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Babbott, Elizabeth (French). Scrapbook, 1910-1912
Babbott, Elizabeth (French)
August 12, 1910 - June 22, 1912
Online collection published by Vassar College Libraries, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Home and Family
Vassar College. Class of 1914
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Elizabeth (French) Babbott was an avid scrapbooker, and created thorough volumes for each of her four years at Vassar, from 1910 through 1914. She preserved voluminous correspondence with her family, particularly her mother, father, and maternal grandmother. Her letters are expressive and affectionate, narrating her life at Vassar in detail. Throughout her time at Vassar, French was involved in the Christian Association, Students’ Association, and Philalethean Society, saving materials related to her activities. French was a theater enthusiast and included programs from concerts and plays she attended, both on and off campus. French also documents her academics, stays in the infirmary, and experiences living in North Hall [Milo Jewett House]. She describes participating in Vassar traditions, including Founder’s Day, Commencement, Class Day, Daisy Chain, Mohonk trips, the Senior Parlor, Sophomore and Junior parties, and bonding with 1916’s sister classes. She enjoyed close relationships with administrators, particularly Isabel Nelson Tillinghast (Assistant to the Lady Principal and VC 1878), Lady Principal Kendrick, and President James M. Taylor and his family. French led an active social life, with close knit groups of friends at Vassar and at home. She recounts their exploits in correspondence with friends and family, as well as including dance cards, valentines, place cards, invitations, and newspaper coverage of debuts, engagements, and weddings. French also details her interactions with young men (attending football games and parties at Yale, Princeton, and Amherst, inviting male guests to Vassar, throwing coed “house parties” at her home in New Jersey, describing her and friends’ negotiating romantic relationships) and saved her correspondence with male friends (including her future husband). This volume covers French’s first year, including Vassar freshman traditions, forming her friend group, acting in the Philalethean Society’s Fourth Hall Play (“The Taming of the Shrew”), participating in the Students’ Association’s Self-Government Committee, feelings about attending Vassar, her relationship with her family, hosting male friends at her home in New Jersey, adjusting to dorm life and furnishing her room, and stress about her academics.