Julia Ann Smith: Journal, 1840-1841 | 39.1

Historical Sketch:

            Julia Ann Smith was the daughter of Elias and Harriet (Hastings). She was born on July 21, 1823 in Lexington, Massachusetts. She entered the second class at the Lexington Normal School and graduated in May of 1941. During her professional career, Smith taught a colored grammar school in Boston (for fifteen months) and at a private school in Lexington.

            Smith married George Arnold on December 3, 1846. The couple had four children who were all born in Henniker, New Hampshire. Smith died on July 17, 1914.


Scope and Content:

            This collection consists of one volume containing 183 pages written by Julia Ann Smith as a required part of the curriculum at Lexington Normal School. The Journal entries begin on October 26, 1840 and end March 4, 1841. In her entries, Smith discusses the weather; school routines; health issues; the model school and student teaching; classroom assignments; poetry by Robert Southey, Arian, Robert Burns, Caroline Allen; phrenology; social life; a sermon on the death of Dr. Fuller; summaries of lectures; wedding of the first “normalite;” religion; the death of James Shorley, age 20, president of the Mechanic Apprentices Library Association; additional “Normaliste” students; school visitors; and comments on her first professional position. Page 92 has a comment possibly written by Cyrus Peirce while reviewing.

            The remainder of the volume contains poems by friends and classmates: Margaret Bhosner, Sue Johnson, J. S. Nelson, Clara, [RW1] Kate Nelson, Mary E. Fiske, Lydia Stow, Jane Fessenden, Adeline Ireson, Almira Newell, Eliza A. Rogers, Hannah Damon, Maria M. Smith, Lizzy Burton, Ann Everett, Sarah Taber, and Mary Stodder. There is also a list of the pupils from the Normal School arranged according to their time of entrance, a list of the Seven Wonders of the World, and some quotations and anecdotes.


Provenance: Gift of Lillian Ordway Twichell [Class of 1889], Maude Gerritson [Class of 1904], and Louie Ramsdell [Class of 1902], 1939.


Amount: 1 volume

Container List:

V. 1     October 26, 1840 to March 4, 1841