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Lydia White Shattuck, Pioneering Botanist

by Philip Shaddock

Nancy Shattuck brought to my attention the pioneering botanist, Lydia White Shattuck (1822-1889). From her biography: "Lydia White Shattuck was born on June 10, 1822 in East Landoff, New Hampshire. She graduated from Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in 1851 and returned the next fall as a teacher of botany and chemistry. She became a prominent botanist, known internationally. In 1869, she took a Mount Holyoke student to Europe where they studied botany, and in 1873 she worked with Louis Agassiz and Arnold Henri Guyot at the Penikese Island (Massachusetts) school for natural history. She was dedicated to Mount Holyoke's achieving the status of a college, and retired in 1889, shortly after this goal was achieved. She died on November 2, 1889 in South Hadley, Massachusetts at the age of sixty-seven." 

There is a book written about her life called "Memorial of Lydia White Shattuck" by Sarah D. (Locke) Stow. It was published in 1890. So it gives an excellent glimpse into life for a very bright Shattuck in the 19th century in New England. Nancy says Shattuck Hall at Mount Hollyoak is named after her as the first woman professor. She also left a bequeath to her beloved college. She is a descendant of William Shattuck's son William (1653-1732).


Shattuck Hall is on the left in this picture dated 1908.

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