Radical Equality: 1842-1846

Letter, Almira Stetson to James A. Stetson, Mar. 4, 1845

Almira shares her ambitions and goals for the future.

Transcript
[MARCH 4, 1845]

Northampton March 4th 45.
Ever dear Father.

There is a box to go to you day after to morrow and I thought I would commence at this early period to be sure of having something for you for I can scarcely make any calculation of my time so I have found it best to take time when it is going and for another reason I write too. I feel, yes know that I ought to disclose all my plans of life to those who have thus far been one of the means of keepin life in me. You know that it has always been m the greatest wish of my existence to be a thouroughly and highly educated girl, to this purpose have I laid all my plans of life and my hopes for the future have been to this purpose end. I never have said a great deal about it but enough as I thought to have those around me know what my dearest wishes were. I have said little but thought all the more.

I have from a life necessity for a while past given up all hopes of pursuing such a course of study, but I have been reading and hearing a good deal within a few days of Margret Fuller the author of “Woman in the Ninetheenth century,” (which is a very superior work) She is an almost entirely a self educated woman. her father was once a wealthy man but failed in business and being honest he gave up almost every thing, but Margret was very ambitious and she went on her education alone, and it is the opinion of all who are acquainted with her that she is a very superior woman. Mr Mack knows her and he says that he “never saw a woman with such a mind and so complete an education”. I do not expect to come up to her however in talents but I can do my best for it. I can attain as near as possible to my ideal. But I find that as a general thing those that educate themselves, and are obliged to make some sacrifice (if you please to call it so, no sacrifice to me) to attain to a thourough education are generally the best learned and use their learning to the best advantage.

But it makes no difference to me what such persons have done or are doing. I want a good education and I think I can have it by improving every moment. and I really did not know how much time I had untill I tried to improve every moment of it. My plan is this, and I go to Mr Mack for his opinion of the authors and works. The following are are the branches a thourough course of ancient and modern History. Latin. Phylosophy Astronomy Chemistry. Algebra – Geometry. Physiologs and Botany. Geography as a distinct from history I think I have a pretty good knowledge of. Grammar I am going through with now minutely. These are the principle ones. there are others which would come in incidentally. I hope Mr Mack will be able soon to teach me in Latin. this study may seem to you as rather foolish for me but it has always been my wish to be a good Latin scholar, and I hope to go through with it. I shall expect to work my regular number of hours, and improving diligently every moment I think it will take me four or five years to do what I have stated. I think I have duly weighed all things (I think) and feel convinced that I can and ought to do it, and if I meet no opposition from you I shall commenc immediately. I had hoped to go to some seminary for a year or two and devote my whole time to study, but if I cant do so I must do the best way I can, and this is the best I can think of. I hope you will think favorable of this proposition, and will give your opinion of it as soon as possible, for I feel that every moment that is lost now is of great importance to me.

But enough of this for the present. You said something to me in your last letter about some ¼ lb papers. now I am very sorry that they did not meet your mind but I really felt ashamed to send them and such a time I never had, Mrs Hammond on one side trying to learn and mixing all the kinds together and James A-1 thinking that his way was best (when in reality he had no way) and Mr Haven trying to do the best he could with Uncle George2 hurrying me for fear I should not yet ready and every one handling the silk and misplaceing it. I think I ought to have some praise for ever getting it in to the box in any shape whatever. You wanted to know about the weight I will send it as I have it — but I cannot vough vouch for its correctness. I packed the box Thursday afternoon and Friday morning when I got there I found James A- had been to it, and how or what he did with it I do not know. I had a really crying spell about the silk and the box after it wh went away but it did no good. I wish if you have a correct account of it you would send it up. For it has not been entered on the books, yet. send it immediately. There was of the silk according with to my account

Fine Black – 20 lbs 1 oz – Greens – 5 lbs 5 oz 3/4
American – 5 lbs 8 oz – That in ¼ lb papers.- 1 lb in one paper and
1lb 6 oz in another.
I want you to thank John as politely as possible for those cards – I have been very neglectful indeed to not have mentioned it before – ask him to excuse me for my neglect as it was unmeaning in me. also tell George I shall write him by the next box for I had not time to write by this one. Give love to all and believing myself to be your loving child I close this epistle which I hope you will answer soon.

Almira B Stetson –

Why dont I hear something from that purse I knit for Mrs A Appleton? dont she like it?

Addressed: Mr James. A. Stetson. / Boston. / Mass. // Box.

Notes

  1. James Atkins.
  2. George W. Benson.
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