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Lady Caroline Lane Reynolds Slemmer Jebb papers

Identifier: SSC-MS-00228

Scope and Contents

The Lady Jebb Papers consist of 1 linear foot of correspondence and printed material.

The CORRESPONDENCE series consists primarily of letters she wrote to her family between 1858 and 1926. Although there are several written while she was married to Adam Slemmer, most were written from England before and after her marriage to Richard C. Jebb. The majority of the letters are written to her sisters and nieces, especially Ellen Reynolds DuPuy and her children. There are also several letters to her brother-in-law, Charles DuPuy, and to a Jebb relation. They contain a lively and sophisticated look into life in the second half of the nineteenth century. The Jebbs were on intimate terms with many eminent people, and Caroline's letters include descriptions of Robert Browning, Thomas Carlyle, Charles Darwin, Benjamin Disraeli, George Eliot, Charles Hale, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Ellen Terry, Mark Twain, and William Thackeray. The arrangement is chronological.

The letters written to Lady Jebb include an 1883 letter from Gerald Balfour about the marriage of his son to her niece Nelly, a fragment from George Darwin about his marriage to her niece Maud, and two from a suitor, General George Nagley (1870). These are arranged alphabetically.

The remaining correspondence consists of two professional letters (1867) to Adam Slemmer; one wedding congratulatory letter to Richard Jebb; two personal letters written by him to friends; one to Lady Jebb's niece Emma from her aunt Polly; a copy of an 1884 letter from Caroline Jebb to Mrs. Charles Darwin about her son's wedding plans; and a letter to Mary DuPuy Spencer from Frances F. Preston (1928).

The BIOGRAPHY series consist of brief diary entries, several articles, and a book. The diary entries are four pieces which contain description of her feelings rather than specific narratives. The remaining biographical items are an article written when she died in 1930, a description of a Civil War incident in 1861, and a biographical description by Mary Reed Bobbitt plus a copy of her book With Dearest Love to All. This book, published in 1960 by Lady Jebb's great-great-niece, contains portions of these letters. Researchers are encouraged to use the index in the back of this work for names and subject access.

Dates of Materials

  • 1858-1960
  • Majority of material found within 1858-1926


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open according to the rules of the Sophia Smith Collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The Sophia Smith Collection owns copyright to Caroline Lane Reynolds Jebb unpublished materials. Mary Reed Bobbitt owns copyright for her manuscript. Copyright to materials created by other individuals may be owned by those individuals or their heirs or assigns. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights. Permission is required to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use."

Biographical / Historical

Caroline Lane Reynolds was born in 1840 in Evansburg, Pennsylvania. She was married in 1856 to U.S. Army Lieutenant Adam J. Slemmer and the couple lived at military outposts in South Carolina, Florida, and Wyoming Territory. After his death in 1868 she lived briefly in Cambridge, England, and was visiting Paris at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War. In 1874 she married British Classicist Richard Claverhouse Jebb and joined social circles embracing George Eliot, Tennyson, Charles Darwin, Mark Twain, and Bret Harte. For a more complete biographical sketch see the attached article written at the time of her death in 1930.


2 boxes (1.25 linear feet)


Intellectual and socialite. The majority of the collection is correspondence, primarily letters written from England by Lady Jebb's, to her family. The letters describe late 19th century England and many literary figures with whom Lady Jebb socialized, including Robert Browning, Thomas Carlyle, Charles Darwin, Benjamin Disraeli, George Eliot, Charles Hale, Oliver Wendell Homes, James Russell Lowell, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Ellen Terry, Mark Twain, and William Thackeray. Also included are brief diary entries, articles, and a copy of the published book, With Dearest Love to All, by Mary Reed Bobbitt, Lady Jebb's great-great-niece, containing portions of these letters.


This collection is organized into two series:
  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Biography

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The letters of Lady Caroline Lane Jebb were a gift from her great-great-niece Suzanne Spencer Garvin in 1989.

Processing Information

Collection processed in approximately 1989.
Lady Caroline Lane Reynolds Slemmer Jebb papers
Finding Aid
Finding aid prepared by mnsss.
Language of description
Script of description
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Revision Statements

  • 07/26/2017: This resource was modified by the ArchivesSpace Preprocessor developed by the Harvard Library (
  • 2005-09-23: mnsss138 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02-5c.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • 2017-07-26T17:48:11-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063