An educated woman, she entered fields that were not common to women of her day. Educated at the Polytechnic Institute at Chittenango,NY and at the Cazanovia Seminary she graduated from there in 1859. She studied math and later taught math, French and painting and drawing. After graduation she taught at a boarding school in Warrenton, North Carolina, returning to New York State just before the outbreak of the Civil War. She taught in Chittenango and was later the preceptress of the academy at Cortland. About 1870, when 34 years old, she made the trip west to Wisconsin to visit her aunt, Margaret DuBois Ham, who was living on a farm outside of Neenah, Wisconsin. There she met 36 year old Wesley Mott, who she would marry.
She bore three children of that marriage, giving birth to the youngest at the age of 36. She encouraged her husband to make the transition from farmer to full time lawyer and evidently insisted that the family move to town in the mid 1880's so that her son, Mayhew, could get the full benefits of the educational system there and follow in his father's footsteps as a lawyer.
From (http://madisoncountynewyork.com/CazJub/Ladies/P.htm) - First Fifty Years of Cazenovia Seminary, Cazenovia, N.Y., MDCCCLXXVII. Printed by Nelson & Phillips, 805 Broadway, New York:
"Porter, Harriet L., Chittenango, N.Y. 1857. Preceptress of Vernon Academy, Vernon, N.Y.;
Preceptress of Cortland (N.Y.) Academy; teacher of French and Mathematics in Warrenton (N. C.)
Collegiate Institute; and since Preceptress of Yates Polytechnic Institute, Chittenango, N.Y.
Married, May 29, 1871, to Wesley Mott. Residence, Winchester, Wis."
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