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March 17, 1870.
My Dear Belle,
I am not so forgetful as to imagine that our old "serene"
compact was on "St. Patrick's day in the morning," instead of "Good
Friday Eve," but having a little leisure now which I may not have then
and furthermore desiring to make you sure of my address, so that you
shall have no excuse for cutting me in your old fashions - I deem it
prudent to "take time by the forelock," and wo.' unto you, if you don't
let me hear from you in good season. In the first place, I ought to
apologise to you, for not writing after I reached Hfd., but if you knew
the whirl I was in, you would forgive me. And after that, 1 had no idea
where in this broad land you were, until a short time since I heard from
your sister. I was in H., only three weeks, and did so much in that time,
that, on the principle of reaction, I did not accomplish much of anything
for some time afterward. That is, in the line of work, though of visiting
I did a great amount. Louise and Mary W. Joined me about the middle of
July. I had a "farewell party," and introduced them to my Hfd.
then we "wrapped our mantles (!.e. waterproofs) about us," and departed
for Helen Storkes' in Auburn, N.Y. where the hexagon minus Clara Glover
(now Mrs. Gixm) gathered itself together, and enjoyed all delights for two
weeks. Then to Detroit, where under the Warner's roof, twelve V.C.
bachelors made merry, and then eclipse-ward. In Burlington Louise and
July 2, 1868 - 2
I were with Nellie Gay, lour with Hattie Forte, and the others with Miss
Mitchell at the hotel. The "7th" came, bright and beautiful, everything
passed off to our hearts' content (except that 1 individually had the Mfever
and ague," but collectively I was all right) and the next week all had
vanished like the veriest air-castle, and I was left with Nellie. After a
visit of two weeks 1 returned to Chicago, for a season with my old Hfd.
friend, Mrs. Has kins, whom you may remember as Sarah Wolcott, your
"cousin "Johny's" friend. I had not seen her since her marriage three
years ago. And so after visiting her and other friends, I decided to pitch
my tent for a while, and obtained a situation in one of the public schools,
where I taught two weeks. Then a combination of circumstances brought
it about that I decided to go to Northern Iowa with Father and Mother who
were "out West" on a summer's trip, to return in Nov. to a new school then to
open, only a block from my friend Mrs. Rogers, with whom I wished to
which you may remember as unmistakably wintry," I spent in Iowa, taking,
during that time a trip to St. Paul, Minnehaha and all the Minn, wonders,
returning on the Upper Mississippi, whose glorious "bluffs" were my utter
delight, and thence to Milwaukee and another married Hfd. High School
friend. — Since Nov. I have been trying to "bring up" about sixty young
Chicagoans, a task which has occupied six hours a day. For the remainder of
Mar. 17, 1870 - 3
my time 1 have had various projects, the most serious of which have
been studying Anatomy with a physician, having in mind an entire
Medical Course, and a future M.D. (not now likely) and more latterly,
studying Astronomy with Prof. Ssfford of the Chicago University. I am
doing a little at both, and cannot tell you certainly which will become
my life work, though I mean to make one or the other by another year.
My heart is in the latter, and I think the way is growing a little clearer}
but I am interested in the former, and the way is broad open pecuniarily
by an offer from my father. He is now in business in Chicago, a circum-
stance not at all to my taste, since it will necessitate, if long continued in,
the removal of the family from Hfd. - by next Fall probably, hi
which circumstances, as well as some others, I am going East early in
the season. I now intend to leave school at the spring vacation, Apr. 22 —
if X then start immediately, I may very likely be at V.C. Founder's Day,
and perhaps stay for a short time of study with Miss M. — You perceive
how much I am living in the "conditional mood" just at present. In fact
all winter things have been occurring to increase this state of things; my
only consolation in which is that "e pluribus" I shall hope to decide upon
"unum" which will bring order out of chaos. - During it all, I have been
having a real time with my friends here; have made pleasant acquaintances
and trust I have accomplished something in several ways. — If my home is
Mar. 7, 1868 - 3
to be In Chicago, I shall "leave no stone unturned" to bring some of the
hexagon out here. We expect to meet in Delaware next summer, and
then 1 shall do execution. I cannot tell you news of many people we know,
for X have heard little from them. Louise taught in Cinn. a few months,
as substitute for her sister Alice, who took a trip to Cal. — but is now
at home again. I hope you will write me a good long letter, all about
yourself and whatever is interesting of the people I know in Aubumdale.
Is Mr. Bidwell still at the Seminary. Please give very much love to
I must have a visit from you. Perhaps it will be my last chance there.
X live No. 20 Chapel St.
With much love,
If you must vary from our anniversary, please write before.