The Danton Burroughs
A BURROUGHS FAMILY TRIBUTE
LETTERS TO HOME FROM YALE
1886 - March 1887
George T. Burroughs, Jr.
Church and Chapel Streets
New Haven Jan. 16 1886
Harry is not at home & I don't know whether
he has any letter from you or father unanswered or not; I have none. This
has been a very busy week for me. I don't exaggerate when I say that from
Monday morning to Sat. Night I did not have a minute to myself.
Harry is not quite so busy as he is not training
though I hope he will try for the Freshman crew as soon as he gets rid
of his cold. We have both had rather bad colds since we got back. I am
feeling quite well otherwise but Harry's seems to affect him more. I got
him into my heavy underclothes yesterday and as he is beginning to take
more care of himself I hope he will soon be all right. If he does not get
better he will go & see a physician. Last Friday was a memorable day.
It rained in torrents nearly all day and the snow prevented the rain from
running off so we had to wade about ankle deep. We were lucky to have our
rubber boots for rubbers were no protection. Harry only went out to meals
I wish you would tell me what to take for a cold.
I ought to know but could think of nothing. We forgot to bring down any
pills so I bought a dozen 2 gr. pills & the druggist told me 10 grs
was a dose if I wanted to break up a cold. Wasn't that too much? I only
took 6 grs. & it seemed to help me. Now that I have experimented on
myself I am going to give Harry some tonight.
We will probably have to work (study) pretty
hard until Easter, when we drop two of our studies - one of them
is replaced by botany & the other by lectures on Physical Geography
which require no preparation. We had to get a German Dictionary when we
came back & are now reading German.
With love to you all
P.S. Is Harry Dick still at the house? If so tell he our address is
not changed. Geo
Circus Parade in New Haven
POSTMARKS: New Haven ~ Oct 19 ~ 3 30 PM
~ 1886 / Chicago Oct 20 ~ 7 AM & 9 AM
To Mrs. Geo T. Burroughs ~ (Captain Fink?) 646 Washington Boul
LETTERHEAD: Yale College, New Haven, Connecticut
Sunday Oct. 17 1886
Your letter of the 18th received, also father's
of the 14th with draft for #135 enclosed. It seems almost silly to me to
thank him for when I think what father has always done for us and what
he is doing now I realize how inadequate words are to express the sense
of obligation which we feel and the thanks due him. But we can show by
our actions that we appreciate his as well as your own kindness, and my
ambition shall be to be a man to whom you can
* * * * side 2 of page 1 missing * * * *
You make me smile when you talk about danger in a boat race, why
the fellows go out in the harbor a half mile or more and even upset out
there with nothing to hold them up but a little shell yet nobody thinks
they are in danger except from being laughed at.
It was a great disappointment to all of us to
lose that race for it would have been a big feather in our caps to be able
to say that our class had beaten the Academics and the worst part of it
is the opportunity is gone never to return. We had a fine lecture
yesterday from Dr. Siever who will deliver lectures on hygiene to
us during the entire course, in it he touched especially upon the college
sports and I wish I . I had a copy of the lecture to send you that you
might see his idea of the importance of these athletic sports and the good
derived from them. To one of my active temperament it would be impossible
to go through college if I was prohibited from taking part in such sports
as I was physically able to, Now if I was a little braver you might hear
of me doing wonders on the "crew" or the "eleven," base ball I would
forego out of regards to father's rather strong opinions on that point.
It is pleasant to know that we are remembered and inquired after by our
friends. Please give our regards or love as the case may require to all
I was going to write father on his birthday &
send our love and good wishes for another year but that being the day of
the boat race I had no time and was in such a hurry to write and get the
letter mailed before it rained that I guess I didn't say much of anything.
I didn't like to say anything about the plainness of our rooms but they
are furnished just about like the rooms you had at Mr. Rudbrig's. I think
the price comes in the s
ize of the rooms fact that we
two good sized rooms. My bed is first rate but Harry's is not
very comfortable. We chose beds before we had slept in them so it was by
chance that I got the best one. There is a little cupboard just at our
bedroom door in which the extra blankets & comfortables are kept and
the day we got there Miss F. told us to help ourselves if we did not have
enough bed clothes, so you see we are all right on that score.
I don't much wonder at your opinion of the "Courant."
I told Harry not to send that one home but to wait until a more creditable
one came out but he just wanted you to look at it. I guess without reading
Mr. Andress had a rather hard time of it the
day he left his money at home, but it was not as bad as if the ladies had
been other than members of his own family. Harry's cotank is no
worse but it makes him more susceptible to cold but he has felt no worse
effect from sudden changes than a cold which lasted about a day.
I don't know whether my face looks less "drawn
& haggard" than it did, you can judge for yourself Christmas. I am
glad you have had the gas & sewer pipes attended to.
We went out to the "Yale Field" yesterday to
see a game of foot ball between Yale & the Mass Institute of Technology.
