Bunker, Mary Hawthorne White, 1869-1960. Diaries of Mary Hawthorne White Bunker, 1886-1945:
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
Call No.: SC 132
Repository: Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America, Radcliffe
Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Creator: Mary Hawthorne White Bunker, 1869-1960
Title: Diaries of Mary Hawthorne White Bunker, 1886-1945
Quantity: .63 linear feet (1+1/2 file boxes)
Language of materials: Materials in English.
Abstract: Diaries and class notes of Mary Hawthorne White Bunker, Class of 1894.
Accession number: R96-3
This collection was given to the Radcliffe College Archives in February 1996 by Harvard
Law School Special Collections.
Processed: December 1996
By: Adelaide Kennedy and Jane S. Knowles
Access. Collection is open for research.
Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Mary Hawthorne White Bunker as well
as 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.
Mary Hawthorne White Bunker Diaries, 1886-1945; item description, dates. SC 132, folder
#. Radcliffe College Archives, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University,
Mary Hawthorne White was born on October 26, 1869 in Needham, Massachusetts, the only
daughter of Judge George White and Frances Mary Edwena Noyes. She attended Newton
High School for one year and then was tutored for several years by the author, Gamaliel
Bradford. Mary Hawthorne White graduated from Radcliffe, magna cum laude in English
and Greek with the first class to receive Radcliffe degrees in 1894. In June 1897,
she married Clarence Alfred Bunker, a lawyer, and they had three children, all of
whom attended Harvard or Radcliffe.
Mary Hawthorne White Bunker was a member of the Radcliffe College Alumnae Association,
serving as her class secretary from 1929. She prepared and published a history of
the class of 1894 in 1952. She was involved in the College Club (Boston, Mass.), and
was active in the Wellesley Women's Club, Wellesley Council, and was one of the organizers
of the Wellesley Historical Society (Wellesley, Mass.). In addition, she was involved
in the Wellesley Society of Artists, the Wellesley Red Cross, the Consumer's League
of Massachusetts, the Nantucket Historical Association, and the American Unitarian
Association. She was also the organizer of the first Girl Scout troop in Wellesley,
and in 1948 the Wellesley Girl Scout Day Camp was named after her in honor of her
work. At the time of her death in 1960, Mary Hawthorne White Bunker was assistant
registrar of the Council and a Golden Eagle of the Girl Scouts of the United States
This collection consists of the diaries of Mary Hawthorne (White) Bunker, 1886-1892,
1894-1897, 1915-1917, 1937-1945. Brief daily entries during the 1880s and 1890s record
her tennis matches and scores, reading, college studies and social life. There are
references to her marriage (June 1, 1897) after a three year engagement, and the activities
of her children and husband in later years. Additionally there are notes from a Harvard
Annex Botany course and from the Wellesley School of Religious Education.
- Box 1: 1v-16v
- Box 2: 17v-22
- 1v. Diary, 1886.
Scope and Contents: "took my first sleigh ride" (1/15); "played tennis in the backroom 51 times without
letting it bounce twice" (1/19); "the rain is said to be the greatest ever recorded
officially in the U.S." (2/13); "taking examinations for entrance to the [Harvard]
Annex" (7/1); "bought bathing suit" (7/9); "finished Daniel Deronda. I like it but was rather disappointed in parts. I did not wish Deronda to be a Jew.
I do not know why. I suppose it is prejudice" (7/29); reference to tennis tournaments
(9/9, 9/23, 9/24) and tennis scores. Books read listed and rated at back of diary:
rates Agamemnon excellent, Middlemarch worth reading, and What Katy Did trash. Read Little Women for the fifth and sixth times.
- 2v. Diary, 1887. Diary, 1887
Scope and Contents: Attends Harvard Class Day (6/24); at end of diary lists numerous accounts of tennis
scores and books: "8 excellent, 14 worth reading, 13 half and half, and 6 trash."
- 3v. Diary, 1888.
Scope and Contents: Trip to New Haven and New York City (6/25-7/2); visit to Cambridge (7/25); tennis
scores and lists of books: "8 excellent, 12 good, 9 indifferent, and 4 trash"
- 5v. Diary, 1890.
Scope and Contents: Bonnet party (1/11); trip to Philadelphia, Washington D.C., New York City (5/24-28);
freshman year at Harvard Annex: "This is my hardest day in the week. German comes
from 4 to 5. Dr. Poll gave us all back our German themes and said they were so bad
he could not correct them" (10/22); English I is extremely stupid so far except the
theme-writing (10/24); Mr. Parker was extremely interesting today in Greek on the
Athenian customs (10/26).
- 6v. Diary, 1891.
Scope and Contents: "Mrs. Agassiz gave her first tea for the Annex girls in the parlor. She is a very
pleasant old lady....Went to Professor Royce's lecture on Evolution this evening.
I was so tired I didn't enjoy it. I did not understand it (1/7); Mr. Ganong gave us
an illustrated lecture on the trees of the temperate region. It was very good (1/16);
description of Idler shows (2/20, 3/6); trip to Augusta, Florida (4/1); tennis, tennis
and more tennis (summer passim); trip to New Hampshire, snow in Tuckerman's ravine
- 10v. Diary, 1896.
Scope and Contents: At home, calls, embroidery, helping to run family household; had her first lesson
on her wheel (6/1).
- 11v. Diary, 1897.
Scope and Contents: House is being built for Mary Hawthorne White Bunker and Clarence Alfred Bunker (Jan
passim); cooking school over (1/26); wedding eve and rehearsal (5/31); "left in a
storm of rice, bushels of it" on honeymoon in New Hampshire (6/1-6/14); Radcliffe
commencement and 3rd reunion of class of 1894 (6/29).
- 20. Course notes. Botany, 1891-1892 (Harvard Annex)
- 21v. Course notes. Religious history, 1917
- 22. Course notes. Religious history, Wellesley School of Religious Education, 1917-1918
Radcliffe College. Class of 1894
Radcliffe College--Alumni and alumnae