I covered a ping pong table in the cellar with these letters and started reading them and making notes. And then I had seen that the New England Historical Genealogical Society had a two-week summer camp, where you lived at Harvard [University] and so I signed up for that. I enjoyed that and then Marcus McCorison, who was the head of the [American] Antiquarian Society at that time and was a friend of my father-in-law’s, said of course they would like to have all of that at the Antiquarian Society. That was fun and we took them over and he assumed I was going with him. I guess he knew I had been working on them so I went. It took me five years to do that collection. I was learning, too, and it was 50 manuscript boxes. At the end of it I stayed, so that was my unpaid work. I’m glad to have done it that way to have been home with the kids. I saved money by being at home and later when they were off and gone I could do my volunteer stuff and have fun.
Jane Dewey was born in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania in 1931. Jane grew up in New Brighton, Pennsylvania and lived on a piece of property that her family had owned for five generations. After attending New Brighton’s primary and secondary schools, Jane went to Abbot Academy and finished her education at Wellesley College in Massachusetts where she obtained a political science degree. After graduation, she married Henry, moved to Worcester, Massachusetts, had three girls, and was a stay at home mother. When her children were grown, Jane worked at the Ben Franklin Bookstore where she was introduced to a book composed of Civil War letters. These letters intrigued Jane which led her to Harvard University and the American Antiquarian Society where she researched letters from the 1840s left behind by Henry’s grandfather. It took her five years to analyze these manuscripts and to this day Jane continues to volunteer in their manuscript department. She also reveals her marathon training and qualifying for the Boston Marathon at age 53.