Caroline Dall Journals

Caroline Healey Dall

Daguerreotype of Caroline Dall, circa 1854-1860

A native of Boston and daughter of a prominent merchant, Caroline Healey Dall (1822-1912) became involved in many movements vital to the history of New England and the nation. As a young woman, she was invited into the social circles of New England transcendentalism, where she associated with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Margaret Fuller, among others. Later, she took part in the Garrisonian women's movement, lecturing, writing, and co-editing a newspaper for the cause. This work culminated in her pioneering and seminal publication, The College, the Market, and the Court; Or, Woman's Relation to Education, Labor, and Law (1867). Dall was also one of the founders and a long-time officer of the American Social Science Association, where she worked for improvements in prison conditions, the treatment of the insane, public health, and education. After 1878 Dall lived in Washington, D.C., where she associated with congressmen, Supreme Court justices, members of the scientific community, and their families, and was an intimate friend of First Lady Frances Folsum Cleveland. Late in her life Dall took on the role of historian of the Transcendentalist movement, publishing Margaret and Her Friends, an account of Margaret Fuller's "conversations," and Transcendentalism in New England.

For approximately 75 years Dall kept a daily journal of her feelings and her observations of the world of intellectual ferment in which she participated. This journal is a part of the large Caroline Dall Papers collection at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Availability & Ordering Information

Selected Journals of Caroline Healey Dall, Volume 1: 1838-1855 (November 2006)

Selected Journals of Caroline Healey Dall, Volume 2: 1855-1866 (July 2013)

Printed volumes are available from the Society's distributor, the University of Virginia Press.

A microfilm edition includes the entire collection of Caroline Dall Papers.

Upcoming Events

Author Talk

Under the Starry Flag: How a Band of Irish Americans Joined the Fenian Revolt and Sparked a Crisis ...

24Sep 6:00PM 2018
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30.

In 1867 forty Irish-American freedom fighters, outfitted with guns and ammunition, sailed to Ireland to join the effort to end British rule. Yet they never got a chance ...

Modern American Society and Culture Seminar

Radical Nonviolence and Interracial Utopias in the Early Civil Rights Movement

25Sep 5:15PM 2018

This paper examines how radical pacifists refined nonviolent direct action to challenge racial segregation and inequality in the United States. These activists adopted ...

Author Talk

Race Over Party: Black Politics and Partisanship in Late Nineteenth-Century Boston

27Sep 6:00PM 2018
There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30.

In late 19th-century Boston, battles over black party loyalty were fights over the place of African Americans in the post–Civil War nation. Party politics became ...

From our Blog

Of Adamses & Ancestry

John A. Grace, Memoranda Respecting the Families of Quincy and Adams, 1841 For historian Henry Adams, the morning mail meant a fresh round of research questions. “Here comes your troublesome ...

Rachel Wall's Confession, the words of a Pirate?

For Talk Like a Pirate Day we bring you the words of a Pirate! The MHS holds an interesting broadside featuring Massachusetts' only female Pirate: Life, last words and dying confession, of ...

Read more from our blog

Have you seen?