Uxbridge, Massachusetts: 1837. Envelope or Cover. This stampless folded letter measures 16” x 9.75” unfolded. It was written on March 23, 1837. It bears a circular Uxbridge postmark in red and a manuscript “10” postal rate, the cost to send a letter between 30 and 80 miles. The letter is in nice shape with two-inch split along one fold and small hole where its wax seal was opened.
In this letter, Farrar, informs his parents that he has adjusted to life at school:
“I have been here five weeks last Monday, almost six weeks now [and] become somewhat acquainted with the people, mostly by the kindness of Mr. & Mrs. Grosvenor, who probably seeing that I was rather lonesome invited several young people. . .. From being amongst entire strangers, I have learned also that I cannot bear perpetual solitude. . .. I came here with the determination to be a kind of hermit & . . . therefor declined seeing persons when Mr. G would introduce me . . . but I soon found that that would not do, that I was lonesome. . .. I now enjoy myself well. . ..”
And of his academic progress:
“The instructor of the Academy just graduated from Brown University, is a fine fellow here studying medicine with the physicians of the town. . .. I have had several letters from Amherst by which I see that I am in Greek about 350 lines in advance. . ., in Latin within two or 3 pages . . . but in Mathematics some what in the rear. . .. I have enough in advance in Greek to balance what I am in the rear in Mathematics, so that I may consider myself as nearly square . . . for this terms studies. I commenced . . . three weeks after they did. So I have gone over as much . . . in five weeks as [they] have in eight. As whether I have done it as well Mr G may answer. . .. In Mathematics, as I have been delayed nearly a week, because we could not obtain a mathematical scale until today & only then by sending to Providence.”
Farrar also provides details about plans split the academy—which had been co-educational—into two separate schools:
“There has up to this time been an Acad. For both sexes, but they have just taken steps to have a separate one for young ladies . . . on the plan of the Ipswich school, especially to educate teachers. They expect it will be an excellent school. Mr. Grosvenor is one of the principle makers of this plan. . .. They have procured an excellent instructor from Ipswich. Mr. Grosvenor wrote a sort of prospectus for it, which was published in one of the Worcester papers yesterday. There is still to continue the academy for boys under the care of the same instructor.”. Very good. Item #009427
The Uxbridge Academy was a prestigious 19th century preparatory school with a classical curriculum emphasizing Greek and Latin that attracted students primarily from New England. It formally opened 1820 and at various times until 1837 was a coeducational, all-male, or all-female institution. In 1837, the Reverend Dr. David A. Grosvenor was a member of its Board of Trustees and one of its superintendents. (For more information, see Judge Henry Chapin’s Address Delivered at the Unitarian Church in Uxbridge in 1864 and McComber’s The Uxbridge Academy: a Brief History.).