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Dickinson at Sixteen

This iconic image of Emily Dickinson, taken in 1847, shows the poet as she looked during her year as a student at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. Like many students away from home for the first time, Dickinson struggled with some homesickness. Ultimately, she grew into her life as a scholar, writing in the winter of 1848, “I love this Seminary & all the teachers are bound strongly to my heart by ties of affection.”

Emily Dickinson to Abiah Root (L20), January 17, 1848, in The Letters of Emily Dickinson, ed. Thomas H. Johnson (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1965), 1:59.

Daguerreotype, 1847. Courtesy of Amherst College Archives & Special Collections

Gilt & red-velvet cased daguerreotype of a slender young woman, a ribbon tied at her throat, holding a sprig of flowers.