Yale came out ahead with a score of 96 to 0.
We bought a dictionary about a week ago. A Woserster's
unabridge with sheet engraving and lettered on the edges for $8.10 a bargain
I think. It was new.
When I went to church this morning we called for Hubert and learned
that his father was here and that they had gone out walking. We have just
been over to call upon Mr. Butler. He was in N.Y. on business and came
up to New Haven last night to see Hubert. He leaves for Boston this evening.
We went from there over to see Carl who has been to N.Y. for the past few
days to meet his folks who just returned from Europe. His roommate Stein
of Chicago is very pleasant & we had an agreeable call.
Harry Hamlin the elder of the two boys down here,
and who plays on the University foot ball team broke his leg Friday while
practicing. this is the most serious accident that has happened in the
game, rough as it assuredly is, in a good many years. Hubert has not been
around to see us but once since school opened. He is so interested in it
he can talk of nothing else. Well guess Uncle Sam wont carry my letter
for two cents if I dont stop pretty soon, so I will stop.
With much love to all
POSTMARKS: New Haven, Conn ~ Oct 25, 1886 ~ 10 AM
TO: Mrs. Geo T. Burroughs ~ 646 Washington Boul ~ Chicago, Ill
LETTERHEAD: Yale College, New Haven, Connecticut
Sunday Oct. 24, 1886
Your letter of the 20th just received. You need
not fee at all bad about our rooms for as we get used to them they seem
quite homelike to us. Perhaps we expected to much when we came down here.
I don't think I should want to move Christmas except to get nearer the
campus which is the centre of college life. We took dinner today as well
as lunch Thursday at the club house of one of the secret societies here,
and they asked us to go out driving this afternoon, but as we are unable
at present to return such favors we declined. I think they will ask us
to join and they have invited us there to give their members an opportunity
of getting acquainted with us. It is an honor which you can hardly appreciate
to be asked to join a society as only 4 or 5 on an average are taken from
each class. Please keep this in the family for it is not customary
to talk much of these things.
Last Thursday I read a composition before the class,
a thing which to some people doesn't mean much but to me it is everything.
You can hardly imagine what an internal conflict has been going on in me
for the last month, at first I seriously contemplated leaving college then
found that I could avoid reading by absenting myself from the recitation
and handing my composition in next day. I had to fight this temptation
harder than anything else for it seemed so easy a way of getting out of
the whole business. YOu may imagine I feel greatly elated, and look back
at myself with pity as well as amusement.
Hazing was pretty extensive during the first
week or two and lately I have heard nothing of it though imagine it is
the lull which precedes the storm. The Monday night we got here two Juniors
came around to get us out but as Hubert was here and he being a Junior
in the law school and we refused to go they did not insist. We would have
had lots of company for nearly all the freshmen who had arrived were taken
to our place that night and put through.
I am sorry to hear of the trouble between Dr.
& Mrs. Burt although it is not as much of a surprise as it might be.
I wish Jesse had more spirit, he might do something. You need not worry
about our selecting the wrong girls for wives just at present for this
is not a town of fair women. There are only two pretty women here and they
are in their twenties.
I enclose a clipping from the "Yale News" which
may be of interest to you. The nish described in that article Mrs.
Head sent you was the Academic nish, ours took place three weeks
previous. We have been down to see about getting overcoats and find that
we can get a good one for $40, ask father what he thinks of it.
I will stop now as it is getting dark, but may write
more after supper.
We have just come from supper and I feel like writing a little more.
Carl & his room mate Mr. Stein have been here to call & Sam dropped
in for a few minutes just before supper. His visits are always sport. I
wrote to Sam Dickinson some time ago and last week I got a very nice letter
Carl said he got a letter from Belle a day or
two ago in answer to one he wrote a year ago. She writes as though no time
had elapsed since his letter was received and makes no excuse for her long
We did not go to church this morning because
in playing tennis Sat. afternoon I strained a muscle in the calf of my
leg & then had to walk home, distance of about three miles, and it
was pretty stiff & sore this morning. Tell Frank that while I would
like to have him write if he wants to, not to trouble himself to if it
is a bore for I know how hard it is for a boy to write a letter.
Please send on my "Pot Pourri" you will find
it in the lower drawer of my bureau.
With love to all
New Haven Jan 6. 1887
Dear Mother -
We are here at last & this is the first minute
I have been able to sit down quietly to write you. It is now 5.00 oclock
We did not reach New Haven until 4.30 this morning,
although we were due at 10.00 last night. The delay was caused by several
things. In the first place we lost time steadily to Albany when we arrived
2 hrs. late, thereby missing the train that our car was to be attached
to. They then side-tracked us and we stayed there nearly 3 1/2 hrs. At
Springfield there was a delay of another hour. At Albany I had a
very nice supper at the Delavan House. Harry was not feeling well
& ate nothing.
