Download Full Text (4.8 MB)





Physical Description

12 pages


Letter to mother about receiving good news that she is on honor list, attending lecture by Mary Proctor on astronomy and her father Richard Proctor, attending Sophomore Prom, researching Ireland for forensic, organ lessons, vespers, financial expenses, and clothing needs.


206 College Hall, Wellesley, Massachusetts, 19 November, 1911. Dear Mamma: Yesterday morning it rained, and as Esther had a nine o’clock quiz to study for, we didn't go to chapel. About quarter of nine we heard them cheering in center, so I started out to find out what it was all about. Just a little ways down the hall I met Miss Tufts. When she saw me, she began to smile, reached out her hand and said, “Congratulations!” Of course [page 2] I had no idea what she meant, so I said, “What's this?” Then she said, “Why I think you have the Honorable Mention.” I gasped out, “Thank you, Miss Tufts,” and went downstairs to see if I could find out anything about it. Dorothy Hart, one of the Seniors who is in choir, was standing by the elevator, and she called out, “Mary, did you know your name was read in Chapel, for honors?” So I thought it must be alright. Later on the list was posted. All the class “sharks” are on it, and a few others, which account for my being on there. I've been receiving congratulations and showers ever since. Esther was much elated, and went to her class proclaiming that her roommate was, on the honor list. [page 3] We were talking to Isabel Noyes last night, and she said Miss Tufts came into the office in the morning very much worried for fear she had congratulated the wrong girl. That I looked so surprised that she feared she had made a mistake. Isabel assured her that there was only one Mary Rosa in college, so it must be all right. Crofton seems to be showing up pretty well, as Alice Coseo, Helen Humphrey and Erminie Ayer also got on. We're very elated over that fact. Now what I've got to do is live up to my reputation. It scares me to death and makes me want to study all the time. The only thing I'm [page 4] really worried about is Music 8. That seems rather strange, doesn't it? I think I'll go and see Mr. Macdougall if I can, soon. I had some more excitement yesterday morning. Miss Whiting invited us to come down to the Observatory for Astronomy class, to hear an informal talk by Miss Proctor, an astronomer herself, and the daughter of a very eminent astronomer who died about thirty years ago. Mrs. Whitin (who gave the observatory- a very old lady) came here for the occasion and brought a lot of flowers from her greenhouse. They were standing around on tables, so that it looked very spiffy and not at all like a [page 5] recitation. Miss Proctor gave us a very interesting talk about her father and some experiences of her own. Afterwards I stayed to tell Miss Whiting that I had read one of his books, “The Expanse of Heaven,” and how much I enjoyed it. She was very much pleased, and introduced me to Miss Proctor, so I visited with her a minute. She happened to mention that she caught a cold a few days ago in the observatory at Washington, so I mentioned that I'd been there. It was all very nice. Yesterday afternoon and evening was the Sophomore Prom. It was a great success, and I'm just just as proud [page 6] of our class as I can be. The barn was beautifully decorated with lavender, wisteria, green branches, and violets; and of course everybody was all dressed up. I took Helen Martin, a girl who graduated at Lima in June, because Janet Davidson decided at the last minute that she couldn't go. I had dances with a lot of nice Freshman whom I think I'll remember. Last evening I went to the library and did some looking up on the subject of Ireland. It's fascinating to look at the current numbers of the magazines, but there is so much in them that I want to read, that it makes me sigh for more time. The [page 7] other day I spent a whole period trying to find out what the revolution in China is about. Ireland is going to be a fascinating subject, and it's something which I shall be glad to know. I've only a week to work at it, but I hope to accomplish a good deal to-morrow. Isn't it a coincidence that King George has just started for India, to see if he can't arouse some enthusiasm and loyalty? I can appreciate it lots more than I could if I hadn't been doing so much on that subject. What a week this has been! So many things to take up my attention and interest, that it's a wonder I'm [page 8] not worn out. Thursday I had my lesson on the chapel organ, which was most exciting. It's the latest kind of electric action, with about five hundred stops, and the three manuals, of course. Miss Stowe says we're not allowed to practice on it, but I'm going to put in a special plea. The one in Music Hall seems so very old and bad in comparison with it. Friday night I cut orchestra practice to attend Bible study class, so we could get organized and decide when to meet. The subject of the course is “The ideals of Israel's great leaders viewed as forces in our life today.” Friday night we discussed Abraham, particularly as a [page 9] man of faith. It was most interesting. I think that after this we're going to meet later in the evening, so orchestra won't be interfered with. To-night at vespers we had a good talk by Rev. Albert T. Fitch, President of the Andover Theological Seminary, on “What the Community expects of the College Graduate.” This morning a man from Brookline preached, who is very good, but I was behind a big hat, so I don't know all he said. I've been looking my cash account squarely in the face lately, trying to decide how to get along. I have eighty miles of N.Y.C. mileage. Please ask Papa if that will take me to Hartford. Esther owes me $3.50 so she can [page 10] can pay my fare back. I also have seventy-five miles of Interchangeable which might come in handy the other side of New York. I have a little over thirty dollars in the bank, and of course I can overdraw if necessary. Please don't send me any more money unless you think I will really need it, for I want to make this do if I can. But the Student Building Fair is next week, and I may want to buy some of my Christmas presents at that. I'm going to scratch around this week, and see if there isn't some one who is going home by New York. I asked Janet Davidson the other day how she was going, and she said [page 11] by New York, but she takes the Lackawanna from there about an hour after arriving. I don't know yet about Sarah Parker. Janet invited me to go home with her, and come to Wellsville the next day, but I didn't think you'd like that. We're having cold weather too, but I guess not as bad as there. I think that I can wait about the fur coat until I come home. Esther's going to have one right away, and I think I'll wait and see what hers is like before I decide. I think I'd like a brown one, although I don't know one kind of fur from another. The only thing I'm positive about, is that I want it long. Thanks for the muffler, although [page 12] I don't think I need it much. When I have on my long coat I don't seem to suffer any, except my hands. They do get so cold, and are chapped all the time. Of course I wear gloves. Don't bother to send those fur ones, as the time is so short, and besides, they aren't much better than ordinary. Fortunately I don't have such long walks in the morning as I did last year. I don't know yet what sewing I want done, except that Esther thinks I ought to have my pink satin fixed over new for Glee Club concert. Perhaps I do need another thick dress, but I always get up in such a hurry that is easier to put on the same thing I wore the day before, than to think up something else. Must stop now. With love, Mary.


Wellesley, Massachusetts


Academics;Arts, Theater and Music;Faculty, Staff and Administrators;Student Life


Proctor, Mary, 1862-1957; Proctor, Richard A. (Richard Anthony), 1837-1888; Astronomy; Musical instruments--Instruction and study; Clothing and dress; Ireland; College Hall; Crofton House; Music Hall

Letter from Mary Rosa, Wellesley, Massachusetts, to her mother, 1911 November 19



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.