Vassar College Digital Library

Washburn, Lucy M. | to Alvah, Feb. 1871:

VC Spec 1870-1871
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vassar:25233,,Box 75,VCL_Letters_Washburn_Lucy-M_1870-1871_001
February 23, 1871
1 item
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: VCLLettersWashburnLucyM18701871001001
Vassar. Feb. 23- 1871.
Daar friend Alvah.
Really I think there is danger that I shall never receive another letter from you, unless I answer your last without much more delay. So - Vassar to Ann Arbor, greeting.1 Thanks for all the descriptions, and the photo. I enclose a very poor picture of our college building - the best I could find at the time I bought it. It will save counting all the windows and doors for detailed description.
Yesterday our flag was at half mast on account of the death of the lady principal. She had been failing for some time, yet her death was a shock to the college. She


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died within an hour or so of tea time. The dining hall that evening was almost oppressive in its quiet - I would not have believed that its usual clatter could be hushed to such stillness.
She must have been a gifted woman. Even the girls who disliked her always showed admiration for her ability. They often tell me I do not know how different the college was under her active supervision. Since I came, she only appeared In chapel once, and at the table two or three times. I heard her address the girls perhaps three times, and could easily believe the stories they told of her remarkable gifts.
With this exception, we have jogged on quietly through the winter. I wonder what a dozen Ann Arbor boys would do transplanted to our


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atmosphere of such propriety and order. Often I would be glad enough to see a little mischief, if only it could be funny enough to be worth having. The tame pranks that are all our most irrepessible girls can execute, are hardly enough to elicit a smile.
So you are "twenty two years old - almost a quarter of a century I "cannot Imagine how aged you feel"—— You "believe lain twenty six. Am I not"——— Now isn't that cool? Indeed! Do you suppose I will condescend to a word in reply to such a speech?
As for the Ann Arbor ladies, I wish them success, and am inclined to add the wish that I were with them. I want to see them do finely, and so answer the manifold objections that have been made to admitting us to the


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universities. Only this afternoon, a very lovely girl was telling me how she had wished that she could enter there the moment the doors were open. Circumstances, however, kept her here. I am a little surprised at the proposition of ladles in your different departments - Law, one — Medical, twenty - Did I ever tell you that I believe my Mother would be glad to see me a physician? I am sorry myself, occasionally, that I have no taste In that direction - I am pleased to see women taking places in this field - surely an appropriate one - but if I were a man, the medical profession seems to me the last I should choose - certainly being a woman
does not


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make It more attractive, in the present state of public opinion.
Don't misunderstand me - I am a physician's daughter, and am proud of the noble profession - But I have no bent in that direction myself.
I am glad you are so well pleased with your studies, and hope you will meet with full success.
Thank you for counting me on your fingers, among your friends. Do you indeed remember the talk we had at the gate of my home, so long ago? 1 had supposed of course that was among the forgotten things to you - I remember I was very much in earnest - no more so than I should be now, if I began to speak on the same


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subject. Time has not made me feel a firm religious faith a less vital thing.
I wonder how or where I shall see you next summer - You speak of returning to Ann Arbor - where I certainly shall not be - Will you not be at home during the vacation? As for myself, my plans are too indefinite to be called plans at all. I presume I shall visit my friends a month or so after commencement, and then go west.
As for our old acquaintances, I hear from Miss Wright, of course. She is working quite hard in school, and I fear that her health is by no means perfect - Agnes is well, and writes me long letters - Ada Lake is, I suppose, at Titusville, as she and Orville were on the point of going there some weeks since. Your


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beloved old friend. Prof. Homer P. has given up preaching, and settled down permanently in charge of an academy at St. Johnsbury, Vt. Dont you envy the boys and girls on whom his glasses will beam?
Belle Arigill I see every day. She has been very cordial to me, and we have become good friends. I like her for herself, as well as for the kindness she showed me when I came here, a stranger.
I have just noticed that it is "about the first of March" that you speak of leaving Ann Arbor. So if you are elsewhere, I can only trust to the postmaster's forwarding this letter and, as the Irishman said - "If you don't get this, let me know." I shall be glad to hear from you, whenever you


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feel disposed to write. Remember me to Eddie Mark, if you meet him. Did you ever know the Hayman boys, Wayne and Frank, who used to live at Fredonia, and are now both at A.A. sophs I believe? Frank used to be a crony of my brother Charlie's, and I was quite pleased with his appearance last summer. I should like to know how he stands in college.
Sincerely your friend
Lucy M. Washburn.