Eliot, Emily Marshall Otis, 1832-1906. Diaries of Emily Marshall Otis Eliot and Emily
Marshall Eliot Morison, 1859-1922: 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
Location: Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.
Call No.: MC 258
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe
Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Emily Marshall Otis Eliot, 1832-1906
Title: Diaries of Emily Marshall Otis Eliot and Emily Marshall Eliot Morison, 1859-1922
Quantity: .42 linear feet (1 file box)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Diaries of Emily M. O. Eliot and Emily M. E. Morison, members of a prominent Boston
Accession number: 76-290
The diaries of Emily M. O. Eliot and Emily M. E. Morison were given to the Schlesinger
Library in August 1976 by Emily M. Beck.
Processed: January 1978
By: Joan E. Titus
Access. Originals closed; use microfilm.
Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Emily Marshall Otis Eliot 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
Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.
Emily Marshall Otis Eliot Diaries, 1859-1922; item description, dates. MC 258, folder
#. Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.
Emily M. O. Eliot and Emily M. E. Morison were grandmother and mother of Admiral Samuel
Eliot Morison, the Harvard University naval historian. Member of an old and prominent
Boston family, Emily Marshall Otis Eliot was the wife of Samuel Eliot, president of
Trinity College and later a lecturer at Harvard and superintendent of the Boston public
schools. Emily M. E. Morison was the wife of John Holmes Morison, a lawyer and a graduate
of Harvard. The two Samuels were Harvard graduates as well.
Emily Marshall Otis Eliot's diaries cover the years 1859 through 1864 and Emily M.
E. Morison's diaries the years 1868 through 1922, with gaps from September 1871 to
December 1877, 1885 to 1891, and 1895 to June 1908. The diaries center on the family
and social life of Emily Marshall Otis Eliot and Emily M. E. Morison, recording their
day by day activities as well as their extensive travels. In general, they recorded
events, the state of their own and their family's health, with little mention of their
thoughts or feelings. Emily M. E. Morison appears to have stopped writing during the
most important and busy periods of her life, such as the time of her marriage and
the birth of her two sons. Occasionally they enclosed newsclippings, letters, photographs,
Dates noted in the diaries:
- January 21: John Morison's birthday
- February 14: Emily M. E. Morison's birthday
- March 13: Emily Marshall Otis Eliot's birthday
- March 16: Emily Marshall Otis Eliot's son Willy's birthday
- June 7: Emily Marshall Otis Eliot's wedding anniversary
- June 26: Emily M. E. Morison's wedding anniversary
- July 9: Samuel Eliot Morison's birthday
- November 19: Emily M. E. Morison's son John Bradford's birthday
- December 22: Samuel Eliot's birthday
- Series I: Emily Marshall Otis Eliot
M-59, reel 969, no. M9.
- 1v. Diary, June 30-September 7, 1859. Summer in Newport with family.
- 2v. Diary, January 1-December 31, 1860. Mainly in Hartford, Conn., summer in Newport.
Family's health, weather.
- 3v. Diary, January 1-December 31, 1861. Mainly in Hartford, summer in Boston. Son, George
Otis, born on September 2. References to Civil War.
- 4v. Diary, January 1-December 31, 1862. Mainly in Hartford. Records commencement at Trinity,
visits to Boston, summer in Nahant.
- 5v. Diary, January 1-December 31, 1863. Written in Hartford, Boston, and Nahant. Poor
health. References to Civil War.
- 6v. Diary, January 1-December 31, 1864. Trip to Europe January 17 to September 2; son
George dies on March 11. October 31, mother-in-law dies in Chicopee, Mass. List of
household expenses and lock of hair enclosed.
- Series II: Emily Marshall Eliot Morison
M-59, reels 976-977, no. M19.
- 7v. Diary, January 1, 1868-January 1, 1869. Boston, summer in Newport, R.I. French, music,
and dancing lessons. Newsclipping and card enclosed.
- 8v. Diary, January 1-December 31, 1869. Mainly in Boston; visits Hartford; omnibus trips
to beach. Departs for Europe on November 3, trip extends into 1870. Dried flower,
drawings, newsclippings, and telegram enclosed. Lists birthday and Christmas presents
given and received.
- 9v. Diary, September 12, 1870-April 14, 1871. Return from Europe September 12; at school
- 10v. Diary, April 15- September 2, 1871. Mainly in Boston; visits Chicopee, Hartford; July
in Beverly Farms. Has mumps. Includes drawings.
- 11v. Diary, January 1-December 31, 1878. Mainly in Boston; Europe, July 16 to October 14.
