Burroughs Family Tribute Series
SOCIAL LIFE ON CAMPUS
LIVING QUARTERS AT NEW HAVEN
MONEY AND ALLOWANCE CONCERNS
SUMMERS AT BEAVER LAKE
Major and Mrs. George Tyler Burroughs raised their family of four boys in a large three-story, many-roomed brick house on Chicago's West Side in an upper middle class area on Washington Boulevard between Lincoln and Robey Streets. All four brothers had attended Brown School a few blocks from home. One of the school's claims to fame was that master showman, Florenz Ziegfeld and entertainer Lillian Russell had also attended Brown. George and Harry the eldest of four Burroughs brothers spent many of their summers in the resort area of Hartland, located 20 miles west of Milwaukee, in the heart of southeastern Wisconsin's beautiful Lake Country.
January 6, 1887
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.
December 4, 1887
If we go home by the "Michigan Central" we will probably leave here Thurs. afternoon Dec 22 and be due in Chicago Friday night. We haven't been able to find out yet on what roads we get a reduction, & until then dont know just when we will leave.
December 12, 1887
I just got a letter from Hamie Dickinson inviting us to stop over in Elmira on the way home. I hardly think it would be practicable for several reasons. We will have to go home by the road on which we got reduced rates & even if the road runs through Elmira I doubt if we could stop over on tickets sold at such reduced rates. I will find that out however. Now we want to get home as soon as possible & I suppose you want to have us & in view of the fact that our time at home will be rather short anyway, I hardly think we had better accept.
December 18, 1887
I have written to Hani Dickinson declining her invitation. I am very much obliged to you for the trouble you took to find out about trains for us. Wed. the 21st we will leave N.Y. on the 6:00 P.M. train on the "Michigan Central road" & as you know are due in Chicago Thurs night at 9.30. Now don't feel it necessary to meet us with a carriage for we will have nothing especial to carry & as the train will in all probability be late you would have to wait in the cold for us. We would have gone by the "Pennsylvania" road but that almost every one is going the other way & we want to be with the crowd.
January 7, 1888
It is a fine train & well worth the extra expense. During the entire trip there was scarcely a sign of dirt, & no one can appreciate the value of the vestibule connection until he has tried them. I have often wondered how ladies managed to get form one car to another some times having to go the whole length of the train to reach the dinner, as they do, but on this train a child can wander from one end to the other without the slightest danger. We stopped at the Gilsey House over night in New York & left for New Haven on the "Fast Express" to Boston at 9.00 AM
SOCIAL LIFE ON CAMPUS
October 17, 1886
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 it. 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. 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. 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.
October 24, 1886
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. 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 from him. 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 delay. 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. Please send on my "Pot Pourri" you will find it in the lower drawer of my bureau.
January 9, 1887
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 time. Harry is over at Hall's with Dextra, he usually spends his Sunday with him. I took them both to Sunday School to day.
January 9, 1887
"When I came down here I had hopes that I might distinquish 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 thatnkful 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 any 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. There is still one saloon which we cannot enter and unless our nine, that is the freshman nine defeat the Harvard freshmen in the Spring we are not allowed to sit on the 'fence.' I think you will find an account of this custom in hat book I gave the folks Christmas.
January 26, 1887
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.
January 30, 1887
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. 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.
February 6, 1887
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.
February 17, 1887
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.
February 20, 1887
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.
March 6, 1887
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. 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 through. 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 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.
March 18, 1887
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."
May 4, 1887
I would like to meet Mrs. Hotchkiss' daughter & think we might spend a day in Riverside very pleasantly.
June 13, 1887
[FROM HARRY TO MOTHER]: As our recitations cease to-day 3.30 P.M. I celebrated by taking a ride with Lou Sweetser yesterday and so was unable to write at the usual time. We left here about 9.30 A.M. for Waterbury; the land of nickel matches and also, as we observed while there, of pretty damsels (compared with "New Haven") The roads are hilly and sandy after you get about twelve miles out of New Haven. Waterbury is nearer Heaven than any town of its size. I ....
June 18, 1887
. . . great celebration here yesterday (in honor of the dedication of the soldiers & sailors monument) which consisted chiefly of a big military procession in the morning and fire works in the evening.
June 20, 1887
[FROM HARRY TO MOTHER]: There was a great time here last Friday, due to the unveiling and dedicating ceremonies of the Soldier and Sailor's monument (on E. Rock Park) Although the President "was unable to attend" some of the "big guns" such as Sheridan, Sherman and many other prominent men were here and the affair was quite a success. The G.A.R. ran things and turned out in large numbers. The survivors of the Mexican war grow fewer and fewer every time there is a parade. This time they numbered about a dozen. One pretty feature ws introduced in the procession. There were 38 'buses' each one highly decorated and filled with Sunday School girls in white dresses. One barge for each state. We don't know, as yet, where we will room next year, but want to get nearer the Campus.
