1863, September

From late April to November, 1864, Emily Dickinson spends many months in Cambridge, Massachusetts for treatment of a severe, disabling eye condition. During these two months with Boston’s leading ophthalmologist, Dr. Henry Willard Williams, Dickinson lives with her cousins Louisa and Frances Norcross in Cambridge. 

 

“The eyes are as with you, sometimes easy, sometimes sad. I think they are not worse, nor do I think them better than when I came home. The snow light offends them, and the house is bright … Vinnie [is] good to me, but ‘cannot see why I don’t get well.’ This makes me think I am long sick, and this takes the ache to my eyes.” (Dickinson, L430, 433, 439) 

Martha Dickinson Bianchi in garden

1914

Emily’s niece Martha Dickinson Bianchi publishes poems sent by her aunt to her mother, Susan Gilbert Dickinson in A Single Hound: Poems of a Lifetime. Martha Dickinson Bianchi would go on to publish many subsequent editions of her aunt’s poetry and letters, renewing the 20th century public’s interest in the life and work of Emily Dickinson.

White house captured from North Pleasant Street with a fence in front

1840, April

The Dickinsons purchase and move to a house (no longer standing) on North Pleasant Street in Amherst.

1865

The Civil War ends. 

The Evergreens house behind a huge tree in autumn

1965

The Homestead is purchased by Amherst College and is open to the public for tours. In 1991, The Evergreens is passed to a private testamentary trust, the Martha Dickinson Bianchi Trust, which began developing the house as a museum. 

1840, September 7

Emily begins attending Amherst Academy with Lavinia. 

 

“It was given to me by the Gods –

When I was a little Girl – 

They give us Presents most – you know –

When we are new – and small. ” (Dickinson, Fr455)

2003, July 1

The Emily Dickinson Museum is founded after the Homestead and The Evergreens are merged under the ownership of Amherst College. 

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)