Here's a little elmwood snapshot of a letter sent to my great great grandmother Ella Averill while she was in Cape Town, South Africa.
My great aunt Winky recently found Ella's journals and had them transcribed and bound. I can't remember ever enjoying reading something more (and that's saying something).
Wellesley College Sunday, Nov. 24th 1878
"A rousing indignation meeting was held in Chapel Thursday evening incited by the piece which appeared in the Harvard Advocate on Wellesley College and its girls. It is true that some "preps" have not behaved in a very ladylike manner over there, and some disgraceful things have been said and done in hotels, restaurants and on train cars. Well free speech prevailed- opinions of many from each class were expressed, some rousing speeches made and finally a motion was carried almost unanimously to discount everything unwomanly and not fitting for young ladies who were seeking a higher culture."
Wellesley College Saturday, Nov. 23th 1878
"Mollie Bingham has gone home- the oculist fears that her eyesight cannot be saved and that in a very short time she will be totally blind. A letter from her father was read in Chapel thanking students and teachers for the kindness towards her, saying that he wished her last looks might be upon the scenes of her childhood and her friends and family, and asking the prayers of the College that if it could be the Lord's will, a little ray of light soon might be left to her for the remainder of her life."
Wellesley College March 23th 1879
"Our costume party came off with great success Friday evening the 14th. I went as one of the fates. About every female character in poetry was represented, from Mother Goose to Queen Elizabeth. We decorated the gym beautifully. Each of the four beams being draped with the class colors, flags over the windows, Chinese lanterns, statuettes, busts and flowers scattered about promiscuously."