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

Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University


Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: 81-M269--82-M14
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Cabot, Elizabeth Rogers Mason, 1834-1920
Title: Diaries of Elizabeth Rogers Mason Cabot, 1859-1906
Date(s): 1859-1906
Quantity: .63 linear feet (1+1/2 file boxes)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Diaries and transcripts of Elizabeth Rogers Mason Cabot, member of a prominent Boston family.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

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.

Processing Information:

Preliminary inventory: July 1985
By: Teresa O'Rourke

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Elizabeth Rogers Mason Cabot is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.

Preferred Citation:

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, Cabot 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, Cabot 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 traveled 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 traveling abroad, she and Walter Cabot took annual trips to New York or Washington, D.C.
Throughout her life, Cabot 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. Cabot died at her home in Brookline on December 12, 1920.


This collection consists of five of Elizabeth Rogers Mason Cabot's diaries, from the years 1859-1906 (#1v-5v), a one-volume transcript of those diaries (6v), and a volume (7v) of transcripts 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 Cabot's life from the time of her engagement (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.

Container List

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Brookline (Mass.)--Social life and customs
Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customs
Europe--Description and travel
Families--Health and hygiene
Middle Atlantic States--Description and travel
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Voyages and travels
Cabot, Elizabeth Dwight, 1830-1901
Cabot, Hannah Lowell Jackson, 1820-1879
Cabot, James Elliot, 1821-1903
Cabot, Samuel, 1815-1885
Sedgwick, Ellery, 1872-1960