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Letter to Mrs. Elizabeth Faries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from Eunice B. Pearson, West Chester, Pennsylvania, February 3, 1839

...I expect the fashionable ladies of the city are promenading in silk dresses and shawls by this time as they take off cloaks as soon as possible and even before it is proper. Eunice B. Pearson, West Chester, Pennsylvania February 3, 1839


West Chester Feb. 3rd 1839

Dear Aunts

It is with pleasure I sit down this morning to write a few lines to those who have always proved themselves warm and kind friends to me and to my family. I often think I have been negligent in not writing to you oftener but I have so many things to think about I have hardly time to write to any body.

We have the strangest weather here I ever saw – one day it is warm like spring and the next as cold as winter – I could not help smiling this morning to see the girls dressing for meeting with cloaks, muffs, and boas, so unlike last Sunday when all that had shawls had them on – yesterday was a beautiful day – I had quite a pleasant walk through the town in the afternoon, it was so warm that my cloak was quite oppressive – all the ladies were dressed for spring – it is a much larger place than I expected – these are several churches, a bank, court house, a cabinet of curiosities and several other public buildings. It seemed so queer to see all the stores open as I have never been there before except on Sunday to pass through as we go to meeting.

I have just returned from the dentist. I have had a tooth pulled I thought I would try and wait untile I went home but I have had the tooth so badly for two or three days. I could not stand it any longer. It was a back tooth and very much decayed and I am glad it is out. Cousin Sibilla said she would go with me if I would not want her to hold my head but I told her she might trust to that. I think I never had a tooth extracted with less pain

I expect the fashionable ladies of the city are promenading in silk dresses and shawls by this time as they take off cloaks as soon as possible and even before it is proper.

We have about 46 scholars now. we had 50 in the beginning of the term but 4 have gone away. I like the school very much and think if girls would apply themselves they might acquire a handsome and liberal education, but there are too many here of the opposite sort so they get their lessons well enough to be allowed to go to lecture on Friday night that is all they care for. I am studying Rhetoric, and like it pretty well but think it is hard to remember – the teachers seem to think it is of a great deal of importance. We are required to get our lessons well or pay the penalty which is to write 8 lines in a copy book for every error. Some of the girls have 100, 150, and sometimes nearly 200 to write for errors. They think it is not fair to make [them] stay from lecture Friday night if they do miss. I tell them they would not learn their lessons at all if it was not for that – I have never been from lecture but once and then I had the tooth ach[e] so badly I could not go. the lectures are to hold four weeks longer which will be nearly the end of the term. The term stops the second Thursday before I leave here. The girls have begun to count the days already to the end of the term

How is Aunt Grace’s and your own health. I was thinking the other day about you. Some part of the time it had been very cold and at other times quite warm. I think I never saw so changeable a winter in my life —

I suppose the Freshet did a great deal of damage in Philadelphia and New York from the accounts received. It did not do much damage [here] as there is not any stream nearer than two miles. Some of the girls were away at the time and had a great many amusing accounts to tell when they came back some of which I think must have been exaggerated, they seemed too queer to be true.

They are very particular here about the manner of folding and directing letters if they are not done nicely they will not let them go – Some of the girls never take any pains with them and sometimes get other girls to direct them which is not allowed at all.

I received a letter from home yesterday. they were all well but I suppose you hear oftener than I do – they were up to see me about three weeks ago – I was very glad to see them not having sean any of my friends since I came here —

There is another girls school in West Chester. It is held by stockholders I believe at any rate it is a public institution. It is a much gayer school than this, we see them every Sunday going to church – they go to Presbyterian in the morning and Episcopal in the afternoon. Some of our girls go to Episcopal those who go to Quaker Meeting in the morning — I do not know whether you got my other letter or not. I did not know where to direct but thought I would risk your getting it – when I wrote that I neglected to enquire of you the number and must direct this to the same way – Give my love to Uncle Faries and all who ask for me

Your affectionate niece
Eunice B. Pearson

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Submitter: Phillip F. Schlee E- mail: schlee@ksu.edu

Notes: Letter to Mrs. Elizabeth Faries, Vine St. between 10 and 11 St., Philadelphia, [Pennsylvania], from Eunice B. Pearson, West Chester, Pennsylvania, February 3, 1839; from the Phillip F. Schlee Collection.

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