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Title:[Letter] 1849 Dec. 12, Hanover College [Indiana] [to] Parents [Mr. and Mrs. Ethel Henry Porter] / Edward [Porter] : a machine readable transcription of an image
Author:Porter, Edward

This work is the property of the University of Memphis Libraries, Special Collections Department, Ned R. McWherter Library, Memphis, TN. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching, and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text. For all other use contact the University of Memphis Libraries, 126 Ned R. McWherter Library, The University of Memphis, Memphis, TN 38152-6500.

Date: December 12, 1849
Extent: 6p
Summary:This document is a letter written by Edward Porter to his parents on December 12, 1849. In the letter, Edward discusses the events taking place with his sister, Mary, at her school. He writes to their parents how unhappy she is there, and that she has not written home because she does not like her teacher, Mr. Anderson, to read her letters before she sends them. Edward tells them that the teacher will not send her letters if she writes something disagreeable to him, and has threatened her with expulsion if she does not act better and do as he wishes. Edward concludes the letter by describing what he has been doing at Hanover College and about the social events at the school and in Hanover.
Collection:Porter-Rice Family Letters MS 154 (Letters 1850-1851)

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[added: From Edward
Dec [December] 12th 1850

Hanover College Dec [December] 12th 1849
Dear Parents

Your letter of Nov [November] 27th, came to hand a few days since, containing among other things the account of Cousin Edward's marriage.

This was truly an unexpected affair; but I hope that he may never find that the sweets of Matrimonial, are sometimes bitter.

But one thing that particularly struck me, was, that Mary had not written to you for three weeks. As I had not recieved [received] a letter from her for more than five weeks, it rendered me very uneasy; As I thought that being but forty miles from me, she shurely [surely] would have written to me, if she had not been Sick. I became so uneasy about her, that I went down to the river that same afternoon and got aboard of the Cincinnati packet for Louisville .

I went over to Albany the next morning, saw Mary for two or three hours, and started back to Hanover where I arrived the same night; being absent 24 hours. I would have written to you the next day; but as my feelings were very much excited, I

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thought I might say something at the spur of the moment, which would only cause you unnecessary pain; so I have put off writing to you untill [until] the present time.

I found Mary very well, but very unhappy.

The reason she had not written, was, that Mr Anderson examines all of her letters, and if she speaks out any writes any thing whiste [whilst] would lead you to infer that she was not pleased he does not send them. She stated that Mr Anderson had told her several weeks before I was there, that he intended to write to you that she was the worst girl in school, and that you must take her home. She thought that he had written to you; and that if you recieved [received] the letter, you would be very unhappy to think that your daughter should bear a ch such a character; and expected a letter from you every day, Severely reprimanding her for her conduct, and telling her to come home.

She could not write to you any thing to the contrary, for Mr Anderson would not send it. She was in this state of miserable suspense, untill [until] she recieved [received] your last letter; which was a few days before my arrival. As a matter of course, your letter dispelled all of her gloomy thoughts, when she found from its tenor, that Mr A [Anderson] — had not put his threat into execution.

I done all in my power to cheer her up; and tried to divert her thoughts, by telling of home; and she

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much less should a selfish, calculating school teacher do it — one who is interested in his scholars no more farther than their pockets are concerned!!!

I am free to confess, that the more I think about it, the more I detest the trryany [tyranny] of the practice; and the less reasons I see why it should be continued or enforced. Now I am a member of the Junior Class, and suppose my letters or compositions should be replete with mistakes from one end to the other; opon [upon] whom does it reflect dishonor? Not opon [upon] the College, nor faculty connected with it, but upon my self individually, because I have not availed myself of the advantages and instructions which were offered to me!!! So with Mary. The few rhetorical or logical mistakes which may abound in her letters does not reflect dishonor upon the school with which she is connected, but upon herself.

— ——

I hope you will not think that I stated any of these objections to Mary: for that would only render her more unhappy. Yet feeling as I did I could not refrain from expressing myself to you, as I wou as one who, of all others is most interested, and who should know all that concerns the temporal and spiritual welfare of a daughter &

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recalling to her memory, the happy hours we had spent in each other company, with our friends in Memphis & else where. But it done no good.

I was with her but two or three hours, during which time, she was constantly shedding tears; and I could too plainly perceive from the frequent outpourings of an overcharged heart, that she [added: was] miserable in its literal sense. I must confess that during the few hours I spent in her company, I was more unhappy that I had been for a long time; and as my words of consolation, were [added: only] adding oil to the fire, I left her; Although I have reason to hope that She was better reconciled, than before.

— —

I know that Mary would be happier, and perfectly content with her school, and teachers, if it was not she was permitted to write letters when she pleased, and to whom she pleased; and to write the spontaneous effusions of her heart; — untrammeled and unbiassed [unbiased] by my cold-hearted teacher, who has not [added: nor can have] sympathies nor feelings consonant with her own.

If there is any thing which a person would desire to keep from the gaze of the curious, it is his letters. I do not remember of ever hearing of a parent who required a child of any age, or size to submit all their letters to their inspection. And if not a parent (who of all others has a childs improvement & welfare most at heart) how

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[added: Page 5]

A few days since it commenced snowing; and Continued untill [until] it was 5 or 6 inches deep. It commenced again this morning; and is now coming down at a fine rate. Poor Hanover can not afford but one sleigh; which has been going all of the time, untill [until] all of the horses in H — [Hanover] are broke down. As our deligation [delegation] are not among the favored few ; we talk of getting a couple of yoke of oxen, hitching them to a plank, get all of the dinner bells in town, and take the gals a sleigh-riding!!!

Our Catalogues of society have come to hand today, and I will send you some for distribution by next mail. Please remember that I get the it up; and prepared nearly all of the manuscripts. I mention this in order that you may see what I can do when I try. Our Society is at the height of her glory; And may it ever continue to be occupy that [unclear: comprandmy ] position of talent, and numbers, which she now does.

We have chosen our spring speakers, and I & Ben are among the number,. Ben intends to resign, as he expects to start to B — before the end of the session. As for myself I intend to do my best for the honor of Society. As a matter of course I expect to get

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some new clothes: such as a broad-cloath [cloth] coat, new-boots, hat & pants; as I have none now which would be fit for such an occasion.

I suppose the suit will cost $30.00.

I do not think that I have been extravagant at all this session, as I have bought nothing that I did not need. I have recieved [received] $32.20; while my books, boots, and board, have consumed all of it, leaving nothing for contingent expense, such as washing, lights, society expenses, clothes, and other little expenses. I do not think that I can get along with less than $100.00 a year, which at $16 2/3. a month, for four months would amount to 66.66. while I have only rec. [received] $37.50.

I would like if you could send me $25.00, so that I can pay what I owe; and have enough on hand to meet the other expenses.

Remember me to all of my friends at home, and ask Pres & Bunyan to write to me. Please let me know whether I can come home next spring, and whether you are going to send us a christmas box.

The faculty all send love to you; & Prof [Professor] Sturgus says he wishes you would write so he could answer it.

The Tennesseans all send love; and are as fine a set of fellows as the world has ever produced. And I Remain

Your Affectionate Son

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