April 23, 1899
I was so disappointed when I heard that Kate hat left you in the lurch. You poor people! You won’t take things easy & I am afraid you will be in no condition to stand all the festivities here in June. Please do just as little as you possibly can & think of the future.
Went in and sat for my pictures again yesterday morning. Continue reading
February 21, 1897
My Dear Mamma,
My box was lovely. It arrived at half past nine Friday morning just when I expected it. Such fun opening it! That picture of the river is simply lovely and looks quite natural and homelike hanging on my wall. But I don’t just know where it is. Continue reading
Feb. 8 – 96
Dear Mama –
Midyears are such fun! I wish they came oftener (before and after taking). I passed in French, German, and Geometry and haven’t heard from English or Bible yet, but I know I passed in Bible, but am rather doubtful about the English. However, I shall know Monday. Continue reading
Were you disappointed not to get a letter from me yesterday? But I just didn’t have a minute’s time so I thought I would wait and write after seeing your letter tonight. You see I didn’t get up until almost dinner time as I was rather tired & thought I would get in a little rest when I could. Continue reading
January 31, 
To begin with, Callie’s address is 165 Lafayette St. Brooklyn N.Y. At least that was what it was the last time I heard from her. It is now the middle of the examination season but I have not had any yet. Mine come so very badly and I have seven to take. My first one Literature doesn’t come until Tuesday afternoon. Continue reading
Jan. 31,  ‘98
Before I got your letter I had thought of finishing the doily* and had begun to work on it. I am glad you’re of the same opinion. You poor Mamma! I hope you liked the present I gave you. Christmas – not counting this doily of course. I will try to make you another one but do not want to make rash promises. Continue reading
Dear Home people –
It is a lovely day, or so promises to be, for the events of the day seem to call for pleasant weather. Anna and Amy are coming out at noon. Yesterday we went to hear the Baccalaureate sermon by a Dr. Richards of New Jersey. The seniors all marched and dressed in white, a pretty sight. Continue reading
June 22, 1899
My dear husband,
I am in Mabel’s room, the children have started off sight-seeing. Phil and Mildred will go to Beverly, and our children to Boston & Bunker Hill and to Somerville to lunch. It is a perfect day and everything is lovely here. Continue reading
June 26, 1899, [postmark]
Dear People –
We are having the grandest time imaginable. Something going on all the time – but you can’t think what a bother it is not to have a watch or clock. We never have the remotest idea what time it is. Continue reading
March 26, 1899
I suppose you are having just such a snow storm as we are having. Did you ever see such blizzards as we have been having this year? I hope it will not storm tomorrow so as to prevent Jess’ going home at noon. Not that I don’t want her to stay any longer but I just can’t spare the time. I am just rushed. Have just in the 2 remaining days two written lessons for which I must do lots of work, lots of laboratory work, then regular lessons and a paper to do. To be sure the paper isn’t due this term but as it is due April 11 at 9 A.M., the first thing after we come back, it behooves me to finish it before I go. Ila came Friday afternoon in due season, looking as pretty as ever. We went to a lecture that evening given to the Art Department by Mr. C. Howard Walker. Then Saturday we went to town. Started at 8:10 and got back at 6:12 so you see we had a day of it. Ila was delighted with everything. We went to see the grand new Union Station, to Public Library, into Madam Celeste’s, a milliner of whom Ila had heard and wanted to see, then into lots of grand stores, to Hylers for hot chocolate, to Adams House for dinner through the Subway, etc. etc. and finally to see Julia Marlowe* in “As You Like it”. Got back to Wellesley for dinner and went right down to the Barn to see the Faculty perform. What do you think they gave? That Handel toy orchestra or whatever you call it which was given up at the Sem. several years ago. Oh I thought we would die with laughing. You see them all dressed up as children with hair over their shoulders & dresses up to their knees. We just couldn’t recognize some of them, and we would just howl when some of them came in. It was positively perfectly killing and you know what the music was though of course it was more of a burlesque than when you saw it. Fraulein Weinhabish was Handel the “director” & she took of Signor Ratski just grandly, brandished her arms etc. The cuckoo was so very funny and the little fifes. Dr. Roberts was of the birds and was so funny. But Miss Balch topped the climax. She was the dancer & was arrayed in kilt & Scotch plaid and at our request came out and danced a Highland fling*. We never laughed so much.
The Junior Play comes tomorrow & I hope to take some fine pictures. Had some beautiful results from the Senior Emigrant Party last Monday. I have got so many orders to fill that I shall be kept busy in vacation. Carl mustn’t forget to bring home his frames & I’ll set him at work.
You know that dance which Ila wants me to come to West Hartford for Wednesday after Easter? What shall I wear? I’m afraid white is not good enough, it’s so simplsy. She says they have sent out 80 invitations – not so very large tis true but I’m afraid it is to be awfully swell. Men coming from New York, Philadelphia etc. Do you suppose my new dress could be finished for me to wear? Though I don’t know as I should exactly like to wear it first there. I have something to suggest for my graduating dress. Several of the girls have them & think they are grand. Irish Swiss Muslin* I think it is. It is a fine & nice organdie* and washes beautifully. Costs about $.60 I think. Are you planning to meet me in Hartford Thursday? I’m afraid I can’t get there until 12:30 as Ila hasn’t said anything about my coming the night before & spending the night with her. But you could get my white dress etc. without me and be looking around etc. and if we waited until the last train I guess we would have time enough to do all we wanted to.
Ila has got a grand new dress to wear at her dance. She gave me a lovely picture frame, and a dear little powder box* for my bureau*. She is having a grand time I am sure. The storm has stopped & sun is shining. Many thanks for the money.
Well good night all. You will see me soon.
Mabel L. Bishop
*bureau – a chest of drawers with a mirror.
*Highland Fling – a Scottish dance. It is performed in one spot in 44 time and consists of a series of intricate steps requiring delicate balance and precision. Characteristically it is a step in which the dancer hops on one foot while the other foot moves in front of and in back of the calf.
*Irish Swill Muslin – a sheer crisp muslin fabric with raised dots or figures. It is also known as dotted swiss fabric.
*Julia Marlowe – was a an English born American stage actress (Aug 17, 1865 – Nov2, 1950)
*organdie – fine thin cotton with a durable crisp finish: often used to make blouses.
*powder box – decorative container used to hold face powder.
Letters were made available courtesy of Wellesley College Archives.
Transcribed and footnotes added by Heddy Panik.
May 10, 1897, [postmark]
Many thanks for the “pome.”* It is quite a piece of work. I hope your essay is in so near a state of completion. How is it getting along? And how is the valedictory: Let me offer my hearty congratulations to my smart sister. Continue reading
May 14, 1899
Have just come from church where Rev. Henry Van Dyke preached a grand sermon. The chapel was filled – not only girls but loads of strangers were there to hear the famous man. Continue reading