Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
College Archives and Special Collections



  • Patient with facial erysipelas.

    @ElizaBTweetin: April 9, 1873: Adolphus feeble

    When Eliza Wheaton arrived in Uxbridge, she found her older brother Adolphus "quite feeble". Although age may have been at issue (Adolphus was 77 years old and would die in 1875), "feebleness" was a general popular term for illness. During the 19th century, medicine was not as advanced as it is today. Without the many […]
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  • Caroline A. Creevey, Flowers of Field, Hill & Swamp

    @ElizaBTweetin: April 8, 1873: Caroline Stickney Creevey

    Spring invigorated Eliza Wheaton, and her activities ranged from cleaning to installing new carpets.  She also entertained a number of visitors, some of whom are obscure, such as Mrs. Frank Richmond and Mrs. Otis, and some of whom were famous in their lifetimes, such as Caroline Alathea Stickney (Mrs. John Kennedy) Creevey Class of 1863, […]
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  • Eliza B. Wheaton's Diary,
17-22 March 1873

    @ElizaBTweetin: March 22, 1873: Jubilee Singers

    Winter was as tenacious in 1872-73 as it has been in 2013-14!  On March 17th, Mrs. Wheaton could not keep her house warm, and on the 22nd it was “cold enough for fur cloaks.”  Brrr!  Despite the bitter weather and suffering a cold, Eliza enjoyed a very busy week, entertaining visitors and attending local and […]
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  • The New York Tribune, in Printing House Square, 1865.

    @ElizaBTweetin: February 4, 1873: Charles L. Congdon

    On Feb. 4th, Eliza reported that she attended Mr. Congdon's "lecture on Journalism." We recently found this report on the lecture in the July 1873 Rushlight, and assume that Miss Wier was suffering from "senioritis" when she dated her article. Here is her article, in full. "Newspapers or Maps of Busy Life." A lecture delivered […]
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  • Image from Browne's
"Along the Elbe" in Harper's New Monthly Magazine (Mar. 1873)

    @ElizaBTweetin: March 14, 1873: Armchair Traveling

    During Mrs. Wheaton’s marriage, she and Laban Morey Wheaton traveled frequently, both locally, around the States, and abroad. After her husband’s death, she only ventured as far as summer vacations to New England’s seashore and mountains. Eliza continued to indulge her interest in travel, however, through reading. On this date, Eliza Beane’s daughter Nell read […]
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  • Eliza B. Wheaton's Diary,
11-16 March 1873

    @ElizaBTweetin: March 13, 1873: Shopping & Art Gallery

    On this date, Mrs. Wheaton and Mrs. Beane traveled to Boston to shop for clothing and other “sundries”. The materials were purchased at Jordan, Marsh & Co., the nation’s first “departmentalized” store, at 450 Washington St., just half a block from the property Mrs. Wheaton owned on Winter St. (currently known as “Downtown Crossing”). Eliza spent […]
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  • Eliza B. Wheaton's Diary,
5-10 March 1873

    @ElizaBTweetin: March 10, 1873: Ventriloquist Harry Bryant

    The 1873 lecture series seems to have gone from the sublime to the ridiculous, or perhaps ended with a bang! Following Mr. Fields’ lecture on Tennyson, the final presentation was by Mr. (sometimes “Prof.”) Harry Bryant, a famous ventriloquist, mimic, magician and humorist. Born in Connecticut in ca. 1845, Bryant was a ventriloquist at the […]
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  • Eliza B. Wheaton's Diary,
Feb. 27-Mar. 4, 1873

    @ElizaBTweetin: March 4, 1873: James T. Fields

    The lecture series referred to in this and other entries, was a fund raiser for the Norton Public Library. The idea of Mary Briggs, Seminary teacher of History and Literature (1856-79), the series was organized by Miss Briggs and the Rev. Timothy Atkinson of the Trinitarian Congregational Church, on behalf of Norton's public library committee. […]
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  • Eliza B. Wheaton's Diary, 15-20 February 1873.

    @ElizaBTweetin: February 19, 1873: David Holman

    David Holman visited to report the death of a mutual friend at his brother Samuel’s house in Attleboro. Holman, who was a cousin, business associate, traveling companion, and close friend of Eliza’s late husband, is seldom mentioned in her diaries. David Emory Holman was born in Attleboro in 1805. His parents were the Rev. Nathan […]
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  • The Angel Unawares, frontis of 4th ed. of Robert Falconer

    @ElizaBTweetin: February 21, 1873: Robert Falconer

    On this date, Mrs. Wheaton notes, “We finished reading Robert Falconer” by George MacDonald. Eliza, Mrs. Beane, and other visitors probably enjoyed reading the book aloud, although it is well over 500 pages long and large sections are written in Scottish brogue. Originally published in 1868, this book was tremendously popular between 1870 and 1890, […]
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  • Home Pastimes; or Tableaux Vivants by James H. Head