I have found a room for $4.00 that I guess would
do us, but I don't know what we are going to do when I spoke to Mrs. F
about leaving she "took on" in a fearful manner, said they had bills coming
in that they could not pay, that they had their coal all in, that the rooms
had been thoroughly cleaned for us & that it would leave them in a
very bad fix. Finally she absolutely refused to let us go. I think it will
end in them asking us to stay at reduced rates. I shall have a talk with
Miss F & try to get something sensible out of her. Tell father I got
a pair of cork soled shoes ready made for $6.50. Everything in the way
of clothes is cheaper here I guess.
Recitations go on already as smothe as ever.
Harry is not home & I don't know whether he wrote you this morning
or not. I he did you will be one letter ahead.
With much love to all
Please dont show this letter to any but our immediate family. I did
not think when I wrote it or should have postponed certain parts connected
with myself to another time. Geo
New Haven Jan 9 1887
Yours of the 5th just received. We understood
why you left us at the train and that it was the only thing you could do,
but while it was unpleasant it only made a difference of five or ten minutes
which compared with the six months we are to be away is very little. The
very thought of your being taken away from us gave me such pain that I
don't know how I could endure the reality, which I sincerely hope, and
believe, we shall not be called upon to do for many years. I hope in a
few years your greatest cares will be over and that we can relieve you
of many of your burdens so that you can get a long rest form the never
ceasing duties of the last few years. (I speak of those years that I know
Harry will probably be a Civil Engineer and will
in all probability be away from home a good deal even if he does not make
his home in some other part of the country. When I get through my
course here my wish is to get into business at home and that you &
mother may always have me to depend on. For independent as one may be of
pecuniary aid, there will never be a time when a younger person may not
serve an older, especially a son his parents.
When I came down here I had hopes that I might
distinguish myself in my studies (in some one) but I find that impossible
and when I look at those of my classmates who do the best I feel thankful
that I am not like them for with a few exceptions the "digs" are a poor,
sickly looking lot. I hope however that I will know as much as nay of them
at the end, for I will learn from them in recitations & when I get
hold of a thing once I remember it. I tell you this for I want you to understand
that even if I don't make a mark I am working and not wasting my time.
The University crew went to work yesterday Capt.
Rogers '87 inquired for me & sent word for me to be there Thursday
which you may be sure I will do. They run by twos for about five miles
through the streets of New Haven in their rowing suits. I will tell you
more fully in regard to the work they do after I learn myself.
We (that is the six of us who board at Mrs. Hall's)
went coasting Friday night and after several upsets, owing to lack of skill
in steering on our parts, we broke the "bob" a large double one consisting
of two sleds connected by a board, the fore sled turns for the purpose
of steering. Well we had it fixed and tried it again last night with the
same result. We are now going to have a good strong one made if it does
not cost too much that will give us at least one full evening's sport.
The hill is not over two blocks from us, so we can go & come in a short
Harry is over at Hall's with Dextra, he usually
spends his Sunday with him. I took them both to Sunday School to day. We
have finally decided to stay here. Miss Farnsworth reducing the price to
six dollars per week. I have agreed to stay at that price until we can
get somebody to take the rooms in which case we will still further reduce
expenses. Legally they could not compel us to stay, but by coming back
after the holidays without saying anything was virtually agreeing to keep
the rooms another term.
I had a long talk with Miss F yesterday &
she told me that we could not leave. I then told her that I did not consider
that we were under the least obligations to stay, as we had paid a good
price for everything we had received, that we could no longer pay so much
for our rooms, and in answer to her asking how much we would pay I told
her what we could get a room for that is $4.00 and advised her to "split
the difference" if she wanted us to stay which she finally agreed to. All
through the talk which at times was rather warm she showed herself a perfect
lady & said that had they not recently had this heavy expense (in regard
to her sister) they would not hold us at all.
With much love to all at
home I am your affectionate son
Harry is writing home & I will enclose this
in his letter.
By the time I have paid our board & room rent
all this month's funds & about $14 of my own money will have been used
& not a subscription paid with it. So there is $14 to start with. Then
knowing we were to be short this month we have delayed getting several
things we nee until next mo.
As I figure it now we will need:
Board & room rent
Due to me
Laundry & wash Jan & Feb $10.00
Then there are other expenses coming up all the time that cannot be
foreseen so I think $125.00 will e about right, anything which remains
will go into the next month. Our laundry bill & wash is unusually
high this mo. because there will have been really 5 weeks wash to pay for
as we brought all our soiled collars & cuffs & several other things
from home. Last week notwithstanding the fact that I washed 3 or 4 handkerchiefs
myself every day we had 19 in the wash.
I am glad you are getting on so well with your sheds
& think the other members of the firm must be equally glad that they
took your advice in regard to the new sheds for I should judge from the
papers that there will be more trouble with cattle in & about Chicago
I am so sorry mother has had another sick-headache
and am dissapointed too for I thought at one time that she was cured.
