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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 351

Papers of Caroline Wells Healey Dall, 1829-1956 (inclusive), 1837-1916 (bulk).


Writings, notes, clippings, etc., of Caroline Wells (Healey) Dall, author and social reformer.


  • Creation: 1829-1956
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1837-1916


Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Caroline Wells Healey Dall 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.


3.75 linear feet ((9 file boxes) plus 1 folio folder, 5 photograph folders)

This collection consists largely of Caroline Wells Healey Dall's writings and notes for teaching, and includes a sizeable series of clippings from newspapers and extracts from her reading. The papers are arranged in six series.

Series I, Genealogical and family papers, contains Dall's research on her family tree, her household account books, and a detailed record of her estate's contents and distribution, including a copy of her will. #14 records the dispute over the estate of Emily Wells Healey, Dall's sister. Also included are papers of Dall's daughter, Sarah Dall Munro, and son, William Healey Dall, and of other relatives.

Series II, Correspondence, consists largely of letters to Dall, with some from Dall to members of her family, especially to her father (#15). Among the correspondents are Frederic Henry Hedge, a member of the Transcendentalist Club (#20); Samuel Joseph May, the noted Boston educator and reformer (#21); and Ednah Dow (Littlehale) Cheney, with whom Dall exchanged letters in 1837 (when Dall was 15 years old) on woman's place and rights (#19).

Series III, Teaching and lectures, documents Dall's Sunday school teaching in Boston and Toronto, as well as her work with her husband at the Baltimore Mission School (#27). The records of her work with James Freeman Clarke's parish (#31-32v) include notes on Clarke's preaching and on church activities; #31, the proceedings of a meeting discussing aid to a local military company, shows that Dall's involvement with her community extended outside the academic sphere. The class books of the weekly meetings of the adult education Excursion Class held in Washington, D.C. (#35-37v) include discussion topics ranging from moral/ethical questions to new books and scientific discoveries. There are also texts and notes for lectures and sermons and a large selection of Dall's talks on woman's rights.

Series IV, Writings. Dall's literary output included novels, biographies, studies of Shakespeare, book reviews, obituaries, and articles on current issues, woman's suffrage, and religion. This collection contains five unpublished manuscript "tales" written before her marriage in 1844. In addition to texts of writings (some manuscript, some printed), this series contains Dall's research notes, correspondence with publishers, reviews of her work, and her instructions for projected posthumous editions of some of her books.

Series V, Notes and clippings, consists of Dall's voluminous notes on her reading, notebooks of poetry and quotations, and clippings from newspapers and magazines. The material spans the years 1832-1912 and testifies to DallF's wide interests. A few particularly well-documented topics are labor laws and woman's suffrage in England (#145), the status of women and educational reform in India (#143, 147), and the natural disasters of 1880-1883 (#142).

Series VI, Photographs. Like many people of her day, Dall collected photographs not only of her own family and friends, but also of famous people of the time. #155v contains such a mixture of subjects. The other photographs in the collection are of family and friends (not all have been identified), including one of Dall herself (#151) and several of her husband (#152).


Caroline Wells (Healey) Dall, author and reformer, was born on June 22, 1822, in Boston, Massachussetts; attended Joseph Hale Abbot's private girls' school; married the Rev. Charles Henry Appleton Dall in 1844; they had a son, William Healey, born 1845, and a daughter, Sarah Keene Healey, born 1849, who married Josiah Munro.

Dall was vice-principal of Miss English's School, Georgetown, D.C., 1842-1844, and one of three founders, 1865, of the American Social Science Association, and until 1905 its director and vice-president. She received an honorary LL.D. from Alfred University in 1877, and died on December 17, 1912, in Washington, D.C.

For additional biographical and bibliographical information, see Notable American Women (1971), volume 1, pages 428-429.


The collection is arranged in six series:

  1. I. Genealogical and family papers
  2. II. Correspondence
  3. III. Teaching and lectures
  4. IV. Writings
  5. V. Notes and clippings
  6. VI. Photographs

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 80-M170, 82-M75

These papers of Caroline Wells (Healey) Dall were given to the Schlesinger Library by Ruth Munro (Mrs. Willis Munro) in August 1980 and April 1982.

Related Material:

There is related material at the Schlesinger Library; Caroline Wells Healey Dall papers, 1841-1909 (A-72).


  1. Box 1: Folders 1-16
  2. Box 2: Folders 17-34
  3. Box 3: Folders 35-46
  4. Box 4: Folders 47-64v
  5. Box 5: Folders 65v-78
  6. Box 6: Folders 79v-95
  7. Box 7: Folders 96v-115
  8. Box 8: Folders 116v-134v
  9. Box 9: Folders 135v-149

Processing Information

Processed: July 1983

By: Christina Kraus

Dall, Caroline Wells Healey, 1822-1912. Papers of Caroline Wells Healey Dall, 1829-1956 (inclusive), 1837-1916 (bulk): 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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