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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 809

Papers of Jessie Hainning Rupert, 1849-1991 (inclusive), 1849-1913 (bulk)


Scrapbook, writings, correspondence, photographs, flyers, clippings, etc., documenting the work of Jessie Hainning Rupert, an educator, lecturer, and opponent of slavery who was known as the "Angel of the Shenandoah" for her efforts to provide food, shelter, and medical care to soldiers and civilians on both sides of the Civil War.


  • 1849-1991
  • Majority of material found within 1849-1913

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Jessie Hainning Rupert 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.


.63 linear feet ((1 + 1/2 file boxes) plus 1 folio folder, 1 supersize folder, 1 photograph folder)
The collection includes a scrapbook containing Rupert's writings (including her valedictory address), letters, clippings, programs and other printed material from Oakland Female Institute as well as from schools directed by Rupert, writings by Oakland classmates, etc. Also included are lectures; correspondence; a commonplace book; photographs; flyers, clippings, etc., advertising her lectures; an autograph book; biographical and genealogical information; recollections of the war by others; etc.

The collection was retained in mostly the same order as in the dealer's description (see #2.4).

Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be digitized and available online.


Known as the "Angel of the Shenandoah," Jessie Hainning Rupert was born in Scotland and moved with her family to Ohio in the 1830s. Educated at Oakland Female Institute in Norristown, Pennsylvania, she became principal of the Ann Smith Academy in Lexington, Virginia (1856-1858), before moving to New Market, Virginia, where she directed the New Market Female Seminary. As an opponent of slavery and a Union sympathizer, she was ostracized by the townspeople; nevertheless she married Solomon P. Rupert (1823-1867) and throughout the war provided food, shelter, and medical care to soldiers and civilians on both sides of the conflict. She was later adopted as the daughter of the 34th Massachusetts Regiment, some of whose members she had nursed at her home after the battle of New Market. After the war she established the Cottage Institute, a boarding and day school for white children, and Woodworth Cottage Institute, a night school for black students. Her husband committed suicide in 1867. She later supported herself and her two sons, Charles and Frank, by lecturing in the north on her life as a Yankee in a southern town. Rupert died in New Market in 1909.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2014-M129

These papers of Jessie Hainning Rupert were acquired by the Schlesinger Library from L & T Respess Books in August 2014.

Processing Information

Processed: September 2014

By: Anne Engelhart
Link to catalog
Rupert, Jessie Hainning, 1831-1909. Papers of Jessie Hainning Rupert, 1849-1991 (inclusive), 1849-1913 (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

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.

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