Frances Merritt: Papers 1852-1881 | MSS 90.2

Historical Note:

            Frances Merritt, daughter of Caroline Merritt, was born in 1833 in Saxonville Massachusetts. She attended West Boylston Academy until November 1851. Merritt entered Framingham Normal School on April 11, 1854 and graduated on July 10, 1855. At Framingham Normal School, Merritt served as Class Poet and Class Secretary. After graduation, Merritt taught at the Salem End district school. She then returned to FNS to peruse the Advanced Course and soon graduated in July 1857. She taught at schools in the Framingham area until 1859 when she took a position at Abbott Collegiate Institute in New York City. Her next teaching position took her to “Willowbrook,” Owasco, New York. There she was one of the private tutors to Edward Sandford Martin, son of E. T. Throop and Cornelia (Williams) Martin. Edward would later become one of the founders of the “Harvard Lampoon.” Throughout the 1880s and 1890s he also published numerous books and contributed to Harper’s Weekly and Life.

            In 1862, Merritt married Reverend Abram G. Quick, a Congregational minister. As a minister’s wife, Merritt moved frequently and used her teaching skills in Sunday schools or tutoring private pupils. She also participated in missionary societies and temperance organizations for the Congregational church. Merritt and her husband had four children: two sons, Alfred and Howard, as well as two daughters. Reverend Quick died in 1917. Frances Merritt Quick died January 21, 1925.


Scope and Content:

            Volume is titled “Sacred Album.” Text is in embossed lettering on the front cover with illustrations of Jesus and the Woman at the Well. It was printed by Cornish, Lampor & Co., New York. The title page states “Frances Merritt. 1852” in pen and ink. Drawings include “Aspirations,” “The Burning Bush,” “Ruth,” “David and Jonathan at the Stone Ezel,” and “Eva and Lilia Lisle.” Friends and family who contributed to the pages include: her pastor, Rev. J. W. Cross, West Boylson, MA (wrote dedication); unsigned poem entitled “The Child in Heaven;” poem by Jennie Leavitt (December 15, 1854); poem by Elizabeth B. Gidd; signature of Annie C. Payson; painting of flowers; poems by Amanda Harthan and Hattie M. Printiffs; [Mrs. Cross]; quotations by Prof. Guyot Margregon and Susan Barney; paper cutout; small watercolor painted by Frances’ mother, Caroline Merritt, in her schooldays; list of Framingham Normal School schoolmates and their residences, 1855; leaf “made by Norwegian boy;” pencil drawings by Fanny Merritt including bark Restless; drawings by Alfred M. Quick or Howard Quick in 1881, including churches, birds, ships and fireplaces. News-clipping (Oct. 1877) details reunion of West Boyleston Academy. Paper cutout of cross pasted to the inside of the back cover. Also included in this collection is the cover of the book with a picture of Normal Hall, ca. 1860s. Also includes copies of letters from Alumnae Association.


Provenance: Found with papers from President McCarthy’s office in Whittemore Library which he gave to archives when he cleared it out; n.d.

Amount: 1 box

Container List:

B.1       Album, 1852-1881

            4 letters (Copies)

Note: Frances Merritt Quick journals are at Schlesinger Library, donated by granddaughter and family.