Transcription (WCP1261.1040)


Montpelier2 Lamar Hall3

Novem[be]r 4th 1844

Dear Alfred

I will begin a letter to you to send by the next mail which leaves the middle of the month. I have only a few notes which I wrote my letters from as I cannot keep two journals & I intend to continue from my last letter always and tell the most remarkable things that happen to me. We had I believe reached Montpelier, the house is called Lamar Hall from a Gentleman who first settled here, it is a large convenient building surrounded with smaller dwellings [2] for the servants and different offices, the first schoolroom is also a very pretty House close by Mrs Parez4 lives there with her little daughter and her class about 16 Girls — the clearing extends about half a mile perhaps, but sufficient trees left to give it the appearance of a Park[.] the Springs are at the bottom of a hill where it is conducted by a wooden trough to a small wooden building called a bath house, here one may take a shower or plunging Bath at any hour in the day. it must be delightful in the hot weather, but at present only those practice this who have done it constantly, since the Summer the mornings and evenings are cold but the Sun in the day so hot that we cannot walk without being much fatigued. the Autumn trees I must now mention. They are most beautiful, the red is brighter than anything I ever saw, perhaps half a tree green and the other half a bright red, and another half green and the other half bright yellow, you will see the Spring beauties. They say the flowers are most splendid, even now there are a great many pretty ones. I have got some drying for you — We have four or five girls besides a boy who wait upon us at meals, they cut the most ridiculous figure, they are dressed in all sorts of old [3] things some are in long dresses, some in short. they follow their own taste in dress after their mistress gives them the Clothes. They all wear gold rings and earrings. the little boy does nothing than walk about with a bunch of Peacocks feathers driving away the flies off the tables — Miss Sinclair5 and I have a Servant to attend upon us, her name is Lucy and we sometimes have a chat with her, but I am very careful what I say as I know it is all repeated downstairs. I always say I think they must be very happy with so kind a Master & Mistress, and so well fed & nothing to trouble them, and she seems to think God almighty very kind to them. the little black children are here running about the House and grounds of all ages, our apartment is very pretty everything is of wood without paint which looks singular until you become used to it, the rooms are nicely furnished (for this place) indeed I must say there is every comfort here for children as well as teachers. we have all plenty to do but the hours are so well regulated that we have plenty of time to ourselves, we have all from 12 to 3 and on Saturday’s[sic] I have nothing to do after 11 O’clock — We all have from 5 to 7 in the even[in]g and the whole evening once a week — this is [4] nice is it not? We have no one to interfere with us, we all know our duties and we do them. we begin at half past six in the morning but we can always go to bed as soon as we please after we have attended prayers at 9 but that is the time generally we pay visits, as we are all engaged at our separate classes in the day, and the teachers like a little chat or hear something to tell the superintendent which is now Mrs Parez she keeps account of everything to render, On[sic] the Bishop’s6 coming to visit us a true account of all that has occurred. This is the only check for the girls. They know all is told to him that is the only punishment or disgrace here. I have 24 Pupils in music, the drawing I do not take till after the term as a Lady has had it all the half year and did not wish to give it up, so I have the same number of hours that is devoted to that in the class to french, Arithmetic & English Grammar. I get through everything very comfortably and am very happy. I want for nothing but you all out here with me. give my love to all my brothers & dear Mamma and believe me

your │ affectionate Fanny

This letter is a copy, perhaps in the hand of ARW's mother, contained in: ?Wallace, Mary Ann. 1844-1845. Notebook: "Fanny's letters, England and Georgia, Sept 1844 to Jan 1845". Natural History Museum, London: WP1/3/92.
Montpelier Institute, Montpelier Springs, near Macon, Georgia, USA, a school founded in 1841 by the Bishop of Georgia, where ARW's sister was a teacher (Archives of the Diocese of Georgia. 2010. Montpelier Institute. Archives of the Diocese of Georgia. <http://archives.georgiaepiscopal.org/?page_id=1031> [accessed 20 November 2018]).
Lamar Hall, the girls' section of the the school, named after Gazaway Bugg Lamar (1798-1874), of Savannah, Georgia, American businessman and banker and benefactor of many charities (Hamburger, S. 2000. Lamar, Gazaway Bugg (1798-1874), business entrepreneur. American National Biography. <https://doi.org/10.1093/anb/9780198606697.article.1000951> [accessed 4 June 2018]).
Parez, Mrs ( — ). Presumably superintendant, Lamar Hall, Montpelier Institute, Montpelier Springs, near Macon, Georgia, USA, who had clearly replaced a Mrs Roberts, principal of the school, earlier in 1844 (Letter of Mary Telfair to Mary Few, Savannah, Georgia, 4 July [?1844]. Wood, Betty (Ed.). 2007. Mary Telfair to Mary Few: Selected Letters 1802-1844. Athens, Georgia, USA and London, UK: the University of Georgia Press. [pp. 248-249] p. 248).
Sinclair, Elizabeth ( — ). British teacher at the Montpelier Institute, Montpelier Springs, near Macon, Georgia, USA, who had sailed to the USA with ARW's sister (see WCP1257 and WCP1260).
Elliott, Stephen (1806-1866). American bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Georgia; founder of Montpelier Institute, where ARW’s sister was a teacher.

Please cite as “WCP1261,” in Beccaloni, G. W. (ed.), Ɛpsilon: The Alfred Russel Wallace Collection accessed on 17 June 2024, https://epsilon.ac.uk/view/wallace/letters/WCP1261