Vassar College Digital Library

"Mary" — to "Mithery," June 18, 1876

Content Warning
The 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:
Access Control
18 Jun 1876

Transcription view:

While on the first image, click on the three stacked horizontal lines (burger) on the top left side of the image viewer to view the text transcription for the entire item. The transcription will not be viewable once you click through the other page images. 

Transcript file(s)
vassar:55114,Folder 64.13; VCL_Letters_Mary_1876-06-18_064_013_001
1 item
For more information about rights and reproduction, visit


: VCL_Letters_Mary_1876-06-18_064_013_001_001
Vassar College June 18, ’76

My dear Mithery,

I have just jams to tell you today & am so short of postage stamps that I am obliged to return to this thin paper, but I will favor you in one point. I will only write on one side of it.

In the first place, in Chapel Weds' night, the Prex, with many words & long drawn out ands informed us that Dom. Pedro was expected at the College the next day & he wished us to be quite prepared for the totally unexpected visit.

Upon the arrival of the Emperor twelve strokes of the bell would be heard, at which signal all classes would be dismissed & there


: VCL_Letters_Mary_1876-06-18_064_013_001_002
would be no more recitations until after his departure. He was expected about noon & would stay about two hours & when he was about to depart we were informed that we might place ourselves between the lodge & the college & salute him as he passed by.

We were very much pleased with these arrangements & the next noon cultivated the windows commanding a view of the drive from behind the closed blinds. But alas for fond expectations! "The best laid plans of mice & men"! The Dom didn’t come. But Thursday night the Prex informed us that we might expect him Friday which cheered our drooping spirits and kept up the excitement


: VCL_Letters_Mary_1876-06-18_064_013_001_003

Friday morning when we went into Latin class Nan Wardle rushed up to Miss Adams & she explained that the Dom was coming in fifteen minutes anyway. Whereupon every one became wild with excitement & laughed & talked in the most free & easy manner. After about ten minutes Miss Adams gave up in despair & excused the class because she said we were, so excited the recitation wouldn't do us a bit of good. So we capered festively out of the class room & spread the rumor abroad as fast as possible.

When the period was about up, all at once, we heard the bell begin to strike. O the breath-


: VCL_Letters_Mary_1876-06-18_064_013_001_004
-less anxiety to see whether it would go beyond [crossed out: twelve] three strokes! And O the beaming smiles, when four, five, etc up to twelve strokes were counted! Then I rushed to the slat of the blind & just caught a glimpse of the Dom ascending the steps.

When he went up into the library lots of girls were there digging in the biggest books they could lay hands on.

Then [crossed out: when] he wanted to hear one of the classes & so Prof Hinkel thought that he would have the Plautus & as it was a very small class he sent for other girls to come in that it might be about as large as the other classes were.

So a whole lot of us piled


: VCL_Letters_Mary_1876-06-18_064_013_001_005
in & gazed at the Dom while the others read & translated Plautus & Juvenal. The joke of it was he understood all about it & asked Prof. Hinkel to question the girls about certain points.

Afterwards we went out by the drive & waved our handkerchiefs to him & his suite. & he & Mrs Dom [crossed out] bowed & said "Good bye, good bye."

Friday night was Beta's last hall meeting & I was so fortunate as to receive an invitation from May Rollins.

They had scenes from The Courtship of Miles Standish. The first was where Miles & John Alden have their conversation & John is sent to Priscilla. The next was where John & Priscilla (May Rollins) come in.


: VCL_Letters_Mary_1876-06-18_064_013_001_006
Then the scene when Standish is so angry with John Alden & is called to fight the Indians Then council where the Indian is sent back with the snakeskin filled with powder & last the marriage scene Liddie was in this scene, dressed all in white, and both she & May Rollins looked too lovely for anything. The meeting closed with a pantomime. We were supposed to behold the reading room, into which about a dozen girls flew & hustled over the papers & things to find the the last Harper's to read "Daniel Deronda". When one finally secured the coveted prize the others all looked so mad & placed themselves


: VCL_Letters_Mary_1876-06-18_064_013_001_007
in regular order next to this girl so that when she had finished, it might pass in regular order down the ranks.

Just as they were fixed were heard the twelve strokes which had announced the Emperors arrival & there was seen a mighty struggle. The girl who had had it dropped it & rushed to see the Emperor. The next one caught it up but the next second dropped it, tore out with four or five others, & then they all rushed out but in an instant one hurried back & grasped the book preferring "Daniel" to the Dom.

Saturday afternoon the Exoterics had a sail on the Hudson. We had a large &


: VCL_Letters_Mary_1876-06-18_064_013_001_008
lovely steamer & went down beyond West Point.

It was a lovely day & I enjoyed every moment. We sang quite a good many songs, one of which would be very delightful if it were not for the second line which seems unchangeable. I wish you could think of some substitute for it. Here is [crossed out: what] the song.

"Here's to Vassar College
Drink her down
Here's to Vassar College
Drink her down
Here's to Vassar College
She's the fountainhead of knowledge
Drink her down, drink her down
Drink her down down down.


: VCL_Letters_Mary_1876-06-18_064_013_001_009
Balm of Gilead Gilead
Balm of Gilead Gilead
Balm of Gilead way down on the Vassar farm
We wont go home any more
We wont go home any more
We wont go home any more
Way down on the Vassar Farm
Vassar, Vassar, Vassar, Vassar, Vassar, Vassar
Way down on the Vassar Farm
V - a - s - s - a - r
Heres to Vassar College
Drink her down, etc.

Heres to good old Vassar
Drink her down
Heres to good old Vassar for in fun can none surpass her
Drink her down, drink her down
Drink her down down down


: VCL_Letters_Mary_1876-06-18_064_013_001_010
To my surprise and delight I heard from one of the girls that Dr. Gallaher was to preach for us.

The rumor proved true & we had a perfectly glorious sermon from him. He preached much better than when I heard him in New Haven last Christmas. The girls were very much delighted with him & think it the best sermon they have heard this year.

It was interesting at first to watch them, they appeared so aroused by his quaint manners but they were soon more than attentive to his every word. He is to preach in town tonight & ever so many girls want to go


: VCL_Letters_Mary_1876-06-18_064_013_001_011
and hear him but I dont believe that Miss Terry will let us. This is my last Sunday letter. Friday I am coming home Wont some of you be sure & meet me in the depot. I shall have piles of traps.

I haven’t any money to come home with & need four or five dollars.

Please send it as soon as you can for we shall buy our tickets in a few days.

Love to all