Maria Mitchell in Her Own Words

Maria MitchellNov. 11, 1887

Today when I feel well it seems to me that I may, when I retire, lecture some. Every year I decline one or two invitations to lecture. The Herschels make one very long Lecture; the St. Petersburg another; Saturn a grave one, Jupiter a grave one. The visit to Cambridge, England. Just now, my electric light does not work which troubles me much.

Anne, Phebe, and I all went to the A.A.W. [Maria Mitchell was a founder of the Association for the Advancement of Women, its president and vice president for several terms, as well as the founder and chair of the Science Committee] meeting in New York. I heard two good papers, one by Anna Garlen Spenser and one by Mary Wright Sewell.

Approximately two months after this journal entry, Maria resigned from her post at Vassar College due to ill health. Not long after, she left the campus and moved back to Lynn, MA. She never returned to Vassar – a place she considered her home – where she had lived and worked since 1865. She died on June 29, 1889.