August 7, 1869
A total eclipse of the sun was observed at Burlington, Iowa, by Professor Maria Mitchell and seven of her students, one an undergraduate of the Class of 1870, the others alumnae of the Class of 1868. Their observations were later printed in the official report of Professor J.H.C. Coffin, superintendent of the American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac, who directed the various observers of the eclipse.
"We met, on our arrival, an invitation from the Burlington Collegiate Institute to occupy its grounds, with the assurance of the Faculty that the should be fully at my disposal....
"Some half-dozen of the graduates of our college had offered their services as assistants —one of them with a telescope—all with sharp eyes and quick perceptions." Maria Mitchell, “The Total Eclipse of 1869,” Hours at Home, Oct. 1869.