Mary Stiles Paul Guild

Mary Stiles Paul Guild, ca. 1891
Mary Stiles Paul Guild, ca. 1891

Time Period


Subject Categories

Business, Everyday Life

Notable Facts

Vermont girl who went to work in the Lowell mills and wrote letters home to her father, 1845-1849.

Personal Information

Date of Birth


Date of Death


Primary Residence


Historical Significance

Mary Stiles Paul was born in Hanover, New Hampshire, on January 26, 1830. A year later her family moved to Woodstock where they remained until 1840 when they moved to Barnard, Vermont. Mary's mother died a year later and she and her brother were "put out" to earn their board. In the fall of 1843 she went to work in the cotton mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, and stayed there for three years. After a period in Claremont, New Hampshire, she joined the North American Phalanx, a communal, utopian society based on the philosophy of French philosopher Charles Fourier in Monmouth County, New Jersey. In 1855, she returned to New England and married Isaac Orr Guild (1831-1903) on October 7, 1857. They lived in Lynn, Massachusetts. Their children were Irving Tracy Guild (b. Dec. 30, 1860) and Sydney Paul Guild (b. Aug. 31, 1862). Mary Stiles Paul Guild died on December 12, 1899.


  • Mill girl

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • Mary Paul's Letters Link

  • Paul Family Letters Link