April 16, 1899

April 16, 1899

Dear Mamma,
I do hope Kate is with you now and you are all enjoying the vacation you need so much.
My great week is now over so that I can settle down not to regular work until some other extra work comes up. Had Agora meeting last night at which we initiated Leila Eaton and at which I gave a paper on “Army Reorganization.” I had worked on it all my odd moments during the week and felt repaid for my labor when so many of the girls told me how much they liked it.
By the way will you send me the “Official Directory” which I think I left on the sitting table? And I deeply regret the loss of my pet collar button* which I think is on the pin tray in the front chamber. It is one of those with a long shank which can be obtained only by buying a shirt waist*. Then I can’t find my gold hook to keep my glasses on. Perhaps I left that on the pin tray too.
I would suggest that you cut out that white shirtwaist* with red wings, do what you can on it and send it to me to try on. Send one sleeve & the waist say. Then I shall make the necessary alterations and return it to you to finish up. I could finish it myself only I would have no machine and the shoulder seams for instance would have to be stitched on the machine. And it would cost more to have it finished here than the expense of sending it back & forth. I want it made plain, pointed yoke, no fullness from shoulder seams etc. You can take your time making it, but I should like it before it gets too warm.
Then, when the arbutus* comes will you ask Kasper to get some more of those beauties for me? What was the wonderful letter of Atkins about? How is “Deestrik Skule” getting along? I am interested in all the details you know. All the girls think my new dress is perfectly lovely, that is, all the girls who have seen it. I have not appeared in public as yet. Expect how to christen it at the dance to be given May 1 by the Agora Juniors. I have written to see if Clara Tracy can come up to that, but have not heard from her as yet.
Cleaned my bicycle the other day but have not yet had time to ride any. Hope to this week however. Nothing special has happened this week. We will have a holiday April 19 as usual. Won’t that be glorious? But guess I shall spend the morning in the Chemistry lab as I am working ahead in one course so as not to have so much to do later.
The Harvard boys of one society are coming here tomorrow night to play the “Belles of Bellesly” which is sort of a take off on Wellesley as you might imagine from the name. It is to be given in the Town Hall & most of the tickets are already sold I hear. But I am crazy to go & am going to try to get standing room. It has been played in Cambridge, Boston, etc. and is making a great hit. Said to be the best thing of the sort ever gotten up by the society.
Received my shirtwaist* O.K. & am greatly pleased with it.
Hope I shall remember to enclose that gold pin of yours this time. There’s the supper bell – so farewell. President Hyde of Bowdoin College preached here today. This evening after vespers the Seniors in College here were invited down to visit him. I went & liked him very much.

Goodnight now.
Hoping to hear all the news tomorrow.


Mabel L. Bishop

*arbutus – is a small tree or shrub with edible red berries and a red flaking bark. Fruit usually appears about five months after pollination. Flowers will appear while the previous year’s fruit is ripening.
*collar button – a stud the size of a button joined by a shank to a smaller disk. It was used to button a collar to a blouse or shirt.
*shirtwaist – a woman’s dress with a tailored button down bodice similar to a shirt.

Letters were made available courtesy of Wellesley College Archives.
Transcribed and footnotes added by Heddy Panik.