by Lynne Belluscio
We were notified a few months ago that the Strong Museum was willing to deacession some archival material that was pertinent to Ingham University. They contacted us and we were elated to know that they would be giving us the Otis Family collections. There are 12 boxes and box #1 includes letters between Mary Ann Raymond and her daughters Mary and Charlotte and the teachers of the LeRoy Female Seminary in 1849-1851 and 1861. Last week I was able to go to the Strong Museum to pick up the boxes and this week they will be put into our archives. When I have some free time, I will be able to sit down and read the letters. Some of them have been transcribed.
Here is a short section from a letter Mary wrote to her sister Lottie: “LeRoy Intellectual Prison – June 18 (1851) Mrs. Staunton has forbidden the wearing of short sleeves in the seminary. She says that if she sees a young lady with short sleeves on she shall send her to her room and keep her there until she gets some long ones. She will not bear the responsibility of their health if they wear them. I wish Mother would send word to her that she would be responsible for me and that I might wear them.”
From a letter written June 19, 1851: “They do not have anything at all (in LeRoy on) the Fourth, only a Sons of Temperance celebration and they form a procession, the fire company first, then the Sons, then the Seminary girls and then the villagers. They march all around the streets and then up to the grove and have some orations and a table – Lovely I must say - - and when they see us walking they say there goes the cattle show and I should think they would, for when we walk we go so fast - - -
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