Journal Letters: Chronological Inventory
Journal Leters: Index to Journalists
Mount Holyoke College
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Mount Holyoke Seminary,
SOUTH HADLEY, MASS., June 8, 1878.DEAR FRIENDS:
Soon after the date of our last letter, our reviews and examinations took place, occupying from February 14th to the 27th. You will notice that this was in the middle of the winter term, - an arrangement which will remind some of you of the years when you were scholars here. Though all the studies finished since the opening of our school year were included, you will remember that many young ladies now are examined in studies of the course in September, so that no one bad such a number of reviews as sometimes happened formerly. The examinations occupied two days and a half, and during a part of the time there were classes in the lecture room, as well as in the hall. The young ladies not only acquitted themselves finely in their various studies, but were commended by Miss Ward for their remarkably faultless deportment.
During this busy fortnight some interesting circumstances occurred which we must not omit to name. It was about this time that the temperance revival, which has pervaded so many places, began to manifest itself in South Hadley. Two of the reformed men, who have labored so effectively elsewhere, held several meetings in town, and once they spoke in the Seminary. It was an extremely wet evening, yet numbers of the village people came in. The addresses made by the two speakers were intensely interesting. One of them in his boyhood was a "street Arab" in London. Both appear to be earnest Christians, and ascribe their rescue to the grace of God alone.
As our examinations bad occupied from Monday afternoon till Wednesday night, we made Thursday our recreation day. On Friday, March 1st, we commenced a new series of studies, and also the spring arrangement of domestic work. "Moving day," with its wonted comical and pathetic scenes, occurred the following Wednesday; after which we settled down to our studies, with the confidence that nothing worse than the spring vacation was likely to interrupt them till the approach of Anniversary.
Early in March we enjoyed a visit of a few days from Major Malan, whose name must be familiar to many of you. He is a grandson of the late Dr. Malan, of Geneva, Switzerland, but was born in England, the native country of his mother, and for years was an officer in the British army. He served in the Crimean war, in i855, and in India during the mutiny of i8S8. Afterward, be was successively in Canada and in China. Since becoming a Christian and leaving the army he has been doing the work of a missionary explorer in South Africa, and is now endeavoring to interest American Christians in starting a mission in the interior of the continent. On Sabbath evening, March 3d, he addressed the school in regard to the missions now existing in Southern Africa; and, after the meeting had closed, many of the young ladies came to the parlors to ask questions on the subject. Major Malan intended to visit the Seminary again in April, but an accident prevented his doing so.
If any of you should go to the Paris Exposition this summer, and should examine the American educational exhibit, you will perhaps notice that the Seminary-is represented there, though not very adequately, to be sure. We had not thought of sending anything, although an invitation had been given, until, early in March, there came an urgent request from the Commissioner, Mr. Phil-
brick. It was then decided to send the various articles which we furnished for the Centennial; one box was accordingly dispatched in a day or two, and two more boxes by a later steamer, containing, besides photographs, etc., a supply of our documents for distribution. So if it should appear, after a year or two, that several little Holyokes are starting up in various parts of Europe, you may conclude that the seed came from Paris!
On Monday, March 18th, we welcomed our good friends, Professor and Mrs. Churchill, with little Donald, now a fine, ruddy, curly-headed, bright-eyed boy of eight years. We have never forgotten those days in his babyhood, when that little life was so near expiring under our roof. His recovery then, and many pleasant remembrances of subsequent visits, have made Donnie seem in a certain sense ours. It was for him that the pretty high chair placed at our table for any little guest, was procured by the young ladies some years ago; and we are almost sorry that he has outgrown it now. But to return; the lectures on elocution occupied the week, and were found agreeable and instructive, as always. On Thursday evening Professor Churchill gave a public reading in the church, .the avails of which were divided between the Ladies' Benevolent Society and the Seminary - our family, however, having free tickets. Among the selections read were a scene from "Hamlet," a story from" Oldtown Folks," and "The Ancient Mariner." It is unnecessary to tell you bow much we enjoyed them.
