Lydia Ann Stow: Journals, 1840-1843 | 00.2

Historical Sketch:

            Lydia Ann Stow was born on January 18, 1823, and raised in Dedham, Massachusetts. She entered Lexington Normal School July 8, 1839 and left March 24, 1841; she was considered a graduate of the school’s “First Class.” Prior to her marriage to Robert Adams of Fall River, Stow taught two sessions in Dedham and two years in Fall River. She maintained her interest in education and became the first woman elected as a member of the Fall River school committee, which she worked on for four years. Her son, Edward, held a position on the Fall River school board, continuing the family tradition of working within the Fall River education community. Lydia Stow Adams died on August 26, 1904.


Scope and Content:

            Collection consists of four (4) volumes begun by Stow as a require part of the curriculum at Lexington Normal School. They continue for almost two years after her graduation. Entries begin January 1, 1840, and end February 23, 1843. Content as follows:


Volume 1: January 1, 1840 to July 8, 1840, 264 pp. Discusses inscription of Lexington monument; school routines, lessons and recitations; school visits by Rev. Mr. Parker, Dr. Haskell, Mr. Bradbury, Horace Mann, Henry Bernard, Mr. Colman, Mr. Crowell, Mr. Wheeler, Rev. Mr. Stetson, G.B. Emerson, Mr. Tillinghast, Mrs. Green (of New Bedford), Mr. Snelling (a Phrenologist), Mr. Shaw, Dr. Swift, Mr. Blodget, Dr. Howe, Mr. Brooks (Teacher from Salem Normal School) Mr. Pray, and Mr. Bumstead; debate topics; the weather; classmates; dedication of new church in Lexington; the Model School; fire on steamer Lexington; books read; sermons; offer of teaching position in Ashburnham; normal school at Barre; trip with Mr. and Mrs. Peirce to surrounding towns; death of Mr. Dodge; Fourth of July Celebration; dedication of universalist church in East Village; and titles of textbooks. Comments Cyrus Peirce on pages 39, 48, 87, 92, 96, 109, 114, 163, 180, 186, 195, 238, 241, 242, 243, 266, 254.


Volume 2: July 19, 1840 to November 14, 1840, 191 pp. Discusses church attendance; weather; textbooks used in Lexington Normal School; lessons; poetry; slavery; the model school; the order of class day; Cyrus Peirce’s teaching methods; visit to anti-slavery meeting at Mrs. Robbins in East Village; Visit to Ms. Smith’s school in Lincoln; the normal school at Barre; politics; the County Education Convention; socializing with fellow “Normalites” from school; Girard College; school visits from Mr. Tillinghast, Mr. Stetson, Mr. Bradburn of Nantucket, Mrs. Gannett, Mrs. Roberts of Bagnor, Mr. and Mrs. Brown of Lexington, Reverend Mr. Gilbert, Mrs. Jackson, Reverend Samuel May, and Mr. Robinson; a list of the books in the library (pp. 176 – 177); French exercises; and a list of the pupils in the normal school arranged according to their time of entrance. Comments by Cyrus Peirce on pages 12, 25, 30, 32, 53, 58, 80, 90, 100, 105, 107, 112, and 157.


Volume 3: November 14, 1840 to January 13, 1842, 196 pp.


Volume 4: January 17, 1842 to February 23, 1843, 109 pp.


Provenance: Unknown

Amount: 4 volumes