I did not intend to write much when I began but
now may as well fill up the paper as not.
I think I must be learning to keep accounts for
I ran Jan & Feb together & handled about $411.00 and can account
for all but $.05 cents of it. This includes the time we were at home &
I think it must have been a car fare that I failed to register.
I was invited to a "drive whist" party for to morrow
night but declined. Drive whist is played here now as Progressive Euchre
was two years ago. Is it played in Chicago much.
With love to all
P.S. Although I dont expect to see Ed Cameron I am glad you told us
about Harry & him for we might run across him sometime.
New Haven Conn
Jan 30. 1887
Your letter of "Thursday Morning" to Henry rec'd.
Father's letter of last Sunday was received. Harry should have & probably
did acknowledge the receipt of it when he wrote Wed. When I write on Sunday
I only mention the letters rec'd between We. & Sunday & expect
Harry to take care of the rest. This he did not do in the case of your
long double letter of the 13th inst. which I distinctly remember having
received on Monday morning.
In regard to those papers directed to the "Aeolus
Bicycle Club" perhaps you had better forward to us such as contain marked
Ed is very welcome to the calendar.
I have not written about rowing this time for fear
you would get the opinion as you seemed to last time that I was devoting
too much time to it. I give from 4-6 o'clock every day but Sat. & on
Sat from 3-6 to it, and as this serves me for recreation as well as for
exercise I think it is time well employed. My health has never been better
than since I commenced to train, my cold has left me (without the use
of medicine), and I am apparently cured of dyspepsia, or indigestion.
So already I feel paid for anything I may have to do or anything I may
have to get up between now & June, or rather July. I am still training
with the "University" and have the satisfaction of knowing that I am training
as hard as anyone in college and much harder than most.
I also feel not a little elated that I am able to
keep up with men who are now training for the fourth year. We run from
three to five or six miles daily, besides about an hour's work in the gym.
I assure you I will not let my pride prevent my stopping at any time I
feel that I am doing too much. Two sure symptoms of over-training are loss
of appetite and insomnia, both of which I am only troubled with in a negative
way. My appetite would dI think surprise you & I sleep about
ten hours out of the twenty four.
I have only noticed one article in any of the papers in regard to the new
college to be founded near Boston. In that the writer seemed to think the
money would have done more good if given to an established institution.
I am inclined to agree with that, for we certainly have colleges enough
now & more than necessary and until the time comes when these are insufficient
to educate all who wish to attend them I think the cause of education,
which Mr. Clark seems so anxious to advance, would be more mutually benefited
by improving some one or two of the many existing colleges than by establishing
a new one. As to its ever being a rival to Howard I do not think there
is the least danger, it takes more money to acquire the reputation which
Harvard has. People may make as much sport as they please of the athletics
of a college, but I think they do more to build up a college than any other
thing & I firmly believe the President & faculty of Yale think
the same. I sincerely wish someone would give us about $50,000 for a new
gymnasium. I have not had time since we got back to go into the reading
room but will try & read the story you spoke of in the Feb. Harper.
We would like to know if father thinks he will be able next year to let
us furnish our room and also to pay our share, about a twelfth of the cost
of furnishing a parlour. We want to have a house of our own next year and
aside form the first cost of furnishing rooms we can probably live cheaper
than we do now, certainly as cheap. Whenever we get through with our things
we can sell them without any trouble. In any case we would hardly want
to live another year in rooms no better furnished than these are, &
I have found out that in order to have nice rooms you have to furnish them
yourselves even while paying for furnished rooms.
We figure on a house costing us $800 and the running
expenses about $500 which divided among a dozen of us will be cheap for
us. The only thing then is the first expense of furnishing our rooms which
each one can do as cheaply or as elegantly as he pleases. I hope father
will be able to do this as I have strongly advocated moving to a new house
next year and before anything is decided I want to hear from you . There
is no great hurry.
I want to ask you, mother, what it ought to cost
us to furnish a room, that is a bed room and sitting room combined for
in case we make the above proposed change we will only need one room. And
also the cost of fitting up a parlor with one large front window which
would require hangings of some kind, you understand we would require
plenty of sitting room.
We have been having rain all the time since Wed.
so by this time it doesn't look natural to look and not see the rain falling.
I saw the account of the congressman using so many
it hardly seems possible. That other article from the Detroit Free Press
had some good things in it & should have been printed in good English
I think. I ran across "Norhoff's Politics for Young Americans" in the library
yesterday, and remembering that you had often urged me to read it, took
it out and shall try to get time to read it through. I will also urge Harry
to read it.
