Caroline Dall Journals

Caroline Healey Dall

Daguerreotype of Caroline Dall, circa 1854-1860

A native of Boston and daughter of a prominent merchant, Caroline Healey Dall (1822-1912) became involved in many movements vital to the history of New England and the nation. As a young woman, she was invited into the social circles of New England transcendentalism, where she associated with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Margaret Fuller, among others. Later, she took part in the Garrisonian women's movement, lecturing, writing, and co-editing a newspaper for the cause. This work culminated in her pioneering and seminal publication, The College, the Market, and the Court; Or, Woman's Relation to Education, Labor, and Law (1867). Dall was also one of the founders and a long-time officer of the American Social Science Association, where she worked for improvements in prison conditions, the treatment of the insane, public health, and education. After 1878 Dall lived in Washington, D.C., where she associated with congressmen, Supreme Court justices, members of the scientific community, and their families, and was an intimate friend of First Lady Frances Folsum Cleveland. Late in her life Dall took on the role of historian of the Transcendentalist movement, publishing Margaret and Her Friends, an account of Margaret Fuller's "conversations," and Transcendentalism in New England.

For approximately 75 years Dall kept a daily journal of her feelings and her observations of the world of intellectual ferment in which she participated. This journal is a part of the large Caroline Dall Papers collection at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Availability & Ordering Information

Selected Journals of Caroline Healey Dall, Volume 1: 1838-1855 (November 2006)

Selected Journals of Caroline Healey Dall, Volume 2: 1855-1866 (July 2013)

Printed volumes are available from the Society's distributor, the University of Virginia Press.

A microfilm edition includes the entire collection of Caroline Dall Papers.

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Brown Bag; Research Fellow

The Ordeal of Homecoming: Northern Civilians and Union Veterans

30Aug 12:00PM 2019

Recent studies of Union veterans hold that northern civilians were eager to forget the Civil War, ignorant of the plight of the veteran, and inept in their few attempts ...

Conversation; Legacies of 1619

Legacies of 1619: Recognition & Resilience

7Sep 4:00PM 2019
There will be a pre-talk reception at 3:30.

The institution of slavery in English North America began in 1619 with the arrival of roughly 20 Africans in the settlement of Jamestown. What has followed has been 400 ...

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Properties of Empire: Indians, Colonists, & Land Speculators on the New England Frontier

10Sep 6:00PM 2019
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30.

Properties of Empire challenges assumptions about the relationship between Indigenous and imperial property creation in early America. Many colonists came to believe ...

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