Nov 17 and 20, 1887
LETTERHEAD: The Continental ~ J.E. Kingsley & Co., Phila: I suppose you (mother) will be interested to know what I am doing here & how enjoying myself. We just finished the business of the convention 5.00 P.M. after a two days session. The only thing remaining to be done here is to attend the banquet which is to be held to night. Tomorrow we go to Easton Pa. as the guests of one of our men -- Harry Tombler - who lives there. From there we go to New York to see the Yale-Princeton game. The Faculty very willingly excused those of us to attend the convention, so we lose nothing in our studies. Just why they seem to willing to excuse us from recitations for four days I don't exactly see. They probably think it politic so to do. I dont think Phil. can compare with Chicago in looks at least the business portion of the town cant, for the streets are quite narrow & I have as yet seen no such magnificent business structures as we have. At the theatre last night I saw an audience which fully made up in style & beauty (among the ladies) whatever the city itself may lack in that respect. I never saw but one which equaled it & that was in New Haven last year at the Glee Club concert. Harry has not written today because he has a boil on his right hand. They say a boil is worth five dollars, at that rate we could support ourselves only with us the five dolls seems to go out. I don't think one will ever cost me anything again for I have learned what to do for them.You will have heard that we beat Princeton. Game played in a big mud puddle. We were under cover and kept dry but yelled my self hoarse, can hardly speak to day.
November 22, 1887
[FROM HARRY TO MOTHER]: I am, as you may know, right-handed by nature, but am now left handed by compulsion; Cause -- a boil on my "dexter flipper". Our landlady, or rather boarding house keeper, where we take our meals (38 c ???) on finding that I practiced it myself, insisted on my letting her take charge of it, which I did, and to-day we opened and "squoze" it in true surgical style. It hurt. I have often longed to know what a boil feels like. This left hand work is no fun.
January 10, 1888
Two of my friends very kindly offered me the use of their dress suits if I wanted to take a lady to the Prom. But as there is no one here whom I care to take & as it would cost a good deal I have decided not to go. It takes considerable time & trouble for about a month before hand getting your lady's dance program filled with the names of suitable partners to say nothing of your own, which is a much harder matter, as there is always a scarcity of ladies. If you will notice the "News" next week you will see an account of the affair.
January 22, 1888
While we may have missed some "social opportunities" I assure you that I feel fully able to make up what ever I may have lost whenever I have the money to do it on.
February 26, 1888
Last night we gave a banquet to some of our alumni, it was quite successful and enjoyable affair to all but Harry & I who couldn't eat or drink a thing & had to leave about 10.30. Harry will send home a menu to Nellie I guess, but you can all see it.
I am thinking of taking a trip during Easter vacation if I am not training with the University crew which will be great. The Glee club always takes a trip at that time & this year arrangements have been made to get reduced rates on steamer railroads, hotels &c for as many of the students as wish to go with them. They will go to Richmond Va, Old Point Comfort & all places of interest down through there which you know better than I do & will come back by way of Washington. They have a pretty gay time for receptions are given to them during the whole trip whenever they stop long enough.
April 8, 1888
I was in New York last Wed. I went down with Sweetser who was entered in an amateur wrestling contest, it was a private affair & took place in the gym of the New York Athletic Club. The managers were so pleasant to have an entry from Yale that they showed us every consideration & treated us although we were somebody.
May 13, 1888
There was nothing to good for us last night (after the rowing victory), the whole class turned out to celebrate
October 17, 1886
LIVING QUARTERS AT NEW HAVEN
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 roomsfact that we have 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.
October 24, 1886
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.
January 6, 1887
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.
January 9, 1887
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.
January 30, 1887
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.
February 13, 1887
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.
January 10, 1888
That little thing you made in such a hurry just before we left is about the prettiest thing in our room, any thing of that kind that you run across (after we get rich) will always be welcome. We have a nice room, a very nice room but the walls are rather bare & those things helped to fill up the vacant places.
January 22, 1888
I don't care much about papering our room, but whenever you have more money than you know what to do with, I would like to get some quite necessary books.
