An artist's rendering of Mount Holyoke Women's seminary

1847, September

Emily Dickinson enrolls for one year at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in South Hadley.

 

“This term is the longest in the year and I would not wish to live it over again, I can assure you. I love this Seminary and all the teachers are bound strongly to my heart by ties of affection. There are many sweet girls here and dearly do I love some new faces, but I have not yet found the place of a few dear ones filled, nor would I wish it to be here.” (Dickinson, L59)

 

1874, June 16

Edward Dickinson dies in a Boston boarding house following his collapse while giving a speech in the Massachusetts state legislature. Edward’s death away from Amherst strikes Emily Dickinson and the rest of the Dickinson family as particularly tragic; the family has been robbed of a proper goodbye, all together, left only with the “Silence” of death. 

 

There marauds a sorer Robber – 

Silence -” (Dickinson, Fr1315)

2013, October 13

The launch of the Emily Dickinson Online Archive. The Online Archive is a free-access resource, allowing online visitors to view digitized images of Dickinson manuscripts held in multiple libraries and archives across the country. 

1875, 15 June

Emily Norcross Dickinson suffers a stroke that produces “a partial, lateral paralysis.” The next summer she falls and breaks her hip, becoming permanently bedridden, and requiring further care. For the next seven years, until her death in 1874, Emily and Lavinia cared for their mother in her convalescence. 

 

“…have never seen a daughter so devoted.” (Harriet Jameson, Lavinia’s neighbor, 11-10-[1882], Container 5, Jameson Papers)

Emily's bedroom with her dress and bed and writing table

Today

We live in an incredibly exciting time for Emily Dickinson scholarship. Through the efforts of many, Dickinson’s work is thriving throughout an international readership, forever securing her a place in literature and in a wider culture. 

1851, February

Emily Dickinson’s earliest known message to Susan Huntington Gilbert. Susan, a lifelong friend and early champion of Dickinson’s poetry, would go on to receive more than 250 poems from Dickinson, more than sent to any other correspondent.

 

“Don’t forget all the little friends who have tried so hard to be sisters, when indeed you were alone!” (Dickinson in an early letter to Susan, L101)

Thomas Gilbert (Gib) Dickinson

1875, August 1

Birth of Gilbert (“Gib”) Dickinson, Emily Dickinson’s nephew 

 

“Emily and all that she has are at Sue’s service, if of any comfort to Baby – Will send Maggie, if you will accept her.” (Dickinson, in a message to Susan)

1852, February 20

The Springfield Daily Republican publishes Dickinson’s “Sic transit gloria mundi” anonymously as “A Valentine.” 

1881

Mabel Loomis Todd and David Todd move to Amherst. Mabel Loomis Todd later becomes co-editor of the first volumes of Dickinson’s published poetry.