I was fortunate to hear Megan Marshall discuss the extraordinary life of correspondent Margaret Fuller at a lecture held at The Mount. I then listened to Michelle Coughlin reveal the life of Mehetabel Chandler Coit by way of her diary, at a talk sponsored by Historic Deerfield. This week, I look forward to Eve LaPlante sharing the lives and letters of Marmee & Louisa again at The Mount.
Marshall and Coughlin speak of uncovering crucial facts and information not only by their shrewd scholarship and detective work but also by happenstance. Marshall revealed that an important letter from R.Waldo Emerson had been given to her by a lecture attendee, as she describes in a New York Times article. Coughlin’s step-by- step search for Mehetabel’s diary also led her to find a sixty-four page poem written by Mehetabel’s mother, which had previously been wrongly attributed. Once Coughlin had the diary, she had to decipher the meanings of some cryptic entries. Diaries from that era, as she pointed out, were often records of events—births, deaths, marriages & travels–and places for information, such as recipes and remedies. This contrasts with diaries of later times where feelings were revealed on the pages.
I look forward to finding my cache of bundled letters or diary from one of the women who lived here, under-the-mountain, and call out to all of the descendants of our home’s prior owners to forward me any and all information.
Lucretia E Tuller
Mary A Tuller
Sarah L Gordon
Elizabeth M Noxon
Eleanora T Hayes
I will treasure this information and continue to share this home’s discoveries.