May 8, 1888
[FROM HARRY TO FATHER]: I wish you were here, Father, to advise us (the members of our Society) about a move we are about to make, concerning the renting of a house to live in. We have one picked out and have conferred with our Alumni about it, but they wish us to run it alone. The house is a fine one, just completed and in a very desirable situation for us. The furnace is a hot-air and steam one and in addition to this most of the rooms are furnished with fireplaces ( a students delight). The parlors and wide hall-way when furnished, (which our Alumni have promised to do for us) will be as cosy and home-like as any one could desire. The owner wishes us to take a lease for ten months, and asks eighty five ($85.00) dollars a month for the house. The gas is to be lighted by electricity throughout the house. In fine the whole outfit is just what we want and is modern, a thing that can be said of very few New Haven houses. The rent seems high to you probably, and would be in Chicago, but seems to be quite reasonable here where everything in the way of articles of necessity comes high and luxuries are rather cheap. The owner is very reasonable in his demands and will, I think, lease it to us undergraduates although only two are of age. Geo. and I have picked out two adjoining rooms, south windows, one for sitting room and study (although most of our loafing will be done in the parlor) and the other for bedroom. This will be an improvement on sleeping in our study as we are doing now, from a sanitary if not a financial point of view. Hope to be able to tell you next time I write home that we have secured the house and also that '90 has won the race although the latter is very doubtful. I will probably be in the boat though as my finger is better.
May 13, 1888
In regard to the new house, we are going into it only after the most careful estimates of our expenses & after having allowed liberally for everything we could figure on we will have a margin of two or three hundred dollars to fall back upon. Unless something unforeseen occurs we will come out t all right. I am Chairman of a house committee of three & am practically running everything. I will have the receiving & disbursing of all money in my hands & as I expect to have every man pay his room rent for the year immediately on coming back next fall I will be sure of being able to pay the house rent immediately it becomes due, that is on the first of each month. We have engaged a young colored man & his wife to do our work for $15 per mo. We are to furnish them with coal to cook their meals with & to give the woman our washing. The man is a regular colored dude & I expect he will astonish people who call when they see his marvelous clothes & his wonderfully polite airs. Harry & I wont have any larger expenses during the year than we have this but we will have to furnish our rooms. We only expect to order a carpet & a couple of single beds to be ready for us when we come back P& will talk over the other things at home during the summer. With our lounge, book case, table, chairs, &c which we own already we wont need very much else. By the way if you could advance the money this June & would prefer to we could probably get what we want second hand when the Seniors on the campus sell off their things.An article in the Sunday Register decribes this new Chi Phi Fraternity House as one of the finest fraternity houses in Yale. It was situated on York Stree near Elm. The Fraternity lay claim to being the oldest in the country, founded in 1824 at Princeton. The Register article stated: "Those who are fortunate to occupy the new house are George T. Burroughs, Jr. and Harry S. Burroughs. . . . " The house was of brick, three stories high. In the elegantly furnished parlors were "velvet moquet" carpets, and the walls were covered with the new cartridge paper of a fashionable tint, matching the carpets. The house was heated by steam, and hot and cold water was furnished to every room. A system of "lighting gas by electricity" was used, and all the rooms had "electrical call bells." All this suggests that Major Burroughs' income was on the rise.Ref: Porges, p.702May 27, 1888
I think the experience of furnishing our house for next year will be a great gain for us all, for me especially. I knew when I started out absolutely nothing about such things but find I am learning considerable already. It is too bad that our neighborhood can't furnish some girl of Nellie's age who would be a congenial companion for her, but I am afraid such is unfortunately the case.
May 27 1888
I think the experience of furnishing our house for next year will be a great gain for us all, for me especially. I knew when I started out absolutely nothing about such things but find I am learning considerable already. It is too bad that our neighborhood can't furnish some girl of Nellie's age who would be a congenial companion for her, but I am afraid such is unfortunately the case. I suppose you will try to get here next year to see us graduate. I know you would enjoy living here during our college year anyway, there are lots of things that would interest you & beside, during the spring & fall the town is beautiful, no one who has not been here can imagine the effect of these magnificent elm trees which are regularly laid out over the entire town.
January 6, 1887
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.
February 13, 1887
Tell mother the scarf came back all right, it is as good as new now. I am much obliged to her for fixing it.
March 6, 1887
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.
March 13, 1887
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.
March 18, 1887
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.
May 26, 1887
I have been thinking of getting a flannel suit (short pants) to use on my wheel & in tennis &c, to save my good suit. I can get a pair of short pants for $3.50 made to order and a flannel coat black & blue striped called a blazer for $4.00 or $5.00.
January 10, 1888
I have taken to wearing a tennis shirt again & so my old shirts are apt to last me a good while, to say nothing of the saving in collars, cuffs & neckwear, for any discarded necktie will do. P.S. The "Machine covers" are very comfortable, a little large perhaps, but they have not been washed . I dont see how we managed to get along with those thin ones all last winter.
