South Hadley, Mass.
April 28th, 1869.
Miss Sophia Smith.
My dear Friend:
The spring weather is coming fast. The winter has been a hard one. We are apt to think all winters are hard. Such depends on our own feelings, or perhaps I should say our hearts. I have this month buried a very dear brother. His health has been poor for some years. He died in hope of better and more enduring things beyond. Death makes many vacant places in all our homes.
It is my purpose to write Dea. Hubbard and see him soon about the change of the location of the College. There is one argument which I desire to urge more upon your attention. You remember that the College is to differ from Mt. Holyoke Seminary in two prominent particulars. It should not put the pupils into one large building as they do there. Mrs. Greene says very emphatically that the going up and down stairs is very injurious to the health of the Mt. Holyoke pupils. Instead of one large building there should be several small ones, or cottages, each cottage to accommodate 30 or 40 Pupils. This will save much of the up & down stairs which is so ruinous to the health of young women.
Another element to be prominent in the College should be the bringing of the pupils more into the social life of the town. Let as many of them as choose room & board in the homes of the people of the town. Thus the young ladies will not in their education lose their sympathy with real, practical life. They will be free from the affected, unsocial, visionary notions which fill the minds of some who graduate at our girls' schools.
I have, as I know you have, a high appreciation of what Mt. Holyoke Seminary has done. You have told me that you want the religious training in your College to be in all respects equal to what it is in this Seminary. You want the Bible studied, you say, every day in the College. I am fully persuaded that the object of your College can be realized better in Northampton than in any other place in this region. If it were located in Amherst it might realize its idea, but Northampton would be better. I hope you will think of this, for it is very important. Mrs. Greene is well and sends much love to yourself and all friends.
Truly your friend,