Elizabeth Agassiz

The Life of Agassiz

On this day in 1877, Elizabeth Agassiz, the wife of the naturalist and famous Harvard Professor Louis Agassiz, met with Longfellow to get his opinion on the first couple of chapters of the Life of Agassiz; her biography of her husband.

In Louise Hall Tharp's book about the family, a memory was shared that described Elizabeth in the garden:

“[She was wearing] a fresh white morning gown, basket and shears in hand, going leisurely, with her rather stately air, from border to border and then coming back into the porch and arranging flowers in different vases. Lemon verbena and heliotrope she always had in abundance, so that the rooms were fragrant with them. ...She had a glass tank on the porch in which she kept pond lilies.”

Around the same time, her neighbor, Arthur Gilman, stopped over to visit. He couldn't find a suitable high school for his daughter, Grace. It was the beginning of Radcliffe College, and Elizabeth would be Radcliffe's first president.

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Elizabeth Agassiz
Elizabeth Agassiz

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