Anne Sullivan's Request on a Moonlit and Snowy Night

Scan of page 2 of a letter from Cora A. Newton, a teacher of Anne Sullivan, to Nella Braddey Henney, dated May 23, 1927.

Scan of page 2 of a letter from Cora A. Newton, a teacher of Anne Sullivan, to Nella Braddey Henney, dated May 23, 1927.

February 9, 2016

The Perkins Archives are pleased to announce the digitization of the Nella Braddy Henney Collection of Manuscripts. This Collection is notable for containing extensive Helen Keller correspondence which was forwarded to Nella Braddy Henney for use on her book Anne Sullivan Macy: The story behind Helen Keller (1933).

Correspondence in this collection includes memories of Anne Sullivan from those who knew her throughout her life. One such remembrance of Sullivan was provided by Cora A. Newton, who taught Sullivan at Perkins sometime between 1881-1884. It provides a charmingly intimate account of Sullivan's special request to build a snowman (woman) on a moonlit night.

I remember her asking one moonlight winter night, permission to model the snow in the quadrangle after the reading hour. Three of us teachers remained in the school room overlooking the quadrangle to guard her from possible intruders, while she modeled a graceful, full-sized figure clothed in low-neck, short-sleeve, long train evening gown, the hair arranged in heavy coils high on the head and a long curl over the shoulder. It was interesting to watch her skillful work in making an artistic expression of what she evidently hoped to be and have.


For the full letter and digitized manuscripts, please visit the Nella Braddy Henney Digital Collection of Manuscripts Page where a detailed list of the box contents and links to their digitized surrogates are provided as they become available on the Internet Archive. More information about the Nella Braddy Henny Collection can be found at the Nella Braddy Henney Collection Finding Aid page.