    @ElizaBTweetin: February 26, 1873: Tableaux Vivants

    Mrs. Wheaton’s report of attending “Tableux and Reception by Class of 73” piqued our interest. What might be special about the date February 26th?  The March 1873 Rushlight answered our question.     "One bright morning in Feb. we were startled by the following announcement from the Principal. “You think young ladies, that you have been […]
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  • American Picturesque Mammoth Cave

    @ElizaBTweetin: February 5th 1873: Picturesque America

      The diaries of Eliza B. Wheaton continue to yield treasures! These treasures are not only of the heritage of Wheaton College, but of greater American history in general.  In her entry of February 5th 1873, Eliza penned that she had formally subscribed to William Cullen Bryant’s Picturesque America, or The Land We Live In: […]
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  • Eliza B. Wheaton Diary, 22-27 Jan. 1873

    @ElizaBTweetin: January 23, 1873: Gen. Joshua Chamberlain

    It has been many weeks since we have elaborated upon Mrs. Wheaton’s diary entries, but Civil War hero Gen. Joshua Chamberlain’s visit to the Seminary on Jan. 23, 1873, cannot be overlooked. Many of our readers will know Chamberlain (1828-1914) from the film Gettysburg, in which the 20th Maine Infantry figures prominently, especially at the Battle […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: December 3, 1872: Christmas in the 19th Century

    @ElizaBTweetin: December 3, 1872: Christmas in the 19th Century

    Stephanie Langlois '17 Eliza Baylies Wheaton mentioned attending a church service reading of “A Christmas Story” on the 3rd of December. Her holiday festivities continued as she prepared for the holiday we all know and love by bottling cider and attending church regularly. Yet, the traditional Christmas festivities that we all cherish were just being […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: November 27, 1872: Thanksgiving in the 19th Century

    @ElizaBTweetin: November 27, 1872: Thanksgiving in the 19th Century

    Riley Swales '17 Like many of us, Eliza Baylies Wheaton began preparing her house for visitors two days before Thanksgiving. The holiday was celebrated at her home in 1872, and she busily organized her home and set up extra beds for her visiting relatives to sleep in. Since transportation was not as advanced as it […]
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: November 18, 1872: The Great Boston Fire of 1872

    @ElizaBTweetin: November 18, 1872: The Great Boston Fire of 1872

    Riley Swales '17 From November 9th to November 10th of the year 1872, Boston experienced the largest urban fire in the history of the city. It is commonly referred to as The Great Boston Fire of 1872. The fire destroyed 776 buildings and a large portion of the financial district was destroyed. Altogether, the cost […]
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  • Coming Soon on @ElizaBTweetin

    Thomas Van Duyne '14 Just as things seem to be cooling off around the little town of Norton, things in Eliza Baylies Wheaton’s life are white hot.  Rain is heavy, and as a result Mrs. Beane’s daughter Nellie comes down with a serious cold.  In the early1800’s, this could mean life or death for poor […]
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  • Eliza B. Wheaton's Diary, Sept. 6-11, 1872

    @ElizaBTweetin: September 9, 1872: Portrait Sitting

    Eliza Wheaton began sitting for her portrait with Boston artist James Harvey Young (1839-1918) today.  This was a return to the artist, who had painted a posthumous portrait of her husband, Laban Morey Wheaton, in 1865. At a Trustees’ meeting that year, during which Mrs. Wheaton forgave a debt of $3500 owed by the Seminary […]
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  • Eliza B. Wheaton's Diary, 31 Aug. to 5 Sept. 1872

    @ElizaBTweetin: September 6, 1872: Fruits of the Earth

    Many of us spent the Labor Day weekend harvesting and preserving the last of our vegetables, just as in 1872 Eliza Wheaton canned tomatoes. She also harvested fruits, and sent George Wild to Boston to sell her grapes (he collected $5.20 for eight pounds of grapes) and cider vinegar. She paid  Mr. Wild's expenses ($4.78) […]
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  • Eliza Wheaton's Diary, Aug. 31-Sept. 5, 1872

    @ElizaBTweetin: September 5, 1872: Back from Vacation

    Eliza Baylies Wheaton has returned to her busy fall schedule, and so have we!  Cooler, drier weather has replaced August's heat and humidity, just as it did in 1872.  Visiting friends and relations have returned to their homes, and the students have arrived on campus for the new term. Just as we have been meeting […]
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  • Bathing machines on a beach.

    @ElizaBTweetin: August 16, 1872: Eliza Swims!

