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Charlotte Champe Stearns Eliot Collection

 Collection — Box: VMF 4, Folder: 13
Identifier: MS-VMF-vmf046

Autograph letter signed, from Eliot to "Jac," enclosing a typescript biographical note on T.S. Eliot, and explaining the reasons why her son did not finish the requirements for the Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard which he had intended to take, and explaining the difficulties, both vocational and domestic, under which he was presently pursuing his literary activities. Also one clipping. 4 pages.


  • 1923 January 21


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3.00 items

1 folders

Biographical Information

Charlotte Champe Stearns Eliot (October 22, 1843–September 10, 1929) was a school teacher, poet, social worker, and the mother of T. S. Eliot.  Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Eliot graduated from the State Normal School of Framingham, Massachusetts in 1862.  Her teaching career led her to Pennsylvania, Milwaukee, Antioch College, Massachusetts, and Missouri.

Eliot married Henry Ware Eliot (1843 – 1919) on October 27, 1868, in Lexington, Massachusetts. They returned to her husband’s home city of Saint Louis, Missouri where they worked and reared their family. They had five daughters and two sons: Ada (Eliot) Sheffield, born in 1869; Margaret Dawes Eliot, born in 1871; Charlotte (Eliot) Smith, born in 1874; Marian Cushing Eliot, born in 1877; Henry Ware Eliot, Jr., born in 1879; Theodora Sterling Eliot, born in 1885 but died in infancy, and Thomas Stearns Eliot, born in 1888.   Eliot's youngest child inherited his mother’s literary skills and became the poet known as T. S. Eliot. In the 1870's when her husband was in bankruptcy Eliot taught school at the nearby Mary Institute.

Eliot was a writer of poems and many of her poems appeared in religious periodicals. A collection of her poems, Easter Songs, was published in 1899. She also wrote a biography of her father-in-law, William Greenleaf Eliot, a Unitarian minister and leading citizen of St. Louis.

Eliot left St. Louis and moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts after the death of her husband in 1919. She died in Cambridge in 1929 at eighty-sixty of a cerebral thrombosis.

Processing Information

Processed July 1969.

Charlotte Champe Stearns Eliot Collection
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Revision Statements

  • 2021 February 24: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Manuscripts Collecting Area

Joel Minor
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495