With love to all I am your
P.S. When I wrote father last Wed. I told him that I had declined an
invitation to a drive whist party. I afterward went, to accommodate
Will Hall and had a very good time. I called on some very pleasant young
ladies with Will both Friday and Sat evenings and at both places received
a cordial invitation to repeat the call which I shall certainly do as they
are among the nicest people in this part of town. Geo
New Haven Conn
Feb 6 1887
Dear Father -
Your letter of the 30th ult. to me with mother's
inclosed to Harry and yours of the 1st inst. with Ed's to Harry both received.
The former I believe Harry has answered assuring you that a few days delay
in sending the draft would make no difference. I should have mentioned
above the receipt of draft in the letter better.
Your suggestion in regard to a Dynamic (or Mechanical)
Engineering course could not have come at a more opportune time, for since
deciding not to take the course in chemistry I have been trying to decide
which of the remaining ones were best suited to my taste & capacity.
I immediately decided that the Dynamic would suit me best, but as there
is a great deal of very hard mathematics in it, and as I am very backward
in the same I thought it would be better to think twice before taking upon
my self a course that I was not equal to. Now since receiving your letter
I look at it in another way. If I am not able to grasp such subjects as
we have in mathematics, a certain portion of my brain must be only partially
developed, and by the pursuit of those studies I might secure the needed
development. And seriously, despite its being a very difficult course,
I think I should enjoy it on account of my natural liking for machinery
of any kind.
Has Harry told you about his composition? We
had to write on the "Conquest of Normandy" and after studying it a while
he spent the whole of last Sunday in writing a very elaborate article of
ten pages and when he finished it (you can almost guess what it was) he
found that he had written on the wrong subject entirely, about some battles
between the English & French two hundred years later. He will have
to write another and you may be sure he will know something about the aforesaid
Conquest of Normandy. I came near making the same mistake above as a good
many of the boys did, i.e. they wrote on the Norman Conquest which occurred
about two hundred years before in stead of two hundred after as Harry's
I am writing on a very interesting subject
and will send it home when through with it. The subject is "The story of
Caspar Hussar" if you are not familiar with the story I think it would
pay you to look it up, you could find it without doubt in the Encyclopedia.
It is a very strange story and I think it would interest the boys.
We rowed on the harbor last Monday and at least
our crew have been out nearly every day during the week. We can't all row
in our boat so the first eight or rather the eight best men go out in the
eight oared barge and when there is the right number left over to fill
another boat I get a chance to go. Yesterday the crew got very nearly frozen
up outside, they had to break their way through the ice to get in, and
they said if they had been fifteen minutes later they could not have done
it. Friday it began to rain while we were out and as it was quite cold
it froze as it fell so our clothes were frozen as stiff as boards. My cup
only covers the back of my head and I had a solid cake of ice frozen on
my hair in front. But we all enjoy it as we have on old clothes that cannot
be injured. Words cannot describe the fearful weather this country can
produce. It rains all the time and I think the thermometer must vary about
20 degrees each day. I went out last night and found the young ladies
making candy & I got the receipt which I will enclose. It is to be
pulled and is very hard. The reason I thought you would like it was that
it lasts in one's mouth. Mother will see that it is not very different
from what we have made at home, the principal difference being in flavoring
and putting in butter at the last.
With much love to all
New Haven Feb. 13. 1887
Yours of the ___ ___ not received. However I will
answer it just the same. I hope you are getting along at school as well
as you were when we were home. How much longer will it take you to prepare
for Sheff? If you can prepare in two years more, and I think you will be
able to, you will enter young enough. I have never regretted in the least
that I did not enter younger, though before I came down I thought it was
a great misfortune.
How old will you be in the fall of '89? I think
you will be 18. Is that right? If you entered then you and Stuart would
be together in case he comes here, which it seems at present as though
he would do.
Have you ever done anything about joining the Y.M.C.A.
gymnasium, if not you ought to try to get regular exercise in some way,
it will be of much advantage to you when you come to college. Boys that
have been to preparatory schools, where they have had a gymnasium to work
in have an advantage in athletics over those who have never done any regular
work. And if a boy don't go into some kind of athletic sports he
is pretty sure to "go to the devil" in a rapid manner. There is only one
exception to this, the "dig" who spends all his spare time studying probably
will go through college with his morals all right;
but of the two
evils I should chose the former, that is have a good time, thereby keeping
my digestive organs all right & I'll take that back, they
are both to be avoided for one is as much of an excess as the other.
I'll lay off a while now & go to Sunday School
like a good boy.
Will enclose a letter to the folks in this.
With love I am as ever Geo.
Sunday Feb 13??????????????
Your letter of the 9th inst rec'd also mother's
with Ed's to Harry enclosed which has probably acknowledged. Anns
Louisa is about right about my never having proper instruction in mathematics.
Stuart has been very backward about answering my
letters, in fact I think he has only written me once since we have been
here. I will write again & see what is the matter if I can.
