This collection comprises letters sent primarily to and from Annie and Nellie Pease. They are from local friends and schoolmates as well as members of the Pease family who are situated for the most part in Bangor and Cornish, Maine. The letters deal with the personal lives of a close social network of young girls and their families who stay in touch after their graduation from school. The subjects of the letters range from classes, teachers and vacation plans to what is going on in the local community concerning deaths, weddings, and travel. A detailed examination of these letters reveals information concerning the school life and education of young, nineteenth-century women as well as their own experiences of teaching. Moreover, there are details as to what books were popular, from Caesar to Cicero and Dickens to Emerson, as well as to what subjects were being taught and how the girls responded to them; botany, natural history, and flower collecting are frequently mentioned.
In addition, these letters reveal the details of nineteenth-century social life: relationships and work in the home, the importance of travel, the spread of local gossip, the discussion of fashion, sewing, and fabric, and the attendance of concerts, lectures, and prayer meetings for entertainment and edification. Personal views and opinions regarding religion are prominent and a basic understanding of the religious milieu of these young women and their families can be ascertained. Yet another prominent theme is the omnipresence of sickness and death; these letters afford insight into how death was dealt with as well as how it affected people in terms of remarriage and mixed families.
Collection is open to all researchers. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.
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0.50 Linear Feet
Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository