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Julia Neely Finch Papers

Identifier: MSS-0515

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of correspondence by and to Julia Neely Finch, as well as her poetry and short stories, written between 1890 and 1926. There are also letters to her son, Edwin W. Finch, written by her daughter, Lucine Finch, and her nurse/companion, Nurse Scott. There is also a small collection of Julia’s poems and short stories and a Common Place Book, which served as a scrapbook of her published pieces.


  • 1890 - 1926


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Due to the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access to certain materials may require additional advance notice.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers are responsible for using the materials in conformance with United States copyright law as well as any donor restrictions accompanying the materials. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any copyright claimants in collection materials. Copyright for official University records is held by The University of Alabama. The library claims only physical ownership of many manuscript collections. Anyone wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of literary property rights or copyrights. Please contact Special Collections ( with questions regarding specific manuscript collections. For more information about copyright policy, please visit: Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals without the consent of those individuals may have legal implications, for which the University of Alabama assumes no responsibility.

Biographical / Historical

Julia Neely Finch was born in June 1850 in Mississippi to Philip P. and J.A. Neely. Philip Neely was a Methodist minister and later a bishop in Mobile, Alabama. Julia Neely married Edwin Wilson Finch sometime before 1870 as the 1870 U.S. Census shows her married and living in Mobile. Julia and Edwin had three children, Edwin W., Lucine, and Philip. Julia’s husband, Edwin, and son, Philip, both died sometime between the 1880 and the 1900 Censuses. By 1900, Julia had moved to Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama with her oldest son, where she remained until sometime between 1910 and 1920 when she settled in Pomfret, Windham County, Connecticut with her daughter, Lucine.

Julia Neely Finch was an accomplished and prolific writer of poetry and short stories. Many of her works were published in the ladies’ magazines of the day. Her best known work is titled “The Unborn” and was published in An American Anthology: 1787 – 1900: Selections Illustrating the Editor’s Critical Review of American Poetry in the Nineteenth Century, edited by Edmund Clarence Stedman (Houghton Mifflin, 1900).

Julia Neely Finch and her daughter, Lucine, frequently used pet names for each other. Julia was referred to in letters as “the Old Lady” or even “O.L.” She even called herself that on occasion. She called her son, Edwin, “My Dearest Boy” and “D.B.” Lucine’s nickname was “Bobbie.”

Sometime in the early 1920’s, Julia’s health began to fail. Many of her letters written during this time are almost illegible as she was apparently writing in bed. Generally these letters are accompanied by one written by her nurse/companion Nurse Scott (no other name given). Nurse Scott wrote to both Edwin, who still lived in Birmingham, and to Lucine, when she was away on concert and lecture tours. Julia Neely Finch died at the age of 76 with her family at her side on 27 September 1926 in Connecticut.


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Language of Materials



Correspondence by and to Julia Neely Finch, as well as her poetry and short stories, written between 1890 and 1926, as well as a small handwritten and typescript collection of Julia’s poems and short stories and a Common Place Book, which served as a scrapbook of her published pieces.


Purchased by Cather & Brown, 1990

Processed by

Martha Bace, 2008; updated by Martha Bace, 2013
Guide to the Julia Neely Finch Papers
November 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections Repository

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0266