January 12, 1888)
Can you make me a cap of some soft stuff like flannel to pull down over the ears. I want it to use when we are running or rowing in the cold this winter. Any sort of a thing will do. I want it this shape, any color or quality of material. /_\. When I tell you that the fellows sometimes put a stocking on with the foot hanging down behind, as a sort of tassel, you can judge that we dont need anything elegant. An acorn shaped thing, turned up about three inches , around the bottom to make it warm is about what I want. I guess you will understand without any trouble.
Harry has just come in & he thinks he wants one too, of a similar design.
January 22, 1888)
The caps also came all right. I am glad you were able to buy them & did not attempt to make them when you were not well. I tried to buy some here but could get nothing but very heavy toboggan caps, costing more than I could pay. Those you sent fitted all right & they more than paid for themselves yesterday, as we took an exceptionally long run, over seven miles, & it was fully as cold as any day I have seen in New Haven. They are perfectly satisfactory & I am very much obliged to you for them.
April 14, 1888
[FROM HARRY TO MOTHER]: No one has accepted my offer of a nice flannel shirt and blazer and if the dude to whom they were offered us too proud to write for them perhaps I can sell them here.
April 22, 1888
I will have to have certain clothes to wear in the country this summer which I can get much better here, in fact I dont think I could get what I want atall in Chicago, such as flannel tremus shirts, flannel trousers, cap, shoes, etc. If I ever get tangled up in this allowance system again I bet it will be a big one. This may mean one has to sit down two or three months ahead of time & figure out for every thing you want to see whether you are going to have money enough to buy it or not. I think I would get very well on an allowance if I did not have to buy clothes out of it. After figuring for six months I have got a spring overcoat & am not going to get a suit while Harry has ordered a suit & cant get and overcoat. So if we come home pretty ragged & without any clothes you must not be surprised.
March 22, 1887
MONEY AND ALLOWANCE CONCERNS
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.
May 26, 1887
I was pretty short financially before, but this makes it absolutely necessary for me to have some more money if I am to leave here with my debts paid. Now what I want to ask is this, that you borrow what I need and, let me give you my note for it. My note would be of no value to any one else or I would have got the money here without bothering you, which under the circumstances I couldn't do without giving some security, and at the same time would have to pay enormous interest. If you have not confidence in my ability to earn enough in the next year to pay it why let it go. Now dont think this is intended to prey on your generosity for not one cent will I accept as a gift from you under the circumstances and I dont believe you have the money to loan. I would like to get one or two hundred dollars. One hundred will enable me to pay what I will owe here by the end of June and to entertain my friends as they should be entertained, but I am pretty short in the way of clothes and although I could get along until I got home I would have to have some then, now that I have decided to stay in the city. I would feel much more independent if I could buy them here on my own money than to have you fit me out again. Then I want to go to N.Y. with our class to visit some places of interest in the line of our studies, they are to take in the cable system on the Brooklyn Bridge, a number of the newest Atlantic steam ships, the Delamater Iron Works & the Brooklyn Navy yard where some of the new warships are. This is the most extensive trip we take and as we are to stay in N.Y. four or five days it is more than I can afford now. If you will borrow two hundred for me please wire Wed. as I would then go to N.Y. with the class Wed. night. If you don't wish to send two hundred I can just as well wait for a letter. I am not in any trouble or scrape nor am I in debt heavily, by scrimping along and economizing for the rest of the year I could probably pay everything I owed, at any rate fifteen or twenty dollars would cover everything, but I have had enough of that in New Haven and my last month here is going to be different from the others If you will help me in this I can leave a good name here and be in debt to you in an honorable way if not I will trust to my own resources. Please dont send me any money without saying that you borrowed it for me at no inconvenience to yourself or I will send it back by the next mail
June 1, 1887
I have kept a strict account of everything spent and shall want you to examine my books & pass judgment on them. I feel confident that though we have spent a good deal, there will not be an article in the purchase of which you can accuse us of extravigance.
June 18, 1887
I will give you now some idea of what money we will need in the next draft: Traveling expenses $60.00 ~ Wash & laundry $7.00 ~ Room Rent (about) $30.00 ~ Repairing clothes at tailors $5.00 ~ Pair Shoes $7.00 ~ Carting, Freighting & Crating Bicycles $2.00 ~ Board from June 16 through June 30 $24.00 ~ Doctor's Bill with prescription (a very large & painful carbuncle which I stood as long as possible & then went to a doctor) $5.00 ~ Total: $140.00 plus $20.00 incidentals. There is one thing more; Harry is as usual entirely penniless & as he is to go up to New London Wed. he will need something so if you think best I might give him $5.00 extra this mo. Dont write any more on this subj than to let me know your wishes for Harry sees the letters & it makes it akward. You can't think how glad I am that this is the last letter I have to write begging for money. I say last because I wont go through it another year (the worry would kill me) We will have to decide on something different.