We are sorry to say that our pastor, Dr. Herrick, has this spring resigned his charge. Various circumstances conspired to bring about this result; particularly the financial losses occasioned by fires and failures, and a want of harmony, out of which grew a church debt. We share in the anxiety of the people, in view of the state of things here.
Rev. Dr. Clark, of the American Board, our trustee, spent a Sabbath in town early in April, partly to visit his friend, Dr. Herrick, and in the evening he addressed a large congregation in the church in regard to missions. He also spoke to us the next morning.
Our term closed on the ninth of April, and we found it pleasant to have vacation at a time when we need not fear being blockaded by snowstorms on the way, and when the needful spring shopping could possibly be accomplished. Our return happened to be on a decidedly wet day, which proved the beginning of what may be called "a rainy season," lasting a fortnight. Doubtless it was a salutary change from the warm, bright weather of the previous weeks and months. These copious April rains saturated the soil as it had not been for several years, and the Connecticut Valley was never more beautiful than now. We have had strawberries for a fortnight or more, though not grown here, and already the fragrant water lilies are in bloom.
On Wednesday, May 1st, we had the privilege of welcoming beneath the old roof several members of the class of 1849, who assembled in honor of one of their number usually residing at the antipodes, and soon to return thither Mrs. Lucv (Stearns) Hartwell, of Foochow, China. Those present besides Mrs. Hartwell were Mrs. Amelia (Jones) Stearns, Mrs. Elizabeth (Olmsted) Warner, Mrs. Malvina (Stanton) Lang, Miss Mary Q. Brown, Miss Mary K. Atwood, and Mrs. Mary (Hartwell) Rogers, who graduated in i848. These ladies spent two days here, enjoying each other's society after long separation, revisiting places which were familiar, and exploring these which, like the Library and Williston Hall, were new. Theirs was the last senior class which had Miss Lyon's care; it was theirs to listen to her last address to the school, and to follow her to the grave.
We have had this spring a most valuable course of lectures on Art, given by W. H. Goodyear, Esq., of New York, from whom we had two lectures a year ago. They commenced on Tuesday evening, May 7th, with a lecture on Egyptian art, especially Egyptian architecture, which was finely illustrated, as were nearly all the lectures, by means of the stereopticon. The next afternoon the subject was Winckelmann, the eminent critic who first in modern times truly interpreted ancient art. On Thursday Mr. Goodyear lectured upon the Cesnola collection, showing the variety of types found among the early sculptors of Cyprus, and pointing out where Greek taste and Greek handiwork began to modify them. The Greeks seem to have caught their first ideas of statue-making from the Cypriotes, but to have quickly outdone their teachers. The next day the subject was Grecian temples, especially those of Athens, which were beautifully represented; and the fifth lecture was a continuation of the same. The three remaining lectures, given the following week, were on painting; the first taking up the early Italian painters, the second, Raphael, and the third Michael Angelo - which concluded the course. We were struck with the large amount of historical information that was incidentally given. Indeed, it was the Professor's great fondness for historical studies, which he has taught for some years, that led him to become interested in art. The philosophical way in which every subject was dealt with was another interesting feature. The lecturer was evidently unable to look at any fact without thinking of the how and why; and our attention was constantly called to the causes and consequences of whatever past ages have witnessed or done. Thus the lectures would be richly worth hearing, even if the hearer cared nothing at all about art.
We had a short visit from Miss Ellis, about the middle of May. She is taking a long vacation, being rather worn with her duties at Iowa College, and intends soon to go abroad for a year in charge of two or three young ladies, and perhaps accompanied by Miss Tolman, who visited us at the same time. On the evening of May 24th, our young ladies gave a musical entertainment - not public - under the direction of Miss Steele. It occupied only about an hour, but we could have listened much longer with delight to the classical music which they performed so well. This was followed, on the next Wednesday evening, by a concert given by Professor Steele, of Hartford, Miss Steele's brother, assisted by Wulf Fries, of the well known Mendelssohn Quintette Club, of Boston, and other gentlemen of note in the musical world. We need not add that this was a treat the like of which we have never had here before.
