Vassar College Digital Library

Anderson, Irene — to Norton B. Anderson, October 10, 1866

Content Warning
he Vassar College Archives within the Digital Library include some images, texts, and material items that are racist, xenophobic, or otherwise harmful. The Vassar Libraries have provided descriptive text and additional notes whenever possible to alert Digital Library users to these items. The Engaged Pluralism Initiative Race and Racism in Historical Collections Project Group is working with the library on contextualizing and facilitating community conversations about these materials. For more information see:
vassar:54115,Folder 64.2; VCL_Letters_Anderson-Irene_1866-10-10_064_002_001
10 Oct 1866
1 item
For more information about rights and reproduction, visit


: VCL_Letters_Anderson-Irene_1866-10-10_064_002_001_001
Vassar Female College,
Poughkeepsie, N.Y. October 10th 1866.

My Sweet Brother,

Not-withstanding I wrote to you a long [le]tter on the Sabbath but having received a letter from Willie yesterday in which was enclosed a letter of yours dated the 24th of Sept. received another from you yesterday after-noon enclosed in Uncle E’s and a third this morning which had written since the reception of my first letter on my arrival at “Vassar College.” since then I have written three letters now. I would not write this evening, as I selected the Sabbath as


: VCL_Letters_Anderson-Irene_1866-10-10_064_002_001_002
the day on which I shall always write to you, for on that day I have more leisure, feel more disposed to write, every thing being so calm and quiet, my thoughts on that day are always with you, at least when I am unemployed. we go to chapel three times during that day, then have bible lessons in the morning, and we are so [occupied?] a greater portion of the day. In your letter of the 30th of Sept. you told me you wished me to keep a journal. I had just [gone?] [up?] to the office the day before, purchased a blank book for that identical purpose. Did not have [obscured by object] write any in it until the day I rece[ieve]d your letter. I will write daily in it. I find it will be very pleasant to note down the daily occurrences, for often things of considerable interest take place. For instance walks that are taken with Professor Tennyson’s Geology [..] for the purpose of [Geologysing?], such as we took on Monday evening last. they are exceedingly interesting and pleasant. he told us in class that morning if we desired


: VCL_Letters_Anderson-Irene_1866-10-10_064_002_001_003
he would take us out, and show us the different kinds of rocks show us of what they were confused. said he would not compel us to go, but only those who wished to do so. every member of the class besides a great many others went. about 60 or 70 accompanied him. he took his hammer with him, would split assunder the rocks, show us the different kind of plants, and [write?] his illustrations and various [copies?] our walk was made quite interesting instructive and pleasant. we returned home just in time [obscured by object] [...], and enjoyed it very much [obscured by object]. had been out for two or three hours had walked two miles, if not more.

In your letter of yesterday you told me to give you an observation of the way in which things were conducted. I will endeavor to do so but fear I can not make it prove interesting to you. at your request I will attempt it however. We rise at 6 O’Clock, have our hour to make our toilet in, and


: VCL_Letters_Anderson-Irene_1866-10-10_064_002_001_004
prepare for breakfast. at the end of that hour, the breakfast bell sounds. we go to the dinning hall, without a moment hesitation, in which placed there is usually a half hour [cind...ed?], we being allowed to get up when we complete our meal. we are not permitted that privilege, only at breakfast Dinner and [tea?]. we all get up at the ringing of Miss Lyman’s bell, the Lady Principle. Then we retire to our rooms make our beds, the [minutes?] are allowed for that purpose. then I [obscured by object] [minutes?] are given for “Silent hour.” I will explain this to you, as doubtless you do not know, anything about it. we are to devote those twenty minutes to reading our bible, or prayers if we choose. after that duty is performed it is 8 O Clock. then we go to the chapel, hear morning prayers, which almost one hour is spent in that way, and [down?], [of?] have ten minutes before the 1st bell rings for the first


: VCL_Letters_Anderson-Irene_1866-10-10_064_002_001_005
period. the day is divided in periods of 60 minutes-cla[..], the 1st one commencing at 10 minutes pass nine O’Clock, closing at 10. the 2and beginning at 10 minutes pass 10, closing at 11. the 3rd 11=10, ending at 12. 4th at 10 minutes pass 12 O Clock, closing at 1- then comes dinner at 1 O Clock precisely. we are in the dinning hall until 2, and we have to wait till the whole assembly of girls has finished their meals. at 2=15 the 1st period after dinner commences, and so on until four O’Clock. then we have recreation until 5. then at six P. M. then retire to the Chapel, one hour spent there. Study hours from 8 to 9. P.M., then 20 minutes “silent hour,” then the remainder of the evening can be spent as we please, visiting the rooms of our friends, reading writing or spend it in Fancy work until 15 minutes to 10 then the “morning bell” rings, and at 10 O Clock precisely, the gas has to be extinguished all through the


: VCL_Letters_Anderson-Irene_1866-10-10_064_002_001_006
college. I am occupied with my recitations during four periods of the day. the 3rd in the forenoon, the 1st, 2nd after noon, and the last at night which is devoted to Music, when the [...] arrive I too will be employed and [..] period of the day as I intend to have two hours for practicing. I shall try to improve in my music this year. we are only allowed to take three studies, beside music and gymnastics. they have a riding stables here, and a great many of the girls take lessons. Probably I will take in the spring. I shall devote [...] attention to my Gymnastic excercise, and you deserve it. Brother Norton, do you intend going home Christmas, if so you must by all means come to see me! I will be in NY by then as Uncle E has promised Mollie and I we should spend the Christmas holiday with him in NY. why, as he did not take us there when we [..] come as we expected to and [M?] and [I?] will be


: VCL_Letters_Anderson-Irene_1866-10-10_064_002_001_007
down to see us this [month?]. my brother, promise me you will come if you go home. Brother Norton, I have a request to make of you. [..] I want a [...] with [lace?]. will you not send me the money to get it, [that?] is if you had it and can give it to me. mine is old fashioned. I want a new style one. please do so. I have written you a very long letter this time, [...] it is [...][...] interesting to [...]. and also [hope?] you will write me a long one in response. Write soon and frequently, see how often I write. Goodby my dear, dear Brother.

Lovingly your Sister,