- Benedict, Christine M.
- July 4, 1863
1863 Miss Christine Benedict Charlottsville Schohane Co July 8 Answered July 9 see within Charlottesville July 8th 1863 Mr. Matthew Vassar, Dear Sir, Pardon the liberty a stranger takes in writing to you. I feel that I am about to do a strange action that perhaps you will not approve, nevertheless I crave your time and attention, for a perusal of this letter also for a consideration of the contents. I have long thought of writing to you, have at different times commenced letters but as often...
Show more1863 Miss Christine Benedict Charlottsville Schohane Co July 8 Answered July 9 see within Charlottesville July 8th 1863 Mr. Matthew Vassar, Dear Sir, Pardon the liberty a stranger takes in writing to you. I feel that I am about to do a strange action that perhaps you will not approve, nevertheless I crave your time and attention, for a perusal of this letter also for a consideration of the contents. I have long thought of writing to you, have at different times commenced letters but as often as I have done so has my heart failed, and I have given up in despair. Now with God’s help I shall write also send this letter and anxiously and prayerfully wait for an answer to the same. It may perhaps be well before stating my thoughts. I give you a chart sketch of my life, this I feel more willing to do as I have to day read yours. The first three years of my life were spent in an adjoining (…)this state they were filled with a (…) that perhaps it would not be well to place in a matter of fact letter, there are I will pass them over. At the age of three I was taken what I considered a great distance for my parent (or those that I considered as uncle, and the only ones I ever knew immigrated to the prairie lands of Iowa. For two years we lived there happily, then Consumption breathed upon one gentle mother, and she died, brothers and sisters followed, until of a large family only four remained, two of them were married and I only was left at home. Father was a very poor illiterate man, he was soon (…) into a marriage with an unprincipled widow, then commenced my troubles, for several years I face everything but death from her and her children. At the age of nine, one cold new years morning I left home forever. My sister found and (…) me to return to her home. I arrived in time to receive her farewell wishes. Brother then took me home with him. I had nearly imbibed a desire for knowledge. Brotherwas illiterate he cared for money, but not for learning and as I was not his own sister he did not sympathize with me. he had had (…). At the age of eleven, with a small bundle all my earthly possessions. I started for my birth place. None of my friends recognized me, some were to proud, and some too poor. At length one one of the later out of pity took me in. I went to school for two months the first time in my life but I was the best reader in school. I learned that myself with Mothers early help. I would also write. I learned that by taking a spelling book and making the letters on a flat stone. I then went among strangers and commenced trying to get an education, with Gods help I have partially succeeded. Days I have worked for food and nights for knowledge. Sometimes I have overtaxed myself and on recovering from a bout of sickness to find myself involved in debt, have felt like doing as did God (…) advise him, “Curse God and die.” For the past four years, I have been teaching and attending school. For the last two I have been to the N. Y. Conference Learning. Atpresent I am teaching one mile and a half from the (…) I take two studies and go down twice every day to recite. I have given you this brief (…) to show you that I was no drone. In education I must and will have I am not content to take up with the superficial knowledge obtained at the Seminaries, and a partial knowledge would not do for me, for I must get my living by my education. I have long been writing for an opening where I could get an education and also a name. Several time since, a friend sent me the history of a female college in Poughkeepsie saying it was just the place for me, so it is, but I do not (…) the very open for me to go there I am in debt here, and by the time school opens I will not, if I do my best be more than prepared to go with no wrong or but little ahead. I worked to make some arrangements for going, and knowing you was the founder thought you would be the one to apply to. My preparation is thiswill you make arrangements at the College for me to enter at the commencement, and either work my way through or take a course of study and pay afterward, or will you advance me the money and let me pay you after I have completed my education. You will think this a strange request coming as it does from a stranger, but it is the only thing I can do. I tis my last hope. Mr Vassar if you will do this God will bless you for it, for he answers prayers and I shall pray for you. If you will do this, you will never have cause to repent for I will make myself a name that (…) be known for and never. I can do it, for, “Perseveratia Omnia Vincit.” I speak this early because it is very necessary that my arrangements should be completed by fall, I do not ask you to do this merely on my story, but if you will answer this letter I will then satisfy you as to myself, by placing you in correspondence with other or by bringing certificates for those whoseyou would not doubt. Please answer this at your earliest possible convenience,f or if I can come I wish to prepare. Perhaps we could make arrangements that would be satisfactory both to you and to myself. I shall wait very anxiously for an answer. Direct to Charlottesville (…) Co. Hoping you will pardon this liberty and write soon. I am, Respectfully Christine M Benedict Matthew Vassar Esq