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College Archivist Sanders Attends Ada Shepard Lecture

Friday, April 6, Scott Sanders, College Archivist, attended a Concord Free Public Library Corporation program on behalf of the College. "No Picture Could Be More Lovely:" Ada Shepard with the Hawthornes in Florence, 1858, a lecture given by Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Megan Marshall, featured Ada Shepard, a member of Antioch's first graduating class in 1857. The program includedd an exhibition of sketches and letters from Shepard.

Beyond Shepard's ties to Antioch, there is more that tied the program to the College. Marshall's acclaimed biography of Horace Mann's second wife, Mary Peabody, and her three sisters started with research in the Antioch College archives. And Susan Abele, who introduced Marshall at the start of the lecture, is the great-granddaughter of Ada Shepard and a friend of Antiochiana as well.

Ada Shepard, from Dorchester, MA, was mentored by Horace and Mary Mann, and upon her graduation, they secured for her a governess position with the children of the author Nathaniel Hawthorne -- he was married to Mary Mann's sister, Sophia.

During her time as a governess, Shepard accompanied the family to Europe where Hawthorne had been appointed US consul to England. They traveled extensively, and Shepard's letters to the Manns provided a detailed account of their journey from England to Rome.

Read more about Ada Shepard and excerpts from her letters in Antiochiana here and here