John Morton Greene collection of documents on the early history of Smith College
Scope and Contents
This collection contains items collected by John Morton Greene documenting the early days of Smith College. Much of the collection consists of letters from John Morton Greene to Sophia Smith, summarizing their meetings about the plans for Smith College. These include the proposal of an endowment of a women's college, instead of an institution for the deaf, discussion of potential locations for the school, and guidelines for the ideologies that the school would promote. Other letters are correspondence between John Morton Greene and other early trustees and supporters, including Deacon George W. Hubbard, William S. Tyler, and L. Clark Seelye. These documents make up the first series, which was assembled and presented to Smith College in 1933 by John Morton Greene's daughter, Helen French Greene.
The second series of the collection consists of documents and correspondence detailing information about Sophia Smith and her family. These include the will of Sophia Smith, which includes information detailing her wish to endow Smith Academy and Smith College, geneological documents, deeds, and many letters to and from John Morton Greene about the Smith family and the amount of money that was to be left to the institution.
The third series includes typed and photostat copies of some of the documents in the first and second series', though some are indices of where a typed copy might be found outside of the collection. This was assembled by Helen French Greene in a binder so that these documents could be easily accessed by members of the Smith College community.
The fourth series is another binder that contains selections from a manuscript that John Morton Greene wrote about the conception of Smith College.
Dates of Materials
- Creation: 1868 - 1933
- Greene, John Morton, 1830-1919. (Collector, Person)
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.
Conditions Governing Use
Materials in this collection may be governed by copyright. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. Researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.
Biographical / Historical
John Morton Greene, Sophia Smith's pastor, is generally regarded as the originator of the idea of founding Smith College as a college for women. Born in Hadley, Mass. on March 12, 1830, he was an 1853 graduate of Amherst College, which also granted him the A.M. in 1856 and D.D. in 1881. In 1857 he married Louisa Dickinson of North Amherst, an 1857 graduate of Mount Holyoke Seminary. In the same year, he was installed as the pastor at the Congregational church at Hatfield, where he remained for eleven years. In Hatfield he met Sophia Smith. In 1868 he was called to the pastorate at the Congregational Church at South Hadley, Mass. Two years later he went to the Eliot Congregational Church in Lowell, Mass., where he remained for thirty years. After retiring from regular pastoral duties in 1910, Greene assisted in the establishment of a mission in Maine. He died April 28, 1919.
John Morton Greene was a trustee of Smith College almost continuously from its founding in 1871 until his death. In addition, he served on the board of trustees of Mount Holyoke Seminary (now Mount Holyoke College), 1866-1875; and was president of the board of trustees at the French Protestant College in Springfield, 1885-1889. As advisor to Sophia Smith, he was also instrumental in the founding of Smith Academy in Hatfield, and acted in a similar capacity for Miss Rogers to found the Rogers Hall School in Lowell, where he acted as president of its board of trustees, 1892-1909. For over forty years he was one of the overseers of the charity fund at Amherst College.
2.271 linear feet (2 containers)
Language of Materials
John Morton Greene, Sophia Smith's pastor, is generally regarded as the originator of the idea of founding Smith College as a college for women. Born in Hadley, Mass. on March 12, 1830, he was an 1853 graduate of Amherst College, which also granted him the A.M. in 1856 and D.D. in 1881. This collection contains items collected by Greene documenting the early days of Smith College. Much of the collection consists of letters from Greene to Sophia Smith, summarizing their meetings about the plans for Smith College.
Materials in this collection remain arranged in the original order in which they were received from the donor.
Many of these letters and papers were found in Sophia Smith's secretary drawer after her death and given to John Morton Greene by Deacon George W. Hubbard. These documents were assembled and given to Smith College by Helen French Greene, per the wishes of her father, John Morton Greene, that these founding papers be part of the College Archives.
- Finding aid to John Morton Greene collection of documents on the early history of Smith College.
- Grace Hartley
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Smith College Archives Repository
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063