    Can you imagine our Mrs. Wheaton in a swimsuit?  Difficult to picture, isn't it!  Chances are that no one else saw her either!  Although more popular in England than in the United States, bathing machines provided privacy for ladies who wished to swim. Wheeled changing rooms, they were parked on the beach for women to […]
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  • Eliza B. Wheaton's diary, 13-18 August 1872

    @ElizaBTweetin: August 15, 1872: Island Ledge House

    Eliza and her party move to Wells Beach, ME.
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  • Eliza B. Wheaton's diary, 13-18 August 1872

    @ElizaBTweetin: Aug. 13, 1872: Vacation!

    How many of us have spent hours planning for vacation, but left home without any fixed plans or reservations?  Over the last few days, we’ve watched Eliza Wheaton copy important documents, carry them to her new safe deposit box in Boston, visit family and friends in Uxbridge, and purchase necessary items in Boston and Providence.  […]
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  • Eliza B. Wheaton's Diary, 1-6 August, 1872

    @ElizaBTweetin: Aug. 5, 1872: Vacation Preparations

    Early August found Eliza Wheaton extremely busy, copying important papers, taking shopping and business trips to Boston and Providence, and visiting her relations in Uxbridge—all in preparation for vacationing in New Hampshire.
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  • Union Building at 40 State Street, Boston

    @ElizaBTweetin: July 25, 1872: UnSafe Vault?

    An entry of “I went to Un. Safe vault— + took a Box” simply demands attention! What could Eliza Wheaton possibly mean by an “unsafe vault”?  It took a bit of research to find that Boston had fifty-one banks in 1872. City directories, or “Handbooks” as they were often called, are tremendously useful sources for […]
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  • Eliza B. Wheaton's diary, 20-25 July 1872.

    @ElizaBTweetin: July 24, 1872: Hay Caps

    What in the world are “Hay Caps”? you ask.  I didn’t know either, and it took a bit of searching to find out that they were large cloth covers installed over haystacks to protect them from wet weather. An 1877 publication titled “Use of Hay Caps”  noted that, “They have saved thousands of tons of […]
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  • World Peace Jubilee & International Music Festival Coliseum

    @ElizaBTweetin: July 12, 1872: Hot & Humid!

    In case you haven’t noticed, our weather during the last few weeks has been the same as it was 141 years ago, in 1872: HOT and HUMID!
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  • Archives in Summer

    Archives in Summer

    Ben Weinstock '14 reflects on Wheaton during the summertime.
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  • Eliza B. Wheaton's Diary, June 14-19, 1872.

    @ElizaBTweetin: June 14, 1872: Carryall Arrives!

    After several weeks of anticipation, following George Wild’s initial investigation of Carryalls available in Boston and Eliza B. Wheaton paying for the carriage, it was finally delivered by train at the Norton Depot, just one mile east of the Seminary. Wild was actually the first to use the carriage, driving Mrs. Wheaton's guest, Dr. Thomas […]
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  • Ad for Kimball Brothers in 1870 Boston City Directory.

    @ElizaBTweetin: June 12, 1872: Town & City

    Although Mrs. Wheaton and her companion Eliza Knight Beane were together a great deal, they sometimes traveled in different directions.  On June 11, Mrs. Beane went with Seminary teachers Maria Mellus and Ann E. Carter to Mansfield, while Mrs. Wheaton drove around Norton, visiting Mrs. Atkinson, the minister’s wife, as well as Mrs. Tom Wetherel […]
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  • Eliza B.Wheaton's Diary, 8-13 June 1872.

    @ElizaBTweetin: June 10, 1872: Commerce & Custom

    Business and domestic duties kept Eliza busy during the early weeks of June 1872. Mrs. Wheaton kept a small income-producing herd of Jersey cattle. Admired for their beautiful fawn coloring and huge doe-like eyes, Jerseys are small, docile, inquisitive, and known for their high protein and butterfat production (each cow can produce as much as […]
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  • Eliza B. Wheaton's Calling Card Case

    @ElizaBTweetin: May 6-13 – Making Calls

    The Rev. Timothy Atkinson and his new wife Eudora Clark Atkinson call on Mrs. Wheaton, and she returns the call.
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  • A student riding in front of Mrs. Wheaton's house. Is it Mary Chapin W1873?

    @ElizaBTweetin: May 6-13 – Riding Habits...& Boys!

    Mary Chapin takes horseback riding lessons, and Wheaton Seminary experiments with coeducation.
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  • Dog License for Eliza's dog Carl, a black and white Newfoundland.

    @ElizaBTweetin: A Dog Friendly Campus

    Dogs have long had a special place here on Wheaton’s campus. Recently students have been discussing the idea of starting a Pet Friendly House that would teach students about caring for animals. Whether or not this theme house is approved, we can say for certain that dogs have enjoyed a rich and long history at […]
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  • Full page engraved illustration for an article from Godey’s Lady’s Book, Vol. 40 (March 1850). Clifton Waller Barrett Collection, University of Virginia.

