Vassar College Digital Library

Williams, Ellen (Boardman). Letters, 1865-1866

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49 letters from Williams to her family about her two semesters at Vassar from 1865 to 1866. Williams discusses her enjoyment of her geology and zoology classes with Professor Tenney, for which she collects butterflies and moths from the Vassar grounds (Jun 1866, letter to her mother September 1865). She explains that religious and spiritual communities are her main link to society outside Vassar, as even the notoriously-strict Lady Principal Hannah Lyman encourages her interactions with pastors and missionaries (letter to father Sep 1865, Feb 1866). Williams provides detailed information on trends in dress and room decoration. Williams briefly references the establishment of several Vassar traditions, such as Founders' Day (letter to her mother, April 1866), Matthew Vassar's invitation of all the students to his house for a formal reception (February 1866), and a literary society chapter at Vassar.,VC Spec 1865-1866
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