Vassar College Digital Library

Sylvester, Helen (Seymour). Letters, 1865-1866

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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: https://library.vassar.edu/rrhc
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Abstract
24 letters from Sylvester to her father, mother, and brother James concerning her experiences at Vassar from 1865-1866. Sylvester references the lectures of President Raymond and other faculty members, the sermons of visiting ministers, meeting Matthew Vassar, and Professor Knapp's resignation. She briefly describes her room, the Vassar grounds, and the salaries of the Vassar faculty. Sylvester reproaches her family for writing infrequently, reminds them to send her hoop covers, discusses social news and visiting arrangements for vacations, and asks after her family's interactions with the "darkies" (Jan 8 and 28 1866). In a Jan 1866 letter to her father, Sylvester references the unlikelihood of the "colored people" being "reduced to order" and describes an acquaintance's racist remarks on a concert given by the renowned Black pianist, "Blind Tom.",VC Spec 1865-1866
References
Finding aid: http://specialcollections.vassar.edu/collections/archives/findingaids/miscellaneous/vc_student_materials.html
Details
Extent
1 item
Type
Identifier
vassar:25028,IID
English