Margaret Jane Mussey Sweat Papers, 1835-2005, undated

Click here for Container List

Click here for digitized materials from this collecton

Volume: 3.5 linear feet

Organization/Arrangement: Organized as a single series.

Biographical Note: Margaret Jane Mussey Sweat was born on November 28, 1823 in Portland, Maine, daughter of John Mussey, Esq, a prominent judge and Mehitable Smith Rana. Sweat was one of five children and received her early education in Portland schools and later at the Roxbury, Massachusetts Latin School. She married Lorenzo de Medici Sweat in 1849, a lawyer and Bowdoin College graduate who served in the United States Senate and Maine House of Representatives. They lived in the Sweat Mansion on the corner of Spring and High streets which later became the Portland Museum of Art. Sweat's husband died on July 28, 1898.

Margaret Jane Mussey Sweat was a noted literary critic of the 19th century and friend to Elizabeth Drew Barstow Stoddard. Sweat was one of the social elite of Portland, a world traveler and was fluent in French, German, Italian and Russian. She died January 16, 1908 at the age of eighty-four. She bequeathed the Sweat Mansion and an additional $100,000 to the Portland Society of Art to construct a building adjacent to her home for a museum. She donated money to many other notable organizations including Bowdoin College from which both her father and husband graduated.

Description: This collection contains manuscript material created by the author, including personal and travel diaries from numerous international trips, essays and unpublished writings, prose and verse papers, correspondence, and translations of classical works.  There are also personal and themed scrapbooks, commonplace books, a recipe book, a drawing and a watercolor done by the author, photographs and a photographic album of the author and of the author's home.  Included in the collection are the Annals of the Cobweb Club and papers contributed to the Chimney Corner Club, two women's organizations to which Mrs. Sweat was deeply connected. Other resources include newspaper clippings, biographical sketches, a thesis on the author, photocopies of resources in other collections, and copies of periodicals which published Margaret Sweat's writings.  There are also several books from her library and a catalog of her own books in her hand.

Access Restrictions: None

Please cite as: Margaret Jane Mussey Sweat Papers, Maine Women Writers Collection, University of New England, Portland, Maine

Container List:
001.  Diary, 1849-1880
001a.  Obituary clippings from 1849-1881 diary
002.  Diary [some written in French] black cloth, 4.5 x 6.5 inches, 1873
003.  Diary [oval photo of MJMS inside front cover] leather, 3 x 5 inches, 1900
004.  Diary, 3.5 x 6 inches, 1901
005.  Diary, leather, 3 x 5 inches, 1902
006.  Diary, leather, 4 x 6 inches, 1903
007.  Handbook [travel comments], 5 x 7 inches, undated
008.  Personal recipe book, undated
009.  Friendship album, 1835-1841
010.  "Papers contributed to the Chimney Corner Club, winter of 1855-1856; Misc. papers in prose and verse" [notebook]
011a.  Annals of the Cobweb Club--Reference photocopy, 1890
011b.  Annals of the Cobweb Club, Washington, 1890
011c.  Inserts from Annals of the Cobweb Club: "About spiders", "Our Mottoes," "The Arachnidae," and "The Cobweb Club", 1891
011d.  Inserts from Annals of the Cobweb Club--clippings, undated
012.  Travel diary - Reminiscences of Travel, The Midnight Sun, Moscow, The Crimea, undated
013.  Travel diary: Journal of a journey to Spain, France, Germany, The Tyrol, Italy, 1887
014a.  Travel diary: Around the world vol. I  Egypt, India, Japan, 1892-93 
014b. Travel diary: Around the world vol. II Egypt, India, and Japan, 1892-93
015.  Travel diary:  Mexico [contains MJMS photographs] brown leather, 1892
016.  Travel diary:  India, Japan 1893
017.  Essays on Greece:  Xantippe; The Greek House Mother, undated
018.  Essays on Greece:  Growth of Progress in Greek Art; Mountains of Greece; Homer's Hymn to Apollo; Hesiod, undated
019.  French history translation [Revue des Deux Mondes article], 1890
020.  Miscellaneous essays, undated
021.  A Fortnight in Saint Petersburg, [Enclosure: beginnings of public address focused on Washington], 1897
022.  Transcription of Rubayat of Omar Khayyam, 1876
023.  A Summer in Europe Vol. I [Highways of Travel], 1855
024.  A Summer in Europe Vol. II [Highways of Travel] 1855 
025.  Drift-Weed Vol. I [commonplace book], 1856
026.  Drift-Weed Vol. II [commonplace book], undated
027.  Odds and Ends [scrapbook of MJMS articles, letters to the editor], circa 1870s
028.  Book notices, 1867-1871
028a. Book notices--Highways of Travel; or, A Summer in Europe, 1860
029.  Sketches of Travel [Scrapbook of travel articles], 1862-1878
030.  Bound magazine articles, 1902-1906
031.  George Sand [Scrapbook of clippings about GS in English and French; Also contains MJMS handwritten notes; 1872 photo of GS], circa 1870s
032.  Letter to MJMS, signed "Tom Slave", undated
033.  MJMS portrait by Lamson, Portland, 4.5 x 6, circa 1880
034.  Photograph of The Elms, home of John Mussey [8 x 9.5 mounted on board], undated
035.  Photograph of hallway and staircase, Sweat mansion [6.5 x 9], undated
036.  Copy/display photographs of MJMS, 1880, circa 1900
037.  "The Elms: I remember - I remember, the house where I was born" [faded photograph/sketch], 1850
038.  Mount Washington from the Glen House [sketch signed MJMS], undated
039.  Watercolor of waterside cottage with female figure near door [signed MJMS], undated
040.  Photograph album: Sweat Mansion interiors,streetscapes; photos of MJMS, 1870 - 1890s
041.  Catalogue of Books [handwritten notebook], undated
042.  Letters from MJMS to John Calvin Stevens [originals located at the Portland Museum of Art], 1902 - [1906?]
043.  Ethel's Love Life - reference photocopy and reviews,1859
044.  Obituary and article on will, 1908
045.  Biographical sketches of MJMS, 1961, 2000, undated     
046.  Biographical articles, 1964-1975
047.  Photocopy of correspondence from Ada I. Menken to Hattie Tynge plagiarizing text from Ethel's Love Life, 1861
048.  Photocopies of Mount Vernon Ladies Association scrapbook compiled by Sweat, 1896
049.  cds of images, 2003, 2005
050.  Newspaper clipping remnant "Address by Col. Sweat to His Troops," undated
051.  "Private Sphere/Public Sphere: Rethinking paradigms of Victorian Womanhood through the Life and Writings of Margaret Jane Mussey Sweat, 1823-1908," thesis by USM student Connie Burns, 1993
To view digitized material from the Sweat Collection, access DUNE: DigitalUNE


This website uses cookies to understand how you use the website and to improve your experience. By continuing to use the website, you accept the University of New England’s use of cookies and similar technologies. To learn more about our use of cookies and how to manage your browser cookie settings, please review our Privacy Notice.