage, the surrounding countryside, a baseball game on the town green, and the Rousmaniere family and friends engaged in activities such as feeding chickens and haying. All of the photographs in this collection are or will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database.


The youngest of three children born to John Louis and Fannie (Wheelock) Rousmaniere, Mary Stone Rousmaniere was born in 1880 and raised in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Educator Frances (Rousmaniere) Dewing was her older sister. Rousmaniere attended St. Margaret's School in Connecticut and the Froebelian Kindergarten Teacher Training School in Boston, graduating in 1905, but never taught formally. She cared for her mother until her death in 1903, and then cared for and traveled with her aunt and uncle, Sophie (Knight) and Edmund Swett Rousmaniere (1858-1926). Her uncle was dean of St. Paul's Church in Boston. She never married and died in 1956.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2002-M38. Accession number 2020-M50 was added to the collection in August 2020.

The papers of Mary Stone Rousmaniere were given to the Schlesinger Library by her grand niece, Kate Rousmaniere, in 2002 and 2020.

Processing Information

Processed: September 2008

Updated and additional material added: August 2020

By: Mark Vassar
Link to catalog
Rousmaniere, Mary Stone, 1880-1956. Papers of Mary Stone Rousmaniere, 1817-1994 (inclusive), 1896-1922 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

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