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COLLECTION Identifier: 84-M66--84-M221

Papers of the Perry family, 1867-1915


letters, diaries, and biographical material documenting the lives of Mary Howe (Bigelow) Rice, her two daughters, Viola Rice and Mary Alice (Rice) Perry, and Mary Alice (Rice) Perry's daughter, Lulu Alma (Perry) Fuller.


  • 1867-1915

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by the Perry family 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.


.83 linear feet (2 file boxes)

This collection contains letters, diaries, and biographical material documenting three generations of rural New England women, their families, and their domestic affairs in Marlboro, Massachusetts, and in Rutland and Chester, Vermont. The weekly letters and daily journal entries provide a detailed account of household activities, visitors, holiday celebrations, churchgoing, and local events.


This collection centers on Mary Howe (Bigelow) Rice, her two daughters, Viola Rice and Mary Alice (Rice) Perry, and Mary Alice (Rice) Perry's daughter, Lulu Alma (Perry) Fuller. (See Viola Rice, edited by Helen Perry Smith)

Mary Howe (Bigelow) Rice (1815-1904), daughter of Levi Bigelow and Nancy Ames Bigelow, married Abel Rice (1807-1882), son of shoemaker Martin Rice, and moved into the Rice family home at 142 Mechanic Street, Marlboro, Massachusetts, where the couple raised their five children. After her husband's death, Mary Howe (Bigelow) Rice and her eldest daughter, Viola Rice, continued to live in the same house.

Viola Rice (1837-1916), daughter of Abel Rice and Mary Howe (Bigelow) Rice, never married and lived her entire life at the home of her parents in Marlboro, where she died of pneumonia. In the 1880s she conducted a school for small children and in her later years earned her living by sewing.

Mary Alice (Rice) Perry (1848-1927), only sister of Viola Rice, married George William Perry (1846-1928) in 1868. George William Perry studied theology at St. Lawrence University and served as minister for Universalist congregations all over New England. He also preached at the Universalist Church at Tarpon Springs, Florida, in the winters of 1905-1907 and 1911-1914; Mary Alice (Rice) Perry accompanied him there. George William Perry's work took him and his family to Rutland, Vermont, where in 1886 he was appointed Vermont State Geologist. In 1889 he founded the Rutland (Vermont) English and Classical Institute, teaching there for six years before retiring due to ill health.

Lulu Alma (Perry) Fuller (1872-1905), daughter of Mary Alice (Rice) Perry, studied at Rutland English and Classical Institute and in 1895 married Frank Fuller. She lived in Rutland, Vermont, with her four children until her sudden death from pneumonia.

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 84-M66, 84-M70, 84-M71, 84-M221

The papers of the Perry family were given to the Schlesinger Library in April 1984 by William Drury, Priscilla Ruth Perry Merritt (Mrs. Robert P. Merritt) and Helen Mary Perry Smith (Mrs. Jack Smith).


  1. GAP George Arthur Perry
  2. LAPF Lulu Alma (Perry) Fuller
  3. MARP Mary Alice (Rice) Perry
  4. MHBR Mary Howe (Bigelow) Rice
  5. VR Viola Rice


  1. Box 1: Folders 1-37
  2. Box 2: Folders 38v-56

Processing Information

Preliminary inventory: August 1984

By: Ruben D. Quintero

Perry family. Papers of the Perry family, 1867-1915: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description

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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