“The butter and letter will be left at the U.S. Hotel”
Teaching with the Porter Phelps Huntington Family Papers
by Karen Sánchez-Eppler
Friday, December 1st, 12:15PM
Strong House, 67 Amity Street, Amherst, MA
When in the 1840s Elizabeth Phelps Huntington wrote letters to her eleven children, many now living far from Hadley, she generally sent along a few pounds of butter—a taste of home for a son in Boston, and a bit of a cash crop. The Porter Phelps Huntington family occupied the same Hadley house from the 1752 until 1968. The house itself, now a museum, and the family papers provide an extraordinarily detailed and continuous record of life in the Connecticut river valley. As one project in the introductory American Studies course “Global Valley” students have been transcribing family letters and making them available on-line, offering fascinating access to the details of daily life and family dynamics in this place. In this talk, Professor Karen Sánchez-Eppler will speaking about her work teaching history with these local documents.
Karen Sánchez-Eppler is a professor of English and American Studies at Amherst College with a focus on 19th century literature and culture. She is the author of Touching Liberty: Abolition, Feminism, and the Politics of the Body (1993) and Dependent States: The Child’s Part in Nineteenth-Century American Culture (2005) and a founding co-editor with other Five College colleagues of The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth and now of a new UMASS book series Childhoods: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Children and Youth. She is presently working on two book projects, one in childhood studies and the other on 19th century manuscript books as well as editing the Oxford handbook of Emily Dickinson.