In our last journal we promised to tell you of Miss Clary and the work she has undertaken in the Transvaal. Her voyage from Cape Town to Durban, the port of Natal, was long, but ended safely, October 20th. After about ten days, spent partly at Durban, partly in a visit to the Zulu mission, which was greatly enjoyed, Miss Clary and Miss Ruggles commenced their journey to Pretoria. They went on October 29th to Pietermaritzburg, fifty-six miles, in a six-horse omnibus, with fresh horses seven times in that distance. After two days there, they set out again, traveling by "post-cart," with four or six horses, and reached Pretoria Tuesday, November 6th; weary, of course (for on at least one day they had gone eighty miles), but in good spirits, and not a little amused by their experiences. They were welcomed to the home of Rev. Mr. Bosman, the adopted son of Rev. Andrew Murray, of Wellington, through whose efforts the funds and site for the new boarding-school had been secured.
The next Monday, Miss Clary, assisted by Miss Ruggles, opened a day school in the basement of a church. It soon numbered eighty scholars, and
two more assistants were employed. During the winter - which, of course, was summer there - Miss Clary repeatedly wrote that she never enjoyed teaching more. We little expected the tidings which has lately reached us, of a serious illness which will prevent her resuming her work at present. Late in February she was prostrated by pneumonia, but had nearly recovered when, on March 19th, she had a hemorrhage of the lungs. This returned several times during the next five days; but when she last wrote, April 8th, she was slowly gaining, though still very weak. As she has been so remarkably well all her life before, we trust that she will recover from this illness in time, alarming as it has been.
June 10th. We are thankful to add that this morning we have received another letter from Miss Clary, dated April 22d, saying that she was then able to sit up nearly all day; which shows quite an increase of strength. You will all join your prayers with ours, that she may be restored to health, and permitted to resume her work.
Doubtless you will have received the long-delayed memorandum catalogue before you read this; and need not be told why it required so much time to prepare it. One of our trustees writes, "It is a marvel of work accomplished. What a blessed thing to have it so well done! And who could do it so well as Mrs. Pease?" It will interest you to know that we have dispatched rather more than a ton of these documents, through the mail, to the seventeen or eighteen hundred members and others; one of our men trundling a wheelbarrow load to the post office, morning and afternoon, for several days.
A week ago there came the unexpected tidings of the death of our dear Miss Callender, whom some of you knew as our physician from 1870 to I873. She had since been practising in Middlebury, Vermont, where her mother and sister reside. She bad gained a well-deserved reputation, having been the first lady admitted to the Vermont Medical Society. The immediate cause of her death was fever, though her health had not been good for some time past.
We have had some missionary friends here this spring, including, beside the Hartwells, Mr. and Mrs. Snow, of Micronesia, Mrs. Peet, formerly of China, whose daughter is here, and Miss Helen Van Doren, who graduated in 1870, and has since been teaching in Amoy. We are just about to give up to China another whom it is hard to spare, yet to whom we nevertheless give our heartiest God-speed - our present beloved physician, Miss Kelsey, of the class of 1868. She goes under the Presbyterian Board to Northern China, leaving this country probably in September, via San Francisco.
We have some tokens that the earnest prayers offered for the unconverted ones in our family this term have not been in vain. At least four of these have lately begun to hope in Christ. The voluntary gathering for prayer on Sabbath afternoons has been continued to this time.
Our limit for this letter is nearly reached, though we would like to write more. We expect the classes of '53 and '58 to hold reunions at Anniversary; and as Dr. Cuyler's physician has ordered him to California, we are to be favored with an address from Professor Field, of Amherst. But the papers will tell you of this in due time.
We should be very glad to hear by postal card or letter from each to whom this journal comes, however briefly; as we sometimes are in doubt whether our letters are received.
Yours in behalf of the Seminary,
MARY O. NUTTING.
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