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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.
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.