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September 22nd, 1869.
Your welcome letter was received this morning, and having nothing to do today as recitations are suspended, in order to complete Classification, and to dispose of four hundred young ladies is not a very easy task. Do not think that I am writing merely because I have nothing else to do, because such is not the case, as, if there are no lessons, there is always boating, walking, or something of the same sort. I could not do anything else than excuse you from writing
There is a parlor for every five girls, out of which opens three bedrooms, one single, two double. Our parlor mates are very pleasant indeed. We are allowed to ornament our parlors & bedrooms as we please. In our parlor Miss Fitch has hung up three small Chromos and two other pictures, and two brackets on which she has put small vases for flowers. She and one of the other girls have each a rocking-chair. We have sent to Po'keepsie for a grand black table cover, and I have asked Mamma to send me a Chromo or two, and I think by the time we get fixed will be quite cosy and home like. Some of the girls have fixed up their rooms beautifully; one even brought a little clock. We have to rise at
It is given as a time for reading, meditation and prayer. Dinner is at one, supper at six, then prayers and silent time again; and at the last tap of the bell at ten o'clock P.M. all lights must be put out, and if you are not quite ready you must finish in the dark, which I have had to do once. I think we have more liberties here than if we were in any boarding school, and I would much rather be here than in any boarding school I have ever heard of. I bought this paper this morning so that you might have some idea of how the College looks, the Observatory, not shown in the picture, stands on the left and in the rear of the College; and the Riding, Music and Calisthenic Rooms, all in one building, in a corresponding position on the right. There are thirty two pianos here, a bowling alley, and If you want to you can hire a horse and phaeton and drive over the grounds, if you take a teacher you can go on the road. The mail has just been distributed and there was nothing for me. Isn't it provoking when you get none ? Another good thing about Vassar is that you can write as many letters as you please and to whom you please without being questioned. I shall certainly look for some tomorrow. This is the (17) seventeenth I have written from here and only received seven, don't you think I deserved some?
Well I must close and hoping to hear from you soon
Your loving friend
(From Jeanette Black, sp. 1869-70, to Mary P. Ashbridge, West Haverford, Pennsylvania)