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Ellen Eliza Hamilton and Frank Edward Woodruff Papers

Identifier: mss-957

Scope and Contents

The Ellen Eliza Hamilton and Frank Edward Woodruff Papers contain documents relating to the lives of Ellen Eliza Hamilton Woodruff and Frank Edward Woodruff. The bulk of the collection is correspondence, primarily between Ellen (also known as Nell) and Frank with some correspondence also from family members and friends, including Lida Mason Hodge, inducted into Phi Beta Kappa alongside Ellen. Much of the correspondence between Ellen and Frank date between 1875 (after their graduation from UVM) to 1883 (when they got married) during the friendship and later courtship stages of their relationship. The collection also includes some financial records and contracts such as land deeds and publishing contracts for Frank. Frank's diaries chronicling the years 1879-1888 are present. Other documents in the collection include their marriage license, genealogical charts and information for both the Hamilton and the Martin (Frank's birth-name) families, educational documents, and memorial materials for Frank.

The appraisal of this collection, performed by Connell Gallagher, is very detailed as to the contents of this collection and provides biographical information. As he notes in the appraisal, "This collection is important because of its breadth and its depth of information on women's lives and education, and because of the amount and quality of information on a scholar and professor in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries."


  • 1834-1930


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.

Biographical / Historical

Ellen Eliza Hamilton (also known as Nell or Nellie) was born in Rochester, Vermont on November 14, 1853 to parents Henry Warren and Eliza Ellen Graves Hamilton. Ellen attended University of Vermont in the graduating class of 1875 as one of the first four female graduates of UVM. During her time at UVM, Ellen was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. She was also one of the two first women to be inducted into the UVM chapter of Phi Beta Kappa; the other woman (inducted at the same time) was Lida Mason Hodge, whose correspondence with Ellen is included in the collection.

Frank Edward (Martin) Woodruff was born in Eden, Vermont on February 10, 1855 as the youngest child to parents William Harrison and Salome Allen Martin. William Harrison Martin died in 1856, after which Frank was adopted by John and Emily Ford Woodruff; his name was legally changed from Martin to Woodruff in 1865. Frank was also in the University of Vermont graduating class of 1875. He later taught in Plainfield and Barre, Vermont and graduated from the Union Theological Seminary in 1881. Frank taught in Germany and in Athens, Greece. He became a professor of Greek and Theology at the Andover Thelogical Seminary in Andover, Massachusetts.

Frank and Nell married in Athens, Greece on January 11, 1883. They had three children: John Hamilton (born February 17, 1884), Robert Thomson (born May 26, 1885), and Edith Salome (born April 15, 1887). Frank died on November 19, 1922 and Ellen died on November 28, 1933.


1 Linear Feet (1 carton)

Language of Materials



Collection contains papers of Ellen Eliza Hamilton Woodruff, one of the first four female graduates of UVM and one of the two first female inductees into the UVM chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and her husband Frank Edward Woodruff, a professor and theologian. Collection includes correspondence, diaries, and various personal papers.


Library Research Annex; contact for access

Physical Description

1 carton

Guide to the Ellen Eliza Hamilton and Frank Edward Woodruff Papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Vermont Libraries, Special Collections Repository

Silver Special Collections Library
48 University Place, Room B201
Burlington Vermont 05405 U.S.A. US
(802) 656-2138
(802) 656-4038 (Fax)