Lititz, Pennsylvania: 1833. Envelope or Cover. Two stampless letters from Lititz, Pennsylvania, one from Charles F. Kluge (the principal of Lititz Seminary) and one from Ann Herr (one of two sisters attending the school as boarders). Both are addressed to Susan (Susanna) Herr, Ann’s older sister, in Lancaster City. Both bear manuscript postal markings in the hand of the same Lititz postmaster. One shows a post rate of “6”, the cost a single-sheet letter a distance of up to 30 miles. The other shows a double-rate of “12”, the cost to send a folded letter with an enclosure (an invoice that is no longer present). Both are quite legible; one has some toning and the other is missing a small bit of text where its wax seal was broken upon opening.
Ann and her sister, Amanda, were boarders at the Lititz Seminary (which was later renamed Linden Hall) where they studied domestic arts of the day in addition to reading, writing, and arithmetic. As Ann informs her older sister,
“I have finished my Ribbon piece; sister thinks she will complete hers next week. I did not assist her any. I have been sewing at our capes, and will soon begin work at my lace. The two hours on Monday and Wednesday during which I worked at my Ribbon piece, I now employ in attending to Orthography [Spelling and Writing], Arithmetic and sewing. Each one of my companions, has a garden, I have mine, in partnership with Laura Archer and Mary Ann McCord. I can assure you, this affords no great amusement. We generally go into the pleasure ground at noon, and take our walks in the evening. Since Easter, we again go to church on Wednesday evening.”
Charles F. Kluge, the principal, informs Susanna in his letter,
“You will, therefore, find washing, Board & Tuition, & other regular quarterly charges [on the enclosed invoice, which is now missing.] The two sums, placed to yr. credit under date of July 31st [con]statute the payment of $68.45/100, made to me on the day. The amount remaining due on both accounts stand, leaving the time of payment to be determined by yr. convenience.”. Very good. Item #009706
ALinden Hall began in 1746 as a simple Moravian log Gemeinhaus that served as a chapel, parsonage and schoolhouse where both boys and girls received instruction until a separate girls’ facility, which now houses the school’s administrative offices and is known as Stengel Hall, was built in 1769. By 1800, the school was routinely admitting girls from non-Moravian families.
A nice pair of letters testifying to the operation and academics of the earliest girls’ boarding and day school in continuous existence in the United States.