Encildoun, Pennsylvania: 1861. Unbound.
Four-page letter on stationery featuring an illustration of the Encildoun Boarding School for girls. The letter is dated March 3d, 1861. Although the bifold lettersheet is complete, the last sentence on the final page is truncated, and there is no closing or signature. Otherwise in nice shape.
The Ercildoun School, originally founded by Smedley Darlington in 1851 as a boy’s school, became a female boarding school three years later. By 1859, it included a ‘Normal Department’ to prepare young women for teaching, and its Catalog promised “Those desirous of obtaining situations as teachers, will be assisted in procuring such as their qualifications entitle them to fill.”
In this humorous letter, a young woman from the school, writes to her younger sister about a trip to Philadelphia where she was introduced Hugh Foulke, the headmaster of the Gwynedd Boarding School for Boys:
“Well, about a quarter of 1 PM. The cars took us [to] the Depot. . .. I was peering out the window expecting to know Hugh Faulke (that was the scamps name) by intuition & my eye soon fell with the certainty on a certain tall, slim, precise looking individual who wouldn’t weigh more than your humble servant_ the Dr. spied him & says “There’s Hugh Faulke” . . . & as I stepped on the platform I heard the Quaker introduction . . . “How does thee do.” “Quite well, thank you” “It is a beautiful day” (excruciatingly precise remember) “Are you all there are from Chester County” wish you could have heard the Yankee twang to are & seen the bland smile exposed to view teeth the half of which were gold & such a smooth face & so Quaker_ I could scarcely sustain my risibles_ I went to the sitting room & . . . in the course of time he came in, remarked that there had been a slight shower. I must be hungry – would we wait till the rain had entirely ceased or go at once to a saloon."
"The sitting room was suffocatingly hot & on his assuring me that the rain was exceedingly slight I preferred going immediately_ but Oh Jupiter! do you remember that Thursday? The wind had a perfect hurricane as soon as we were on the street_ such an exposure of gaiter boots, big ancles, crinoline & embroidery – we took a street car . . . & soon found ourselves seated in a saloon . . . just opposite Independence Hall_ “will thee have turkey &c &c – or oysters” “Oysters thank you” “fried, roasted or stewed,” “stewed if you please” & “for dessert will thee prefer pie & pudding or ice cream” “Ice cream thank you” _ “lemon, raspberry, strawberry or vanilla” _ “vanilla if you please” “pound cake or sponge” “sponge cake is preferable with cream I think.” You would have collapsed or screamed out I know_ I sat there so amused just dying with laughter_ we talked politics the state of the country, what brought it such peril, would her statesman be able to bring her out of her troubles a perfect Union again &c. &c.”. Very good. Item #009402
A fascinating first-hand glimpse of a young woman’s interview for a teaching position.