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Travel diaries of Mrs. Benjamin Eddy Cotting

Call Number: MS A8


Travel diaries of Mrs. Benjamin Eddy Cotting (nee Catherine Green Sawyer), who with her husband traveled to Brazil with Swiss-American biologist and geologist Louis Agassiz.


  • Creation: 1865, 1870


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Identification of author information

Based on the following evidence, the writer of these diaries has been identified as Mrs. Benjamin Eddy Cotting (nee Catherine Green Sawyer), who died in 1881. The 4 volumes located at MS A8a, written by a woman who refers to "the Dr" as if he were her husband, includes her account of the April 1865 voyage of the Colorado to Brazil with "the Professor" and "Mrs A. Agassiz." "A Journey in Brazil," 1868 (Ellis Aves C7) mentions in the foreword that his old friends, Dr. and Mrs. B. E. Cotting, accompanied him. Spencer Research library’s manuscript does not mention a Dr. C or Mrs. C.

MS A8b, written by the same person, mentions a gentleman putting her in a cab, and giving his love to Cotting. A former owner (bookseller? librarian?) has written in pencil on the cover of vol. 1 "Cotting, Mrs BE. Journey to Brazil." Benjamin Eddy Cotting, 1812-1897, is named in the National Union Catalogue as the author of a number of medical books, most published in Boston.

Author has to journey to New York, apparently from New England. Benjamin Eddy Cotting was a curator of the Lowell Institute in 1817 when he took the sick Agassiz into his home (Ellis Aves B17); original cataloguer suspected they lived in Massachusetts, probably Boston suburbs.

An obituary of Benjamin Eddy Colling (Boston Transcript, May 22, 1897) indicates his wife was Miss Catherine Green Sawyer of Newport, R.I., who died in 1881. Additional information supporting this identification can be found in the 1880 U.S. Census and in another obituary of her husband (Transactions of the New Hampshire Medical Society, 1897, p. 304).


6 Volumes (6 volumes in 2 envelopes) ; Volumes measure no taller than 15 cm.

Language of Materials


Physical Location


Processing Information

6 uniform notebooks were previously cataloged as MS X8: Cotting, B.E, Journey to Brazil, 1865.

Guide to the Mrs. Benjamin Eddy Cotting Diaries Collection
Travel diaries of Mrs. Benjamin Eddy Cotting
Finding aid prepared by alh, October 2, 1973; revised by ksc, 2009. Finding aid encoded by mg, 2005.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in <language encodinganalog="language">English.</language>
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Travel diaries of Mrs. Benjamin Eddy Cotting, Department of Special Collections, MS A8, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States