Vassar College Digital Library

MacCoy, Marjorie Newell. Letters, 1907-1910

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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: https://library.vassar.edu/rrhc
Date
1907-10-01T00:00:01Z-1910-05-31T23:59:59Z
Abstract
This collection contains 105 letters: 15 addressed to her sister Harriet Jean MacCoy (VC 1903), 4 to her father, and 86 to her family. The letters cover the fall of her freshman year through the end of her junior year. She makes some mention of exams and academics, but most of the letters are devoted to her social life, events on campus, and Vassar traditions. MacCoy recorded athletic activities including watching hockey [e.g. 17 November 1907] and basketball [e.g. 17 May 1908] and learning to swim [25 April 1909]. She was an active member in a variety of organizations, such as the Students' Association [e.g. 4 October 1908, 16 January 1910], VC Grand-Daughters [15 March 1908, 1 November 1908], the Dickens Club [2 May 1909], and the Christians' Association [26 September 1909]. She also participated in music and theater, serving as a choir sub [e.g. 8 March 1908], acting in Philalethean Society plays [e.g. 15 March 1908, 22 March 1908, 4 February 1909, 21 February 1909, 28 February 1909, circa 1 March 1910] and attending Hall Plays [e.g. 8 November 1908, 13 December 1908]. She describes her social life, including eating in other students' dorms, attending spreads, and interactions with boys [e.g. 15 November 1908, 29 November 1908]. MacCoy also relates her impressions of faculty, including breakfast with Miss McCaleb [24 November 1907], dinner with President Taylor and his wife [6 December 1907], and conversations with Dr. Thelberg. In terms of events on campus, MacCoy reports on concerts, religious services and sermons [e.g. Lyman Abbot in 16 May 1909, Henry Sloane Coffin in 26 September 1909], lectures, opening the Maids' Clubhouse [15 March 1908, 17 April 1908] and events there [20 November 1908, 14 March 1909], ushering a debate [22 March 1908], and the response to Halley's Comet [22 May 1910]. MacCoy also writes about politics on campus, such as a Republican convention for Vassar students [17 May 1908] and other election events [16 October 1908, 18 October 1908, 25 October 1908], her work in the VC College Settlement Club [24 May 1908], brief descriptions of suffrage activities (although MacCoy was not in favor), such as her impressions of Inez Milholland (VC 1909) [23 September 1908, 18 October 1908], hearing a lecture by Ethel Snowden [5 December 1909], and a play referencing suffragettes in the class of 1910 [22 May 1910], as well as mentions of student activity in the the International Ladies Garment Workers Strike [8 December 1909, 22 May 1910]. MacCoy also records a variety of Vassar traditions, including Senior Parlor opening [20 October 1907, 8 October 1908, 10 October 1908, 11 October 1908], Senior Birthday [19 January 1908], Ice Carnival [19 January 1908], Philalethean Society hall plays, a "stunt" party for the freshmen [9 February 1908], Valentine's Day [e.g. 16 February 1908], seranading [e.g. 24 May 1908], Field Day [10 May 1908, 9 May 1909], Tree Ceremonies [e.g. 10 May 1908. 9 May 1909 contains a very detailed description, including students wearing kimonos and singing Japanese music], the Vassarion [31 May 1908], excursions to Mohonk [25 October 1908, 17 October 1909], Sophomore Party [25 October 1908], Junior Party [1 November 1908], Halloween [1 November 1908], Christians' Association, end of year events [6 June 1909, Junior Party [31 October 1909], Washington's Birthday [circa 1 March 1910], Junior-Senior Boatride [22 May 1910]. MacCoy's letters contain derogatory references to several groups. For example, in one letter to her family they discuss if a student [Helen H. Mossman (VC 1911)] is Jewish [31 May 1908]. She also uses "jewed" as a verb throughout her correspondence [e.g. 30 May 1909]. In another instance, she dressed up as an Irish cook in a comedy about Vassar students in social work and suffrage activism [22 May 1910].,VC 1911
Details
Extent
1 item
Format
Type
Language
Identifier
vassar:letters-marjorie-newell-maccoy,: vassar:letters-marjorie-newell-maccoy
Rights
For more information about rights and reproduction, visit http://specialcollections.vassar.edu/policies/permissionto.html
English