Vassar College Digital Library

[unknown], Jeannette | to Mary P. Ashbridge, Sept. 1869:

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September 22, 1869

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vassar:24447,,Box 64,VCL_Letters_Jeannette_nd_001
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: VCLLettersJeannettend001001
Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
September 22nd, 1869.

Dear Mary,

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


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sooner if in your staid neighborhood you had an engagement for every evening in the week. Wonderful indeed! I hope the "three little Ashbridges" enjoyed themselves at Annie Johnson's. Tea parties are becoming fashionable are they not? Where were all the gentlemen the evening that the Club met. Do you know where Sam Garrigues was ? I am quite curious to know, if you find out will you tell me, but please do not say that I asked. You know that eve. at our house he professed always to say what he meant; and I don't altogether think he does. He rode up from the city with me the Saturday before I left home. What can be the matter with Humphries and Garrigues. I should like very much to meet your friend Miss Wain; and hope that I may some other time, as it is impossible now. You ask me to tell you all about College; in the first place I like it very much indeed. They set a very good table, we always have three courses for dinner, and ice-cream twice a week for


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desert. There is always, and plenty of, good bread and butter. For tea we generally have sliced peaches, stewed pairs or apples or something of the same sort, bread, white & brown, butter and cake and tea. Our ice cream is made by steam, and with it we always have cake,sometimes we have grapes, apples or pears.

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


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6 o'clock, breakfast is at 6.45. Then we have prayers in the Chapel, then Silent Time which lasts 20 minutes, when every girl is required to be entirely alone. Taking her Bible with her if all the bedrooms, and parlor is occupied, where she belongs.

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
I remain,
Your loving friend

(From Jeanette Black, sp. 1869-70, to Mary P. Ashbridge, West Haverford, Pennsylvania)