The research is organized here alphabetical by the name of the woman or the topic. To add your research, see the Research Form

RESEARCH TOPIC Judith Sargent Murray


RESEARCHER Bonnie Hurd Smith

15 Winter Street, Suite 2 — Salem, MA 01970
Phone: 978-741-1244 — Fax: 978-741-1245 — e-mail:

The Letters I Left Behind: The Judith Sargent Murray Papers, Letter Book 10, edited and introduced by Bonnie Hurd Smith. This is the first publication of a multi-year project of the Judith Sargent Murray Society to publish every letter book.

Judith Sargent Murray (1751-1820) was twenty-three years old when she decided to create her first letter bookóa blank volume into which she copied her outgoing correspondence to family, friends, political, military, and literary figures, business leaders, and other prominent citizens of the emerging American nation. By the time she completed her last book at the age of sixty-seven, she had copied almost 2,500 letters and filled twenty volumes. They relate the thoughts, observations, and experiences of an early American essayist, poet, playwright, and founding Universalist whose voice helped form a new era in female history. This invaluable primary source material was also lost to history until 1984. They have never been read, published, or analyzed in their entirety.

Letter Book 10 (letters dated from 1796-99, written from and about her home in Boston, Mass., her ìnative placeî of Gloucester, and travels in New England; letters written to George Washington, John Adams, family, friends; letters tracing the process of publishing her landmark book, The Gleaner, that secured her place among leading essayists of her day.

Published by the Judith Sargent Murray Society and the Curious Traveller Press, Gloucester, Mass., ISBN # 1-892839-00-8. Soft cover, color cover, 372 pages. 36 images. Foreword by the Rev. Gordon Gibson (who found the letter books)

New Publication Special Subscription Offer. ($30 each. $1.50 Mass. tax for each. Contact HurdSmith Communications at Phone: 978-741-1244, Fax: 978-741-1245, e-mail When you subscribe, you will proudly support the publication of this volume and those yet to come. The names of subscribers will be listed in the book and on the Judith Sargent Murray Society website (

RESEARCH TOPIC Rev. Dr. Dorothy Spoerl


RESEARCHER Rev. Helen Zidowecki

32 Stevenstown Road, Litchfield, ME 04350, 207-582-5308, e-mail, web


Biographic information, annotated listing of writings, and excerpts from her extensive writings. Dorothy was a Unitarian Universalist minister and religious educator. The research was an independent study through the Modified Residency Program at Meadville/Lombard Theological School. The research involved extensive discussions with her, between 1990 and 1996.

HOW IS YOUR RESEARCH AVAILABLE? The research is presently unpublished.

On a web site: and click on “Dorothy Spoerl”


The annotated listing of writings, by title, is research tool. These include extensive Religious Education materials as well as various other talks and writings around UU history andissues.

The narrative material is organized around various aspects of curriculum. Would like to get it into more usable form.


People are welcome to contact me with comments, additional information, stories of relationships and interactions with Dorothy Spoerl.