Smith College: Key Founding Documents

Personal Journal of Sophia Smith:

Transcript with annotations by John M. Greene, 1861-1870

[10.2 FSC]
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Provenance: Gift of Helen French Greene, 1941.
Extent: Cover, preface, introduction (5 pp.); subject index; text (277 pp.)

Scope and Contents:

Following her pastor John M. Greene's advice, Sophia Smith kept a journal for the last nine years of her life (1861-1870), 277 entries in all. Shortly before she died, she left it in Rev. Greene's care: "He will know better than anyone else what to do with the journal," she said. "I give it to him to keep and use as he may think best." The journal records her travels, visits by friends, reading, and events such as the constuction of her new house and developments in the Civil War. In general, however, references to current events are relatively sparse and usually merit no more than a few sentences. Mainly, the journal is a personal record of Sophia Smith's spiritual yearnings, loneliness and uncertainty in worldly matters. 

The digitized document is a typed transcript of the journal, accompanied by footnote annotations written by John M. Greene. Attached to the manuscript is a preface by Helen French Greene (daughter of John M. Greene) and a letter to Rev. Greene written in 1909 by Elizabeth Deering Hanscom (subsequently the author of The Beginnings of Smith College), giving her opinion of the value of the contents of the journal and Rev. Greene's notes. 

An alphabetical subject index to Journal entries is provided.

Table of Contents:

Related Materials:

"Sophia Smith's Journal," Smith Alumnae Quarterly, August 1941. See the online exhibit "'A Perennial Blessing': Celebrating Sophia Smith" for the full text of the article.

© 1998 Five Colleges, Inc.