In regard to the house that I spoke about getting
& the consequent furnishings required I think our Alumni will furnish
the parlor for us as nicely as we want. That will leave each only his own
room to fit up as he pleases. Several of the alumni have promised to give
something, our promised $25.
may think I said too much to Frank about athletics, but if you could see
the difference between the men here who go into some branch of athletics
it makes no difference what, either rowing, foot ball, base ball, track
athletics, boxing fencing, wrestling or if a man is not physically able
to go into any one of these, plain gymnasium work and those who do not
you would see what I mean.
Frank will have pretty good principles I think
& may not need the restraining influences of strict training to keep
him straight, but unless Stuart can be persuaded to do somethng of the
kind to take up his spare time I am afraid the inducements to have a good
time will rather get the best of him. I am afraid however that Aunt Louisa
will foolishly object to his doing the very things that would do him the
most good if he ever goes to college. It makes no difference to what college
one goes the same influences both for....
Tell mother the scarf came back all right, it is as good as new now.
I am much obliged to her for fixing it.
I received Harry Dick's letter and from the
six pages & the postmark I learned that she was at Freeport, if you
will send me her address I will write her. Belle wrote me a letter last
week, I suppose she wants something from you again. Have you any idea what?
Perhaps she wants you to entertain them on their wedding trip for if one
may judge from her letter marriage between her and Dr. Brown is not far
distant, or rather is certain to occur in time. I will wager she did not
write to me out of pure love. Something is in the wind. I go someplace
to call every Friday & Sat. evenings & could easily go every night
if I had the time. Will seems anxious to introduce me to all the ladies
he knows here & as he goes in the best New Haven society and goes a
great deal I expect to know quite a number before the year is over.
P.S. We get these stamped envelopes for $.55 per pack making the envelope
cost just $.05 or 5 for $.01.
New Haven Feb 17 1887
Dear Father -
Your letter of the 4th & mothers of the 13th
both to me rec'd.
The alcohol came this morning in good shape.
It was just in time for ours was all out. I think I will offer Mrs. Carll
some for her sick child. I dont know as we have written about her illness.
She is only about 10 or 11 years old & has had inflammatory & rheumatism
since the first of Jan & from what I hear I think her limbs have become
partially paralyzed & there is considerable doubt as to whether she
will recover or not.
It is hard to see either of the parents to inquire
about Mable for they shut themselves up in their apartment & devote
their entire time to her.
The Dynamics have just been told to procure a
$10.00 text book, a sort of treaties on the steam engine. I got one of
the booksellers here to make a reduction of $3.00 on each book in consideration
of a certain number purchasing of him.
Thanking you very much for alcohol I am as ever
New Haven Conn
Feb 20th 1887
Dear Mother -
Your letter of the 15th inst. rec'd. I will begin
to answer it from the end & go backwards. If Frank is only 15 yrs of
age and takes three years more to prepare he would enter in his 19th year,
which is early enough if you are in no hurry to have him through and in
business. I think however that as he is practically through the grammar
school studies he could prepare in two years and that too without working
more than over half as hard as Harry & I did last year. I think at
any rate he ought to commence latin & algebra next year.
I don't know but should think he might be able to
prepare for the Academic department in three years. In all prep schools
they allow one year more to prepare for that course than for Sheff. I am
sorry Grandma is worse again. I hope Dr. Skeer will be able to do
something for her.
* * * * Missing? line* * * *
With the exception of the young lady who gave that
dinner party those names were quite familiar to Harry & I.
We have no recitations from now until Friday but
Wed. have an exam in German & Thurs. in Physics. Our regular studies
have kept us too busy to attempt to review either of those until now, when
it will all have to be done at once. I did intend to write Ed today but
will have to postpone it until I feel less like studying. The weather is
getting so warm here that I guess you had better be fixing my coat
& sending it along pretty soon.
If you make up a box you might send my indian clubs
down also one of our "Barne's General Histories" and if "Robert's
Rules of Orders is not in use at home we can make good use of it here.
The two articles underlined I request unconditionally the other two you
are at liberty to send or not as you think they will be too heavy &
bulky or in use at home. No matter how much we write about boating
we only give two hrs a day to it.
With love to all and a promise of a more of a letter
next time I am your affec't son Geo
New Haven Conn
Mar 6th 1887
Dear Father -
Your letter of the 2nd has been acknowledge. Mother's
of the 3rd also received.
In regard to getting new clothes; we are both in
a situation such that it is absolutely necessary that we should have something
pretty soon, but rest assured that we will not be extravagant. Tell mother
those things I wrote for after the box had gone were not important &
not to send them unless we want some other things some time. If however
you come across "Robert's Rules of Order" I would like to have it sent.
I am sure I never loaned it to anyone for I always considered it your own
book, not that you don't own the other books in the house as well, but
this one you bought for your own use.
The reason the washerwoman's bill was not receipted
was because it was not paid. I do not keep receipts from her because I
take pains to have someone witness it when I pay her. I do however take
a receipt for every thing except small cash purchases & keep them all.
