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Cabot, Elizabeth Rogers Mason, 1834-1920. Diaries, 1859-1906: A Finding Aid

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America


Radcliffe College
July 1985

© 1985 Radcliffe College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: 81-M269--82-M14
Repository: Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute
Creator: Elizabeth Roger (Mason) Cabot, 1834-1920
Title: Diaries, 1859-1906
Quantity: 1 file box
Abstract: Diaries and transcripts of Elizabeth Roger Mason Cabot, member of a prominent Boston family.

Processing Information:

Preliminary inventory: July 1985
By: Teresa O'Rourke

Acquisition Information:

Accession numbers: 81-M269, 81-M284, 82-M14
The papers of Elizabeth Rogers (Mason) Cabot were given to the Schlesinger Library in November and December 1981 and in January 1982 by her granddaughter, Ruth Paine (Mrs. Alan) Cunningham.

Preferred citation for publication:

Elizabeth Rogers Mason Cabot. Diaries, 1859-1906; item description, dates. 81-M269--82-M14, folder #. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.


Elizabeth Rogers (Mason) Cabot was born in Boston on May 25, 1834, the daughter of William Powell and Hannah (Rogers) Mason. The Masons were members of prominent Boston families. William Powell Mason had followed his father (Johnathan Mason) into a career of law and politics; her mother was a descendant of John Rogers (1630-1684), president of Harvard College, and of Governor Thomas Dudley.
In 1859, ERMC became engaged to Walter Channing Cabot (1829-1904), son of Samuel and Eliza (Perkins) Cabot; they were married on June 5, 1860. During the next twelve years, ERMC gave birth to five children, all of whom survived to adulthood. Her health was poor (she took six months to a year to recover after each pregnancy) and, as a result, she was often advised to travel. She had travelled extensively in Europe prior to her marriage and spent eighteen months there after the birth of her second child, her third child being born in Paris. When not travelling abroad, she and Walter Cabot took annual trips to New York or Washington, D.C.
Throughout her life, ERMC was concerned primarily with the well-being of her own family and secondarily with that of the Cabot and Mason families in general. She was in touch with all her husband's siblings and was particularly close to her sister-in-law "Lizzie," Elizabeth (Dwight) Cabot. (See also EDC's papers in the Schlesinger Library). ERMC died at her home in Brookline on December 12, 1920.


This collection consists of five of ERMC's diaries, from the years 1859-1906 (#1v-5v), a one-volume transcript of those diaries (6v), and a volume (7v) of transcipts of diaries (1861-1967) not included in the collection. There are a few entries in 1v for the years 1861-1967, but they are incomplete; daily entries for those years can be found in 7v. The donor had the transcripts made in 1982 and chose to retain the original diaries for 1861-1967.
The diaries detail ERMC's life from the time of her engagment (1859) until 1906. The entries focus on daily life: her own and her family's health, calls made to and received from family and friends, and the annual stay at the Cabot family summer home. The diaries also contain accounts of travel in Europe and on the east coast. Ellery Sedgwick, who married her daughter Mabel in 1904, is discussed in 4v and 5v.



Additional catalog entries

Brookline, MA-Social life and customs
Boston-Social life and customs-19th century
Cabot, Elizabeth (Dwight), 1830-1901
Cabot, Hannah Lowell (Jackson), 1820-1879
Cabot, James Elliot, 1821-1903
Cabot, Samuel, 1815-1885
Domestic life
Family-19th century
Health and hygiene-19th century
Sedgwick, Ellery, 1872-1960
U.S.-History-Civil War, 1861-1865
Voyages and travels