Vassar College Digital Library
Edited Text
Vassar College
Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
September ZZd, 1869.
Dear Mary,
Your welcome letter was received this morninj, and having
nothing to do today as recitations are suspended, in order to complete
Classification, and to dispose of four hundred young ladies is not a
very easy task. Do not think that I am writing merely because I have
nothing else to do, because such is not the case, as, if there are no
lessons, there is always boating, walking, or something of the same
sort. I could not do anything else than excuse you from writing sooner
if in your staid neighborhood you had an engagement for every evening
in the week. Wonderful indeed.* I hope the "three little Ashbridges"
enjoyed themselves at Annie Johnson's. Tea parties are becoming
fashionable are they npt? Where were all the gentlemen the evening
that the Club met. Do you know where Sam Garrigues was ? I am quite
curious to know, if you find out will you tell me, but please do not say
that I asked. You know that eve. at our house he professed always to
say what he meant; and I don't altogether think he does. He rode up
from the city with me the Saturday before I left home. What can be
the matter with Humphries and Garrigues. I should like very much to
meet your friend Miss Wain; and hope that I may some other time, as
it is impossible now. You ask me to tell you all about College; in the
first place I like it very much indeed. They set a very good table, we
Sept. 22, 1869 - 2
always have three courses for dinner, and ice-cream twice a
week for desert. There is always, and plenty of, good bread and
butter. For tea we generally have sliced peaches, stewed pairs or
apples or something of the same sort, bread, white fc brown, butter
and cake and tea. Our ice cream is made by steam, and with it we
always have cake,sometimes we have grapes, apples or pairs.
There is a parlor for every five girls, out of which opens three
bedrooms, one single, two double. Our parlor mates are very pleasant
indeed. We are allowed to ornament our parlors fc bedrooms as we
please. In our parlor Miss Fitch has hung up three small Chromes and
two other pictures, and two brackets on which she has put small vases
for flowers. She and one of the other girls have each a rocking-chair.
We have sent to Po'keepsie for a grand black table cover, and I have
asked Mamma to send me a Chromo or two, and I think by the time we
get fixed will be quite cosy and home like. Some of the girls have fixed
up their rooms beautifully; one even brought a little clock. We have to
rise at 6 o'clock, breakfast is at 6.45. Then we have prayers in the
Chapel, then Silent Time which lasts 20 minutes, when every girl is
required to be entirely alone. Taking her Bible with her if all the bed-
rooms, and parlor Is occupied, where she belongs. It is given as a time
for reading, mediation and prayer. Dinner is at one, supper at six, then
prayers and silent time again; and at the last tap of the bell at ten
Sept. 22, 1869 - 3
o'clock P.M. all lights must be put out, and if you are not quite
ready you must finish in the dark, which I have had to do once.
I think we have more liberties here than if we were in any boarding
school, and I would much rather be here than in any boarding school
I have ever heard of. I bought this paper this morning so that you might
have some idea of how the College looks, the Observatory, not shown
in the picture, stands on the left and in the rear of the College; and
the Riding, Music and Calisthenic Rooms, all in one building, in a
corresponding position on the right. There are thirty two pianos here,
a bowling alley, and If you want to you can hire a horse and phaeton and
drive over the grounds, if you take a teacher you can go on the road.
The mail has Jist been distributed and there was nothing for me. Isn't
it provoking when you get none ? Another good thing about Vassar is
that you can write as many letters as you please and to whom you
please without being questioned. X shall certainly look for some tomorrow.
This is the (17) seventeenth I have writtea from here and only received
seven, don't you think X deserved some?
Well X must close and hoping to hear from you soon
X remain,
Your loving friend
(From Jeanette Black, sp. 1869-70, to Mary P. Ashbridge, West Haver-
ford, Pennsylvania,