The Danton Burroughs
A BURROUGHS FAMILY TRIBUTE
LETTERS TO HOME FROM YALE
1886 - March 1887
George T. Burroughs, Jr.
Letters shared with ERBzine by Danton Burroughs from
the Burroughs Family Archive
Handwritten letters deciphered and transcribed by
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
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 all day.
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
gummer 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 ~ Chicago
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 who inquire.
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 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
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.
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
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,
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
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 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. 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.
love to all Geo
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 P.M.
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 of.).
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 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. 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.
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 before long.
I am so sorry mother has had another
sick-headache and am dissapointed too for I thought at one time that she
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 articles.
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
towalk, 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.
to all I am your affectionate
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
You 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 with love
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
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 &
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 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 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 given.
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
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
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
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, U.S.E.
III Strategy & Grand Tactics. Lieut C.E. Gilbert,
IV Light-Seige & Seacoast Artillery. Lieut. Irvine
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
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
BILL HILLMAN .
Visit our thousands of other sites at:
AND SUE-ON HILLMAN ECLECTIC STUDIO
Some ERB Images and Tarzan© are Copyright ERB,
Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work ©1996-2004/2010/2020 by Bill
Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without
permission from the respective owners.
Burroughs letters © Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.