Middletown, Connecticut: 1852. Envelope or Cover. Four-page letter with its mailing envelope. The cover bears a circular Middletown, Con. Postmark with black “PAID” and circled “3” handstamps; three cents being the cost to mail a prepaid letter up to 3,000 miles. Both are in nice shape.
In this letter, Merwin encourages a former “schoolmate” who was attending the Charlotte Academy in Davenport, New York, to attend Wesleyan University during the upcoming term, informing him of the admissions requirements:
“I am happy to think that you are coming here next term. You will confer an everlasting favor upon the Wes. Uni. Don’t fail to come. . .. We can have some old times over again. If you have no objections we will room together next year, if not next term. . . You have to hire your nags here to go riding, no Black Ponies at College. You are subject to act upon your “own hook” here. No Mrs Smith to take care of you when you are sick. But I must not draw a picture that may discourage you so that you will not come to college: because I should be disappointed myself. . .. You will be expected to have been through . . . 16 sections in Lomis’ Algebra, Lomis Geometry. Xenophon’s Anabasis about 4 books, not less and more if you choose. Homer’s Iliad 2 or 3 books as you have time. Livy, 3 books or a little more. Horace. And be pretty well versed in the Grammar as I suppose you are. . .. I have just been delving into the depths of a Geometry lesson to be recited tomorrow morning at 6 o’clock – that’s the rub. You must be up in time – or, absence from prayers 1 black mark, tardiness ½, absence from recitation 2. . . . failure in reciting 1 black mark. So you must be up – up in time & have your lesson well committed. You need not be frightened about being examined or about reading all the Latin & Greek up to the last line. If you read thoroughly what you read, no danger of your not being admitted. . .. You will get in. . .. So you need not study very hard to read the Latin, nor go through all the Geometry. We have fellows here who have not been through more than half of the required portion of Latin, Greek & Mathematics. “. Very good. Item #009428
Wesleyan University was founded in 1831 as a men's college with the support of prominent residents of Middletown, Connecticut. Although now-secular, it was the first college or university to be named after John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. Adetailed first-hand account about the type of studies required in 19th century U.S. colleges and universities.