Less descriptive than earlier diaries. Lists invitations, guests. Includes shopping
list for Bon Marché and list of expenses.
- 12v. Diary, January 1-December 31, 1879. Mainly in Boston; visits New York, Washington,
Beverly Farms, Chicopee. Singing lessons, horseback riding. Attends reception at White
House, January 25. Lists dresses, books read, defines "A Perfect Gentleman." Newsclippings
and letter enclosed.
- 13v. Diary, January 7-December 31, 1880. Mainly in Boston; Europe, May 26 through October
Attends many parties, mentions whom she spoke with, what friends wore, parental restrictions.
Lists birthday and Christmas presents, important Spanish words, correspondence, and
Paris purchases. Includes letter from George B. Morison.
- 14v. Diary, January 1-November 11, 1881. Mainly in Boston; trips to Newport, Beverly Farms,
Nahant; summer in New Hampshire. Notes marriages and engagements of friends. Lists
books read, Christmas presents.
- 15v. Diary, January 11-December 28, 1882. Mainly in Boston; visits New York, Baltimore
with chaperone; summer in New Hampshire and Maine. Sees John Morison in Baltimore.
Lists Christmas presents, books read. Obituary of friend Mary Lothrop Lowell enclosed.
- 16v. Diary, January 4-December 29, 1883. Mainly in Boston; visits New York, Baltimore,
Washington, Virginia, Canada; summer in Maine. Friend Daisy Doane dies, July 3. German
class. Lists invitations, Christmas gifts, books read, principal events.
- 17v. Diary, January 10-December 19, 1884. Boston; Europe, June 16 to October 6; visits
Baltimore. Continues lessons, rehearses for production of "In an Elevator." Lists
correspondence, purchases. Clippings enclosed.
- 18v. Diary, January 28-December 29, 1892. Mainly in Beverly Farms and Boston; summer in
North East Harbor, Maine. Records family life, her two son's birthdays and wages of
their nurse Elsie. Lists handwork she has made, addresses.
- 19v. Diary, January 24-December 31. 1893. Beverly Farms; summer in North East Harbor. Visit
to Peterborough, New Hampshire, husband's boyhood home. Sailing, walks, and drives
with the children. Mother-in-law dies March 23. Record of Elsie's wages. Lists handwork.
- 20v. Diary, January 1-December 24, 1894. Beverly Farms; summer in North East Harbor. Lunch
dates, symphony, theater, lectures, visits to dressmaker, sewing circle. Lists handwork
- 21. Miscellaneous clippings from 1v.-20v.
- 22v. Diary, June 30, 1908 - June 26, 1913. Mainly in Boston; Europe, July 9, 1908 to May
13, 1909, April 20 to June 26, 1913; Bermuda, March 14 to March 25, 1910, March 25
to April 8, 1912; visits to Peterborough, North East Harbor. Husband dies, January
30, 1911. Grandchild, Elizabeth Grey Morison, born on March 29, 1911. Notes lonely
days and weather. Obituaries, opera and Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR)
programs, photographs, letters and clippings concerning Samuel Eliot Morison's wedding
enclosed. Lists taxes, presents, operas.
- 23. Miscellaneous clippings and photographs from 22v.
- 24v. Diary, July 3, 1913-December 25, 1917. Boston, North East Harbor, Peterborough. Visits
to New York, Washington; return from Bermuda January 4, 1914. Granddaughter Emily
born October 25, 1915; grandson Peter born March 13, 1917. Involved in life of children
and grandchildren. Work for Red Cross, hospital visits, opera, symphony. Lists insurance
policies, taxes, trip expenses, cemetery plot number. Clippings about Samuel Eliot
Morison's career and Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) meetings, postcard
from Alice Stone Blackwell enclosed.
- 25. Miscellaneous clippings from 24v.
- 26v. Diary, January 1, 1918-December 29, 1922. Boston, North East Harbor, Peterborough.
Europe, September 10 to December 2, 1922. Frequent trips from Boston to Samuel Eliot
Morison's home in Concord, Massachusetts. Obituaries, newsclippings about Samuel Eliot
Morison and World War I, programs, financial records, photograph of grandchildren
- 27. Miscellaneous clippings from 26v.
Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customs
Europe--Description and travel
Families--Health and hygiene
Voyages and travels
Blackwell, Alice Stone, 1857-1950
Eliot, Emily Marshall Otis, 1832-1906
Morison, Samuel Eliot, 1887-1976
Trinity College (Hartford, Conn.)