Maria Mitchell: Life, Letters, and Journals

Maria Mitchell
Maria Mitchell: Life, Letters, and Journals

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Title: Maria Mitchell: Life, Letters, and Journals
Author: Maria Mitchell
Release Date: November 21, 2003 [EBook #10202]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1
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[Illustration: Maria Mitchell]

MARIA MITCHELL
LIFE, LETTERS, AND JOURNALS

Compiled By
PHEBE MITCHELL KENDALL

Illustrated
1896

CONTENTS

CHAPTER I
The parents--Home life--Education, teachers, books--Astronomical instruments--Solar eclipse of 1831--Teaching--Appointment as librarian of Nantucket Atheneum--Friendships for young people--Extracts from diary, 1855--Music--The piano--Society--Story-telling--Housework--Extract from diary, 1854

CHAPTER II
"Sweeping" the heavens--Discovery of the comet, 1847--Frederick VI. and the comet--Letters from G. P. Bond and Hon. Edward Everett--Admiral Smyth--American Academy--American Association for the Advancement of Science--Extract from diary, 1855--Dorothea Dix--Esther--Divers extracts from diary, 1853, 1854--Comet of 1854--Computations for comet--Visit to Cape Cod--Sandwich and Plymouth--Pilgrim Hall--Rev. James Freeman Clarke--Accidents in observing

CHAPTER III
Wires in the transit instrument--Deacon Greele--Smithsonian fund--"Doing"--Rachel in "Ph¨¨dre" and "Adrienne"--Emerson--The hard winter

CHAPTER IV
Southern tour--Chicago--St. Louis--Scientific Academy of St. Louis--Dr. Pope--Dr. Seyffarth--Mississippi river--Sand-bars--Cherry blossoms--Eclipse of sun--Natchez--New Orleans--Slave market--Negro church--The "peculiar institution"--Bible--Judge Smith--Travelling without escort--Savannah--Rice plantations--Negro children--Miss Murray--Charleston--Drive--Condition of slaves--Old buildings--Miss Rutledge--Mr. Capers--Class meeting--Hospitality--Mrs. Holbrook--Miss Pinckney--Manners--Portraits--Miss Pinckney's father--George Washington--Augusta--Nashville--Mrs. Fogg--Mrs. Polk--Charles Sumner--Mammoth cave--Chattanooga

CHAPTER V
First European tour--Liverpool--London--Rev. James Martineau--Mr. John Taylor--Mr. Lassell--Liverpool observatory--The Hawthornes--Shop-keepers and waiters--Greenwich observatory--Sir George Airy--Visits to Greenwich--Herr Struv¨¦'s mission to England--Dinner party--General Sabine--Westminster Abbey--Newton's monument--British museum--Four great men--St. Paul's--Dr. Johnson--Opera--Aylesbury--Admiral Smyth's family--Amateur astronomers--Hartwell house--Dr. Lee

CHAPTER VI
Cambridge--Dr. Whewell--Table conversation--Professor Challis--Professor Adams--Customs--Professor Sedgwick--Caste--King's Chapel--Fellows-- Ambleside--Coniston waters--The lakes--Miss Southey--Collingwood--Letter to her father--Herschels--London rout--Professor Stokes--Dr. Arnott--Edinboro'--Observatory--Glasgow observatory--Professor Nichol--Dungeon Ghyll--English language--English and Americans--Boys and beggars

CHAPTER VII
Adams and Leverrier--The discovery of the planet Neptune--Extract from papers--Professor Bond, of Cambridge, Mass.--Paris--Imperial observatory--Mons. and Mme. Leverrier--Reception at Leverrier's--Rooms in observatory--Rome--Impressions--Apartments in Rome and Paris--Customs--Holy week--Vespers at St. Peter's--Women--Frederika Bremer--Paul Akers--Harriet Hosmer--Collegio Romano--Father Secchi--Galileo--Visit to the Roman observatory--Permission from Cardinal Antonelli--Spectroscope

CHAPTER VIII
Mrs. Somerville--Berlin--Humboldt--Mrs. Mitchell's illness and death--Removal to Lynn, Mass.--Telescope presented to Miss Mitchell by Elizabeth Peabody and others--Letters from Admiral Smyth--Colors of stars--Extract from letter to a friend--San Marino medal--Other extracts

CHAPTER IX
Life at Vassar College--Anxious mammas--Faculty meetings--President Hill--Professor Peirce--Burlington, Ia., and solar eclipse--Classes at Vassar--Professor Mitchell and her pupils--Extracts from diary--Aids --Scholarships--Address to her students--Imagination in science--"I am but a woman"--Maria Mitchell endowment fund--Emperor of Brazil--President Raymond's death--Dome parties--Comet, 1881--The apple-tree--"Honor girls"--Mr. Matthew Arnold

CHAPTER X
Second visit to Europe--Russia--Extracts from diary and letters--Custom-house peculiarities--Russian railways--Domes--Russian thermometers and calendars--The drosky and drivers--Observatory at Pulkova--Herr Struv¨¦--Scientific position of Russia--Language-- Religion--Democracy of the Church--Government--A Russian family--London, 1873--Frances Power Cobbe--Bookstores in London--Glasgow College for Girls

CHAPTER XI
Papers--Science--Eclipse of 1878, Denver, Colorado--Colors of stars

CHAPTER XII
Religious matters--President Taylor's remarks--Sermons--George MacDonald--Rev. Dr. Peabody--Dr. Lyman Abbott--Professor Henry--Meeting of the American Scientific Association at Saratoga--Professor Peirce-- Concord School of Philosophy--Emerson--Miss Peabody--Dr. Harris--Easter flowers--Whittier--Rich days--Cooking schools--Anecdotes

CHAPTER XIII
Letter-writing--Woman suffrage--Membership in various societies.--Women's Congress at Syracuse, N.Y.--Picnic at Medfield, Mass.--Degrees from different colleges--Published papers.--Failure in health--Resigns her position at Vassar College--Letters from various persons--Death--Conclusion
APPENDIX
Introductory note by Hon. Edward Everett
Correspondence relative to the Danish medal

CHAPTER I
1818-1846
BIRTH--PARENTS--HOME SURROUNDINGS AND EARLY LIFE
Maria Mitchell was born on the island of Nantucket, Mass., Aug. 1, 1818. She was the third child of William and Lydia [Coleman] Mitchell.
Her ancestors, on both sides, were Quakers for many generations; and it was in consequence of the intolerance of the early Puritans that these ancestors had been obliged to flee from the State of Massachusetts, and to settle upon this island, which, at that time, belonged to the State of New York.
For many years the Quakers, or Friends, as they called themselves, formed much the larger part of the inhabitants of Nantucket, and thus were enabled to crystallize, as it were, their own ideas of what family and social life should be; and although in course of time many "world's people" swooped down and helped to swell the number of islanders, they still continued to hold their own methods, and to bring up their children in accordance with their own conceptions of "Divine light."
Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell were married during the war of 1812; the former lacking one week of being twenty-one years old, and the latter being a few months over twenty.
The people of Nantucket by their situation endured many hardships during this period; their ships were upon the sea a prey to privateers, and communication with the mainland was exposed to the same danger, so that it was difficult to obtain such necessaries of life as the island could not furnish. There were still to be seen, a few years ago, the marks left on the moors, where fields of corn and potatoes had been planted in that trying time.
So the young couple began their housekeeping in a very simple way. Mr. Mitchell
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