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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 1122

Letters of Mary Hobart and Martha (Mattie) Suter, 1870-1924


Letters, including from Dr. Mary Hobart to her friend Mattie Suter, Mattie Suter to her mother, and other letters from friends and family.


  • Creation: 1870-1924

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 Hobart as well as 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.


.42 linear feet (1 file box)

Collection contains correspondence from Mary Hobart to Mattie Suter, Mattie Suter to her mother, and various letters by other friends or family members. The letters from Mary Hobart to her friend Mattie Suter include references to Hobart's work as a physician. Topics include impressions of medical life and being a medical student and intern (1884); comments regarding patients and their conditions; pregnancies; childbirth; ailments and sickness; as well as general comments and inquiries regarding Mattie Suter and her children. Hobart refers to Suter as her sister and the letters reveal a close and caring relationship. Also included are a few letters from Suter to Hobart. In one Suter discusses her love for Charles Suter and their impending marriage (1875). Letters from Mattie Suter to her mother were mostly written while Suter lived in Missouri. The topics of the letters include travel; visits with friends and family; health, sickness, and deaths of friends and family members; and other life events. One letter includes a reference to the sinking of the S.S. City of Columbus passenger steamer in Massachusetts (January 1884). Some letters throughout the collection are missing pages.


Dr. Mary Hobart was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1851 to Sarah Caroline Nichols and Enoch Augustus Hobart, the president of Union Mutual Fire Insurance Company. Mary Hobart was a physician who trained at the Women's Medical College of the New York Infirmary for Women and Children, which was founded by Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to graduate from medical school in the United States. From 1886 until 1913, Hobart practiced medicine in Boston, Massachusetts, at the New England Hospital for Women and Children, where she specialized in obstetrics. After 30 years as a doctor she retired in Needham Heights, Massachusetts. Hobart died in 1941. Hobart was the great great granddaughter of Martha Ballard, a late 18th-century midwife whose diary is the main source of information for the book A Midwife's Tale by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.

Martha (Mattie) Parker Suter was born in 1850 in Boston, Massachusetts, to Samuel H. and Martha Winkley. She married United States Army Major Charles Russell Suter (1842-1920) in 1875 and they lived in Carondelet-on-the-Bluff, Missouri; Delaware County, New York State; and Brookline, Massachusetts. They had six children: Russell, Grace, Alexander, Elizabeth, Martha, and Mary. Mattie Suter died in 1933.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2021-M37

The letters of Mary Hobart were acquired by the Schlesinger Library from Matthew Van Saun, March 2021.

Processing Information

Processed: April 2021

By: Laura Peimer.

The Schlesinger Library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.  Finding aids may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by the Pforzheimer Fund for the Schlesinger Library, Sybil Shainwald Fund at the Schlesinger Library, Mary Mitchell Wood Manuscript Processing Fund, and Class of 1956 Schlesinger Library Fund

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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