Mother is right in thinking that those lectures
cramp us somewhat for a time. I dislike to give them up & so sit up
a little later nights & make up for the time lost. It is not time lost
however it is merely borrowed for a short time when I think it will be
paid back with interest, for I am all the time getting new ideas which
may be of use someday. I expect we will have an opportunity to hear "Mark
Twain" lecture the latter part of this month. He is a man I have always
thought I should like to hear.
Harry says he wrote you also in regard to our change
in division, you probably know it by this time. I was pleased principally
because it was the attainment of an end. I had worked hard for since last
Nov. to show you that we were not wasting our time here but are making
the most of our opportunities. It is a point of honor among the candidates
for the freshman crew to stand well in their studies and with very few
exceptions all are high stan men, all the Sheff Freshmen but our bring
in the first division. The Academics do not make quite as good a showing.
Wed. & Sat evenings the winter games came off,
they were quite a success, three college records being broken. I am sorry
to say I was unable to enter any of the events. I should like to see Frank
so trained in boxing & wrestling when he comes to college that he will
be able to hold his own and come off victorious in some of these events.
I will enclose programmes of the two evenings that you may get some idea
what it was like. There was an article marked in my Wed. paper, "Carlyles's
Early Years." Was that intended for me? If so I am afraid whoever marked
it will have to give me a hint as to who Carlyle was before I can appreciate
it. I am glad Dan has at last got a letter as we will probably be at home
next summer it will give me something to do. I think I understand your
new Gin Kettle perfectly but I should not think the stoper would
be in the chamber with the juniper berries & other things long enough
to take any strength from them.
Some of the averages of the class have been made up; it shows the average
age in the Academic department at the time of entering to have been 18
years 11 mo. and in our class 18 yrs 9 mo. which you see is about the age
at which I thought Frank ought to enter. The average age in English colleges
is 1 1/2 yrs higher than it is here, taking the whole University right
In our class 25% use tobacco while in the Academic
only 18%. These are a worse showing than any class has made for some time
and yet I think people who read the statements about college vices in them
and form their opinion of the moral stand of college men from them will
be surprised at the comparatively small number who use tobacco. Not that
the use of tobacco directly affects the morals however. As you go into
the upper classes the number using tobacco grows less & less; this
I attribute to athletics.
The reason I have failed to answer your & mother's
letters properly lately is that nearly every spare minute that I have had
for the last three weeks has been devoted to a composition which is only
a success in its being very much longer than is necessary.
I am disgusted with that composition for I have
faithfully studied up the subject and what is more I know all about it
but when I attempted to put i on paper I made a dismal failure, not writing
what I wanted to at all and writing a good deal that I did not wish to.
The trouble was I think that there was too much to the subj.
The first year we are at home on the 23rd of Feb.
I think we ought to have a grand celebration. Next year is really the time
but then we will not be home. I can hardly realize that two months have
passed since we were home. We are so busy all the time that we don't find
the days hang heavily at all. I suppose I may as will stop now as any time
though I think I could write as much more. Some days when I write home
I don't feel like it & can find nothing to say, while to day I seem
able to run on indefinitely.
With love to all Geo
P.S. Mother said she thought Grandma was stronger than she had been.
I hope she continues to improve. Geo
New Haven Conn
Mar. 13th 1887
Dear Mother -
Your letter sheet of the 8th and Father's letter
of the 9th received. I have another piece of news of the same kind to communicate;
as was contained in my last.
Friday our class was divided according to stand
in German and Harry and I both struck the 1st division. That means more
really than the other, for German is considered the hardest study of Freshman
year and a man who stands well in that is though to be doing pretty well.
You and father both speak of seeing the names of the members of the "Chicago
Club" in a Chicago paper but neither of you say whether ours were given
or not. I judge they must have been if forty nine names are given. We have
not joined however for we could not afford to attend the banquet that was
Was Father's rheumatism anything serious?
If I appear in as good health when we get home as
I am enjoying now you will have to admit the good effects of training.
We have some more compositions on hand. I am not
sure that I care to send mine for it is a very poor affair and to make
it worse in the hurry of copying it I misspelled quite a number of words.
We have been having pretty cold, raw weather during
the pst week; this has made it rather trying on one's fingers in rowing.
We are working hard at it, although still in doubt as to whom we are to
race with. We go to the gym every day to change our clothes and then run
down to the boathouse. As soon as it gets warm enough we will move our
things down there and won't have to go to the gym at all.
I ordered a suit last Thursday; the price was $45.00
but the discount brings it down to $41.50. Harry is going to wait before
ordering his so that Father will not have to pay for both at once. Our
term bills come due the 19th of this month but there is no hurry about
them. This will be $40 apiece. We are to have an examination in English
next Sat. that will be the end of that study.
