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Guide to the Rebecca Spring Papers, ca. 1830-1900
Special Collections M0541  
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Rebecca Spring Papers,
    Date (inclusive): ca. 1830-1900
    Collection number: Special Collections M0541
    Creator: Spring, Rebecca.
    Extent: 1 linear ft.
    Repository: Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Access Restrictions


    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the repository. Literary rights reside with the creators of the documents or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Public Services Librarian of the Dept. of Special Collections.


    Rebecca's grandson, Herbert Peet Heron, inherited the papers which remained in storage until March, 1990. Purchased, June, 1990.

    Preferred Citation:

    [Identification of item] Rebecca Spring Papers, M0541, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

    Biographical Note

    Daughter of Arnold Buffum, Rebecca (1811-1911) married Marcus Spring (1810-1874) in approximately 1840. She a Quaker, he a philanthropic New York businessman, both became intensely involved in liberal political and social affairs and were part of the abolitionist, feminist, and transcendentalist movements. They were long-time friends of Fredrika Bremer, Lydia Maria Child, Margaret Fuller, and Elizabeth Palmer Peabody. Rebecca worked hard but unsuccessfully for abolitionist John Brown's acquittal, then later for the commuting of his sentence. Marcus Spring was active in cooperative societies and instrumental in the founding of two communities based on the teachings of Charles Fourier - The North American Phalanx and The Raritan Bay Union - the latter which was located on his estate in Eagleswood, New Jersey. In the late 1850s Spring founded the Eagleswood Military Academy. After Marcus' death, Rebecca continued their work in liberal political and social causes for another 25 years. In the late 1890s, she moved to southern California to live with her daughter, Jeanie Peet, where she became involved with many of the local artists and writers.

    Scope and Content

    Incoming correspondence (ca. 200 letters) from American and European political, religious, and literary figures. Manuscript of Rebecca Spring's memoirs (191 p.), ca. 1900.