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Sarah S. Pratt "Why Doctor Grimes Whispered" memoir

 Collection — Folder: S1075
Identifier: S1075

Scope and Contents

This collection includes an original copy of the 7 page memoir, "Why Doctor Grimes Whispered" from Sarah S. Pratt of Delphi, Indiana regarding the Indiana underground railroad. With the collection is a single page copy of two advertisements for runaway slaves from South Florence, Franklin County, Alabama, posted in the "Louisville Public Advertised", February 5, 1833.

Also included in the collection is an insurance card for Home Insurance Company, Lafayette, with “Miss Sarah J. Smith” and the "Mrs. R Higginbottham" penciled on the front; and on the back side of the card, names of members of the Busy Bee Society are listed, including Lucy Pigman, Sallie Smith, Anna Smith, Jennie Jordann, Tibbie Blanchard, Hattie Graham, Belle Holt, Mary Bowen, Susie Benz, and S. Smith, President. According to Mary Pratt, Sarah’s daughter, the Busy Bee Society met during the Civil War under Mrs. R.L. Higginbotham in Delphi for the purpose of sewing for the soldiers.

The second card is a sketch of Camp Readyville, Tennessee. The card includes the inscription “sketched by Matt Pratt” scrawled in pencil at the top of the card; the name is also etched in fine print at the bottom. Identification of brigade, division, etc., are etched in fine print across the bottom.


  • undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Few facts are available on the life of Mrs. Sarah Smith Pratt, 1853-1942. She grew up in Delphi, Indiana, where her mother was actively involved in the underground railroad. In 1883-1886, she was a resident of Logansport, Indiana, where she edited a weekly newspaper called the "Sunday Critic", which belonged to her husband, W. D. Pratt, and to which she contributed a column, "Flotsam and Jetsam." She was founder and for six years editor of "On Meridian", a publication of the Indianapolis Young Womens Cristian Association. In 1917 she was contributing to the "Living Church", the "Churchman", and to other periodicals.

Publications by Sarah Smith Pratt:

Blue Cashmere Gown: a Story of a Missionary Box. Milwaukee, 1914.

The Old Crop in Indiana. Indianapolis, 1928.

Episcopal Bishops in Indiana; a Churchwoman's Retrospect. Indianapolis, 1934.

Guess This Word. Indianapolis, 1938.


Indiana Authors and their books, 1816-1980.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Mary Pratt in 1943.


No further additions are expected.

Related Archival Material

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in the Indiana Division and Genealogy Division, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN:

ISLI 917.72 P917O: The old crop in Indiana ISLG Microfiche LH13064: The old crop in Indiana ISLI 283 P917E: Episcopal bishops in Indiana: A churchwoman's retrospect

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2015/07/23 by Linda Gellert. EAD finding aid created 2015/07/23 by Linda Gellert.
Sarah S. Pratt "Why Doctor Grimes Whispered" memoir
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.