Do you hear anything from Ann Andress? I suppose
she will be home Easter, if you see her remember us kindly to her. When
we finish Chemistry we take up botany. I think I will study it up and try
to pass it off. It is said to be quite easy.
We have not called on Dr. Smythe because I don't
see how we can do ti without going to hear him preach, as we go no place
else and that I don't care to do.
With love to all
(a rough sketch of something)
New Haven Conn
Mar 18 1887
Dear Father -
Your letter of the 15th inst. to Harry just received.
He is out and I opened it. When I mentioned the fact that we would (need)
money for tuition I intended to have you understand that there was no hurry.
The tailor's bill could run until sent the usual draft about the middle
of April and the tuition need not be paid for a month later than that.
It comes due, however, Monday. If you did send this earlier that was convenient
I might apply it to next months necessary expenses and sometime during
the latter part of April you could send enough to pay the tailor's bill.
I won't have occasion to use this draft anyway until I hear from you.
Is business good, and do you expect to be out of
debt by next fall? I sincerely hope nothing happens to delay it, for I
think it is about time that you began to have a little rest and as long
as anything of that kind was hanging over you I know you would never give
your time to enjoying yourself. I thought several times last Sunday that
I would give a good deal to hear Dr. Thomas' sermon for I had no doubt
he would touch on the life and death of Henry Ward Beecher. The "News"
had a part of his sermon in Monday's paper.
Dan's blacksmith shop was built when we were home
but he had nothing in it. It must be partly full by this time. Harry thinks
he doesn't have time to write during the week, so after this he will write
on Sunday and I will write between times.
It has been rather chilly all this month. I am looking
anxiously for warm weather for several reasons, first because I want to
shed this suit and then my underclothes that I go just before leaving
home are beginning to get rather thin, so thin in fact that I have to wear
two undershirts. I think they have lasted pretty well, I have worn them
steadily since the first of Oct. I guess when we get home mother
will find us a ragged lot.
To night we are going to hear the lecture on "Sea-Coast
Defences" one of that course which I believe we wrote you about.
Last Monday night I went to the theatre to see Wilson
Barrett the great English tragedian in Hamlet. It only cost $.75 and as
I had never seen the play I disliked to miss the opportunity. If
I could see Booth play it now I would be satisfied.
Phil Noble has at last decided to come to Yale and
both he & Ed intend to come here in June to take their examinations.
In that case we will probably all come home together about the 5th of July.
The Yale Athletic Association is in debt about $20,000
and they are trying to clear it off by subscription. Yesterday they struck
us for from $100 to $25 to be paid anytime during our course. One Chicago
man Mark Cumming gave $1000. As you can guess we did not "contribute liberally."
Ask Frank if he doesn't owe me a letter. I have
been waiting for one under that impression.
With love as ever Geo
Your letter of the 17 inst. to Harry received. I
will enclose a line or two in Ed's letters in reply leaving Harry to answer
more fully to morrow.
I don't want you to feel that you are keeping us
on such "short commons", we have everything that is necessary and
more too. The only way I feel it is that we are now having more than you
dan afford to send. I don't think this can be lessened any for we are now
figuring about as close as it is possible, being a little behind each month.
I am glad you approve of our buying tickets to that lecture course. I hesitated
some time because I knew we could get on well enough without going.
Every Monday & Friday afternoons after next
Monday we will have an opportunity to attend lectures on "Military Science"
given to the Senior class by lecturers furnished by the U.S. government
in accordance with some act of Congress. The "Merrill Sand Grant Act" I
believe. Perhaps you know what it is, I don't. The subjects & lectures
are as follows:
I Armies, their Organization, Equipment & Tactics. Lieut.
W.S. Libert U.S. Engineers
II Moving, Supplying & Sheltering Troops. Lieut. H.M. Chitternden,
III Strategy & Grand Tactics. Lieut C.E. Gilbert, U.S.E.
IV Light-Seige & Seacoast Artillery. Lieut. Irvine Hale, U.S.E.
V. Field & Permanent Fortifications: their attack & defense.
Capt. J.G.D. Knight, U.S.E.
VI Seacoast Defences, Vessels which attack them and Torpedo Systems.
Maj. W.R. King, U.S.E.
We will try to take these in, at least I shall.
With love to all, Geo
P.S. ??? & course one for each to use after taking a shower bath
in the gym. Geo
. . .point with just pride as the result of your bringing up.
I have not seen Sam for a few days but hope the
rumor in regard to his father is unfounded or at least exaggerated.
Did Ed get my letter Sat. I wrote it after nine
o'clock Thurs. night and ran down to the corner in the rain to get it into
the box that night for I knew you would be dissapointed, even if you did
not think something was wrong, not to get a letter before Sunday. You need
not bother to get me a napkin ring for there seems no immediate prospect
of the Junior whose napkin ring I am using calling for it.
BILL HILLMAN .
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