    @ElizaBTweetin: April 27 - Not Your Average Eliza.

    Eliza isn’t your average 19th century woman.
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  • Special Collections, Brandeis University Library
“Vaccinating the Poor,” Harper’s Weekly 1872

    @ElizaBTweetin: April 22-29 – Connections with Death

    Mrs. Wheaton attends the funeral of her cousin-by-marriage, Dr. Samuel Deans, of Easton, MA.
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  • Eliza B. Wheaton's diary, April 15-20, 1872.

    @ElizaBTweetin: April 15-22 – Zapped!

    Eliza B. Wheaton experiments with electrical medical treatments.
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  • Gas ring detail of remaining fixture in President’s House Carriage House.

    @ElizaBTweetin: April 8-14 – Noxious Fumes!

    Some of you have noticed that illness has driven Eliza and Mrs. Beane to their beds.
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: April 8, 1872: Good Help is Hard to Find!

    Mrs. Wheaton hires a new maid. The perennial complaint of the upper-class 19th century housewife was the difficulty of finding, and keeping, good help.
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  • @ElizaBTweetin: Beginnings

    @ElizaBTweetin: Beginnings

    Although @ElizaBTweetin has been up and running for only four short weeks it is part of a much larger and longer project.
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  • Eliza B. Wheaton's diary Apr. 3-8, 1872.

    ElizaBTweetin: April 1-8, 1872: Money helps

    The first week of April was busy for Mrs. Wheaton as work continues on her house.
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  • Receipt for 4 ft. galvanized sink.

    ElizaBTweetin: March 26-April 1, 1872: Weather and Home Improvements

    The process of home rejuvenation continues!
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  • ElizaBTweetin: March 18-25, 1872: Friends and Neighbors

    Friends and neighbors in Eliza B. Wheaton's diary, 18-25 March 1872
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  • Eliza Baylies Wheaton @ElizaBTweetin

    Eliza Baylies Wheaton @ElizaBTweetin

    Welcome to the pocket diaries of Wheaton Female Seminary founder Eliza Baylies Wheaton, via @ElizaBTweetin!
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  • Humpty Dumpties tell a bigger story

    A Humpty Dumpty (Wheaton) Heart

    Humpty Dumpties tell the story of romance at Wheaton in the 1950s.
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  • Iraq War Protest, Boston MA, Nov. 2002.

    Child Protestor Stands Above

    Out of the Marion B. Gebbie Archives comes the image of a child protestor from Nov. 3, 2002. This child's story is unknown but he stands out amongst the crowd.
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  • Photo Courtesy of Professor Gary Lee Todd (Professor of History, Sias International University, Xinzheng, Henan, China)

    Ancestral Tablet or Pillow? The Subjectivity of Appearance and Function

    What happens when you are faced with something that doesn't fit what you expect? Everyone knows what a pillow is, but then it is pretty obvious right??
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  • View of all the shelves I have gotten through so far. Marion Wallace Clark Stacks, Fall 2012.

    Rediscovering Forgotten History

    Freshman searches Wheaton College Stacks and sees changing emphasis on historical figures.
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  • From the Wheaton Sliding Timeline, 1943
War relief organized by students

    Wheaton College Timeline Revamped

    Improve your understanding of Wheaton College's past with an exciting new timeline of key events. It will be helpful for those head-scratching questions, like when did Wheaton become a college?
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  • To Boston By Rail, Then & Now

    Wheaton’s public transit connections haven’t changed a whole lot since 1918. One Wheaton student discover's shared experiences of traveling to and from Boston with a Wheaton alum almost 100 years later.
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  • Cows on a Beach

    Cows on Beach!?!

    Unexpected things are coming out of the Marion B. Gebbie Archives. Franny Trimble, Senior, discovers a picture of cows on a beach, learns about Jeffery's Bay South Africa, and poses the ultimate question: "So do cows surf???"
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  • Online exhibit: Shoes from around the world

    Online exhibit: Shoes from around the world

    Learn about the diversity of shoes found in the Lucy A. Morse Shoe collection that were collected during her world travels.
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  • Digital History Project

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  • Stuffed Animals at Wheaton: Mystery Solved!

    Stuffed Animals at Wheaton: Mystery Solved!

    Dear Archives Staff, I was surprised and excited when I opened a birthday card from my mother's cousin recently and found a clipping of an article from your Wheaton Quarterly.
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  • Out of the Classroom and Into the Archives

    Out of the Classroom and Into the Archives

    Wheaton faculty are using the Archives and Special Collections to enrich the learning experience.
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  • Doing History Digitally

    The Writings of Eliza Baylies Wheaton. Associate Professor of History Kathryn Tomasek explores digital history.
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