Today we see another letter from Ms. Eliza wherein she's happy to hear from her son finding out he arrived safely at college. It was with much more trepidation I am sure that parents sent their children off to college some distance or several states away - as the Quitmans did with their son, Henry. This letter was perfect to post today as so many parents are sending, or have already sent, their children off to college and wait to hear from them. Of course today we have so much social media that we can stay in touch with our children instantaneously - usually . . . . Until next week when I post the second half of this letter, happy travels to all those college students venturing into new territory and a brave new world!
March 6, 1849
My dear Henry
It was with much pleasure and no little gratification that we a few days since received your letter announcing your safe arrival at and entrance into Princeton College. I am glad you succeeded so well in procuring a comfortable room and a pleasant boarding house. Your Landlady I was acquainted with years ago, a nice old lady she was, remember me to her.
My dear boy let me recommend you to be economical in your money matters, lay down for yourself a set of rules and follow them most rigidly. Let not others persuade you to do that which is wrong in ever so small a thing. Remember I have long been a close observer of human nature, I know the world but too well; and a College life is but the world on a small scale. There are times when your Mother trembles for her only son, she is well aware of the great and many temptations that will be thrown in his way, to lead him from the path of rectitude, but my son you know the principles in which you have been reared, hold fast to them and you will be in no danger, remember too the high rank you hold from your parents, how many look to you for a noble example, and again, how great an effect your example, whether for good or evil will have upon others, remember too that you will especially honor God by improving diligently those talents which God has committed to you, by using carefully those means and opportunities which He hath vouchsafed to you of doing him service and promoting his glory. If God has given you wealth if you expend it not to the nourishment of pride and luxury, not only to gratify your own pleasure or ___________, but to the furtherance of God’s honor, in any pious or charitable way you do honor your Creator in an especial manner. Also by the practice of every virtue you do set and example of good to others, and that will be making use to the best advantage of those talents which God has given you and for which you will be held accountable my son listen to your Mother and keep her sayings in your heart forever.
Father and Sister are in N.Orleans. I will enclose L’s letter to you so that you may see in what manner she has been enjoying herself. It is now lovely spring weather soon we shall have everything green.