April 22, 1888
Dont think I am complaining or hinting for more money, we made our arrangements for the year & I am not only willing but anxious to stick them out. The above is only the ludicrus & very common fix of probability 9/10ths of the fellows here who have more than one thousand dollars allowance & yet not an unlimited one.
April 27, 1888
Your letter of the 24th with draft enclosed & also letter containing that proposition received. It is very kind of you to send us so much more than I asked for. I assure you that it wont be wasted
May 13, 1888
Several things have led us to think that business matters were in a better condition than perhaps they are & thinking so we may have formed some extravagant plans for the summer. But now that we know how matters stand you can depend upon us to aid you in every way in our power in economizing. . . . . But you need at any time as long as I am dependent on you only let me know that you can't afford what I ask & I will be perfectly satisfied.
June 1, 1887
SUMMERS AT BEAVER LAKE
If we go away this summer the clothes I spoke of will be absolutely necessary but will probably be of less use in the city, the boys wear them here altogether. We have of course made no plans for the summer. Ed Camp wants us to come to Geneva Lake to visit him & speaks of it in every letter he writes.
March 25, 1888?
I hardly thought you would feel able to send us all to the country this year & had been making plans to occupy my time in the city but if you can afford to send us to Beaver Lake I am sure we will all enjoy it.
April 8, 1888
If I was in your place I would ship Frank off to Beaver Lake with his pony as soon as he is through school, it will do him a world of good if he has to make his own acquaintances up there & is thrown upon his own resources to get acquainted & to amuse himself. then he might be getting the boat ready for use before the family get there. By the way about when do you expect to go up. Tom Walkup is in New Haven & has invited us to go up, either in Northern Michigan or Wis. I have forgotten which, with him for three or four weeks where we can enjoy some good fishing & hunting. I suppose that last word, "hunting" will put you against it but when I get home I think I shall ask your permission to go with him, if you can afford it. Mr. Walkup has sold out his business in Chicago, as you probably know & is living at this place, where he owns some 17,000 acres of land, saw mills, &c. & is cutting trees, sawing them into lumber & shipping to Chicago & other places I suppose. I forgot to say that Harry prefers to spend his summer at Brown/Brave Lake so you will only have to figure on one of us going up in Mich. I don't think the expense will be very much greater than staying at Rudberg's, we can talk it over however when we get home.
May 6, 1888
If we are all going to be in the country together I think we boys will need a boat, something smaller & lighter than your larger one. If you feel like getting one we would better decide on what we ant & be sure to have it there by the time we arr. . . . If you will write Mrs. Damon I wish you would. We wont have any time to go up there this year although I should like to do so very much. I remember how kind they were when we were at Warren at the time of Uncle Ab's funeral & am sure we would enjoy ourselves.
As I was walking down the mountain "There's a Long, Long Trail a Winding in front of me and a little further on I met "An Old Pal O' Mine." She had "The Last Rose of Summer" in her hand and "She Wore a Big Red Rose." Form where we were standing we could see "The Trial of the Lonesome Pine" and "The Beautiful Ohio." A little later we met a couple and the man said "How Dry I Am" and she answered "Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes." They told me they had just come from "My Old Kentucky Home," where they had seen "My Darling Nellie Gray." I asked her to come with me to "A Little Gray Home in the West" where we could "Let the Rest of the World Go By." She said, "Tell Me Why" and I answered "I'm So Used To You Now." Then she said "Here Comes the Bride."
MOTHER'/S DAY CARD (1887?)
To the Dearest Mother in all the world
"TO WISH YOU HAPPINESS ON MOTHER'S DAY
Mother's Day, to my heart, is
every day all year
For each day finds you doing the things
that help and cheer,
And mother's day, to my heart, comes
just as often, too
For each day finds me thankful to think
my mother's YOU?"
All my love
IDLE THOUGHTS OF AN IDLE FELLOW
(By George T. Burroughs, Jr.)
NEWSPAPER CLIPPING: (From the Yale days)
Continued in Pt. II
BILL HILLMAN .
Visit our thousands of other sites at:
BILL AND SUE-ON HILLMAN ECLECTIC STUDIO
Some ERB Images and Tarzan© are Copyright ERB, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work ©1996-2004/2017/2020 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.