Maria Mitchell In Her Own Words

Nov. 14, 1855.  Last night I heard Emerson give a lecture.  I pity the reporter who attempts to give it to the world.  I began to listen with a determination to remember it in order, but it was without method order or system.  It was like a beam of light moving in the undulatory waves meeting with occasional meteors in its path.  It was exceedingly uplifting.

Not what you expected at the end when you read the beginning.  Maria never minced words – as you may recall from the blog about Dr. Allen – the Vassar College physician that I mentioned in October – and other examples that I have noted.  Henry David Thoreau was definitely one who  Maria was frustrated by – he spoke at the Atheneum as well when she was librarian.  As did many luminaries of the time.  The Mitchell family ran in these circles – even if on the periphery.  Name the scientist, author, poet, philosopher, mathematician – Maria and her family rubbed elbows with them, exchanged letters and pleasantries, and stopped for awhile for a visit.  The Mitchell family was truly engaged and active in these groups they just maybe did not toot their own horns so to speak – call it the Quaker in them.

JNLF