Vassar College Digital Library
Guide to the Milo Parker Jewett Papers, 1828-1913 (bulk 1856-1882)

Table of Contents

Collection Summary

Repository: Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries
Creator: Jewett, Milo P.
Title: Milo Parker Jewett Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1828-1913
Bulk Dates: 1856-1882
Quantity: 1.1 cubic feet (4 boxes)
Abstract: Papers related to Jewett's involvement with the founding of Vassar College and its early operation, as well as biographical and Jewett family materials

Biographical Note

Milo P. Jewett, first president of Vassar College, was born in St. Johnsbury, VT in 1801. He attended Dartmouth College and Andover Theological Seminary. In 1839 he founded the Judson Female Institute in Alabama, which was known as one of the best schools for women in the ante-bellum south. A few years later he was ordained in the Baptist ministry, having changed his views on baptism. In 1855 Jewett purchased the Cottage Hill Seminary in Poughkeepsie. There he met Matthew Vassar and is credited with suggesting to Vassar that he use his fortune to establish a women's college. Jewett was one of the original trustees of Vassar College and was elected president in 1861. Disagreements with other board memebers and ultimately with Matthew Vassar forced Jewett's resignation in 1864. In spite of his short tenure he did much to shape the early years of the college, arranging for the purchase of land and the construction of buildings which still serve the college. In 1867 Jewett moved to Milwaukee, where he lived out the rest of his life as an active participant in educational, philanthropic, and religious affairs. Jewett died in 1882.

Note: Additional biographical information is available in the Vassariana Biographical File.


Scope and Content Note

Papers primarily concern women's education and Vassar College and include his letters to Matthew Vassar, Nathan Bishop, Martin B. Anderson, and others relating to the proposed female college, staff and teaching appointments, his resignation, and other college affairs, 1856-1864; letters and essays from educators in response to Jewett's circular letter about the organization of Vassar Female College, 1861-1863; Jewett's essays and statements on the organization and curriculum for Vassar Female College, 1856-1864; other letters received on college business, his essay on Vassar College, and the benefits of teaching applied science (cooking), 1861-1880; his report on a trip to Europe, 1863; photocopy and typescript of his Origin of Vassar ; obituaries of Jewett, 1882, and his wife, 1889; a Vassar family letter, 1828; and letters to James Monroe Taylor about Jewett, 1888-1913.



This collection is open for research according to the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library without any additional restrictions.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to quote (publish) from unpublished or previously published material must be obtained as described in the regulations of the Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library.

  • See also the Benson J. Lossing Papers as well as the Sarah J. Hale Papers, Vassar College Library

Subject Headings


  • Anderson, Martin B.
  • Bishop, Nathan, 1808-1880
  • Taylor, James Monroe, 1848-1916
  • Vassar family
  • Vassar, Matthew, 1792-1868


  • Vassar College--Employees
  • Vassar College--Faculty
  • Vassar College--Presidents
  • Vassar Female College


  • College presidents
  • Cookery--Study and teaching
  • Family--New York (State)--Poughkeepsie
  • Women's colleges--New York (State)--Poughkeepsie
  • Women--Education


  • Europe--Description and travel

VCL Categories

  • Vassar College Presidents

Encoding Information

Encoded by Elizabeth Clarke, May 2007.


Location of Originals

Some originals are located at University of Rochester and at Dartmouth College.


Preferred Citation

Milo Parker Jewett Papers, Archives and Special Collections Library, Vassar College Libraries.

Processing Information

Original processing date unknown. Last updated November 1999.

Acquisition Information

Gift of various donors and purchase.


Container List

Folder 1.1 Letters to Matthew Vassar, Nathan Bishop, and others, 1856-1882 (15 letters)
Folder 1.2 Positive photocopies of 10 Jewett letters to Martin B. Anderson, from the University of Rochester Library, 1861-1866 (10 photocopies)
Folder 1.3 Letters to Jewett, (7 letters)
Folder 1.4 Manuscript documents by Jewett with related correspondence.
Folder 1.5 Publications: Vassar Female College: Report on Organization, 1863
Folder 1.5 Publications: Vassar Female College: The President's Visit to Europe, 1863
Folder 1.5 Publications: In Memoriam: Milo Parker Jewett, 1882
Folder 2.1 Correspondence with James Monroe Taylor relating to Jewett, 1888-1913 (6 letters)
Folders 2.2-2.3 Photocopies of materials relating to Jewett, 1828-1882
Folder 2.4 Photocopies of Jewett materials in Dartmouth College Archives.
Box 3 Handwritten copies of Jewett's manuscript, Origin of Vassar College.
Folder 4.1 Handwritten copy of Jewett’s manuscript, Origin of Vassar College, originally given to Mrs. Mary Jameson and bound with a copy of Catalogue of the Trustees, Officers and Students of the Judson Female Institute: Marion, Perry County, Alabama (Marion, AL, 1855) and Memorial of Milo Parker Jewett, LL.D. (Milwaukee, 1882), as well as several letters providing the provenance of the bound manuscript.
Folder 4.2 Typescript of Origin of Vassar College, (in binder)
Folder 4.3-4.4 Miscellaneous negative photostatic copies

Return to the Table of Contents


Papers related to Jewett's involvement with the founding of Vassar College and its early operation, as well as biographical and Jewett family materials

Finding Aid Date
Inclusive Dates: 1828-1913
Collection Title
Milo Parker Jewett Papers